Choosing your runDisney 5K

This is part one of our series on choosing your runDisney race. With so many great events to choose from, it can be difficult to decide! Here are some things to consider when it comes to the runDisney 5K events. 

The runDisney 5K events offer fun for the entire family! Since these events are not timed, the pressure is off which allows for a lot of fun and smiles. Whether it’s your first race, a family event or just fun with your friends, the 5K races are full of Disney magic!

The 5K events are 3.1 miles in length. All ages are allowed to participate, however no strollers are allowed. All events include character opportunities as well as a cotton t-shirt and finisher’s medallion.

So how do you decide which one to participate in? Here is a little insight into each event!

Choosing runDisney 5K

Walt Disney World


Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K

When: January during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, Thursday at 6:15 AM

Race Course: Begins in the Epcot parking lot, then proceeds into World Showcase. You will continue through all of the countries, then back to Future World and finishing in the Epcot parking lot.

What’s Unique: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the largest runDisney event and offers something for everyone! In early January, the weather is (usually) mild and the parks are less crowded.

What’s Difficult: With the addition of the Dopey Challenge, this 5K lost some of its “family” appeal in 2014. The course is also the same as Princess, which means there isn’t much variety.


Royal Family Fun Run 5K

When: February during Princess Half Marathon, Friday at 6:15 AM

Race Course: Begins in the Epcot parking lot, then proceeds into World Showcase. You will continue through all of the countries, then back to Future World and finishing in the Epcot parking lot.

What’s Unique: With a Princess theme, this race is great for a girls’ event! That being said, this race is a great time to get out those fantastic costumes and tutus!

What’s Difficult: This race happens the weekend after President’s Weekend, which means vacation prices may be higher. The course is also the same as the race in January.


Expedition Everest Challenge

When: May during Expedition Everest Challenge Weekend, Saturday at 10:00 PM

Race Course: This course begins in the Animal Kingdom parking lot, then travels throughout Animal Kingdom park. It ends in the parking lot, where the scavenger hunt portion begins.

What’s Unique: This event is more than just a 5K race, it also includes a scavenger hunt and after party! The medal also is not rubber like the other 5K events, making it a great addition to your collection. This is also the only runDisney 5K that occurs at night! Your family can also experience Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival as you visit the parks.

What’s Difficult: With the addition of the scavenger hunt, the race ends up being longer than 3.1 miles. The race also has a minimum age of 9, whereas the other runDisney 5K races do not have an age limit – making it more a family event.


Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run

When: October during  Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, Saturday at 7:30 AM

Race Course: This course begins in ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It then heads to the wooded area around the complex, then back through a few of the sports fields.

What’s Unique: The race has a trail element! The course takes you on sports fields, the grass and even a little dirt in the woods. With a Halloween theme, you never know what surprises are in store! As your family enjoys the parks, you can also experience Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

What’s Difficult: Since the race has a trail element, it does not occur inside a park. However, there still are character photo opportunities!


Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K

When: November during Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, Saturday at 7:00 AM

Race Course: The course begins in the Animal Kingdom parking lot. After running around the lot, the course heads into and throughout Animal Kingdom.

What’s Unique: A Christmas theme is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! The race also takes you inside Animal Kingdom early in the morning. Stay in the holiday spirit by experiencing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party during your time in the parks!

What’s Difficult: The running path inside Animal Kingdom is a little uneven, which can be hard on your legs. It also occurs just over 14 hours before the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, for those running in both events.

runDisney 5K



Never Land Family Fun Run 5K

When: May during Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, Friday at 5:45 AM

Race Course: The course begins in Disneyland Park, directly in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The course winds around Disneyland Park, then through the concourse to California Adventure, ending near World of Color.

What’s Unique: The course stays entirely inside the two parks! This is extremely unique and keeps the magic alive.

What’s Difficult: The dates are changing to Mother’s Day weekend, which may include an increase in crowds at the parks.


Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K

When: August during Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, Friday at 5:30 AM

Race Course: The course begins near Disneyland Hotel, where it then enters California Adventure and winds throughout. It then goes through the concourse to Disneyland Park, and ends near Disneyland Hotel.

What’s Unique: Occuring during Labor Day Weekend, this is a race that may not affect school plans. The race also includes a lot of time in both parks, which is a fun opportunity!

What’s Difficult: Since it is the end of the summer, the weather can be a little warm. There also is a quite early wake up time!


Avengers Super Heroes 5K

*This is the newest race to the runDisney family! As such, many of the details about the race are still being released. Stay tuned for more information!

