Running vs. Spectating a runDisney Race

For many, runDisney races are the chance to run through the parks! No matter the distance, runners can experience the magic of a race complete with characters, music and lots of fun.

However, there is also another great way to experience a runDisney race – as a spectator!

Running vs. Spectating a runDisney Race

Both of us have had the privilege to run many runDisney races. Yet we also have toed the spectator line, offering cheers and encouragement to runners during their magical journey. Here is a look at some of the similarities and differences between running and spectating a runDisney race!

Spectating requires planning, running requires training. When you sign up for a race, you know that training is required. You find the training plan, put it in your calendar and do the work so that on race day, you can enjoy the race! When it comes to spectating, you need to come up with a plan. If it is following a specific runner, decide where on the course you will meet them. Another way to spectate is to find one location, and stay there for all the runners. No matter your choice, make sure that you plan ahead!

Both spectating and running will tire out your legs. While it’s no secret that running many miles will cause fatigue, many don’t realize that the same happens while spectating! Whether you are staying in one location for 4+ hours or trekking around the course to see your runner multiple times, expect tired legs. It doesn’t hurt to bring along your compression gear or even another pair of shoes and socks!

Use your race knowledge when spectating. Runners have a distinct advantage when it comes to spectating, we know what we like to see from spectators. The funny signs, the noise-makers, the candy – the things that brighten our race are what we often bring along to spectate! (On the flip side, we also know what NOT to do – like step out in front of the runners or yell “you’re almost done” at mile 1.)

Just like the running community, the spectators are pretty amazing.  The running community is known for being a great group – encouraging one another, offering help when needed, etc. The truth is, the spectators are pretty fantastic too! Not only are they getting up just as early as the runners, they are cheering when they could be at a park. They are acting as pack-mules for their runners. They are even standing for hours and hours, making sure everyone (from the first to the last) are encouraged during the race.

Running vs. Spectating a runDisney Race

No matter how you choose to experience a runDisney race – as a runner, as a spectator or as a volunteer, you are sure to feel the magic of the event. We encourage everyone to try out a runDisney race in a new way, not only as a runner! And to the spectators in particular, we thank you for your cheers along the way!


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Throughout a runDisney race, there is sure to be a lot of excitement. With character photo stopsspectators and DJs pumping music, there are many magical moments. However, each race course also brings a unique experience along with it. This is our series on the best runDisney course moments!

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is a nighttime event that highlights the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This race offers many new experiences for runDisney runners and some great course moments!

runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Course Moments

Animal Kingdom – This course is the only half marathon to include Animal Kingdom, and it happens at night! Since the park usually closes earlier, this is a great opportunity to see the park lit up at night. The course takes you through Africa, into Asia and exits through DinoLand USA! (Be sure to watch your step. Lighting is low and the concrete can be uneven at times.)

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – Without a doubt, this is the most magical moment on the Wine & Dine Half Marathon course! Upon entering Hollywood Studios, the course takes you along Hollywood Boulevard. After a little winding, you begin to see the lights and hear the music. That’s right, the course takes you directly through the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! Take it all in, it truly is a magical experience!

Finish Line Entrance – Since this race is at night, runDisney found ways to enhance the race experience. From lit-up sabre teeth to Main Street Electrical Parade floats, there are a lot of unique entertainment options. However, before the finish line is a laser light show above the runners’ heads! It’s like a disco party as you finish the race!

runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Course Moments

While a nighttime race can be tough to train for, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon continues to be a favorite among many runDisney runners. And the course moments do not disappoint!


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Packing Tips for your runDisney Bag Check

As runners, sometimes we have a lot of stuff. Since many runners are utilizing race transportation, there is no where to store their belongings during the race. Have no fear – it’s bag check to the rescue!

