Why do we runDisney? And who are these races for? We gott talk about it! This is the runDisney podcast episode covering these burning questions and more including Club runDisney (is it worth it?), registration options (you DO have options!) and special transportation concerns for the non-runner visiting during these races.
The runDisney Podcast Episode: Club runDisney, Registration, Transportation Discussion
We make no pretense of how much we love runDisney around here.
Except for maybe Theresa who likes it enough to support us crazy runners, but not so much to throw money at the whole thing.
But it’s not for everyone and we get that as well. This podcast episode, IS for everyone, however.
In this week’s episode we talk about how you can register early for the races, why you might want to (or not want to!) and touch on some of the peculiarities of traveling to Disney World as a non-runner during a race weekend.
Oh- and we totally talk about Club runDisney and share if we’re signing up or not.
Some helpful posts mentioned in the podcast:
- Let Me Help You runDisney – Run With No-Guilt Travel
- runDisney Race Calendar
- runDisney 101 Podcast
- Annual Passholder runDisney Registration Dates
Find the No-Guilt Disney Podcast Team
*transcripts to each episode will be posted within a few days on noguiltdisney.com and insightfulllife.com
by email at [email protected]
- The No-Guilt Fangirls Podcast
- Now Streaming Disney Plus Podcast
- @noguiltlife on all socials
- @gertiethedino on Twitter
- @in.sight.full.life on Instagram
- @realmousewifewdw on Instagram
- @realmousewifeFL on Twitter
Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Vivacity” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
The runDisney Podcast Episode: Club runDisney, Registration, Transportation Transcript
To all who come to our happy place, welcome to the No-Guilt Disney Podcast! Where we have no guilt about our love for all things Disney.
We’re Jane, Theresa, and Patty, three Disney fan girls who probably know more about Disney Parks than most grown women should – and we’re perfectly okay with that.
Absolutely. My name is Theresa and you can find me on Twitter at @GertieTheDino and on Instagram at @in.sight.full.life.
I’m Jane and you can find me on Facebook and Instagram at @RealMousewifeWDW.
Hey y’all, I’m Patty Holliday from NoGuiltDisney.com and No-Guilt Fangirls Podcast. You can find me on all socials at @NoGuiltLife. Look, we know you have a choice in your Disney podcasts and we are glad that you decided to listen to ours
And please go ahead and subscribe, so you don’t miss any of our episodes.
And if you’re listening on a platform that allows it, make sure you go ahead and leave a five-star review.
Alright, so guys, I should be packing things up right now to get on a plane to go to Walt Disney World for runDisney race, but I’m not. So we’re going to do the next best thing.
Is it gonna be talking about packing for runDisney race?
How did I know?
We’re going to talk a little bit about runDisney. How you can get to your first race, why you might want to, hey – why you might not want to. And at the very least, we’re going to talk about how you can avoid the races if you’re planning a trip and you have no interest in all of these shenanigans. So there’s a little something for everyone here, even if you’re not a runner.
And this is going to be another episode of me having #AllTheQuestions, because I am not a runner. I did the one runDisney race that wasn’t really about racing. So for people who really get into races, I just want to hear why you guys love these weekends so much and how you plan for it, or how people should be planning around it.
Well, then you definitely came to the right podcast. <laughter>
Yeah, if you aren’t familiar with runDisney, this is a race series that is put on at the Walt Disney World Resort. And it’s like nothing else you’ve ever seen.
It isn’t. There are 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, there’s a marathon distance one of the race weekends. So there is something for everybody to choose from, all times of the year.
And there’s kids races as well. There’s a variety of races if you’ve got little ones that you want to run. I personally think those are the worst things in the entire world to put your family through. So I don’t advocate for those. I have my reasons why, but it’s just a lot of chaos, guys. It’s a lot of chaos. But anyway, there is something for everyone.
Well, speaking of chaos – I’ve seen reference to challenges, where you do a number of races in a weekend, right?
Yeah, they’re called Dopey and Goofy, and then there’s some other challenges on different race weekends. And Jane over there is one of those Dopey people.
I am, it’s true. Two times.
Not just one time Dopey, she’s Dopey enough to do it twice.
Okay, so which is that? Which is Dopey?
That means that I was dumb enough to spend four days in a row getting out of bed super early to run races. So I ran the 5K, 10K, a half marathon, and a full marathon – which makes a full Dopey.
That sounds about right.
Right. It’s perfectly named.
It is, it is. And if you do the Goofy challenge, that’s if you’re Goofy enough, you will get up and you’ll do the half marathon on one day and the full marathon the next day, and earn that sweet, sweet, Goofy bling. Which, Goofy was the original challenge, right? After that, all the other race weekends were like, “Oh, well, we want some of that. We want to do that too.” And so next thing you know, Princess had a challenge next, and then eventually Wine and Dine had a challenge. And then when they started up with the Star Wars races, they had challenges. So there are challenges at all of these race weekends, if that is your thing.
