5 Reasons Why a runDisney Race is Worth It

Experiencing a runDisney race is transcendent!  Picture this: Fireworks at the starting line; seeing the most magical place on earth at sunrise; Disney songs blaring through speakers; people in Disney costumes surrounding you; Disney characters you’ve never encountered in person before waiting to greet you.  “Every mile is magic” indeed! Whether you’re doing a 5k or a nearly 50 mile Dopey Challenge, you will have one of the best experiences of your life!  The running part is just a fraction of the fun.  Here are 5 reasons why taking part in a runDisney race is worth it.

My weekend started off at the runDisney Expo at the ESPN wide World of Sports. The fun begins BEFORE the race starts.

1. BEST race course EVER!

The Hakuna Matata 10 Miler had us running through parts of EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.

There is no boring stretch of a runDisney race.  You’re in Disney World!  It’s immaculate, safe, nostalgic, entertaining and beautiful.  10 miles doesn’t feel like much of anything when you’re being pulled from one experience to another – the next beckoning character moment, the next festive mile marker, the next encouraging DJ blasting favorite tunes, or the next outstretched hand with Powerade and a high five.

Running through the Disney parks is certainly the highlight. Sunset Boulevard at sunrise is just poetic!

Hydration and medical station are spaced throughout the course.  Grab a drink, an ice pack, band aids, get a knee or an ankle wrapped.  Disney is all about safety and they do a wonderful job of ensuring their runners have everything they need to get to the finish line!

Powerade as far as the eye can see! The race helpers have outstretched hands with cups. You don’t have to break your stride!

Get ready to be entertained during your run.  Live bands, DJs, Disney songs blasting through speakers, a choir, a high school marching band, Japanese Taiko drumming!?  Running with a smile on your face certainly boosts your stamina.

Did I think I would run past drummers on Japanese Taiko drums? Total surprise!

2. Characters!  And more Characters!

I wasn’t prepared for this part.  I had heard there were characters along the way, but I didn’t know I’d see several in the same mile!  Even when you’re not running inside the parks, the entire course is peppered with Disney experiences.  Yes, you will meet characters along the highway!  How does Disney handle lines? VERY well!  They will move you along quickly so you are back on the course in a matter of minutes.  You need to stop and munch on your energy gummies anyway.

Never approach a raccoon during the day…unless it’s Meeko!

Aside from the more rare characters along the race course, like Bernard from the Rescuers (yes, I stopped to see him), you will meet some of Disney’s most beloved characters! Mickey and Minnie had the longest line, but like I mentioned, nobody is lingering…say hello and back to the race!

3. The Outfits

A runDisney race is not the time to be subtle.  I think half my energy came from my glitter skirt and mouse ears!  I decided to stick with the Hakuna Matata 10 Miler theme and went adorned with my Animal Kingdom Mickey Ears (they stayed on the whole time!) and Pumba and Timon t-shirt and socks.

The skirt ties it all together. I purchased this at the Expo! You will find several vendor that can outfit you if you’re not prepared.

On the course, the runDisney fashion spectrum is on dispay!  You will see full costumes plus face makeup. Runners transform themselves into characters from head to toe.  This is so much more wild and exciting than checking out everyone’s T-shirt game on a regular day in the parks.  I felt like I was running with a circus.  A beautiful, fun, Disney family circus.

 4. The Medals

Check out my cool Hakuna Matata 10 Miler medal! Everyone gets handed a medal at the finish line (even if you don’t finish you get your medal btw).  It’s such a feeling of accomplishment and it makes you want to collect more!  They are excellent quality and uniquely designed for your particular race.

runDisney medals are collectibles! Check out Simba! Guess what? He can move back and forth on the medal. Well done, Disney Imagineers.

During a race weekend, wear your medal proudly in the parks!  Photographers will tell you to showcase it in photos.  Cast members will congratulate you all day long.  Fellow runners congratulate each other too!  A runDisney race is all about camaraderie, and the medals are a great symbol of that.  I will forever feel a part of the runDisney community.

5. Time to Refuel and Reward Yourself!

There’s no better way to celebrate completion of your race than by hitting the parks, hitting your favorite rides and refueling on the BEST Disney food and beverages! I sampled some of the best cuisine from regions around the globe in EPCOT’s World Showcase.

I sampled the honey-glazed cauliflower and rice pilaf at Honey Bee-stro. It was excellent! Don’t worry…I followed with ice cream.

Festival time at EPCOT means you don’t have to go very far before bumping into another kiosk with the most delectable, creative flavor combinations.  The offerings are all chef’s kiss worthy!  And if you’re looking to reward yourself after your run with some alcoholic beverages, look no further. Every kiosk has a specialty cocktail or two for you!

This refreshing floral margarita in Mexico was just the right amount of sweet and tart. Cheers, runners!

Your feet may be hurting, but you will still be smiling from ear to ear.  Running any length of race in Disney World or ANY Disney Park is a magical experience.  Take full advantage of being at the parks – enjoy the food and the fun after your run!

Have I convinced anyone to try a runDisney race?  The fall Wine and Dine race series has already sold out, but the Princess half marathon registration begins July 30th! Leave a comment and let me know if you want to take a jog through Disney with me!  I’d be happy to plan your magical vacation as well!  Reach out to any agent at Kingdom and Cruise Travel to plan you runDisney experience!


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