When: November during Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, Saturday at 5:30 AM

Race Course: Coming Soon!

What’s Unique: A fun theme! Allow every member of the family to become their own super hero!

What’s Difficult: This race occurs a week after Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.

runDisney 5K

No matter what event you choose, it is sure to be full of magical miles!


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We all have our reasons of why we want to run at Disney. For Kimberly Markey, it is a way to keep her motivated as she beats breast cancer! She has graciously offered to answer a few questions about her remarkable journey – which includes running in the midst of cancer treatment. Talk about an inspiration!

Kimberly Markey

How did your running journey begin? 

I am a working mother of two and a lifelong Disney enthusiast.   At age 36, I took up running to cross “running a marathon” off my bucket list and fell in love.  Running has become my release and therapy.  I pass on my love of running by volunteering for the Hartford Marathon Foundation coaching run/walk/run first-time marathoners.  Since finishing my first 2009 Walt Disney World Marathon, I have run 24 half marathons and 15 Full Marathons, but my favorite, and those I plan my life around, are the runDisney weekends.


Tell us a little about your cancer diagnosis.

On July 8, 2013 (coincidentally my 5-year runniversary), I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 41 years old and since I have the BRCA2 breast cancer gene I decided to have a bi-lateral mastectomy with reconstruction.  Recovery was tough, but I had the goal of getting to the start line of the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.  30 days post-op I was given the okay to run the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend events with my family.


We know you are a runDisney fanatic – especially lately! How many runDisney races have you participated in?

I have participated in 35 runDisney races and currently have 47 runDisney medals.  In 2014, I ran the Dopey Challenge, all the races at Tinker Bell Half Marathon and Princess Half Marathon Weekends.  I plan to run all the races at Disneyland Half Marathon, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler, Wine & Dine and Avengers weekends.

  1. Walt Disney World Marathon:  2009
  2. Goofy Challenge 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  3. Dopey Challenge 2014
  4. Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K:  2011, 2012, 2013
  5. Disneyland Half Marathon:  2011, 2012
  6. Disneyland Dumbo Double Dare Challenge: 2013
  7. Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K:  2012, 2013
  8. Disney Princess Half Marathon:  2013
  9. Glass Slipper Challenge 2014
  10. Disney Princess Royal Family 5K:  2013, 2014
  11. runDisney’s Castaway Cay 5K:  2013
  12. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler:  2013
  13. Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run:  2013
  14. Wine and Dine Half Marathon:  2013
  15. Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K:  2013
  16. Tinkerbell Half Marathon:  2014
  17. Tinkerbell 10K:  2014
  18. Never Land Family Fun Run 5K:  2014

Kimberly Markey

The treatment for your cancer was tough enough, what made you continue to run and race throughout it?

Chemotherapy is hard because you can’t plan how your body is going to react to the treatment.  Before my diagnosis, I had already secured my race entries for the fall season.  My medical team allowed and encouraged me to continue running through treatment because exercise tends to help the body tolerate the chemotherapy drugs.  Running also aided me in keeping my sanity.  I’m proud to say that I was able to run all but two of my scheduled races including two World Majors – the Chicago and New York City full marathons.

With Dr. Nerenstone, my medical oncologist, showing off all my medals earned while undergoing breast cancer treatment up until my final chemo “therapy” (Aug-Jan). That’s 3 full marathons (including 2 world majors), 5 half marathons, 1 10-miler, 3 10Ks, 5 5Ks, plus a Dumbo, Goofy, Dopey and a Coast to Coast! (Total medal count – 21)

Kimberly Markey

With a chemo treatment just days before the Dopey Challenge (followed immediately by Tinker Bell), how did you train and approach the races? 

I have been following Jeff Galloway’s run/walk/run method since training for my first Goofy Challenge back in 2010.  I spoke with Jeff during the 2013 Wine & Dine Health and Wellness Expo about training to Boston Qualify once I recovered from surgery.  Jeff wanted to begin training right away and coach me through Dopey, Tinker Bell and the Princess Races.  He put together a plan that allowed shorter run/walk/run ratios.  I followed his plan and when I didn’t have the energy to run, I walked.  His coaching and the base of millage and endurance I had built prior to my diagnosis allowed me to get through these events.

  Kimberly Markey

We heard that you had a special visit from the runDisney team as part of the Why I runDisney campaign! What was your favorite part about this?