And isn’t there one with the cruise line, too?
We’ve done that. Jane, and I actually went on a cruise after one of you Dopeys. Wasn’t it after your one of your Dopeys that we went on that cruise?
I actually only did…only, right? This is the only place where you can say “I only ran a half marathon that weekend,” but I choose to focus on the half marathon that weekend.
There you go. That’s the PC way of saying it. All right. Well, Princess Half Marathon is kicking off now. When this airs, people are going to be flying out to Disney World. They’re checking into their hotel rooms, they’re grabbing their Magic Bands, they’re heading to the parks. And for the first time since 2011, womp womp. I will not be there. I’m a little sad about this. I know it’s total First World Problems and all of that. But Mom-life called, and I can’t go. But here’s one of the big things you have to know about these certain Disney races. When you register, your bib is non-refundable, non-transferable. Basically, you eat the cost of that bib in most cases. And that’s one big negative about the runDisney scene that you have to know up front, because you also register almost a year in advance. So you’ve got to know that up front, too.
That’s crazy, because you usually come to all of these.
I do, I do. runDisney as you know – this sounds super cheesy, but this is why I like to talk about it so much – it has been the thread through my life since I discovered it for myself. I mean, obviously I didn’t discover runDisney. But since 2011, actually I guess it was 2010 when my friend first told me about this race, I have been low key obsessed with the whole runDisney culture. And that turned into a runDisney blog site. My Instagram pretty much is all runDisney or Disney focused. I became a travel agent and then eventually opened my own travel agency with the No-Guilt Travel Agency, and it’s all been driven by this love of runDisney. So yeah, it drives drives a lot of my Disney-ness. I mean, Jane, you and I are friends because of runDisney – how great it that?
It’s true, though. You know, there are sometimes when I look back, and I look back at runDisney, and how my life changed with runDisney. And there are days when I’m like, “I wish I didn’t know all the things, and all the ins and all the outs” – you know, it’s that double edged sword. It’s like, I want to know all the secrets, but I don’t want to know all the secrets. So some days I wish I knew less about runDisney, and I wish I wasn’t as involved in runDisney. But then I say, I have so many people in my life that came into my life because of runDisney. And you just don’t get that same kind of camaraderie running in other places.
I completely agree. And I can trace back to a lot of big moments in my life and a lot of people that came into my life – and some that have gone out of my life – but a lot of it was runDisney focused. And that is, again, something that I’ve never experienced with any other races out there. So it’s not a cult, it’s really not, but it is a culture and I think it’s something that if you allow yourself to embrace it, you can find some really great positives in the runDisney culture. Now, that being said, there are some dark, seedy sides to runDisney, and there’s some some things that we don’t love about it. What we’re going to freely talk about, because this is not a “runDisney is the best thing in the entire world” podcast. We will admit – it’s not. But there’s a lot of great stuff that comes with this product. Theresa, you did that one race, but when we were talking off the air about doing this podcast episode, you said that you still like to go down during the race weekends. Why is that?
I did the Expedition Everest 5K the last year that they had it because it overlapped with the 25th anniversary of Hollywood Studios, and I joke that it’s very generous about calling it a race because it’s part obstacle course and part scavenger hunt. So that’s right up my alley.
But I love going race weekends. Wine and Dine happens to fall around my birthday every year. So I go down to Walt Disney World that weekend because it’s almost like Disney is throwing me a massive birthday party that everyone’s flying in for. <laughter> But still along with that, I’ve been for Marathon Weekend as well, because one of my best friends Krissy, she runs a lot of marathons. She’s done a lot of the races in the past, so I went to go cheer her on. I was on the buses at 4 or 5am, then you go to Epcot and then you can take the monorail over to Magic Kingdom, and cheer the runners on as they’re running down Main Street with the lights still up on the castle from Christmas. It was great. I couldn’t see her in that part of the race, because it’s pretty early on and it’s really crowded, the first couple miles of the race. But so later on, I tracked where she was because you can track people, they’ll send you updates on your cell phone. I figured out when she was going to be running through Streets of America, to date how long ago this was. I was able to find her when she made it to the Streets of America, towards the end of the race, so that we actually got a chance to see each other. I’m not a runner, but I can appreciate how significant these races are to people, and doing these distances. So I really enjoyed getting to cheer her on for that.
Yeah, well, I’m impressed because Krissy’s fast. So for you to go from Main Street, and then haul your booty all the way to Hollywood Studios and find her there, it’s pretty impressive on your part.
I did not stop moving that day. It was not a marathon, but I was going. I was on my own mission.
