Reviews of runDisney Events
runDisney hosts a variety of running events throughout the year both at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Reviewed by candycakes Review Date: 03/14/2013
Rating: (2) Not Recommended
I love the idea of the princess half marathon. I started running a year ago, turned 40 this year, & wanted to celebrate with this race. From the beginning, it was an enormous headache. Rundisney advertises discounted packages. However, when I tried to book thought them, it was $1000 then booking on line myself. They didn't seem to care. They told me to book on my own then. We go to WDW at least once a year, so I knew what I was doing.
Once we got to WDW, all was good. Then the expo. Poorly operated, over crowded, no on directing you which giant line to wait in.
The parks were also overly crowded. We didn't get to a lot of rides, & only rode some once. Very disappointed.
The race itself was frustrating. I had trained hard for 6 months. I can run 10 min miles for the whole distance. However, there was no room to run. Too many people walk/run, and have poor race etiquette. Walking should not be allowed, period. I only ran 12 minute miles. Every photo op people literally jumped in front of me. Ever pic is ruined by some moron in a costume.
I would like to try again, but only in coral a or b. and next time I wouldn't be as nice if people jumped in front of me at photo ops;)
Pros:Finishing a half marathon!
Reviewed by tjm6515 Review Date: 03/02/2013
Rating: (5) Not Recommended
This review is for the Princess Half Marathon weekend....
First event was the Runners Expo, usually the Expos are held in two large facilities at the WWoS. This event was held at the Coronado Springs convention hall which was waaaaay to small!! The lines to pick up your race info, shirts, and merchandise were very chaotic, not near as smooth as the Wine in Dine expo last November. As comparison the PHM expo took us nearly 4 hours from the time we got there until we left, the W&D last year only took us an hour!
Saturday Morning I did the Royal Family 5K. Thanks to proof of time, early registration, and prior runDisney runner I got in Corral A. I found myself at the very front of the corral almost right under the starting line. I had a good run, course was empty, Epcot was great to run through, this was a great race.
Sunday Morning my wife ran the Princess Half, it was way oversold for the course size. Imagine 26,000 people on only a one lane wide course... My wife usually runs a 14:00/min a mile pace. Thanks to the mobs of walker, she manged only a 16:10 per pace, glad she was in an early corral or she may have been swept! She imagined running through the castle, but sadly it was not a run through the castle, but a large mob barley walking!
We will never participate in a PHM weekend again unless they limit the number of runners or make the course wider! There are too many walkers as well and rookies/walkers with no race etiquette!
Pros:Finisher Medals, Race Transportation
Cons:Oversold, course to narrow, too many walkers
Reviewed by csfranklin Review Date: 04/24/2019
Rating: (8) Recommended
We LOVED trying our first races last fall (Nov 2018). My teens and I did the 5k through Animal Kingdom, my son and hubby did the 10k through Epcot, and my hubby also did the half. We loved the courses, the character picture stops, and the post-race snack boxes! The bib pick up was a little confusing, but we eventually figured out where to go. We stayed at POFQ, and would definitely recommend staying there because it is small and you can all fit on a bus to head over to the race easily. The 3 am wake up for the race is the absolute worst part if you did a park the day before and want to do one the day of the race, too. A nap and a big meal is a must on race day!
Pros:Fun courses Rare character pics
Cons:3 am wake up
Reviewed by Stitch1623 Review Date: 04/17/2019
Rating: (9) Recommended
We have done to date every rundisney race except the princess weekend, even ones they no longer do. Disney knows how to do a race and make it fun. I am a runner but not everyone in my group is and even for those that are not, they make you feel like you are. They make even the kids feel like they have accomplished something amazing and that is what it is all about. Yes it is crowded, so you cannot go in expected a PR, but you will have fun and make memories and help a great cause in the process.
Pros:You’re running in Disney! And you celebrate in Disney.
