1/6/16 - 1/10/16
The Annual Walt Disney World Marathon is one of the most popular race events in the U.S. You'll find that registration often fills up within days of opening. For complete details click here.
Blogs about the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
This festival of races is held annually during the beginning of January (usually the first full weekend after the New Year), and has grown into the largest combined running event in the country. Nearly 55,000 competitors registered for one of the races in 2010. The schedule for the weekend's races has remained consistent with a Family 5k Fun Run on Friday, the Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday, and the Full Marathon (26.2 miles) taking place on Sunday. Runners can also register to compete in both the half and full marathons in what's known as Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge (39.3 total miles and you receive 3 medals for completing the 2 races). The Dopey Challenge was new in 2014 and runners who register for this must compete in all four races over the weekend, for a total of 48.6 miles (runners who complete this will get 6 medals - one for each race, plus one for the Goofy Challenge and one for the Dopey Challenge). Disney races welcome competitors of all abilities, and one definitely does not have to be a World Class athlete to take part. There are many walkers participating in the event, and Disney has set a generous 16:00 min/mile pace time to complete the race.
Photo courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog
The Disney Castaway Cay Challenge has been added to the
Marathon Weekend lineup of events. Runners who are registered for any of the
Disney races (5K or longer) during Marathon Weekend have the option to
complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing on the Disney
Dream January 11. When runners complete both a Marathon Weekend race
and the Castaway Cay 5K, they will receive a special Disney
Castaway Cay Challenge Medal in addition to their finishing medals.
Runners will also get to participate in exclusive activities, enjoy
featured menu items and purchase special merchandise while on the
Of course, the big draw of any Disney race is running through the theme parks. However, there are also many characters and entertainers throughout the course. Racers will stop for photos with characters, many of which are rarely found out and about in the parks. There will also be bands, high school cheering squads, DJs, dancers, and lots of entertainment along the course to distract you from the miles.
Registration spots for the races fill up quickly. If you know for sure you want to participate in one of the events, we recommend you register as soon as possible.
Course maps for the marathon weekend events can be found below as well as first hand reports from previous years' races.
Thursday, January 7 - Saturday, January 9, 2016
Kids Dashes: 11:00am
Mickey Mile: 12:30pm
These races are held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and are a great way to include your little ones in the racing fun!
Family 5K Fun Run:
Thursday, January 7, 2016 6:00am
Entire 3.1 mile course takes place in the Epcot theme park. This is a great chance for families to run together! If you've got a little one that's not quite up to running that far, try out the Stroller Walk Division!
Walt Disney World 10K:
Friday, January 8, 2016
This is the first year for this new race - 6.2 miles through Epcot's scenic World Showcase with Disney characters and entertainment along the way!
Walt Disney World Half Marathon:
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Sunday, January 10, 2016
The 26.2 mile course starts at Epcot, up to and through the Magic Kingdom, down to Disney's Animal Kingdom, over to Disney's Hollywood Studios, back to Epcot, and finishes in the parking lot.
2/18/16 - 2/21/16
On the heels of the successful Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, runDisney created an event to celebrate women's health and fitness. In 2009, Disney's Princess Half Marathon debuted, and in its second year the event drew 13,000 registered competitors. While runDisney markets the race as designed just for women, it is not exclusive to women. Men can (and do) enter this event, but are not eligible for any of the awards.
Image courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
If you're familiar with the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, then Disney's Princess Half Marathon will feel very similar. The 13.1 mile half marathon follows the same route as January's Walt Disney World Half Marathon - starting outside Epcot, up and through the Magic Kingdom, and back to Epcot.
The finisher's medal is one of the nicest medals you'll receive for completing a Disney race. The medal is shaped like a princess's tiara and festooned with faux jewels.
In addition, finishing Disney's Princess Half Marathon along with the successful completion of the Disneyland Half Marathon in September (of the same calendar year) qualifies you for an additional medal - the coveted (and equally handsome) Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal. Note: finishing any of the half or full marathons held at Walt Disney World along with the Disneyland Half Marathon will secure you the Coast to Coast Challenge medal.