It’s funny that you mentioned that, because I actually hung up my long distance running and I prefer now to cheer on the marathon weekend in particular. I love cheering on the marathons. And I don’t think people understand how much work it is. It’s definitely not the same work is doing 26.2 miles. I am not trying to say that at all. But you do, you move a lot. You have to navigate the crowds, you have to navigate the traffic.
And the transportation is different because of some of the road closures. I was with a group of people and we had to really figure out, how are we going to get to the other parks?
Yeah, it’s a whole thing. It’s a whole process. So, let’s start kind of from the beginning. I want to throw this out there, if anybody is looking for a runDisney 101 type podcast, something that’s going to explain all the ins and outs to runDisney: that is not this podcast. We’re just kind of talking about it in general terms here. However, I got you. If you go to the No-Guilt Fangirls Podcast, I will also include a link in show notes for you to get to it, there is a four part series, or intro plus a three part series, to runDisney 101 that I put together. And I think that’s a really great place to start with, and if you have any questions after that, obviously, come find me, let me know, happy to help out in any way shape or form I can. So! What questions do you have Theresa, specifically about runDisney? Since you’re kind of pretending to be the listener out there for us. And you’re playing the role of Interviewer. What do you got for us?
I know things here in there from, basically, what I witness on the internet, which is always so accurate. I know registration, and I don’t know if it’s still like this, but I remember for a couple years seeing races will sell out really quickly, like the day that they become available, and Twitter becoming really dramatic about it – imagine that. <laughter> So I guess walk through currently, what is the registration situation like?
The registration process has come down a bit from years past. But registration has a couple of different time periods. Recently they’ve been doing early registration for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club, so you get a short window right before general registration opens and you can potentially register ahead of everybody else, and that way you’re not trying to beat the masses to get registered. Registration opens to the general public at 10am on whatever day they choose. They will publish it on runDisney.com, you can find it on Patty’s blog at NoGuiltDisney.com. There will also be a million posts in every Facebook group under the sun about registration.
Patty, you had mentioned earlier – is it actually a year in advance? We’ve got the race weekend coming up, so is next year’s [registration] going to open shortly?
Almost. If you know the right person, hint hint. Yes, we can register you a year in advance. Like Jane was saying, there are multiple ways to register. The most popular, the way that probably 98% of the runDisney population registers, is through runDisney.com. They go to the website on the date and they register for the race. So for example, Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend, the race itself is not until November, but your registration opens on March 10. With with the Annual Pass, the DVC folks, being able to register the Thursday before; so a couple of days before in advance. Couple of things to note on those registrations: that early registration for the AP and the DVC folks, that can sometimes sell out very quickly, but don’t panic. It’s a very small amount of bibs that they pull for early registration for those folks. So if you’re an AP holder or DVC person and you get frozen out and you think, “Oh my gosh, that’s it, I’m never going to get in when general public is also trying to get it,” that’s not necessarily true. There’s a lot more available during the general public registration. However, if you want to avoid all of that nonsense, runDisney actually has been allowing travel agents to package a bib plus a two night stay on property. That’s it, all that’s required is a Disney Resort. We can’t do Shades of Green, we can’t do Swan and Dolphin, but all the regular Disney properties: Pop Century, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Animal Kingdom, French Quarter, all of those resorts. If you plan on staying at any of the one of the typical Walt Disney World resorts for two nights, we can go ahead and package your bib and a two night minimum stay and get you registered a year in advance. So for example, when Wine and Dine was happening this past November, I was registering runners while they were picking up their bibs at the Expo. I have a handful of runners who are committed to that race, and they were emailing me their credit card information and being like, “Yep, book me. I’m here, but I’m coming back next year.” They already know it, they were all in. If that sounds like something that you’re interested in, each race weekend that’s when the window opens up for a travel agency to be able to book your race bibs. And all you need to do is pay for the bib, and pay for a $200 deposit, and we can get you booked. The reminder is though, our bibs are all the same in the sense that there’s no deferrals and there’s no transfers. So when you pay that money, you’ve paid that money. But that’s exactly how its treated on runDisney.com. So if you look at it either way, that’s that’s how it works. So if you need a hotel room which, again, most people that are coming to these races are making a vacation or are making a trip out of it, and you have a travel agent that you love, or you’re looking for a travel agent to fall in love with…
We know a great one!