Yes, I was selected to be one of runDisney’s featured stories during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend for their irunDisney website.  I am anxiously waiting the video release which should be unveiled shortly.  My favorite part of the experience was sharing my story – every moment is precious and to live life to the fullest.  If you have a goal you can do anything as long as you believe in yourself.

What runDisney race has been your favorite?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy on July 30, 2013. My family had already registered for the Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K during WDW Marathon Weekend and there was no way I was going to miss it. It was my goal to get well enough to run the race with my family on August 31, 2013 as well as the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. Crossing the finish line together plus celebrating my 1st race back from cancer made the entire Disneyland Half Marathon weekend my favorite.

When it comes to the course, I would give the Tinker Bell Never Land Family Fun Run 5K my top ranking as my favorite runDisney race.  This race begins in Disneyland’s central hub with Tinker Bell and fireworks starting the race!

Kimberly Markey

What runDisney races are you looking forward to?

Wow!  That’s a tough question.  I would have to say – ALL of them!  And that is why I register for all the runDisney races because I look forward to each one of them equally. I really enjoy the planning where we are going to stay, eat and wear – all this makes the events special to me.


A big thank you to Kimberly for taking the time to chat with us. We can’t wait to continue to follow your amazing journey as you kick cancer!


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This is part 4 of our series on the Runner’s World Challenge during the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. For previous parts, see Runner’s World Challenge Overview, as well as Runner’s World Challenge Issues and Concerns, and Runner’s World Challenge Experience.

UPDATE: For 2015, Runner’s World Challenge is only available for the Dopey Challenge. It does not include the resort package as it did in 2013.


Last year, runDisney announced a new challenge for Marathon Weekend. The Dopey Challenge incorporates the 5K run, (new) 10K race, half marathon and marathon, resulting in 48.6 miles over a 4 day period. The result? 6 shirts and 6 medals!

The details regarding the 2015 Runner’s World Challenge were also released. In order to help you decide if the Runner’s World Challenge is the right fit for you we have listed out the pros and cons of our experience accompanied by a price breakdown of the 2015 Runner’s World Package.   To wrap things up, we’ve listed several questions to think about when making your decision and a few of our final thoughts about Runner’s World Challenge.

Details of 2015 Runner’s World Challenge during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend:

Runner’s World Challenge participants will receive:*

  • A membership in a 16-20 week training plan designed by The Runner’s World Experts, and Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso, who has coached hundreds of elites, celebs, and everyday runners (celebrity/VIP appearances subject to change or cancellation without notice)**
  • Weekly emails leading up to the Event from Runner’s World Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso with training, nutrition, and health tips for the upcoming weeks workouts “training.”
  • Direct online access to Runner’s World experts on training, nutrition, and injuries for one year during the 16-20 week Event training plan
  • Access to private RW Challenge online training forum to connect with other runners training for Disney and other marathons and half marathons
  • A copy of The Runner’s World Complete Book of Running
  • Runner’s World Challenge tech shirt in time for your training to start
  • A four-month premium membership to Runner’s World Personal Trainer, our interactive training log
  • Private packet pick-up for Runner’s World Challenge participants at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
  • Pre-race course strategy session with the Runner’s World experts and editors (on the afternoon of January 10, 2014)
  • Entry to the Pasta in the Park Party on Thursday night at Epcot® where the Runner’s World VIPs & editors will be in attendance (party includes buffet pasta dinner, live DJ, Disney characters and viewing of the fireworks spectacular Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot®)
  • Exclusive pre-race walkout to corrals for Runner’s World Challenge participants.
    o Corral placement will be determined based on proof of time
  • Entry to the Race Retreat on Saturday and Sunday
    o Pre-race amenities include hot and cold beverages with fruit and bagels, dedicated stretching area, and private portalets & bag check
    o Post-race amenities include a nutritious buffet, massage, private portalet & bag pick up, and live results
  • Entry into the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend Breakfast in the Family Reunion Area after the 5K and 10K

*Note: There is NO Ultimate Runner’s World Challenge for 2015. There is also no shake out run (most likely do to logistics). 


Check out this short video of other Runner’s World Challenge Participants talking about their experience!

