Everything you need to know about running through the Happiest Place on Earth.
The races are expensive.
You have to pay a hefty price to run through Mickey Mouse territory. There are rarely (meaning practically never) discounts. So if you want to do a Run Disney race, register as early as possible for the cheapest price.
The races start earlier than most.
I ran the Tinkerbell 10K and Half Marathon this weekend. Both had a 5:30 a.m. start time. When you factor in parking, bathroom lines and getting to the corrals, I had to set my alarm for 3 a.m.
The early wake-up time is necessary though. Logistics is an important part of any big race, but at Disneyland and Disney World, it is extra complicated. These are BIG races with thousands of runners and spectators. There are assigned corrals you must stick to. Plus it’s well before sunrise when you descend on the starting line in the dark, along with thousands of other runners and their crews. Plan, plan, plan for race morning. Get there early. Know where you’re going.
Dress up—or you’ll be bummed you didn’t.
The running costumes at Run Disney races are some of the best. It’s super fun to see all of them, but it’s even more fun when you dress up. Just make sure it’s something you can actually run in!
Have fun and get in character. Check out the other runner costumes around you and note ideas for next time. The spectators get into it too and cheer for you in your character’s name. “Go Tinkerbell!!”
It’s perfectly acceptable to STOP and take pictures.
Yes, the majority of Run Disney participants stop to take pictures several times during the race. There are iconic landmarks like the Castle, along with famous Disney character photo ops. A Disney cast-member will take a picture of you and the character if you give them your phone. There is also someone who takes professional pictures too.
Hey, you spent a lot. You dressed up. Stop and take a picture of it.
You are running in the Happiest Place on Earth!
Even if you’re not a Disney fanatic, it’s awesome. You get a sneak peek into the theme parks without any crowds. There is music playing. The carousel is turning. You run up Main Street USA without being bumped by countless strollers. Running is already fun, but this takes it up a level.
You might become Run Disney-obsessed.
Running is fun. That’s why we do it, right? But there is something magical about running at Disneyland, dressed up as your favorite character, around so many people who are just there to have a good time. It is infectious.
After your race, you might start thinking about how you didn’t really see the Matterhorn as you ran by. Or maybe you have a great costume idea for next time. Before you know it you’re researching the next Disney race! It’s okay. Welcome to the club. It’s fun here.