We do, we do. We definitely can can help you out there. And I will say this, if you are searching for a travel agent, try to find someone that is familiar with the runDisney product because it is a little weird. It’s got some specifics to it that you’re going to want to ask questions about. And particularly if you are a long time person who’s done Disney a whole lot before, and all of a sudden, you want to go ahead and try booking with the TA, it’s gonna blow your mind because it’s a little weird. And I’m just going to say that up front, but it works and it’s it’s seamless and I promise I’ve never stranded a runner. We’ve never had a problem. But it is it is weird. So when you are interviewing a travel agent, just make sure you find somebody who knows a little bit about the runDisney weekends and the product so that you can get the most benefit in the most help that you can from there. One other thing I will say about registration before we move on, is another reason you might want to book runDisney with a travel agent who has some runDisney experience is because our packages are going to save you a little bit of money. We don’t have to charge you the 6.6% registration fee that runDisney.com is going to charge you. Everyone likes to save money, right? It’s the same exact bib. We’re just getting you registered early, and we’re saving you money! Where’s the fail here? This is just win-win-win all around people. The other important thing to note is people always ask about discounts. If discounts come out later, can you apply this to my package? Yes, if your package is eligible for discount, we can apply that as long as it’s available. That’s also one of the things: I’m going to be the one sitting on the phone at six o’clock in the morning trying to get your package changed over; you don’t have to. So there’s another reason why you might want to use a travel agent. I just thought I’d throw that out there.
I always say if if you’re going to book the two nights anyway, there’s no reason not to use a travel agent.
I honestly don’t have a lot of negatives to give anybody for using a travel agent. Because I can do as much or as little for you as you want. If you are somebody who’s like, “but I like to play in all my trips.” Cool. Do it. I don’t have to do that.
That’s what’s worked for me. Thanks so much.
Honestly, I definitely do not have to control your trip at all in any way except for making payments or making changes, You do have to go through me to do that. But again, that’s the key to finding the best travel agent that you’re going to find out there is somebody who is responsive, who is paying attention, who can answer you quickly. All of those things are super important. If that’s important to you. If you’re low key and you’re not stressed about any of this, then you’re going to probably be able to work with pretty much any travel agent out there, right? But if you are somebody, and I hate to generalize, but sometimes runDisney folks, we get a little high key and stressed about things. I would just say make sure you find somebody that you feel is responsive to your needs before you give them your money. But I agree Jane, I can’t come up with any huge negatives not to if you were already booking a package anyway. You get in early, you don’t have to worry about this race selling out. Theresa, you mentioned that and Jane also touched on it. These races used to sell out super, stupid fast. It was crazy. Jane, do you remember that, how we would all be hovering with our finger on the button to hit go?
I used to block myself out on my calendar. And one of the years I actually had both of the assistants on my team registering other people. It was like everybody, all hands on deck, Tuesday at 12 o’clock we have some runDisney business to take care of.
That’s how it was. We’re talking 2013-2014ish timeframe. So it’s been a few years since it was like that, but for a while things sold out rather quickly. And it was pretty depressing and pretty soul crushing. Nowadays, runDisney changed their system completely and it’s for the better. They no longer go through a third party, doesn’t go through Active.com like it used to. And I think that helped. In addition, there’s this waiting room queue thing that you go into, you know how Disney likes their queues, right? So you sit in the queue for a little bit, you don’t get just get an error message anymore, or that you can’t get in. They let you know, you’re in line and there’s little runner person going across the screen. It’s kind of cute. Until you can register, that does happen and depending on the race, and depending on which race level you’re looking for, will also depend on how likely a sellout is going to affect you if you’re trying to go through runDisney.com. General rule of thumb right now is the shorter races, the 5Ks and the 10Ks, those tend to sell out quickly. The other races, usually got a couple of months on. Usually. Not always. Wine and Dine sold out really fast last year.
Wine and Dine seems to be pretty consistent on selling out quickly.
Yeah, it is still probably the fastest selling race weekend because it’s Theresa’s birthday.
Exactly, everybody wants to celebrate with me. I cannot blame you.
It also an incredible value compared to other other race weekends.
Why do you say it has a has a better value? Why would you say that, for the people at home who don’t know?
So with Wine and Dine race weekend, it’s the half marathon, and they do a challenge which is the 10K plus the half marathon. Those races are priced the same as if you did a half marathon onPrincess weekend or Star Wars weekend, and the challenge is the same as well. But with Wine and Dine, the runners get an after party at Epcot. That is after hours, it’s just for the runners. You can go and they keep the booths open in World Showcase, and you can go around and try the foods. Obviously, you have to pay for your own food, that is not included. But they also give you a $15 gift card that comes with your registration. So when you look at the fact that you’re getting a private after party, that is really never offered during Wine and Dine, like an after hours private party. So you get that special, unique private party, plus you’re getting the gift card. You don’t get that on any other race weekend. So as much as I will come out and say Wine and Dine is not my favorite weekend, it’s an incredible value when you look at all the other weekends that Disney has to offer. And now that I’ve said that Disney will take it away.