Our Experience


  • Shortcut to the race start was amazing. It’s truly hard to put a dollar value on this perk.
  • Runner’s World staff was tremendously knowledgeable and supportive.  There was always a Runner’s World editor or staff member available at each event to answer questions and direct participants. Event staff were extremely organized and prepared throughout the entire weekend.
  • Separate bag check was easy and seamless. Runner’s World team staffed private bag check during entire event.
  • Race Retreat was very nice and definitely worth the extra cost -  especially with the weather conditions. Runner’s World Challenge area inside Race Retreat had private seating and private TV.  Family members who purchased Race Retreat/Platinum ChEAR Squad were also allowed inside private Runner’s World area inside Race Retreat.
  • Opportunity to meet other amazing runners and interact with Runner’s World editors and Bart Yasso throughout the weekend was fabulous!
  • No lines during private packet pickup
  • Course Strategy Session provided useful information to veterans and new runDisney runners since it was adapted to the current extreme weather issues and discussed the new marathon course challenges


  • Pasta in the Park was average and we would not purchase separately
  • Didn’t need the training plan due to having a coach or existing training plan in place prior to purchasing
  • Must purchase additional Platinum ChEAR Squad or Pasta in the Park tickets for family members to join you. (You also need to pick up these tickets/packages in the main area of the Health & Fitness Expo.  Since these extras are not part of Runner’s World Challenge, they will NOT be available  in the private packet pickup area for the Challenge.)
  • It is a lot of money to put down months in advance.



Price Breakdown:

Below we have included the pricing breakdown for the 2015 Runner’s World Challenge. We have priced out the runDisney related events as they could be purchased separately. The price difference includes special experiences that you can not purchase separately such as: Runner’s World Training Plans for Dopey, Course Strategy Session, Private Packet Pick-up at Expo, short-cut to race start, private Runner’s World bag check and seating area inside Race Retreat.

Dopey Challenge:

Runner’s World Challenge Price – $999

Price of Individual Events (if purchased seperately)
$530 (Race) + $200 (Race Retreat) + $56 (Pasta) + $39 (5K Breakfast) + $39 (10K Breakfast) = $864

Difference - $135 

*Note: All pricing breakdowns are estimates and do not include taxes or fees. Official pricing for Pasta in the Park and Breakfast are not available at the time of this post. 

The main cost difference is that it includes a Runner’s World Training Plan specific to those events, which cannot be purchased separately. At the time of posting, these training plans are only offered to those participating in Runner’s World Challenge.

Questions to Consider: 

  • Am I interested in attending Pasta in the Park, Race Retreat or the 5K and 10K breakfasts for the Dopey Challenge?
  • Am I running with a large group or another runner who is interested in participating in Runner’s World Challenge?
  • Do I need the training plans, or do I already have a coach/training plan in place?
  • Would I need to purchase extra tickets to the breakfasts/Pasta in the Park or Platinum ChEAR Squad for my spouse/family members? If I wouldn’t purchase the separate tickets, would I use each component in the package to justify the full value of the experience included in the package?
  • If I purchase events separately, would I be willing to possibly pay a higher price than the Runner’s World Challenge by paying numerous fees for each individual event? (At the time of posting, it has not been indicated how participants will register for Runner’s World Challenge.)
  • Am I able to put down the full amount of the Runner’s World Challenge at the time of registration? (Race Retreat and Pasta in the Park usually do not sell out as fast as race registrations.)
  • Would I prefer to make one purchase to insure that I have admission to all events?
  • Is there something special I am celebrating (first race, birthday, anniversary, completion of an event) and would like a VIP/one-of-a-kind experience?


Final Thoughts
  Would we do this again?  Would we recommend this package?

Many readers who have been following these posts may be looking for a “yes” or “no” answer.  However, this is a very difficult question to answer directly.  Our main issues with the Runner’s World Challenge in 2013 was due to runDisney resort restrictions and not the Runner’s World Challenge portion of the package. This restriction has been eliminated with the option to book your resort separately from the outset of registration this year. Additionally, we both felt that Runner’s World editors and staff were much more familiar with the package offerings and able to provide more guidance during Marathon weekend than the runDisney staff that we encountered during race weekend.  We suspect this will change this year since it’s not the 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon and it’s the second time for runDisney to offer this package.  In our experience with most runDisney events, the kinks are almost completely worked out by the second time an event is offered.

Many have inquired about the training plan designed by Runner’s World experts. There are various training plans offered, including plans specific to the Dopey Challenge. Each training plan includes various levels, from beginner to a time goal. These training plans can be uploaded to the Runner’s World Personal Trainer, which allows you to track your training progress. You also have access to forums specific to the Runner’s World Challenge, which include categories such as nutrition, injury prevention and even a category for those participating in Marathon Weekend at Disney. Since we did not utilize these plans, here is a recap from another blogger who did for the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon.

