Deciding on what Walt Disney World Resort hotel to stay at during a vacation is one thing. Even deciding as a runner is another. But what about when you are spectating?
Here is a little insight into a few of the best hotels for spectators, based on the race weekend! (Note: The race courses are always subject to change. Keep an eye on runDisney.com for the latest course information. It is also worth noting that transportation options can result in long lines or re-routing due to the race course. It is always recommended to plan for plenty of extra time.)
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
During this race weekend in January, there are four races (along with the Kids’ Races) to consider spectating. For the Walt Disney World 5K, the only spectating location is at the start and finish in the Epcot parking lot. For the Walt Disney World 10K, a great spot to watch your runner is along the Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, and Beach Club).
- If the spectators want to see their runner in the Magic Kingdom, they will be able to hop on the monorail and head straight to the park!
- Both race courses go by these resorts, meaning the spectators can take a walk through the parking lot and stand near the course to see their runner.
- If the spectators want to see their runner finish in Epcot, they can take the monorail to Epcot and avoid the road closures due to the race.
Princess Half Marathon Weekend
This race weekend in February includes the same race courses as the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January. Therefore, the resorts above are also highly encouraged for the same reasons!
Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend – The Dark Side
First and foremost, the race courses for this weekend are likely changing, due to the construction at Hollywood Studios. Not knowing what the most up-to-date course will include, this is based off of the 2017 courses.
For the Star Wars 5K, the course follows the same route through Epcot, meaning spectators can only view from the start and finish areas. For the Star Wars 10K, the course begins at the Ticket & Transportation Center, then continues through Hollywood Studios, past the Epcot resorts, and through Epcot.
The half marathon course also follows a similar path as the 10K (including Animal Kingdom), meaning that the best hotels are around Crescent Lake (Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, and Beach Club). Keep in mind, this means that spectators will be able to see their runner as they pass by the hotel, but will not be able to make it to the finish line as well.
Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
First and foremost, the race courses for this weekend are likely changing, due to the construction at Hollywood Studios. Not knowing what the future courses will include, this is based off of the 2016 courses.
For Mickey’s Holiday 5K, the course goes through Animal Kingdom. Again, spectators are only able to view at the start and finish lines. The 10K course is the same as the courses in January and February, meaning that spectators can watch along the Epcot Resort areas (Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, and Beach Club). These resorts are also a great location for the post-race party!
In 2016, the race course is much different than in the past. Since the course does not pass by any resorts, spectators will need to take transportation to any viewing location they are interested in. Since the finish is in Epcot, monorail transportation will likely be the easiest due to road closures, meaning the monorail resorts will likely be a good option (Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary).
Remember that ALL Walt Disney World Resort hotels offer race transportation, so any hotel will be an option during a runDisney race weekend. Whether its due to convenience or budget, you are sure to enjoy some Disney magic during your stay, no matter what hotel you choose!