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Why Join Club runDisney in 2024? Is It Worth It?

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You can join Club runDisney and have access to a load of race-related perks. Cool? Definitely. Or Maybe. Depends on how you want to look at this. One of the perks included is essentially paying for better runDisney corral placement… and that’s got the runDisney community talking. Here’s how you can join Club runDisney, why you might want to, and why it just may not be for you. Let’s discuss if joining Club runDisney is worth it. 

logo for club run disney corral placement

Alright, we gotta talk about this. Because there’s a lot to unpack with the Club runDisney announcement and our emotions and thoughts have run all over the place with this. 

So take a deep breath, settle in, and we’ll break it down with the pros and cons of the Club runDisney membership. 

And yes, we will discuss the upgraded pay-to-play runDisney corral placement issue. 

What is Club runDisney?

runDisney introduced Club runDisney, a new membership opportunity for runners. Want to be a member of the club that’s made for runners like you and me? 

You can: you just gotta pay for it.

When Does Club runDisney Registration Open?

The 2023-2024 Club runDisney Memberships went on sale to the general public on May 23rd, 2023 at 10:00 AM ET.

We expect the 2024-2025 Club Memberships to go on sale in a similar fashion in May, 2024.

Visit the runDisney.com website at 10 am to purchase your club registration.

photopass photographer rundisney

How Long is the Club runDisney Membership?

Club runDisney is a one-year membership program that runs from October 1 to September 20 every year. 

If you purchase in the Spring, you will be a member of the runDisney Club for the following race season. 

This means you will have access to all perks and amenities starting in October 2024; that means you will NOT have early registration for the remaining 2024-2025 race season.

That perk of early registration will be available for you during your membership in the spring of 2025 for the following race season.

wine and dine expo bib pickup

I Want To Run Princess 2025. Should I Join Club runDisney?

We’re breaking it down for you.

What you pay for as a NEW club member does not go into effect until Oct 2024.

You are not a member until Oct 1, 2024.

You are not eligible for any perks until that time.

Registration for Disneyland Halloween ’24, Princess ’25, Springtime ’25 will NOT be covered under early registration for anyone who signs up for Club runDisney in 2024.

Because they are not officially members until October 2024.

The effective date of your new club membership is Oct 1, 2024.

Any race that goes on sale between Oct 1, 2024, and Sept 30, 2025, you WILL get early registration.

You should only sign up for the Club runDisney package IF you plan on running the 2025 Wine and Dine or Disneyland Half, Halloween Half, Walt Disney World Marathon, Princess or Springtime Surprise in 2026.

rundisney expo

What Membership Levels Will Club runDisney Offer and Which Ones Get Better runDisney Corral Placement?

There are three membership levels:

1. SILVER Club runDisney Membership Price $279.00 (2024-2025 prices subject to change)

Benefits include:

  • Member Welcome Kit:* Member Jacket (size chart), Club runDisney Magnet, Membership Card, Club runDisney Virtual 10K Medal
  • Tier 1 pricing year-round for available runDisney Races
  • Exclusive 2024 Club runDisney Virtual 10K – October 2024
  • Club runDisney designation on race bibs
  • Early access to renew your Club runDisney Membership before sales open to the general public

2. GOLD Club runDisney Membership Price $613.00 (2024-2025 prices subject to change)

Benefits include:

  • Member Welcome Kit:* Member Jacket (size chart), Club runDisney Magnet, Membership Card, Club runDisney Virtual 10K Medal, Club runDisney Member Pin
  • Tier 1 pricing year-round for available runDisney Races
  • Exclusive 2024 Club runDisney Virtual 10K – October 2024
  • Club runDisney designation on race bibs
  • A guaranteed opportunity to purchase one race registration in each race weekend through early registration***
  • Club runDisney Expo Experience including early access to runDisney Merchandise Shop
  • Early access to renew your Club runDisney Membership before sales open to the general public

3. PLATINUM Club runDisney Membership Price $959.00 (2024-2025 prices subject to change)

Benefits include:

  • Member Welcome Kit: Member Jacket (size chart), Club runDisney Magnet, Membership Card, Club runDisney Virtual 10K Medal, Club runDisney Member Pin
  • Tier 1 pricing year-round for available runDisney Races
  • Exclusive 2024 Club runDisney Virtual 10K – October 2024
  • Club runDisney designation on race bibs
  • A guaranteed opportunity to purchase two race registrations in each race weekend through early registration
  • Club runDisney Expo Experience including:
    • Club runDisney Headquarters with convenient packet pick-up
    • Early access to runDisney Merchandise Shop
  • Early access to renew your Club runDisney Membership before sales open to the general public
  • Upgraded corral placement
club rundisney lounge expo

Who Is Club runDisney For?