Another consideration, Runner’s World Challenge participants were able to register by calling into Disney Sports Travel last year and were exempt from fees associated with runDisney registration.  runDisney has not indicated if Runner’s World Challenge will use Disney Sports Travel for registration or for the 2015 Runner’s World Challenge.

Breakfasts after the 5K and 10K events have been added, which contributes to a higher price. This also creates two additional tickets you will need to purchase for family members if they wish to join you. If you are planning on making this event a family affair, there is extra cost associated with the Runner’s World Challenge for your entire family to enjoy the events together.  We hope that if Runner World Challenge offers a discount for family members this year, it will be offered early in the registration season as opposed to only a week prior as it was last year.

Did we feel that there was value associated with the Runner’s World Challenge?  Absolutely!  We did enjoy the added perks for a special event such as the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon and the Runner’s World staff is extraordinary.  At this time, we haven’t decided if we will participate in the Runner’s World Challenge in the future, especially since it is only offered for the Dopey Challenge. We do feel that the package has been streamlined for 2015 and all of our issues with the package last year are resolved. Our main hesitation is the steep cost at the time of registration.  While we would definitely purchase Race Retreat for the both races, we can’t decide if it’s worth the coming up with such a high enrollment fee this early in the race season. It’s also unlikely that we would attend Pasta in the Park and we wouldn’t purchase additional breakfast tickets for our spouses for the 5K or 10K  and would be less likely to attend those breakfasts while family members were outside then venue or back at the resort.

Our biggest piece of advice is to really look at the entire package (along with all its components) and determine if the added value is worth it to you. By laying out the price breakdowns, questions to consider and our thoughts, we hope that we have given you plenty of information in order to make an informed decision. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us! We will answer your questions via email, on our Facebook page or even create another post if needed.

Registration for Runner’s World Challenge for 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend opens on Wednesday, April 9.


Disclosure: The authors purchased the Ultimate Runner’s World Challenge package and were not compensated for this review. All opinions are our own.


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Preserving your runDisney Race Memories

When running through the parks, hanging out with our favorite characters and crossing the finish line – we want to capture every moment of our runDisney race! Thankfully we have many ways to do so through photos, our race bib and of course, that beautiful medal.

Preserving runDisney Memories

So how can you preserve those runDisney race memories for years to come? Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

Display your Medals

It’s no secret that the runDisney medals are fantastic! The design, the size and the proud memories are captured and who wouldn’t want to show that off?! Sport Hooks has created some amazing Disney-inspired medal holders that allow you to display your well-earned medals in your home or office. It is a great reminder of how hard you worked and how wonderful that race was!

Create a Scrapbook

Between the photos the photographers took along the course, the photos you took and maybe even the photos your friends and family took – you may have a lot of photo memories! A great way to preserve those photo memories is through a scrapbook. It can be as easy as creating a photo book through Shutterfly, or allow your creativity to flow as you create a scrapbook of your own!

Hang Up your Bibs

runDisney also creates fun race bibs that include your name! If you don’t include them in your scrapbook, you can display these in your home or office as well! Start a collection on your wall or use a display like the one from Sport Hooks. It’s another great reminder of the memories you made on race day!

Write a Race Recap

Even if you aren’t a writer, keeping track of the emotions and fun that you had along the race course is a great way to preserve those memories! Take a little time and write (or type) out your race – from leaving the hotel to getting to the start line, from crossing the finish line to getting your medal. The smallest of moments are something you can look back on, causing excitement as you get ready for your next race!

runDisney scrapbook

Keeping your runDisney memories means many smiles for years to come!

How do you preserve your runDisney race memories? Let us know in the comments!


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When it comes to a runDisney weekend, you need to fuel. In fact, as runners, we may think about food more than ever! That’s why when making your race weekend plans, a common question may arise – do I add on the Disney Dining Plan or not?

Dining Plan runDisney

During the 2013 Marathon Weekend, Megan used the dining plan and during the 2014 Marathon Weekend she did not. This allowed her to compare the two and decide which is a better option for the runner. Here are her thoughts!

What is the Disney Dining Plan?

Disney offers various dining plans that make your package more all-inclusive. Each plan includes snacks, quick service and/or table service (or sit down) meals. A refillable mug is also included with each plan and can be used at your Disney resort for soft drinks and coffee throughout your stay.