The only thing I will say is I think actually the races are tiny bit more expensive on Wine and Dine race weekend. But still, if you’re factoring in a ticket, essentially an after 4pm ticket into Epcot, you’re coming out way ahead. So yeah, I agree with you on that. The other thing to note for Wine and Dine, anybody who’s interested in this and has it on their calendar, it is happening in November. I believe it’s November 5-8 this year, and they have already kind of released a hint that it’s going to be Disney villains. If you know anything about Disney renders, we like our villains, we like them a whole lot. And I am predicting that this race weekend is going to sell very quickly. So you are definitely going to want to be a paying attention and trying to hop on immediately when this race goes on sale. If you want those details, I’ll put them in show notes because I do have the dates there for you. One other – I swear this is the last time I’m gonna like put myself in here. Okay, I gotta tell you guys, there’s this awesome little runDisney secret you guys need to know about. When a race sells out online, guess who still has bibs?
I missed my cue.
<laughs> I set that up for you. Thank you, Theresa. Travel agents still have an allotment of bibs that runDisney sets aside for us to sell as packages. Now eventually those do sell out. But to give you an example, last year, I want to say that the Wine and Dine race weekend runDisney.com bibs, all of those sold out within the first month of the race going on sale. And I was able to still book runners through the middle of October. I still had access to bibs all the way up until almost the end of when they finally cut us off and they said, “We can not sell you more bibs,” I could still get you bibs. So that’s something also to keep in mind. If you want to do it your own way and you’re in you’re more comfortable with that, I totally get that. However, if this is just something you don’t want to miss, and you’re thinking, “It’s sold out. I’m out of luck.” Not necessarily; find your favorite travel agent. Find your favorite travel agency, NoGuiltTravel.com, and hit us up because we can probably get you set up. Okay, so that’s my last thing I’m going to say about that because Wine and Dine, I will be anxiously watching it to see how quickly this sells out. I just have this feeling that with the villains, plus it being Wine and Dine, it’s just set up for a sellout In my opinion,
I hope not.
You hope not. Why not?
Because the less people that register than the less crowded things are.
Things don’t work that way. <laughs>
I was going to make this point. For anybody else who is like me, meaning that Wine and Dine weekend, I know I’m going to be there but not doing the race, even if you’re not a runner, you should still be aware of when the race schedules are happening. Because number one, if you are trying to book hotels, you might find less availability at some of them because people are planning these trips so far in advance. But it’s also worth knowing because it does have an impact on the crowd levels and the transportation during race times.
It does impact if you are a non-runner on a race weekend. But on the flip side, the best part about being a non-runner on a race weekend is that runners go to bed at like six o’clock.
And sometimes they miss Elton John. <laughter>
Right, right, sometimes they do.
For those of you who don’t know, go back to our last Memorable Moments. But yeah, runners go to bed really early. We have to eat, these races start stupid early, although I’d like them earlier. And for that, if you are a non runner, it’s great. You go to Magic Kingdom. No one’s there.
That’s actually a really good point; it’s going to feel crowded during the day and as soon as the races are over, it’s going to be crazy. But that’s a really good point, if you can hold out past dinnertime and plan your trips then, you’re gonna you’re gonna find a beautiful, beautiful, half-empty park, because we’re all in bed. That’s where we should be.
For the mornings, what I would always do is that’d be my opportunity to enjoy the hotel one of the days. The year that Krissy and I, forget which race I was there for, but we did resort hopping. So each night we were staying in a different resort. I got to experience Wilderness Lodge, and she and her sister were running to do stuff for the race and I’m like, “I’m just gonna hang out here a little bit.” I think we were in the Polynesian one night, and same thing. So I got to spend that time…I made dining reservations for the morning for the hotels. I got to enjoy the pools a little bit. So if you are there on a race weekend and it seems like the park may be crowded earlier in the day, or middle of the day, just enjoy your resort a little bit. Every resort has something special there. And if you’re not going to have fun in the crowds or waiting in lines, because you should not be waiting in lines, right Jane?
Nope. Stay Disney and don’t do stand by.
Look at it as an opportunity to do something outside of a park that you wouldn’t typically do.
Yeah, that’s definitely a good point for someone who’s not a runner. I actually wouldn’t tell people to avoid it, I would just tell them to be aware that these events are happening and it’s going to impact your transportation, particularly early in the mornings. And then it’s also going to be something that you want to like I said, just be aware and I don’t know if you can be cognizant and remember that some of us are going to bed early. So when you’re walking past hallways or a hotel rooms at 10 o’clock at night with your kids, if you can just keep them a little quieter, that’s always appreciated. But when are these races scheduled? Jane, do you have the calendar?
Coming up in April is the Star Wars Rival Run weekend that goes from April 16-19th. Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend is November 5-8th. And then Marathon weekend is January 6-10th of 2021. Of course, I didn’t mention Princess which is this coming weekend. And it will roughly fall around the same weekend next year.
