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.
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’re going to talk about 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 this program started on February 18, 2020.
Please note: we do not have a sale date for Club runDisney membership for 2023 just year. In 2022, it went on sale on May 3, 2022.
Visit the runDisney.com website at 10 am to purchase your registration to the club.
How Long is the Club runDisney Membership?
Club runDisney will be 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 2023; you will NOT have early registration for the remaining 2023-2024 race season.
That perk will be available for you during your membership in the spring of 2024 for the following race season.
I Want To Run Princess 2024. 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 2023.
You are not a member until Oct 1, 2023.
You are not eligible for any perks until that time.
Registration for Princess ’24 & Springtime ’24 is NOT going to be covered under early registration for anyone who signs up for Club runDisney in 2023.
Because they are not officially members until October 2023.
The effective date of your new club membership is Oct 1, 2023.
Any race that goes on sale between Oct 1, 2023, and Sept 30, 2024, you WILL get early registration.
You should only sign up for the Club runDisney package IF you plan on running the 2024 Wine and Dine or Marathon, Princess or Springtime Surprise in 2025.
What Membership Levels Will Club runDisney Offer and Which Ones Get Better runDisney Corral Placement?
There are three memberships levels:
1. SILVER Club runDisney Membership Price $265.43
Please note: there are a limited number of Club runDisney Silver Memberships available
- Member Welcome Package*
- Member Jacket, Club runDisney Magnet, Membership Card
- Tier 1 Pricing Year-Round for available runDisney Races**
- Exclusive 2020 Club runDisney Virtual 10K – October 2020*
- Club runDisney designation on race bibs**
2. GOLD Club runDisney Membership Price $531.93
Please note: there are a limited number of Club runDisney Gold Memberships available
- Silver Benefits Plus…
- A guaranteed opportunity to purchase one registration in each race weekend through early registration***
- Club runDisney Expo Experience including: Early access to runDisney Merchandise Shop
3. PLATINUM Club runDisney Membership Price $851.73
Please note: there are a limited number of Club runDisney Platinum Memberships available
- Gold Benefits Plus…
- A guaranteed opportunity to purchase two race registrations in each race weekend through early registration***
- Club runDisney Expo Experience including:
- Club runClub runDisney Headquarters with convenient Packet Pick-Up
- Early access to runDisney Merchandise Shop
- Upgraded runDisney corral placement
Want more Club runDisney FAQs? Check out LolaLambchops for details.
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, 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.
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 $800 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?
Well, we won’t.
And we think many long-time runDisney participants might not be interested in this as well.
We don’t hate this idea, we just don’t feel compelled to shell out any more dollars to runDisney than we already do.
Look, we love runDisney, but we don’t need a special jacket or bib to show our love.
We also don’t care much about race merchandise so we don’t need early access to that.
We’ve been there and done that enough that we know the value of a race weekend for us is the relationships we’ve fostered from the community and the on-course experience we get.
Give us more characters on the course! That’s what we get excited about.
Plus: we have an entire website devoted to our love of the brand, so really, we think we’re good.
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.
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 placements. Or 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 2:00 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 free.
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.
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? Not the way I’m reading it. It sounds like you’ll stay in your assigned corral. If getting a better corral was a reason for you to pay the Platinum price: you’re welcome I just saved you some coin. You don’t need it.
Example 2: You don’t have proof of time, or your proof of time (POT) is slower than 2:00. You would get bumped up in corrals. The details are not specific, but the speculation is that you’d be bumped to the corral that is typically the cut-off for proof of time. That’s generally F corral. So a non-POT runner would benefit from 1 or 2 corral bumps.
For the 2022 Marathon, eligible Club runDisney members were seeded in Starting Group 2.
Is this a good plan? Is this fair? Is this worth it?
Want to discuss this more? Join the No-Guilt Disney Facebook group.
Need More runDisney Tips?
- 2023 Princess Half Marathon Weekend Course Maps, Event Guide, Waivers and Corrals
- runDisney At Disneyland: Everything You Need To Know Before 2024
- Tips For Race: runDisney Advice For Newcomers
- Best runDisney Restaurants To Fuel Up Before Races!
- runDisney Gift Guide For Your Disney Obsessed Runner
- runDisney: The Ultimate Guide to Magical Miles
- The Beginner’s Guide to runDisney: Tips For 2023-2024