I love all things Disney. I have loved Disney since I was a child and my grandma took me to Walt Disney World. As an adult, I am still amazed by the magic of Disney. I am delighted to be making the Walt Disney World Marathon my first marathon this January (there’s still time to sign up and join me!). I think the runDisney franchise is amazing and a wonderful opporunity for runners who love the magic of Disney. Want to join in on the fun and experience the magic of a runDisney event? Check out today’s guest blog.
Today’s guest blog is from Amy Smith, a mom and blogger on the quest for fitness. She is a documented runDisney addict who lost 75 pounds on the way to the Disney Princess Half Marathon. She’s also part of Team in Training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She’s a frequent Disney traveller, a lover of PopTarts, and a Disney travel agent. Amy blogs over at Pumpkin to Princess and, if she can help you plan your Disney dream vacation or your next runDisney event, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s her take on runDisney events, including her expert tips!
runDisney events are the most fun endurance running events out there. Disney is great at making each runner feel special. The race starts out with fireworks, not just for the first corral, but for each corral. Since runDisney races start so early, the fireworks light up the sky. Each corral is announced and given their own “ready, set, go!” The anticipation builds as you know you are running toward the Magic Kingdom and the Castle! The moment you turn the corner and see it—pure magic! Runners race back toward Epcot for a Disney finish, complete with Minnie and Mickey at the finish to congratulate you.
All along the way, there are character stops to get your photo with. My favorite photo op is the one right in front of the castle. The medals from runDisney events cannot be beat. They are all beautiful, heavy and worth all the hard work.
If you are interested in doing a runDisney event, let me give you some tips—from a certificated Disney Travel Specialist.
- Stay is a Disney host hotel. Depending on the size of the race, some or all of the Disney owned hotels make special accommodations for runDisney runners. These hotels offer special event transportation to the expo and to and from the race. Disney has to close down several roads for the race, so traffic race morning can be terrible! Some runners staying off site have missed the race all together because they were caught in traffic. Staying at a Disney host resort will eliminate this worry because they guarantee you will get to the race on time.
- Rest up the day before the race. I know this can be tough—you are in Disney World! Hanging out by the beautifully themed Disney resort pool is a great way to spend the day before the race. Plan to stay in Disney World for a few days after the race instead of before so you can enjoy the parks. If you must hit the parks the day before the race, at least take is easy.
- Pack your tried and true race morning food and take it with you to Disney World. For me, it’s a bagel and peanut butter, plus some Clif Bloks to stash for during the race. While you may be able to find that in Disney World, it may not be your brand or flavor. Race day is not the time to find out you are sensitive to certain brands of flavors, so be safe and pack your race morning food from home.
- Don’t take the race to seriously! runDisney events are meant to be fun, so don’t expect yourself to PR. With all the fireworks, characters, music and photo ops available, enjoy yourself. Take in and savor the experience.
After doing several half marathons in different cities and put on by different race companies, runDisney events are by far my favorite. Follow my tips above and you will have a magical runDisney experience too!