Bringing your kids for the runDisney Disneyland Half weekend, tips and recommendations.

The runDisney Disneyland Half weekend is one of my family’s favorite weekends of the year.  It might have a special place in my heart because when I started running the Disneyland Half was my goal race and first half marathon.  Little did I know I would fall in love with half marathons.

Disneyland Half Marathon weekend 2012

If your kids are planning to get up the same time you are and cheer you on along the course there will be some breakfast options for them at Downtown Disney while you are getting to your corral. Usually Jamba juice, Le Brea Bakery and Wetzels Pretzels as well as a couple others open early for the race (and by early I mean they open their doors somewhere around 3:30-5:30am and stay open all day)

Disneyland Half Marathon weekend 2011

If your kids want to sleep in here is what I do; I give my husband (who doesn’t run) a 45 min warning before I’m going to cross the finish line and than again a half hour and so on.  Than he doesn’t have to wait around with a 3 year old in a huge crowd trying to find me.  Just figure out your pace, say you run a 10 minute mile and you are at mile 10 than it will be about half hour before you cross the finish line.

I always register my daughter for the runDisney Kids Races.  Here is my post on what to expect with the runDisney Kids Races.

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If you have ran a race at Walt Disney World than you might remember that you can’t bring a stroller into the expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports.  At Disneyland that isn’t the case  The Expo is in the ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel and you can bring your stroller.  Always a plus in my book and it works as a shopping cart for everything you buy!

My family’s 2 favorite character dining experiences at Disneyland are hands down Ariel’s Grotto with the princesses and Goofy’s Kitchen with an assortment of characters.  Reservations are strongly recommended and might already be pretty booked up.  To make reservations call Disneyland Dining at (714) 781-DINE.


The Blue Bayou is a very fun place to eat.  It is set inside the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and you can watch the boats pass by slowly.  There are no characters, but a really nice place to eat.

My husband and I love Napa Rose, but as great as our 3 year old is, we don’t take her in the main dining room.  The lounge area though is first come first served and has big comfy chairs and a fireplace.  It is very nice.  I can get my favorite Smiling Tiger Salad and a glass of wine and my daughter can get a great cheese pizza and gourmet ice cream.  It is fun for all of us.  Napa Rose lounge area opens at 5:00 for drinks and 5:30 for food.  The lounge fills up quickly though so we usually get there by 5:15 to get a table order our drinks and than order our food when the kitchen is ready.


At Downtorn Disney, The Rainforest Cafe and Tortilla Joe’s are my family’s favorites.

Here are a few fun places not to overlook while you are at Disneyland:
Animation Building in California Adventure- Just the lobby alone with the big screens and lights on the ground keeps my daughter happy for an hour.
The Royal Theater at Disneyland- They put on 2 plays, Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel. Get there a little early for seats.  It is a small little outdoor theater.
The Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland- Especially if it is hot this is a great place to cool off and watch Billy Hill and the Hill Billys. They are very entertaining.
Disney Junior Stageshow at California Adventure- If your kids are young than don’t miss this!  It has Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
Mickey and the Magical Map at Disneyland- This is a relatively new stage show and my whole family loved it.  Here is my pictures and post about Mickey and the Magical Map from when I went opening weekend.

The Pixar Parade in California Adventure is super cute and my 3 year old LOVES this parade.


I am a pro at Disneyland with my daughter who is 3.5 and we go there all the time.  If you have any questions shout ’em out 🙂


  1. Vanessa | 19th Aug 13

    Don’t forgt that you can register to have text alerts go to your family so they know where you are on the course. We did this last year at Disneyland as the kids (who are older) staid in bed while my husband and I ran the half. He finished before me so he grabbed the kids and came to cheer me on the last mile. I really like the text option – I even signed my sister up to receive them and she lives in Ohio.

    • Half Crazy Mama | 19th Aug 13

      That’s a great tip too. I’ve heard from some people though that depending on your phone carrier that the texts are sometimes delayed and not really real time.

      • Vanessa | 20th Aug 13

        The only part we had trouble with was the text alert woke those who chose to sleep until 7am.

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