The runDisney Princess Half marathon weekend will be here before you know it. Here’s your gut check: adjust the tiara and decide if the Princess half is really for you. Updated with 2023 runDisney Princess Half registration information.
So you think you’re a Princess.
It takes more than a tiara and a tutu to compete in the runDisney Princess Half marathon annual girl power race… and actually enjoy it.
If you think it’s all magical and crap, well, I’m here to pop that pixie-dusted bubble right now.
It kinda sucks in a lot of ways. Yep. Sucks.
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Do You REALLY Want to Run the Princess Half Marathon? Really?
Look, I’m just gonna be real. You want to know these things BEFORE you plop down (gasp) $229 for a half marathon.
Or $390 if you insist on going for all the bling (which, I totally understand!).
But Wait… WAIT… you go to the Princess Half weekend every year. And you say you like it. I’ve read your posts… I’ve seen you smiling on the courses… WTH girl?
Fair enough. I do run this race weekend every year and I do like it.
It’s not my favorite and never ever has been- though that first one wasn’t really the Princess Half’s fault; doing 13.1 miles at 6 months pregnant was all my grand idea.
#OhLucy loved it. #OhPatty did not.
It is one race I am having a hard time letting go of- if you remember my re-cap from 2014 I said I was pretty sure I was done with the PHM weekend.
But the truth is: Princess Half, I just can’t quit you.
I’ll get to the why on that in a minute.
I’m writing this post because Princesses are about to lose their ever-loving minds over the next week when registration opens…and beyond.
WARNING WARNING WARNING
If you are not a fan of listening to women (and the 11 men who run this race) moaning, groaning, fighting and whining over… d@mn, you name it, it happens… then you will want to stay off Social Media until approximately March 17, 2023.
That’s a good 3 weeks after the race and all the blog recaps have been posted and the highs and lows have started to sluff off a bit.
Why the runDisney Princess Half Weekend Sucks
Here are my reasons why you should NOT run the Princess Half weekend. In no particular order.
1. It’s Usually Hot. Stupidly, Miserably, Freakishly Hot. Africa Hot.
Except for that one year I didn’t run it. Ahem.
Then it was freeze your bootay off cold.
Really. Florida doesn’t play nice over Princess Weekend. It’s like the state hates women (insert your favorite political joke here.)
More on Disney World weather here.
It’s just not typically a comfortable time to run in Florida.
2. The Princess Half is THE RACE To Avoid If You Care About PRing
… and are not in the top 10% of most of your races!
If you are uber-crazy-speedy-legs fast- then you will not notice ANY of the following points and may skip ahead to the registration info.
This race probably won’t send you screaming from the many, many uteri that invade Walt Disney World.
If you are a mid-packer… please proceed with caution.
You may haaaaattttteeeeee this race and feel really crabby and totally un-princessey about it all when it’s said and done.
3. Groups Walking More Than Two Abreast
There’s a lot of this. A ton actually.
And it can be very frustrating if you are working your way at a faster pace.
Some of it is intentional, possibly due to unawareness.
But there are also the people who are Galloway-ing and end up slowing to a walk right next to another couple who are mid-walk. It gives the appearance of 4 across.
On some of the back roads, this takes up the whole dang course.
Just know: it happens. If this will make you cray cray, maybe you want to skip this race.
There’re two major sections of the race where this occurs: going into and out of the Magic Kingdom. It’s a tight fit.
Leads people to do dumb stuff like this:
4. Many First-Time Runners & Many Walkers at the Princess Half Marathon
Whoa- hold up. Don’t stone me.
I AM A FRIEND OF THE FIRST TIMER and WALKERS.
Totally. You are my people!
This is under the “it sucks” section as a warning to many of the traditional runners who find this to be a shocking experience.
Yes, we walk. Many of us choose this as our first half marathon.
Deal with it. Or don’t sign up.
Your choice, but for farks sake… quit moaning about us being on the course.
Or make sure you have a kick-@ss 10K time to put you WELL ahead of us- and DON’T stop for pictures.
5. Pictures And Characters on the runDisney Princess Half Course
Let’s talk about that.
Stopping for pictures is kinda the whole point of running Disney.
Have you seen my recaps? I LOVE the picture stops!
But if you stop, the lines WILL be long.
That WILL put your well-earned bad-@ss corral placement in jeopardy.
You WILL fall back with the slower and more congested corrals.
It seems to be a shock to people who started off in A-D that by the time they hit the Magic Kingdom they are swamped with other runners and walkers.
6. EDITED: Guys Won’t Start in Corral 1
Edited for 2018 and beyond: in 2018, men were actually seeded in starting group 1. So if you are running the Princess, guys, go ahead and submit that fast starting group 1 time. What follows is what the runDisney policy was for the first 10 years of the race.
You are going to start farther back than you normally should.
Deal with it. Or don’t sign up. (I think that’s the mantra to this post actually.)
This has been discussed for YEARS and Disney doesn’t care. They aren’t letting you start in A corral like you probably should be based on time.
It ain’t happening and if you want to know why it should be obvious: it’s a women’s focused event. They are letting the girls get the glory.
Please don’t whine; we get it. You don’t like it. But it’s not changing.
Except that it did… soo… move along! 😉
7. Corral Drama Llamas Come to Play at the Princess Half
There is great speculation and interest in the corral and start group assignments.
It’s fun to play guess the cutoff number & do the start line math based on your placement time. It’s an exciting time!
Until the actual assignments come out. #WhompWhomp
Then there are all these accusations about who cheated or who got screwed over or who is running under someone else’s bib blah blah blah blah.
It’s: well, it’s A LOT.
So if it sucks so badly, Shenanigans, why do you insist on running it every year?
Why the Princess Half Rocks
I said I couldn’t let this one go. Here’s why: it was my first half marathon.
It was the first time I wo-manned up and showed my Brave.
13.1 miles seemed impossible to me.
Twice as impossible when I discovered I was pregnant.
Impossible turned into I’m Possible. (Cliche, cliche… but true.)
That first year I just didn’t want to get swept.
The second year I felt accomplished, but still knew there was more out there for me.
The third year I met Julie and Amy. I fell in love with the FUN and let go of the fear.
Then I felt like I was home.
I finally found my happy pace at my happy place with my ‘Ohana.
And then again in 2016 with these fun friends:
These ladies mean the world to me.
I found them all through the Princess Half in one way or another and so… I keep going back.
As long as one or more of them are willing to play at Disney World that weekend and dress up in a ridiculous costume, I’m down for it.
How else can you have memories like this?
How to Register for the Princess Half Marathon
If you need tips on how to register for runDisney races, be sure to check this post out.
And ALL our runDisney posts can be found here.
Want an adult Disney makeover? It’s perfect for Princess Half weekend. Check out the Character Couture packages!
Bottom Line: Should You Register For the Princess Half Marathon Weekend?
Is there crap and drama along the way? Yep.
Is there magic and pixie dust? Yep.
I hope this helps you go into the Princess Half weekend with patience and pixie dust on your mind.
It’s a ton of fun… if you are willing to make like Elsa and Let some things Gooooo!
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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 noguiltlife.com and noguiltfangirl.com