Yeah, it’s usually the weekend after Presidents Day. So Presidents Day is on Monday, the following weekend is when Princess typically happens. So question who do you think runDisney is for, Jane? Who can run runDisney?
So really, runDisney is for everyone. It’s for all levels. As you said before Patty, kids can come. They do a diaper dash where little kids crawl on the ground their diapers, which is cute if you like small people. <laughter>
There’s the quote of the episode.
Or if you have a small person in a diaper, I can see how that would be entertaining for you. But it is for all ages and it is for all levels. I have seen beginners, I have seen women and men in their 60s and 70s doing their first races ever. They’ll do 5K’s or 10K’s. Walkers can do it, as long as you can maintain the speed, walkers can participate. These races are for literally everyone. The marathon itself is a Boston Marathon qualifying course. So even this fastest of the fast people can run at these races. You can challenge yourself as much or as little as you want to, because everyone’s going to go that same distance anyway. So really, it’s for everybody. Everybody who’s willing to put the time in training and try: come on down.
Yeah, I agree. I know I wouldn’t have stuck with running as long as I did if it wasn’t for runDisney. I definitely would have never gone past a 10K if it wasn’t for runDisney. I am somebody who needs distraction and entertainment on the course, which is why I love reading through theme parks. I love seeing the characters I love knowing that if I just read this half mile, I’ll get to the next character. Sometimes that’s what it takes is, “push yourself for half a mile and you’ll get to stand in line to see Dopey!” I will run for characters. Plus, there’s something very cool about being in the parks before they are open to the general public and experiencing that atmosphere. You don’t get that in any other way, shape or form, unless you are running through it. And I get goosebumps every time I think about the corner that you turn in on the half marathon as you get to Main Street, or in in the marathon when you turn it into and you’re running down Main Street. It’s packed with friends and family and Cast Members and people losing their minds for you as you are running down Main Street. And it’s the coolest thing ever. It’s so cool. So yeah, I definitely agree that it’s for all ages, shapes, sizes. I don’t think that there is a specific person that runDisney has in mind. They have these races for everybody. Now who is it not for though? Who would you say would hate these races? Because I have people in mind that I think that I would not suggest they do a runDisney race.
Well, I’m going to say that you go ahead and say who you’re talking about, because no matter how I say this, it’s going to come out in a way that’s going to need to be edited. <laughter>
Well, I’m not sure I’m gonna do it that much better. But what I would say to this is if you are somebody who cannot stand a crowded course: these courses are crowded. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the front, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the back. Definitely if you’re in the middle, there will be moments where you can’t run, you can’t do what you are used to doing because of the nature of the runDisney beast that it is. That is one of those negatives that you can look at it as that they’re huge races. They are huge races and that’s a lot of people trying to get to the same place, and not always at the same pace, right? And so there can be a lot of frustration. So that’s my person that I have in mind, who is somebody who is strictly focused on racing for time and they can’t be patient or they can’t accept that may or may not happen in a runDisney race. I think it can happen. I know for a fact people that BQ’d at Walt Disney World marathon. I know people that have PR’d left and right at these races. So I’m not saying that can’t happen or you can’t be that kind of runner. But I am saying the majority of us are going to have a lot of frustration on the course because there’s so many people. So that’s what I would say, if you think you want to do this, make sure you go in knowing the full scope of what to expect. Maybe join a Facebook group or two and see what’s out there. People will shoot you with the real talk as to what it is and what it isn’t, and you know, make your decision on if this is something you would actually enjoy. Because that’s the thing, I want it to be something that you would enjoy. Why would you pay all this money and come out and do this and then hate every second of it, right? So that’s who I think this is not for.
Also people who don’t like fun. <laughter>
Also those people. Look, we don’t make the rules, but that’s one of the rules, okay? When you don’t like fun, you’re not gonna like this race. Save your money, definitely sign up for something else, because this is not for you. This is not for you.
And the whole reason it’s not for me is just – the running in the parks, that part is great. Seeing the characters, that part’s great. Training at home is not.
Training is hard.
Yeah, I fixed that.
Oh, you fixed that, because now you train at Disney? Yeah, Jane’s training route is the Boardwalk. So she gets to go and run at Disney all the time because she lives two seconds from there. Anywho, for those of us for those of us that don’t do that, the training is the hard part. I agree, Theresa. That’s what I struggle with. That’s why I also am “retired” from longer distances, because I didn’t have the drive or the interest of putting in the training that is needed to to respect those miles and to do this miles properly. So that’s where I am. Why runDisney, Jane? What is it about these races that keep us coming back? We’ve already talked about how terrible they are. I mean, they’re so crowded and the weather is awful half the time too, by the way, because it’s Florida. FYI. You think you’re going to run in January, and it’s going to be amazing – and it might. But I’ve cheered at a Marathon weekend where – do you remember when I had to borrow the jacket from you, because I didn’t have one?
