A Complete Guide to runDisney

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Disney Parks, Disneyland Parks, WDW Blog

A complete guide to runDisney, Disney’s destination race series that allows you to run marathons and races through the parks.

We all know Disney is synonymous with theme parks, resorts, and relaxation. But did you know that Disney has a whole section devoted to “The Most Magical Place to Race?” runDisney is the race and running area of Disney. runDisney races are unique in that they can occur through the theme parks (or be done at home!) and include some Disney magic. From princess-themed runs to holiday themes and much, much more, runDisney events are designed for both pro-athletes and running novices. 

Want to learn more about the runDisney events? We’re here to provide a simple guide to help you on your next runDisney adventure. Click below to jump to where you want to go!

What is runDisney?

runDisney is the running side of Disney. Whether you want to run a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon, Disney has an option for you. The best part of the runDisney events is that you don’t even have to be a runner to participate! You could walk the race and still enjoy characters, photo ops, and activities along the run route.

How to Register for a runDisney Event

runDisney race registration usually begins about eight months before the scheduled race. If you know that there is a runDisney race you’ll like to participate in, make sure you book it immediately since they do tend to sell out quickly. 

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Screenshot from runDisney

Registration is fairly easy. Set up an account with runDisney prior to the registration opening. On registration day, visit the site fifteen minutes before the scheduled opening time and refresh your page until you see the green “Register Now.” Once you click on Register, fill out the required information. This will include shirt size, email, address, and emergency contact information.

Pricing for runDisney

As much as we wish they were, runDisney events are not free. Depending on the length of the run, the cost can vary depending on the year. For the 2023/2024 season, costs range between $101 and $405. The 5K races are usually the least expensive, while the Challenges are usually the most expensive. 

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Photo by Mike Billick

Included in the price are your race bib, your finisher’s medal, and a dry-fit race shirt. Whether you complete a race virtually or in person, you’ll still receive these items. Keep in mind that if you are running at a park, registration does not include things such as your park ticket, race photos, or any additional merchandise that might be for sale at the events. 

Transportation for the Events

If you are staying on Disney property for a runDisney race, you can take the resort buses, and transportation is provided for the races. Since these races start early in the day, there are special buses for race mornings. Disney resorts include Shades of Green and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. 

If you are staying off Disney property, alternative ways to get to the race include driving, getting dropped off, or taking an Uber/Lyft. In Orlando, we suggest using a Lyft since they tend to be more readily available and are less expensive. 

Frequently Asked Questions About runDisney

Do you need to be an experienced runner to participate?

Absolutely not! No matter your experience level, you are welcome to participate in a runDisney race. While walking is welcome for a runDisney race, just note that there is a minimum-pacing requirement that will need to be maintained throughout the event. However, if you aren’t able to finish, a shuttle will be along to pick you up at a safe location along the course.

Does everyone get a medal? 

Everyone participating in the runDisney races will receive a finishing medal, even those who are “swept” from the race. That means that anyone unable to keep pace will be picked up by a shuttle and transported to the Family Reunion Area at any point along the course. But again, even if you are swept, you will receive a themed finishing medal based on your race’s theme. 

Mike Billick

Photo by Laurie Sapp

How do virtual races work?

Virtual races work in a similar fashion to regular races. You’ll run the event during the time frame that is set and then you’ll have to upload the run time that you tracked. This is all based on the honor system. Runners who participate virtually will receive a box in the mail with their race shirt and medal. 

Do I need to buy a theme park ticket to participate?

Nope! Theme park tickets are not needed to participate in a runDisney race. You should note that buying entry to runDisney does not give you access to the parks during regular hours, so you won’t be able to get into Magic Kingdom without a ticket after the race is done.

Can you wear costumes during the race?

You are allowed to wear costumes! However, Disney notes that costumes cannot “interfere with the safety of you or other runners.” They also note that if the costume is questionable or offensive to others, they have the right to have you change it into something else or remove you from the event.

What are the 2023/2024 runDisney Races? 

runDisney events take place at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and virtually. Want more information about the 2023/2024 season? Click here.

Here is the full list of events happening in the 2023/2024 season. 

Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida

  • November 2nd through November 5th, 2023: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. (Includes 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Two Course Challenge, and Post Race Party)  
  • January 3rd through January 7th, 2024: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. (Includes 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, Goofy’s Race and Half Challenge, and the Dopey Challenge)
  • February 22nd through February 26th, 2024: Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. (Includes 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Fairytale Challenge, and Princess Yoga)
  • April 18th through April 21st, 2024: runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend. (Includes Surprise Yoga, 5K, 10K, 10-Miler, ‘Ohana Challenge and Springtime Surprise Splash)  

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California

  • January 11th through January 14th, 2024: Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. (Includes Yoga, 5K, 10K, Kid Races, Half Marathon, Double Dare, and Coast to Coast Challenge) 

Virtual Races

  • June 1st through August 31st, 2023: runDisney Virtual Series Celebrating Disney100. (Includes three different types of 5K races and the Disney 100 Challenge) 
  • November 3rd through November 5th, 2023: Virtual. Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. (Includes 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Two Course Challenge) 
  • December 1st through December 31st, 2023: runDisney Virtual 12Ks of Christmas. (Includes the 12Ks of Christmas Challenge) 
  • January 4th through January 7th, 2024: Virtual. Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. (Includes 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, and the Dopey Challenge) 
  • January 12th through January 14th, 2024: Virtual. Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. (Includes 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Dumbo Double Dare) 
  • February 23rd through February 25th 2024: Virtual. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. (Includes 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Fairytale Challenge)
  • April 19th through April 21st, 2024: Virtual. runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend. (Includes 5K, 10K, 10-Miler and ‘Ohana Challenge)

Posts by Jenn Marrazzo

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Jennifer Marrazzo is a writer and adjunct professor and knows way too many facts about Disney and cruises. She’s a DVC Member and WDW Annual Passholder and has a vast collection of Disney merchandise from Beauty and the Beast to Baby Yoda. Jennifer has her own blog, The Happiest Travels on Earth, where she offers reviews and tips for Disney and cruises!
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Authored by
Jenn Marrazzo

Jennifer Marrazzo is a writer and adjunct professor and knows way too many facts about Disney and cruises. She’s a DVC Member and WDW Annual Passholder and has a vast collection of Disney merchandise from Beauty and the Beast to Baby Yoda. Jennifer has her own blog, The Happiest Travels on Earth, where she offers reviews and tips for Disney and cruises!
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