Disney races are back and the Run Disney community is beside itself with excitement. And also criticism. You can’t have one without the other, am I right? The runners of Disney races have waited through lots of uncertainty to get to this point, and now we are finally here. So what do you need to know?
What Disney Races Are Scheduled?
As of right now, RunDisney has announced the following events:
- 2021 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend (November 4-7)
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (January 5-9, 2022)
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend (February 24-27, 2022)
- runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend (March 31 – April 3, 2022)
Each weekend boasts a variety of in-person and virtual race distances, including a full complement of race challenges (combined distances). There are also add-ons like an after-party for the Wine & Dine Weekend, and a Princess Sunrise Yoga.
At this time, there is no word on children’s races, that have traditionally been offered. Also, there is no mention of any races outside of Florida and the Walt Disney World property.
How Much Will It Cost?
RunDisney events are notoriously expensive, and this year is no exception. The in-person 5Ks start at $95, while the full marathon costs $195. If you want to take on a challenge, like the Goofy (running both the half and full marathon), you will need to part with $390. For the full Dopey, which includes a 5k, 10k, half, and full, you’ll be out $600 on race fees alone.
That’s not including the limited edition souvenirs, race merch, and shopping you can do at the expo. Sure, it’s not a required cost, but it’s hard to say no!
What Does Your Registration Fee Include?
Disney races may be pricey, but they include some pretty significant swag and perks. You’ll get beautiful bibs, gorgeous, detailed medals, and (usually) nice race shirts. You also get professionally-measured courses that will take you through some incredible parts of Disney properties, and even parks. In the past, tons of characters populated the race courses, and runners could line up for photos along the way. Let’s not forget fireworks at the start line, and plenty of on-course entertainment. I admit, you get a pretty big bang for your buck.
When Can I Register?
Good news and bad news. If you signed up with Club RunDisney before the pandemic, registration for Wine & Dine weekend is open! If not, you’re going to have to wait until July 13 at 10AM ET. This is a major shift from previous races, when Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Owners enjoyed early registration opportunities. Also gone this year is the ability to purchase bibs via travel agents and Disney vacation packages.
Pro Tip: be logged into your RunDisney account (on multiple devices if necessary), and ready to go in advance of the posted registration time. Some of these events sell out in minutes, even as you’re inputting your information. If you have multiple people in your family or group waiting to register, set them up on different platforms to individually register, rather than trying to do a group yourself.
So what IS Club RunDisney?
Club RunDisney is an “added value” membership for runners who chose to join (registration is currently closed). There are three tiers, ranging from Silver (about $265 per year) to Platinum (about $800 annually). The lowest level offers a welcome package with jacket, magnet, and membership card, a virtual 10K exclusively for members, and the ability to register for available races at opening prices. The Platinum level goes so far as to include a guaranteed opportunity to purchase one distance for each Disney race weekend, an upgraded Expo and merchandise shop experience, and the option to upgrade your start corral. It’s worth nothing that these membership prices are in addition to registration fees.
Proof of Time was always pretty important to secure optimal corral placement for Disney races. With tens of thousands of runners and so many photo pops and sights on the course, corral placement is crucial. In the past, proof of time was accepted from two hours and thirty minutes or less in the half marathon, but this year, POT starts at two hours. That’s a big reduction, and I’m curious to see how corrals look going forward. Runners need to maintain a 16-minute-mile (based on the time the last runner crosses the start) in order to complete their events.
Will I Be Taking Part In The Newest Round of Disney Races?
Honestly, no. I think RunDisney offers a fantastic product, that makes for a really cool racecation, but right now, it’s not in the scope of my goals. I am proud to have run the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, the Walt Disney World Marathon, the Castaway Cay 5K, and the Glass Slipper Challenge (10K and Half Marathon at Princess Weekend) in the past, and I had a blast at all of them. However, Disney races are intense from registration to finish line, and I just don’t have the bandwidth this year.
Additionally, there’s really no such thing as popping in for a quick race and going home. Each runner must attend the expo in advance of race morning(s), to pick up his or her own bib(s) and packets. Races start super early (runners need to be in their corrals before dawn, and it’s much easier to take race shuttles than navigate parking). It’s a process, that includes race registration, hotel stays, time off work, and park tickets (I mean… if your’e there, you might as well have some fun). It’s so fun, but it’s a huge expense, and I’d like to venture outside the state to take on some new races in new locations.
That being said, if you have the time, money, and inclination, register for your Disney races and have the best time! Runners have (sort of) patiently waited for in-person races, and RunDisney runners have been holding their breath for this good news. It’s time to get back out there!
Have you run a Disney race? Will you register for one now?
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