When the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend was announced, my mom and I decided to go on a European adventure! This post will focus on the inaugural 5K and half marathon races.
Disneyland Paris Expo
The expo was held in Disney Village, which is located near both parks in Disneyland Paris. The experience was similar, in that you picked up your race packet, purchased official race merchandise, listened to the speaker series, and walked around the vendors. A few lines were much longer than normal, including the Castle to Chateau area. Overall, my experience was average. Merchandise was well stocked and volunteers were plentiful. However, the vendors were lacking, as was the overall energy.
Disneyland Paris 5K
Th 5K began at 7 am, which was a much easier time to get up for! The start line was near the expo area, and the walk from the Disneyland Hotel was around 5-8 minutes. For this race, there were only 3 corrals, and they appeared to be alphabetical by last name. The announcers did their best to get the energy up, speaking in both French and English. Soon, we were off!
My mom and I planned to walk the race together. The course took us through Disneyland Park, as well as Walt Disney Studios. There were plenty of character stops, most with 2 or more characters! Even better, the cast members got in on the fun, cheering us along at their respective attraction. There were two water stops (a little too close together). Almost the entire race was inside the parks, and before we knew it, we arrived at the finish line!
Disneyland Paris Half Marathon
This race started at both the same time and location as the 5K – another easier wake up call! For this event, there were four corrals, and they appeared to be seeded by finish time. Like the day prior, there were announcers during our time in the corrals, and then we were off!
The race took us through Walt Disney Studios first, followed by Disneyland Park. Again, lots of character stops (with multiple characters), and the cast members were full of energy! Approximately 3-4 miles were inside the parks, then the course made its way through Val d’Europe.
In this area, we ran through small neighborhoods and throughout the French countryside. There were actually quite a few spectators, as well as small bands and even a cheerleading group. Water stops were plentiful, and many also included Powerade. One big difference was that gels were not offered for fuel, instead a few stops included sliced apples and granola bars.
As we began to head back toward Disneyland Paris, the course took us near the various hotels, and inside Disney Village. The spectator support was fantastic as we made our way to the finish! Overall, this was one of my favorite runDisney half marathon experiences – even after many days of traveling and exploring!
Overall, runDisney did a fantastic job at the races – keeping us entertained, safe, and of course, bringing the magic!
For more detailed information, purchase the Magical Miles: The Runner’s Guide to Disneyland Paris eBook!