There are two types of runDisney runners: the ones who stop for character photos and the ones who don’t. Now, you may be in both categories too – dependent on the race and your strategy.
We have experienced many runDisney races, both with character photos and without. However, Megan ran one of her most favorite races, the Walt Disney World Marathon, with two wonderful friends, Carlee and Krissy. Not only did they dress in costume, but they managed to get EIGHTEEN character photo opportunities throughout their 27.2 miles! (That’s right, we tacked on an entire extra mile!)
Here are Huey, Dewey and Louie’s tips on getting those beloved character photos during a runDisney race!
Have a plan. Each race will bring a different amount of miles and characters, therefore be sure to have a plan. Not only will you need to be aware of your pace and distance (to ensure you finish), but you also want to make sure you aren’t spending too much time in line. A great plan is to not only look at the size of the line (they do tend to move quickly), but also decide on the character. While runDisney usually includes some pretty spectacular characters, there may be some you will want to pass on. (It is also common for certain characters to reappear in the same locations race after race.) Try to come up with a game plan for yourself or your group ahead of time.
Bring your camera or phone. PhotoPass photographers are at the majority of the character stops, however having your own camera or phone is a great way to share the magic right away! There is usually another photographer who will take a photo with your phone, or you can always ask the runner behind you. Do note that when it is darker outside, the photos from your phone may not come out as well.
Follow the feel of the character(s). If you want to get some awesome photos, play along with the characters! Get a little goofy with Goofy. Swoon over the prince or princess. Fight off the villains. The possibilities are endless! (Just be sure to come up with your game plan quickly – no one wants to wait too long in line!)
Listen to your body. Depending on the race distance, standing in line for characters can be tough on your body too. Be sure to listen to your body throughout the race to determine if you need to cut back on the stops. For example, the marathon is a long race – so don’t wear yourself out early on!
Landmarks, spectators and fellow runners are characters too. While you may get focused on stopping for characters, don’t forget about all the other great photo opportunities! Take a photo outside Cinderella Castle. Stop for a photo with a spectator and their hilarious sign. Even snap a selfie with a runner who is donning a spectacular costume! There are lots of great photo opps, so be on the lookout!
Have FUN! It is nearly impossible to not have fun while taking photos with your favorite Disney characters! Whether your goal is to stop at every photo opportunity or to just wave as you pass them by, have some fun along the way!
If you decide to stop for character photos, you are sure to have photos and memories that will make you smile! No matter what your race goal is, Disney knows how to entertain – so take advantage of it!