I get a lot of people asking me for tips or advice on navigating a runDisney race weekend while you have your family with you. Can you do the Disney World parks during a runDisney race weekend? Can kids run the runDisney races? Where is the best place for family to see you run the Disney Marathon? Where should we stay for a Disney race weekend? Is it hard to have your family with you for a race weekend? I will answer all this plus more.
The short answer is yes, there are a lot of options for kids to run during a runDisney race weekend. Here are the age requirements for the distances:
My opinion- My daughter runs 5ks with me all the time, except at Disney. This is because the races start so early that she would be miserable about it and it wouldn’t be fun for either of us. You know your child better than anyone. If they are a good morning person then that is a decision you can make. I see plenty of children at the 5ks and a few at the 10ks. Your best bet are the Kids Races, which typically start around 10:30am and are also more affordable.
I will give you one BIG piece of advice: if your family is coming with you, set some realistic expectations ahead of time with them. Whether this means telling them you can’t be with them all the time so you don’t wear out your legs running around the parks. Maybe this looks like a nap in the afternoon while your spouse takes the kids. Make sure everyone is on the same page before you get to Disney World so everyone has realistic expectations and there isn’t sadness or resentment from one spouse for feeling like they are doing more parenting than the other.
Remember that you can all enjoy some pool time at the hotel to help save your legs as well. The hotels offer lots of options outside of the parks for activities.
Staying on property at Disney World offers so many conveniences like transportation to the parks, but also transportation to the race expo and race start and finish. This means your family can also take this transportation to meet you at the finish line. This transportation is free of charge. There are pros and cons to every on property hotel, but the pros always outweigh the cons. I always recommend that people just pick a hotel within their budget. All the Disney World hotels have on property food and snack offerings as well as pools.
Short answer, yes! Long answer, your race registration does not include park tickets, so you will need to purchase those. Again, I wouldn’t run around the parts from 8am to midnight if you have to get up at 2:30am to get ready to be on a bus and to the start line at 3:30am. I always hit the parks for a little bit, but not as much as I would if it was a non-race weekend.
My tip for spending the most time in the parks: Plan your trip so you stay a couple days after the race to play in the parks, not a couple days before. I know people who come in a few days early to do the parks with their family and have the races at the end of their trip. DO IT OPPOSITE! Make the races easier on yourself by doing them on your fresh legs. Then you don’t have to worry about being overly tired for the races and you can enjoy wearing your medal around the parks.
There are many places for your family to see you along the course, but they can always catch you at the finish line too. They do not need to buy the “ChEAR Squad” package to be near the finish line. Depending on which race you are running there are other places, for example during the Disney World Marathon, Half marathon, and Princess Half Marathon, the Transportation and Ticket Center is a great place for your loved ones to see you.
Again, this is a question that is very much specific on what your kids need from you. When my daughter was a toddler is was a lot of work because she didn’t understand what mama had to go do and wanted mama’s constantly attention and to go play.
Another thing to consider, because I don’t want to wake my family up at 3am when I am getting ready for the race I would get ready with the flashlight on my phone. This is HARD. I’m not going to lie, it is a lot easier on the weekends they aren’t with me, but the parks are more fun with them. It is two very different experiences.
Make dining reservations ahead of time. When you are by yourself it is easier to find food, but with your family with you it’s always good to have a plan of where and when you are going to eat.
Bring snacks with you from home. This means for both you and your kids. This helps ward off crankiness for all of you. You can also have a grocery service deliver to your hotel if you need. Another tip, if you are flying Southwest you can check 2 bags for free, so you might as well load up a suitcase with some snacks. It will also save you money.
Bring coloring books, travel games, or electronics for your kids. There will be times when you will want to put your feet up and you need something to help keep your kids happy too. Whether this is before bed, dinner time, or just some mid afternoon down time.
Here are some other posts you might like:
Want to come back to this? Pin it for later!