I do, because that was one of my Dopeys.
I had to borrow a jacket and scarf and hat. Why does Jane have those items? She lives in Florida? Well, she used to live in New York and so I was like, “Do you happen to have anything left over from your New York days to keep you warm?” And she was like, “Yes, I got you.” But I have cheered in 29 degree weather right? It’s it’s been freezing out there. And then this year, I was in a tank top and flip flops because it was 80 something degrees on that marathon weekend. So again, Florida, kind of can be a jerk when it comes to weather and you also don’t know until the day before what’s going to happen. Because Florida. So yeah, why do we keep doing this? Why do we like it so much? What is it
Because it’s Disney.
It is, but I think for me, it’s Disney. It’s also the people. I mean, I didn’t meet Theresa through runDisney however, I met Theresa in a roundabout way through Twitter, through Twitter parties that used to happen. And through Krissy, who you’ve mentioned a couple of times, who was somebody that I did meet very early on in my runDisney obsession career, and then obviously, there’s Jane, there’s just so many of my friends that I can trace back, and people that have meant so much to me and have supported me over the years in a variety of different ways. And there’s people, big or small, sometimes it’s just fun to follow their lives on Facebook or on Instagram. And even that, there’s a connection, right? I think that’s why runDisney for me, I keep coming back to: it’s the Disney community. And just like you said, your answer is right. It’s because it’s Disney. Well, yes, it’s the Disney community though; I feel like there’s community with runDisney.
I’ve run in other cities and doing races in those other cities. I like it because you get to see the cities by foot. And sometimes you get to see neighborhoods or areas that you otherwise wouldn’t have had on your sightseeing list. But when you come to Disney, not only do you get to see backstage areas that you otherwise wouldn’t get to see. You’re running through your happy place. So for me, it’s just coming down here, it puts two things I love, puts them together. I get to see cool parts of the park I don’t get to see. And really that camaraderie. Everyone comes to runDisney, and once you start running over and over, you make friends on course, and everyone comes back to these races over and over and over again. I will tell you, I love one of the races in Nashville. But trying to get everybody to sign up every year to go to Nashville is like “oh, well there’s other cities I could do other things.” You don’t get that with Disney. You’re like, “Hey, you want to come runDisney?” And it’s like, “okay, which weekend?”
That’s actually a very good point.
Well now we’re all going to go for Theresa’s birthday. <laughter> Well, that’s the basics as to what we like about it, what the problems are with it. How you can get registered for runDisney. Just kind of the whole general runDisney rundown, if you will. <laughs> And Theresa, any other questions? Anything else that is like, you know, scorchingly important that you need answered in this podcast?
Speaking of scorching. I know there were some very strong reactions to something that Disney announced recently. I think it’s club runDisney?
Speaking of the internet being dramatic.
I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Like, this is me being a non-runner and not being in these running communities. And if I even know about this, then there is a lot going on here.
Yeah, yeah. So to talk about this, by the way, this club runDisney goes on sale tomorrow, we’re recording this on a Monday, you’re gonna be listening to it probably on a Wednesday or Thursday. And it’s going to go on sale between the time of us talking about it, and the time of it actually happening. So first of all, Jane, what is club runDisney?
Club runDisney is an add-on club that a runner can join. There’s several different levels. And what Disney has done is they’ve decided to offer some swag. I think you get a jacket, right? You get a jacket and a magnet. And they’re going to do a special virtual race. Which, for those of you who don’t know what a virtual race is, you get to run in your own neighborhood but earn a super cool Disney medal. So they have different levels in this club membership. And you get early registration in some of them and the very, very top tier level offers you…I know one of them is preferred corral placement.
Which everyone is so excited about!
That is the most drama inducing, pearl clutching issue out of all of this. So yes, there are three different levels for club runDisney There is silver, there’s gold, and there’s platinum. So in the silver level, you get those things that Jane mentioned originally, the 10K, the jacket, the magnet and you get a membership card. Okay?
Oh, there’s a card? Now I’m sold
Sign me up. Right now. At least I get a magnet that they send me as a passholder.
