Best Tips For Planning A Disney Race
A run Disney event is among one of the most common bucket list races on many runners’ agendas. And with registration opening throughout the year for its various races, it might be time to really start planning your next Disney adventure: racing through one the most magical places on the planet.
In fact, Tuesday, March 19 officially marks the open enrollment for the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. And there are many reasons why a runner should think about working this race into their calendar. Besides running through the parks, an exclusive after-party with rare character sightings and awesome medals, this year mark’s the 10th anniversary of the Wine & Dine races. This means participants can expect even sweeter swag including medals that are one of a kind.
Unfortunately, the Disney Wine & Dine 10k sold out quickly. The Disney Two Course Challenge is still available, which includes the 10k and half marathon, as well as the half marathon, 5k, and kids races.
With how fast one of the races sold out, it’s best to have a game plan in place for when registration is about to open as well as the next steps past getting that golden ticket to the event. Here are the best ways to plan for a Disney race.
Mark Your Calendar
The thing to know about planning for a Disney race is that these are hot ticket events. With such high demand, the runner doesn’t want to wait to the last minute to register for it. The longer one waits, the higher the chance the desired distance race sells out. Typically, the 10k is the first to sell out. The half marathon, Challenge, and 5k are generally open for quite some time. In some cases, this means leading up to the event. The 2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon even had race day registration. However, it’s best to register as soon as possible to guarantee a spot at the event.
This means marking the calendar, and not for the race day. Instead, we are talking about the open registration date. This year Disney Princess finishes were given access to pre-open enrollment. This means they get to register before the public for the 2020 events. This is how events like the 10k are quick to sell out.
Since there are various race weekends put on by Disney throughout the year, bookmark the run Disney website on your computer and often be on the lookout for the next event. Enter in your email to be notified any information. Following Run Disney on Facebook or consider joining one or a few of the various closed groups made specifically for run Disney racers.
Become Part Of The Run Disney Community
Becoming part of this community is one of the biggest and best tips for planning a Disney race. These Facebook groups like runDisneyRun are a great way to stay informed about upcoming dates, as well as receive tips and advice. This includes everything from training to hotel stays to navigating the timeline of the weekend. These groups often share the course maps, costume ideas, and more. Plus it’s great to connect with others who are doing the same race, hear about their training progress and feel part of a larger community.
Book Your Stay
The thing to know about a Disney race is that theme park admission is not included in the race entry fee. Depending on the race, the course may include running through the parks. But after crossing the finish line the runner needs to enter the desired park on their own dime.
Also, take into consideration room rates. Disney resort hotels can be pretty pricey—especially on a race weekend. It might be best to find a Disney vacation planner because race fees and hotel rate packages are sometimes offered. A planner can help with flights, rooms and park tickets. However, some might prefer to plan their trip by themselves.
While staying on Disney property means easy access to the starting line thanks to complimentary transportation at some hotels, there are other options when booking your stay. If it becomes a family trip or friend getaway, consider renting a home via Airbnb. Hotels off of Disney property might also be cheaper.
Disney also offers multi-day park passes. Children under three are free, so bring the little ones if making it a family trip.
Just remember that the race could be months away. This means searching for the best flight deals and taking time to really plan the specifics of traveling. Just make sure not to book last minute.
Start A Training Plan
Once the runner gets into the race, the first thing they need to do is start a training plan. These plans are offered online for free and are typically 12-weeks in length. Those competing in the Challenge might want to run back to back days to get used to running on tired legs.
The hardest part of the race is waking up early to run so practice rising with the sun to get used to it. Also, remember it is Florida so the weather can be hot, really hot and humid depending on the time of the year. Take this into consideration when training.
Make Sure To Experience The Race Expo
The race expo kicks off the weekend and is one the best parts. Many people are traveling to Florida that weekend leading up to the race. Those doing all the events most likely are arriving a least a day before. Make time to spend a good chunk of time at the expo. This is where the runner picks up their bib, takes character photos, and shops for official race merchandise.
Don’t rush this park or else the runner will regret not taking enough photos or spending the time to shop.
Plan Your Disney Days
Since the runner does have to pay to get into the parks, plan which parks you want to go to the most. Look online to view attractions to narrow done the most desirable park or parks. Post Challenge might call for a rest day, but many still attend the parks after the 5k, 10k and the half marathon. Decide if going to one of the Disney theme parks is best for after the race or to go a day or two after. This also depends on the number of parks attending and park tickets, such as if it is only a 3-day park pass.
Book Your Post Race Restaurant
Restaurants in the parks book up fast. Here we refer to the big popular ones like Cinderella or Belle’s Castle. Download the Disney app, which has everything from your race and park photos to fast passes for rides and wait times. You can even book dining reservations via the app—and months in advance at that. Get those reservations in when you can. It is one less thing to plan when wanting to get that post-race meal at the restaurant of your dreams.
Plan An Outfit
Even though the race might be months in advance, take the time to plan the outfit. This is a major part of a Disney race. From Star Wars to the Wine & Dine, people get really creative with their costumes. The Princess Half Weekend typically as the most full out costumes, but the other events stay call for cute personifications of characters.
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