Reviewed by survivoramy Review Date: 09/30/2018
Rating: (8) Recommended
We volunteer with runDisney to work the races and they are amazing! They are pricey so I don't think I would enter one (especially a short one) with the mission of trying for a personal best. I think it should be more about the entire experience. However, a runner should be trained and ready. Many fall behind in the marathon and once you are too far back you are scooped up and can not complete the race. Volunteers are stationed everywhere for water, powerade, gel food, cheer squad, and so much more. We love seeing how creative the running costumes can be. Especially when big groups all theme together -it is fabulous. We worked the race where the man competed in the REWALK suit and it was an amazing experience. There are also hand cyclist that compete - so runDisney events are not just for the able bodied.
Pros:The ambiance, the pictures, well run, great medals
Cons:Waking up super early, crowds, if you are running a 5K trying to "win" you really miss out on a lot of the experience cause you don't take it all in.
Reviewed by Will Review Date: 09/27/2018
Rating: (10) Recommended
I have done 3 runDisney half marathons. Disney pulls out all the bells and whistles. They have constant energy, music, Gatorade, and more to keep you going til the end. My buddy was injured and they had such great medical staff to help him recover. Great motivation for someone who is a veteran or wants to start running.
Pros:Lots of stops to replenish energy. Beautiful medalsl. Lots of stops for pictures and memories
Cons:Have to pay for parking. Does not include Disney Park tickets, not even a discount.
Reviewed by R Foreman Review Date: 09/26/2018
Rating: (8) Recommended
These races are so fun, no matter which one you choose, if you are prepared.
It may be Disney, but you need to train for any race length you do. Be prepared by reading race reviews and the race info emails and online race book. (On RunDisney site). Know race etiquette, this is for everyones’ safety. (Seriously) For any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to email them (email address is on the RunDisney site).
Understand that there will be thousands of other runners on the course. In my first Princess 10k, we were so packed, we literally could only shuffle. Accept this as part of the race. (Your attitude will dictate how fun/disastrous your experience is).These are not the best races for serious runners trying to qualify for another race. However, you might want to run others races beforehand so that you can get an earlier start corral.
For the 5ks, once you enter the park, take your time to enjoy the fact that you are in the Disney parks, before or at sunrise. They are not timed, so take lots of pics, enjoy the characters, just stay ahead of the balloon ladies (ladies with balloons who are the last of the runners, in every race).
If you’re new to running or want to see if these are the races for you as an experienced runner, go for the 5k first just to experience the excitement and chaos, before you spend the money on a more serious distance.
Wear a costume (read the rules so you won’t have an issue)
Accept there are ridiculous crowds.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions, give/take encouragement and compliments, have a blast.
Have lots of patience. You’re here for the race and all it includes, don’t rush (with so many people attending, getting frustrated and rude doesn’t make it pleasant for anyone.)
If you plan to visit the parks, go after the races. If you get injured or foot blisters or too tired and can’t run the race, you don’t get a refund. Run fresh and then expend what energy you have left in the parks.
Check the weather to be prepared, (one year was 26* the next was 76*). Excess clothing can be tossed (off the side of the road) to be donated later.
Thank the volunteers (they are awesome), maybe even consider volunteering for races you don’t run. It is rewarding.
Disney races just might become addictive or a family tradition (yeah, let’s go with that)
Pros:Disney parks, at sunrise. New medal designs each race. Dedicated transportation. Awesome volunteers!