Right? You can’t get a Passholder magner, but you can get one from club runDisney, if you sign up Theresa! Oh, and they also are going to give everybody a little designation on your bibs. So your bib will be special to so you’ll stand out on the course that you’re a club runDisney member. And then the gold level is the next level up, and this big thing that they’re dangling out there is that you get a guaranteed opportunity to purchase one spot in the half marathon or greater distance each race weekend through an early registration process. I think for some people, that’s actually not a bad thing. And I’ll explain why in just a minute. I think that literally could be worth it. And then the final membership level is the Platinum membership. And so you get all of those things, you do get that extra availability of being able to book the one race, whatever. You also get an Expo experience: there’s going to be a special Club runDisney lounge, packet pickup is going to be special for you there. And then early access to runDisney merchandise. It does look like they are adding that as well. Looks like there may also be…it says “entertainment offerings.” I’m guessing a special meet and greet that you can take a picture with a character. And the biggie in this Platinum level is that there’s an upgraded corral placement. That is literally the only wording on there, is “upgraded corral placement.” They have not explained what that means. I do not think runDisney is going to take somebody who should be in the very last corral and bump them all the way up to the front corral, because they are a platinum member. I don’t think that’s what the intention is. But I also don’t want to speculate on what is actually going to happen, because they haven’t told us yet. Right? There’s no details on that. That’s what’s going on sale tomorrow. And by the time this airs, we may discover that it sold out immediately, that everybody who said “No way I’m going to spend my money on that” they all were liars, and they all bought it, and it’s sold out on all levels. Hey, it could happen.
I kind of hope that happens.
Let me just tell you: tomorrow is gonna be a good day to be on Facebook. Okay. To be on the internet. Because I do think people are going to be curious enough for this first year that I think there’s folks out there that are going to see some benefit, and they’re gonna put some money down and they’re going to buy into it. I think that what you get your biggest bang for your buck for is going to be the gold membership. And here’s why. If you are somebody who say lives locally, or is a DVC member, so you don’t need to pay for a hotel room through me, right? You can’t get early bib registration because you don’t want to pay for two nights hotel stay. Club runDisney gives you a couple of nice little swag items, but it also gives you the availability to book your bib without stress, without worry, and without concern about a sellout. Again, as we’ve already discussed, that’s really not happening quickly right now, so I don’t know how much of that is the need. However, I can tell you as somebody who books, clients and talks to people who are concerned about that, that is a concern for some people. And I have a couple of DVC members who will book with me, for those two nights stay just to be able to lock their bid in early because they don’t want to worry about general registration. So they go ahead and they pay for the two night stay. Well, doing the math, paying the $478 once versus paying that every race weekend for hotel rooms makes sense to them. So I could see in very limited situations where doing math, it actually you come out ahead by becoming a gold member. I’m not seeing it from a platinum membership level. I think the things that are being offered are kind of nice, but who hangs out at the Expo enough to want to be in a club lounge to get benefit out of that?
I mean, not me. I don’t even want to go to the Expo.
Yeah, I don’t know. I am curious. Like I said, I’m curious to see how this all plays out. And how well attended that club lounge actually is, because I feel like if they were offering like a race retreat, you know, a runner square as part of your package for every race, I could see runners taking advantage more of that than I see them hanging out at the Expo. And then upgraded corral placement, that’s a whole other thing that that could be….who knows. Who knows? I will say I’m sure runDisney is paying attention to all those discussions because they do that. And I’m sure they’re very much aware on how runners feel about paying for an upgraded corral placement. Spoiler alert, they don’t think it’s fair and they don’t think it’s right. And they’re pretty mad about it. But we’ll have to see when the details come out what exactly that ends up looking like. I’ll be curious.
It will be interesting.
Jane, are you going to sign it for Club runDisney?
Yeah, me neither.
I’m just gonna watch it all from the sidelines.
Same, same. There’s nothing even in the lowest membership, nothing that I feel I need to pay for it. It wasn’t something that I was even remotely tempted by. Alright, so we’re gonna wrap this one up. And I’m going to go get on the treadmill since I can’t run the 5K on Friday like I wanted to, I might as well go and get that done now, because somehow, some way will make me feel part of the running community. I know everybody cry for me. First world problems, first world problems. Anyway, yeah, that’s what we got about runDisney. If you have any questions, if you have any concerns, if you have any needs. If you are interested, obviously, in more learning more about the runDisney product, there’s an entire blog, NoGuiltDisney.com – that’s what it’s there for. That’s primarily what it’s about, is runDisney stuff. So definitely go take a look there. If you are looking for anything specific that you need questions answered to, reach out to me. You can find me anywhere on the internet, also through the blog, and I am happy to try to help you out answer those questions. And of course, if you’re looking to book a race weekend, or you want to know when to book outside of the races and you want help doing that, I am your girl. So let me know and you can send me an email at [email protected]
And join us each week on the No-Guilt Disney Podcast, because as Patty likes to say:
It’s no fun to fangirl Disney alone.
Patty Holliday has been running Disney since 2011. She knows just about every tip, trick, and hack there is to cover the runDisney Magical Miles at Disney World and Disneyland. She knows every mile isn’t *always* magical- but with training, tips, and a little bit of pixie dust, they can be a lot of fun! You can also find her at noguilttravel.com and noguiltfangirl.com