Along with the 13.1 mile Princess Half Marathon on Sunday, there is also the Disney's Princess 5k (3.1 mile) fun run staged in Epcot around the World Showcase and the Disney Enchanted 10K at Epcot. There are also a series of kids races on Saturday held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The kids races are run on the track and range in various distances from a diaper dash; to 100, 200, and 400 meter dashes; to a 1 mile run.
4/14/16 - 4/17/16 - registration for the inaugural event opens 9/22/15 at noon EST.
Darth Vader, the legendary villain and Sith Lord, will rule at the brand-new Star Wars Half Marathon - The Dark Side events. Runners can take part in kids races, a 5K, 10K or half marathon race. Those who are brave enough to complete both the 10K and the half marathon will receive a special Death Star-themed medal as part of the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge. Guests will enjoy special Star Wars-themed entertainment, merchandise and a unique course that takes them through Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Disneyland debuted a Star Wars Half Marathon in 2015; in 2016, this will return as the Star Wars Half Marathon - the Light Side. Guests who take part in the Kessel Run Challenge by running in the half marathon on both coasts will be eligible for a special "Coast to Coast" Millenium Falcon-inspired medal.
5/1/15 - 5/2/15 - 2015 will be the last year for this race. No announcements have been made about if it will be replaced.
The Expedition Everest Challenge is different than any other race offered by runDisney. The event is described as an "urban adventure" with the majority of entrants competing in teams of two (although, individual entries are permitted). The Expedition Everest Challenge is a nighttime race with 3 different parts. It starts with a 5K run through Disney's Animal Kingdom, followed by an obstacle course, and finishing with a scavenger hunt back in Animal Kingdom. Once you have completed all components of the challenge, you can join the post-race party in Animal Kingdom's Dinoland, U.S.A. until the wee hours of the morning (1:00 am).
The race starts in typical, exciting Disney fashion with fireworks blasting into the sky from an archway above the starting line. After running the 5k, competitors complete 4 hazards in the obstacle course, and then pick up a “passport” containing clues for the scavenger hunt.
Each passport contains 4 clues to answer during the scavenger hunt. The clues are spread out in the different areas of the park 1) Discovery Island, 2) Africa, 3) Asia, and 4) Expedition Everest. Write the answers to the clues in the passport, and make your way to the finish line at DinoLand U.S.A. to pick up your finisher's medal. It's now time to party (a ticket to the party is included with the registration fee for the race).
The party has a DJ playing music until midnight, food and drink available to purchase, and the opportunity to ride Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, and the rides in Chester and Hester’s DinoRama. The highlight of the evening is definitely being able to repeatedly ride Expedition Everest at night with no line.
This is a unique race among the runDisney offerings, and one of the few ways to experience some of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s signature attractions at night.
10/3/14 - 10/4/14 - This race will not be held in 2015. No reason was given, but speculation is that it's due to planned construction of the Hollywood Studios expansion.
Events this weekend will include The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler, a Family Fun Run 5K, Kids' Races and the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash post-race party!
This nighttime race will take you through ESPN Wide World of Sports, Hollywood Studios (including the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show!) and end at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction!
Prices for the weekend's events are:
11/4/16 - 11/5/16
This race weekend is timed with the opening of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon is unique among runDisney's race offerings. First, it's the only nighttime half marathon staged at Walt Disney World - starting at 10:00 pm from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Second, the race has a relay option where the 13.1 miles is divided between two runners. Along the way, the race course winds through two theme parks, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios, and finishes at Epcot for a runner's night out celebration. The finish line party lasts into the wee hours of the following morning (2-3 am), and features food from the international kiosks of the Food and Wine Festival as well as access to Epcot attractions including: Soarin', Test Track, and Mission Space.
The finisher's medals for both the half marathon and relay are inspired by Epcot's Spaceship Earth. Registration fees for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon or Relay includes (for each participant) a tech t-shirt, goody bag, finisher's medal, transportation to and from race, access to finish line party, one complimentary beer, wine, or soft drink, and a gift card that can be used at the international kiosks.
In addition to the half marathon, the weekend also includes a Halloween 5K fun run usually held the morning before the half marathon, therefore, making it possible to complete a Disney 5K and half marathon in the same (albeit very long) day! Click here for more information on the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend and to register for the race.
Watch the video below for a guided tour of the race course taken during the 2010 Inaugural Wine and Dine Half Marathon.
*These dates are subject to change, but this is when the races are normally held.