Did you register for a runDisney race and are now planning your trip? First off, congratulations! You took the first step into the runDisney community and you are going to have an incredible weekend filled with lots of magic, support from fellow runners, and of course, Disney. I’ve completed 8 runDisney events and clearly enjoyed them all because I keep coming back! When I first started out, there was a lot I needed to learn to help me make the most of my weekend and not be completely stressed out. Below I’ve listed my top 5 tips to enjoy your runDisney weekend. Hopefully these tips will help you have a magic-filled few days!
1. Stay on Disney Property
I’ve run Disney races where I’ve stayed both on- and off-property and 100% recommend booking a room at Walt Disney World or Disneyland if you’re running. When you stay on-property, you can take advantage of transportation to the starting and from the finish lines provided by Disney. Transportation is complimentary and buses start running about 2 hours prior to the start of the race. If you stay off property, you’ll either have to drive and park your car at the starting line or utilize a ride sharing company like Uber or Lyft. It may not seem like that big of a deal to drive or get an Uber/Lyft, but for me it was an added stressor that I didn’t need the morning of a race.
2. Get Your Bib As Soon As Possible
Packet pick-up, which includes getting your race bib (number you’ll wear) and your shirt, takes place at the runDisney Expo. In Walt Disney World, the Expo is held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, while in Disneyland it is held at the conference center at the Disneyland Hotel.The Expo opens the Thursday of the race weekend and packet pick-up will be available through Saturday. Packet pick-up times may vary, so you’ll want to check your Digital Race Weekend Guide, which you’ll be sent by email the week prior to your race. You are NOT able to pick up your bib at the starting line, so you’ll need to plan to get in early enough to visit the Expo the day prior to your race.
3. Don’t Go Hard the Day Before the Race
It can be difficult not to treat a runDisney race weekend like any other Disney trip, but trust me, you’ll regret it if you do! Keep the day prior to your race lowkey. We like to be back to our room by 6 or 7 PM to start our “pre-race rituals,” which for us just means putting on KT Tape, laying out our race outfits, make sure our playlists are set, and relax. It’s actually become one of my favorite parts of run weekends!
I would also recommend playing an early dinner that night and making sure you have lots of snacks and water in your room to start hydrating.
4. Plan a Breakfast for After the Race
This is one tip that I’ve learned the hard way. After a race, you’re going to be starving and ready for a hearty meal. I’ve had several races where I didn’t book a table service meal because I wasn’t sure when I would finish and be ready to go to breakfast. Each time that’s happened, I’ve been “hangry” and wound up eating whatever I could find in our room. Of course, you can do a quick service, but after a race it’s nice to sit down, have some coffee, Mickey waffles, and relax for a bit. My favorite restaurants for post-race breakfasts are:
When trying to determine what time to reserve, think about what time the race will start (you can find this information on he runDisney website), what your average pace will be, and add a few extra minutes on if you’re not going to be in Coral A.
5. Pack Your Run Gear in Your Carry-On
Maybe it’s the travel planner in me, but when I travel for a race I always recommend packing your run gear in your carry-on. The whole point of your trip is to run in the race, so you want to be 100% certain that your running shoes and outfit get there with you!
I hope these tips help you have a successful runDisney weekend and best of luck out there on the course! Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @kellysmagicalvacations and let me know what race you’ll be running! I’d love to say hello!
If you’re planning your runDisney race weekend and would like my complimentary assistance, be sure to let me know! As a Travel Agent specializing in Disney Destinations, I provide complimentary planning assistance to families who book their Disney trips through me!