After many years of running runDisney race weekends at both Disney World and Disneyland I thought I would put together a list of runDisney do’s and don’ts. I have ran all the distances, all the various race weekends and I am even crazy enough to be a “Perfect Dopey”, which means I have ran the Dopey Challenge (consisting of a 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon in 4 consecutive days) every year since it started in 2014.
Here are my top 10 runDisney Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t wear a costume that will make you miserable to run in. I have seen people make super elaborate costumes, but look absolutely miserable halfway through the race. This should be enjoyable, not a bad experience.
Do wear a costume that is comfortable and made to run in. Try taking running clothes as your base costume layer and build a minimal costume on top of that. Remember this is still a running event, not just some costume party.
Don’t plan to get to starting area at 4:30am for a 5:00am start. Whether you drive yourself or you take the provided buses, plan to be there earlier because it is a long walk to the starting area.
Do get there early. I try to leave my hotel room between 3:00am-3:15am. This allows me enough time to get through security, get my bag checked and make the mile walk to starting area without being stressed or worried about time.
Don’t be disappointed with long character stop lines.
Do be prepared to not stop for every character. In years past the lines weren’t horrible, but these days they can be 30 min plus. Plan accordingly and don’t set your hopes on stopping for everyone. The characters that are the first couple stops usually have the longest lines, as well as really popular characters.
Don’t be shocked by how fast race merchandise sells out.
Do join the virtual queue for expo merchandise the first day if you really want the best shot at getting specific items, otherwise sadly you may have to pay a bundle on eBay for it. runDisney will send an email prior to race weekend about the virtual queue.
Don’t think you can signup anytime for a runDisney race. They sell out in a matter or hours, close to Taylor Swift tickets, lol.
Do look up when registration is for the race you want, be online earlier than the registration start time and enter the virtual queue for a shot at registering.
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of running a race alone. There are many runners out there without a group.
Do join Facebook groups ahead of time if you want to connect with other runDisney runners and make some new friends. There are lots of groups to connect with people.
Don’t gorge yourself at Chef Mickey’s the night before the race. Nothing is worse than the course port-a-potties.
Do eat multiple smaller meals the day before to give you the fuel you need, but not feel overly full at 3:30am walking to the starting corrals.
Don’t make the mistake many of us have where we log another 10 miles in the parks and stay out to park close and then try to get up a couple hours later to run a marathon.
Do enjoy your time at Disney, but try to rest your feet. Walking around the parks after a race can help move the lactic acid and help stiffness, but don’t overdue it if you are running a challenge and have another race the next day.
Don’t buy all new gear at the expo and then wear it for the races. I know all the new shiny awesome stuff available is great, but you always want to have tested your gear before race day so you know it won’t chafe or cause blisters.
Do buy the new shiny awesome stuff at the expo, but save it for other runs or wear it around the parks.
Don’t bring your whole family if the expectations aren’t managed ahead of time. Family who isn’t running will want to go go go and do all the things.
Do bring your family if you are all on the same page that you will need to be able to rest your feet and go to bed a little earlier.
I have tons more tips, so here are some other posts you might like:
Want to come back to this? Pin it for later.