Cons:Sooo many people Price
Reviewed by Tinkerbelllove23 Review Date: 04/07/2014
Rating: (10) Recommended
I ran my first RunDisney event last February which was the Princess Half marathon, also my first half marathon. It was an absolutley unbeleivable experiance! Even with waking up at 2:15am on race day to get ready, it was worth every second! My boyfriend and I drove to the start rather than taking transportation, it was a piece of cake to get in, I was quite suprised. When we got there we met up with my mom who was also running, I said goodbye to my boyfriend and off we went! It took about 15 minutes to walk to the start line, but it went by quick. My mom and I started in corral B, we watched the first set of fireworks go off and Corral A started, we then had a 5 minute wait before we started, when the fireworks went off we started our 13.1 mile run through magic kingdom and epcot. There were so many characters, a high school band, a ferrari by the speedway to keep us distracted the whole race, I made sure I had my headphones and Ipod with me but never ended up using them because of all of the distractions. I would have to say the most magical part of the race was running through Cinderellas castle and down mainstreet USA with people lined up on both sides, it was unreal! Right before crossing the finish line I saw my boyfriend standing there with a rose waiting for me. I would absolutley reccomend a RunDisney race to anyone! I have since completed 2 more half marathons, both being RunDisney. I got my coast to coast for 2014 with the Tinkerbell and Princess Half marathons this year as well as the Glass Slipper Challenge. All events have been outstanding!
Pros:Theming, on course entertainment, pre and post race
Cons:Tinkerbell half marathon being moved to mothers day weekend
Reviewed by wendybarrie Review Date: 05/23/2013
Rating: (9) Recommended
I did the Expedition Everest Challenge as a solo participant while my friend and husband were entered as a team. Despite registering at different times we were all assigned the same gate. My husband and I are not fitness gurus however we did do exercise in preparation for the 5k, which ended up being a 4.8mile run for us rather then 3.1. Let me explain, the 5k portion which included leaping over hay bails, strattling through tires and crawling under a cargo net was 3.1 miles, however it is followed by a scavenger hunt and since we din't receive a lot of info on how the timing would occur we felt pressured to run and complete that portion quickly as well and that was almost an additional 2.0 miles. The event was fun, and we were glad we did it, however to do it again we would have accepted out 5k run time and just paced ourselves through the scavenger hunt. The after party was a dud for us, while we did ride Dinosaur with no wait the booze selections for purchase were only Bud products and a premixed margarita, in hind sight we could have gotten back to the lodge and had a better time at the hotel bar. As a side note, transportation form the Lodge was a train wreck, we were told we had to be there at 9:15 for 10:00 start but the Mears drivers seemed to think they had until 10:00 to get everyone there. Good News some Managers and Cast Members stepped in and started using Disney trasportation to get the masses to the starting line.
Pros:Fun and good for you
Cons:to long for beginners
Reviewed by mmfan Review Date: 04/05/2013
Rating: (9) Recommended
My DD ran the Princess Half Marathon for the second year, and as was our previous experience, it was great fun! We stayed at a host hotel, which makes getting around so much easier. Yes, the expo was much more crowded and logistically more difficult to get to this year, but I guess we were lucky that we did not hit huge crowds in the early afternoon on Friday. We picked up our race bibs, T shirts and bags (we as parents did the 5K) and were out in about half an hour.
I am amazed when I read that participants are put off by the crowds. If you do research, you realize this is a very busy event. This year was not the day to be trying for personal bests anyway, it was warm and humid. Many folks train to do walk/run to prevent injury, and saying no one should be allowed to walk is not only impossible, it can be dangerous. Participants should use better race etiquette for sure. Though the numbers are huge, I doubt Disney will back off on the number of entrants.
This race is intended to be fun AND challenging, as the number of people in costumes demonstrates. Yes, as spectators we were shoved and cut in front of as we waited for her to run by, but that is what can happen in large crowds, we take it in stride and stand our ground. Being in the MK to see her run toward the castle is a truly neat experience.
The bottom line is that you must start early to get where you are going, enjoy the day and be proud of the work you have accomplished to be able to run the race, and bask in the wonderful WDW experience. We found ourselves laughing often, and making friends along the way as we stood for what seemed forever to see her pass. Patience is important.
The parks were not overly crowded for us, but we are seasoned WDW veterans and so know how to plan. She loved wearing her medal in the parks afterward, and congratulating fellow runners.
My DD is taking a break from running, but I would go with her again in a heart beat if she runs this race again.