When you pick up your race bib, you are directed to a location to get your race shirt. The shirt (or shirts) are inside a large, clear runDisney bag. For those wanting to check a bag before the race, this is the bag you must use! Be sure to affix the sticker that includes your bib number, to the bag before heading tot he race.

runDisney Bag Check Packing Tips

In the Family Reunion area are large tents with letters. Head to the tent that matches the first letter of your last name and that is where you drop off your bag before the race, and pick up afterward. (The only exception is Wine & Dine Half Marathon, as you drop off your bag at the start and it is magically transported to the finish line.)

So what should you put inside this bag? Here are a few ideas!

Post-Race Food – While runDisney does provide bananas and a snack box after the race, you may be used to a certain food after a race. If so, include that food in your bag. (Note: these bags are on tables and will not be refrigerated, etc.) You will also be given bottles of water and Powerade in the finishers chute.

Post-Race Clothing – After a race (particularly a long one), a fresh set of clothes sounds wonderful! Throw in a change of clothes, including socks or even sandals. If the weather has been cold or rainy, it doesn’t hurt to throw in a long sleeve or blanket to warm you up.

Tolietries – There are various items that you may need after a race. Deodorant, lip balm, sunscreen, tissues – the list may go on. Since most of these items are small, they are easy to throw into your bag. Remember, it may be a little while before you get back to your room!

Wipes – Many runners will sweat during a race. (Even Princesses can glisten!) Being able to wipe down your face, arms and legs is a great way to freshen up quickly. Add some baby wipes or even athletic wipes like ShowerPill to your bag.

Purse or Bag – If your plan is to hit the parks after the race (or the party after Wine & Dine Half Marathon), putting a small bag or purse into your bag is a great idea. This way you can stash your belongings and start celebrating right away!

runDisney Bag Check Bag

While there are many items that you can include in your bag, it is HIGHLY recommended that you do NOT include anything valuable. Find a race belt or pocket to hold items like cash, ID, etc. and wear your MagicBand during the race. Also, all bags are subject to search.


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runDisney Training: Balancing Work & Training

Disclosure: Megan was sent a Garmin Vivofit to review from Verizon Wireless. It will be returned upon her review completion. As always, all opinions are her own.

You’ve signed up for your next runDisney race. You’ve entered your training plan into your calendar. You are ready to tackle the training! Then it hits you – how are you supposed to balance a job and training?

runDisney Training: Balancing Work & Training

Many runners also have full-time jobs, taking up a large portion of their time. It can be at an office, one that requires travel or taking care of your little ones at home. No matter what that job is, it can be tough to balance the rigors of a job and a training plan. Here are a few tips to help you balance both without burning the candle at both ends!

Stay active at work. While some people are fortunate to have jobs that keep them active or on their feet all day, many may be “stuck” to a desk. A great way to help your training is to try to get a certain number of steps in during the work day. A fitness tracker like a Garmin Vivofit allows you to not only hit a goal amount of steps, but it even reminds you to get up and move! (Add in your run before or after work and the number of steps will soar!)

Schedule in your run. When you have an appointment or meeting on your calendar, you make sure you don’t miss it. Do the same with your training plan! Add it as an appointment on your calendar, which will allow you to schedule the rest of your day around your run. Treating it like another appointment makes you less likely to skip it!

Be flexible. Sometimes life or work can get in the way, and that is okay! A missed run now and then will not derail your training plan. On the days where that run just isn’t going to happen, don’t fret. However, do try to get a little activity in – whether it’s walking around while on the phone or doing a little strength training in your hotel room.

Find a workout buddy at work. Having someone who can hold you accountable is a great way to keep the motivation going during your training cycle! Use a fitness tracker like the Vivofit to encourage one another to get in a certain number of steps or miles each day. You can even run together during lunch or before/after work, a great way to relieve the stress of the day!

Get in a good night’s sleep. When trying to balance work and training, it’s easy to cut back on sleep in order to get everything done each day. Don’t forget that sleep is just as important! The Vivofit tracks your sleep each night, not only giving you the amount you slept, but also your movement patterns throughout the night. Take a good look at the data and make sure you are getting enough sleep to power you through the work day and training plan!

runDisney Training: Balancing Work & Training

No matter what race you are training for, it is possible to find a balance with work and training! Throughout the training cycle, finding times to add in a little extra activity, scheduling your runs and being flexible will allow you to find the balance you need!


