A runDisney race weekend is full of emotions – excitement, anticipation, joy, and much more. The weeks leading up may bring in some anxiousness, wanting to make sure your race weekend is a successful one.
While each runDisney race weekend brings its own theme and flair, below are some tips to ensure you are ready for the magic!
Plan ahead. It’s no secret that when it comes to a vacation at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, there is a lot of planning involved. Accommodations, travel plans, park tickets, dining, FastPass, and much more. Add in a race (or two), and it may seem overwhelming.
Take each aspect step-by-step, keeping all of your documents and plans in one location that is easy to access. (Even better, have an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner help handle the vacation portion for you!) Do make sure that you arrive at least one day prior to your race, so you can pick up your race packet at the expo.
Another aspect to plan is the race itself. Determine what you need to bring with you, what time you need to get up and board your transportation, where your spectators will see you along the course, etc. While it may seem that there are a lot of pieces in play, prioritize what is most important as you work through the details!
Train well. After registering for the race, start to think about the training involved. Use one of the training plans by Jeff Galloway (located on the runDisney website), find another training plan, get a running coach, or join a local running group.
The months leading up to the race will be filled with training runs as you prepare for the distance ahead. Take this time to try out pre-race meals, fueling during the run, and clothing options, so that you have it down to a science when race day comes. Take the training one day at a time, using the race as your victory lap!
Read the guide. There are many guides that will help you prepare for the race weekend. Of course, Magical Miles: The Runner’s Guide to Walt Disney World and Magical Miles: The Runner’s Guide to Disneyland are two great options! (Shameless plug.)
Another guide you will definitely want to read through is the Official Event Guide. A few weeks before the race weekend, the guide will appear on the runDisney website. Inside is a lot of information, including course maps, transportation information, expo hours, road closures, PhotoPass codes, and much more. Definitely take the time to read through it all, especially if you are new to a runDisney race weekend.
If you would like to look at previous event guides, visit the Important Information page on this website.
Bring your patience. If you have ever visited the Disney theme parks, you know that patience is needed from time to time. A runDisney race weekend is no different. There will be lines, including at the expo, on the way to the corrals, waiting for bathrooms, at character photo opportunities, and more. Preparing for this ahead of time will help make the experience go a little smoother.
It is also worth noting that there are areas of the course that narrow and bottleneck. (The road behind Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is one of the worst. ) It usually doesn’t last for more than a mile, but can bring out some not-so-magical emotions. Take a deep breath and do your best to stay focused on why you are running the race.
Another aspect to consider is that the race weekends do bring in higher crowds to the parks. It’s definitely not at the level of Christmastime, but you likely will notice a bump in attendance. Plan your park time accordingly, and be sure to use FastPasses to your advantage!
Prepare to have fun! This is without a doubt the MOST important way to ensure a successful runDisney race weekend! The magic that comes along with these races is evident throughout the weekend. Take it all in – from the floor of the expo to the early morning wake up call, the starting line fireworks to the character photos, the new medal around your neck to the fun in the parks with your family!