Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some Tips For a Great runDisney Experience

I wrote the post below as a guest post for another blog, but I thought some of my readers would like it too, so I decided to post it here too.  Please let me know what you think!

A dream is a wish...


runDisney events are the most fun endurance running events out there.  Disney is great at making each runner feel special.  The race starts out with fireworks, not just for the first corral, but for each corral.  Since runDisney races start so early, the fireworks light up the sky.  Each corral is announced and given their own “ready, set, go!”  The anticipation builds as you know you are running toward the Magic Kingdom and the Castle!   The moment you turn the corner and see it—pure magic!  Runners race back toward Epcot for a Disney finish, complete with Minnie and Mickey at the finish to congratulate you. 

All along the way, there are character stops to get your photo with.  My favorite photo op is the one right in front of the castle.  The medals from runDisney events cannot be beat.  They are all beautiful, heavy and worth all the hard work.  If you are interested in doing a runDisney event, let me give you some tips—from a certificated Disney Travel Specialist. 

   1)       Stay is a Disney host hotel.  Depending on the size of the race, some or all of the Disney owned hotels make special accommodations for runDisney runners.  These hotels offer special event transportation to the expo and to and from the race.  Disney has to close down several roads for the race, so traffic race morning can be terrible!  Some runners staying off site have missed the race all together because they were caught in traffic.  Staying at a Disney host resort will eliminate this worry because they guarantee you will get to the race on time. 

   2)      Rest up the day before the race.  I know this can be tough—you are in Disney World!  Hanging out by the beautifully themed Disney resort pool is a great way to spend the day before the race. Plan to stay in Disney World for a few days after the race instead of before so you can enjoy the parks.  If you must hit the parks the day before the race, at least take is easy. 

3)      Pack your tried and true race morning food and take it with you to Disney World.  For me, it’s a bagel and peanut butter, plus some Clif Bloks to stash for during the race.  While you may be able to find that in Disney World, it may not be your brand or flavor.  Race day is not the time to find out you are sensitive to certain brands of flavors, so be safe and pack your race morning food from home. 

4)      Don’t take the race to seriously!  runDisney events are meant to be fun, so don’t expect yourself to PR.  With all the fireworks, characters, music and photo ops available, enjoy yourself.  Take in and savor the experience. 
After doing several half marathons in different cities and put on by different race companies, runDisney events are by far my favorite.  Follow my tips above and you will have a magical runDisney experience too! 

A little about me:  I am a mom and blogger on the quest to fitness! I am addicted to runDisney and lost 75 pounds on my way to the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  I am also part of Team in Training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  We train together for marathons and raise money to fight cancer. I am a frequent Disney traveler and lover of Pop Tarts.  If I can help you plan a Disney dream vacation or your next runDisney event, please contact me at  I blog at  


  1. I loved this! I'm running my first half marathon- the Tinker Bell at Disneyland in January and running the Princess at WDW (my first time EVER to WDW!!) and am so excited and nervous.

    I've been to DL plenty of times, but WDW will be an exciting new experience and I hope to not go broke planning it. Loved your advice, these will be some fun runs!

    1. I will be at both of those races too! Let's plan to meet up. Find me on FB (I have a link to the left) so we can keep in touch!

      I love DL. Don't you think you can feel Walt's spirit all over that place?

  2. Amy, what an inspiration you are! My cousin and I just got the wild idea to train for the 2013 Princess Half Marathon! Your blog is my go to for inspiration! Thanks for such a sweet, informative, encouraging and just plain fun blog!

    1. Jessica--you can do it!!! Have you checked out the Galloway training plan? I think it is genius! I stull follow it.

      Please let me know if I can help you with anything!

    2. Thanks Amy! I have the Galloway program all printed out!

  3. I love reading about others experiences and tips for those, like myself, whose this will be their first half marathon! I am super excited and cant wait!I read/follow your blog and enjoy reading yours and others!

  4. I love your blog and Facebook. I didn't realize I did not follow you on here until I was going through the SPA list. Glad I am now so I don't miss any of your posts!! Can't wait to get to know you better.

  5. Thank you for this post! The Disney Princess is 6 months away and I just can't get enough info about my first RunDisney event. I'm like a crazy person, reading every tip and blog and review I can find. I can't wait to officially start planning and training.