In theory, for everyone- I mean, that’s what runDisney is hoping for, anyway. They are a business; they want to be profitable, and the more people that sign up for this membership, the more profit they earn. 

If you have the money, this club is for you! 

And we totally get that from a business perspective. 

But in reality? We think this membership program probably works for a specific subset of runners. 

man running through the castle at Disney World for the half marathon. join club runDisney

Who is Club runDisney for?

Here are some possible “avatars” of the ideal Club runDisney member (nothing scientific, just us guessing based on what we know about the product, the culture, the perks, and the costs involved). 

  • DVC Members. These folks are already sold on Disney vacations for life and are likely AP holders. Their race weekend financial output is likely much smaller each race weekend than non-DVC runners. They likely have some disposable income to spend on membership since they are not paying for a room and ticket package for each race weekend. 
  • Big runDisney Fangirls and Guys. Since the perks associated with the membership include things like club jackets and special bibs for races, this would appeal to those mega-fans of the culture. 
  • Groups of friends or families.  Those who want to guarantee entry to a race or the same corral and who love to shop at the expo will benefit from this membership program.   
  • Back of the Pack Runners. There’s no other way around this: some of us back of the packers would pay a little more to get a time cushion on the course from the runDisney Balloon Ladies. Pay almost $1000 for that perk? Time will tell- but yes, you can now pay for better runDisney corral placement. More on this in a minute. 

Who Is Probably NOT Going To Buy Club runDisney?

We think many long-time runDisney participants might not be interested in this. If they know the registration process and have that down, they probably don’t need to spend the extra cost.

Many don’t need a special jacket or bib designation (it’s a tiny “C” for Club) to show their runDisney love.

They’ve been there and done that enough that they know the value of a race weekend for them is the relationships they’ve fostered from the community and the on-course experience we get.

Give runners more characters on the course! That’s what we get excited about. 

runDisney merchandise outside of the expo can be found at Disney outlets in Orlando like this 26.2 mile magnet
runDisney merchandise outside of the expo can be found at Disney outlets in Orlando like this 26.2 mile magnet

But the devil is in the details, as they say, and for a one-time-a-year runDisney Runner, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of tangible value vs the cost being charged.

We can’t say we’d recommend it to a one-time-a-year first-time runner. 

star wars race medals from runDisney

Paying For a Better runDisney Corral Placement: Join Club runDisney

There is nothing- and we mean NOTHING- more discussed in runDisney circles than race corral placementsOr start groups as they are sometimes called.

And this is the most problematic and controversial aspect of the program. 

Start Group placement is earned by submitting proof of time if you think you will be finishing faster than 2:30 for a half marathon. 

If you buy the Platinum Club runDisney package, you will be eligible for a corral upgrade simply by paying for the membership fee.

And guys? runDisney had this out in a post-race survey before.

So there are absolutely people who are interested in this option. That’s why it’s been added to this program. 

rundisney survey about paying for corral placement 2015
This was a survey that came out in 2015.

Who Would This Upgraded runDisney Corral Placement Impact?

According to the FAQs, if you earn a higher corral via your proof of time, you will keep that corral.

In other words, this isn’t an across-the-board bump for all Club runDisney runners. 

Example 1: Proof of time puts you in C but you are Club runDisney. Does this mean you get bumped to B or A? According to Club runDisney runners, this will get you put into Corral B.

Example 2: You don’t have proof of time, or your proof of time (POT) is slower than 2:30. You would get bumped up in corrals. You would also get put in Corral B.

club rundisney corral placement

For the 2024 Marathon, all eligible Club runDisney members were seeded in Corral B. 

Is this a good plan? Is this fair? Is this worth it?

Want to discuss this more? Join the No-Guilt Disney Facebook group.

Have More Questions?

Join the No-Guilt Disney FACEBOOK Group

Need More runDisney Tips?

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Robin

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

What are the Tier 1 year-round pricing for races?

Patty Holliday

Wednesday 8th of January 2020

Tier 1 pricing is the original pricing offered to runners. So AP, DVC and general public get Tier 1 until a certain date (I want to say 2-3 months after the race goes on sale). At that point, it goes up a Tier to the next level.

This could change, but that's how it has been in previous race weekends. Star Wars has been increased since the races opened to the public, for example.