Throughout these blog posts, we will cover all aspects of training from our own personal experience. Please note that we are not medical doctors, personal trainers, registered dietitians or in any way qualified to give individualized recommendations. If you have something you would like us to address, please send an email to!


Throughout a runDisney race, there is sure to be a lot of excitement. With character photo stopsspectators and DJs pumping music, there are many magical moments. However, each race course also brings a unique experience along with it. This is our series on the best runDisney course moments!

The Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Princess Half Marathon follow the same course, taking you through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Along with characters and entertainment, there are a few moments that are sure to make you smile. Take a look!

Walt Disney World & Princess Half Marathon Course Moments

Main Street USA – Any race that takes you along Main Street USA with Cinderella Castle in front of you is an absolute magical moment! Take in the cheers from the spectators and enjoy the run down Main Street. Running through the castle is pretty magical too!

Overpass Bridge – After running along World Drive on your way back to Epcot, the course takes you up a banked on-ramp. While that part isn’t so magical, be sure to look down at World Drive once you are on the overpass! The sea of runners is an amazing sight and one that is sure to give you an extra boost as you head into the last few miles.

Epcot Area – For the last mile or so, the course takes you into Epcot. Although you don’t get to run through World Showcase, you do get a nice out and back in Future World. The energy is electric as the runners celebrate the last mile of their half marathon journey! (There is also an inspirational surprise when you head backstage toward the finish line!)

Princess Half Marathon Course Moments

The 13.1 mile journey through Magic Kingdom and Epcot is a great experience for all. Be sure to enjoy every mile and take in the cheers, entertainment and magic!


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Resort Review: Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

Step foot onto the Atlantic Boardwalk, enjoying the sights and sounds of the entertainment and fun, while taking in a meal or doing a little dancing. Relax in a room overlooking gardens or the Boardwalk area. All of this (and more) is what a stay at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn can include!

Disney's Boardwalk Inn

This deluxe resort is located in between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, along Crescent Lake. Being close to those parks means you can walk or take a boat ride to either park. Bus transportation is available to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom or Downtown Disney.

The resort wraps itself along Crescent Lake and the garden areas, with the lobby in the center. On one side are the rooms of the Boardwalk Inn and on the other side are Disney Vacation Club villas. Room options include standard or water views and include 2 queen beds or 1 king bed with a day bed. (Note: All villas are standard views.) For those wanting the added benefits of the concierge lounge and service, those rooms are available as standard view, a larger deluxe room or the garden room suites.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn

If you are looking for recreational options while staying at the Boardwalk, there is a lot to do! Bike rentals are available to take a little ride along the Boardwalk area. Fishing and tennis options are available and the Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course is close by. Enjoy a movie under the stars or head to the campfire for fun activities. There are also three pools, the main Luna pool (including the clown waterslide) and two quiet pools.

For runners, there are quite a few running paths for you to continue your training! Run around Crescent Lake, or head toward Hollywood Studios for more mileage. You can also visit the Muscles & Bustles Health Club, which has workout equipment and spa facilities.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn

Along the Boardwalk are various restaurants for you to enjoy. Flying Fish Cafe offers a signature meal which is great for a celebration. Big River Grille, Trattoria al Forno and the ESPN Club are also great sit-down meal locations. For something quick, head to the Boardwalk Bakery or grab a pizza from the Boardwalk Pizza Window.

For a runDisney race weekend, the Boardwalk is an excellent location for the Walt Disney World Marathon and Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekends. The Walt Disney World 10K course goes along the Boardwalk, which is great for spectators. The Walt Disney World Marathon and Wine & Dine Half Marathon courses pass by the Boardwalk Inn, on their way toward the Yacht & Beach Club, another plus for spectators. From a runner perspective. staying at the Boardwalk during Wine & Dine Half Marathon is very convenient, as you can walk back to your resort after the Finish Line Party!


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