There are five plans to choose from. The Quick Service Dining Plan includes 1 snack and 2 quick service meals per person, per night of stay. The Dining Plan includes 1 snack, 1 quick service meal and 1 table service meal per person, per night of stay. The Deluxe Dining Plan includes 2 snacks and 3 meal credits (to be used as quick service or table service) per person, per night of stay. There are also two plans – the Premium and Platinum – that include the Deluxe Dining Plan options, but add in extras like recreation, etc.

Disney Dining

Race Weekend WITH the Dining Plan

The most common dining plan (and the one that Megan used) is the one that includes 1 table service meal credit, 1 counter service meal credit and 1 snack per person, per night of stay. The quick service and table service meals include a beverage, entree (or buffet) and dessert. The snacks can also be meals in and of themselves, especially if you use your credits wisely!

The nicest part of the dining plan is that basically everything is paid for upfront. No need to look at the prices on the menu to compare costs – just order! This allowed us to each try something different off the menu. The only cost we had was gratuity after the meal. (Keep in mind – it can get pricey since an 18-20% gratuity is recommended.)

While it may not appear so at first, the dining plan includes plenty of food. We found that we would save our desserts from the quick service meals because we were too full to enjoy it right after. We did bring a few granola bars to snack on during the day if needed, but for the most part – using a quick service and table service meal each day resulted in full bellies!

Another fun aspect of the dining plan is getting to enjoy many of the restaurants on Disney property. We dined with the characters, enjoyed the international cuisine in Epcot and tried restaurants we normally would have bypassed due to cost.

Disney Dining

Race Weekend WITHOUT the Dining Plan

With many races to consider during Marathon Weekend, Megan knew that her schedule would be a lot different than their normal trips to Disney. With early mornings (which also meant early bedtimes), their time in the parks was somewhat limited.

Without the dining plan, you can be much more lax in terms of a schedule. If you don’t want to make reservations for a table service meal each day – you don’t have to! This can help free up your limited park time during a race weekend as the table service meals take at least an hour to enjoy.

Runners are very aware of what foods they should stay away from (and which will help their performance). Without the dining plan, you can bring your own food for meals and be very selective on which restaurants you will eat at. You also can look forward to the wonderful celebration meal when you have finished!

Another aspect is that without the dining plan, you can share meals. There were many instances where Megan found that the dining plan was too much food. This time when her and her husband went to a meals (both table service and quick service), they shared quite a bit. This worked out well for them during their busy race weekend!

  Disney Dining

Deciding on Dining Plan vs. No Dining Plan

Since both options can work during a race weekend, here are a few points to consider when deciding:

  • How many people are in your party?
  • Do you want your trip to be more all-inclusive?
  • Will you be on-the-go or wanting to sit down to eat many of your meals?
  • Do you tend to eat 3 meals a day or graze?
  • Are you planning on multiple character or signature meals?

Regardless of which you decide, your runDisney weekend is sure to be full of magical miles and magical meals!

How do you dine in Disney? Let us know in the comments!


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Walt Disney World is a vacation location for people of all ages. Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, you can experience the magic throughout the parks! The same is true of a runDisney race weekend, meaning there are MANY ways to experience it!

Ways to Experience runDisney

Here are a few great ways to do just that:


Get the entire family (and maybe even extended family) together and make a vacation out of your race weekend! With the Kids’ Races and Family Fun Run 5K events, there truly is an event for everyone. For those not quite as active, they can always be your cheerleader along the race course! And once the race is over, you can enjoy the parks together. Spend a few extra days after the race weekend for a vacation your family is sure to enjoy!


Walt Disney World is not just for kids or families, it can be very romantic as well! Another great way to enjoy a race weekend is with your significant other. Run a race together, cheer each other on and then enjoy the parks from a whole new point of view! As a couple, you can spend some time enjoying the signature restaurants, get a massage at the spa or even enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour after your race.


A unique part of runDisney events are the friends you make along the way! Take a quick trip to Florida for a race and meet up with friends you’ve made – or make some new ones along the way. Experiencing a runDisney race solo allows a certain freedom that may be just what you need. Go to the attractions you want to. Eat at new restaurants. This trip is all about YOU!

Girls’/Boys’ Getaway

Call up your girlfriends or guy friends and make your runDisney race weekend a fun getaway! This is a great way to not only experience a runDisney race, but enjoy time with your friends away from the hustle and bustle of life. You can all run the race together, then hit the parks and even the nighttime scene. It’s sure to be a getaway you will never forget!

Ways to Experience runDisney

No matter how you experience your next runDisney event, it is sure to bring a smile to your face!

What is your favorite way to experience a runDisney weekend? Let us know in the comments below!


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