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Do You Really Want to Run the runDisney Princess Half Marathon? Really?

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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.

princess 10K step sisters running costumes
Looking forward to the Princess Half weekend? Read this post first.

So you think you’re a Princess.

Let’s chat.

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.

rundisney princess half marathon runners

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.

rundisney princess half marathon finish line with mickey and minnie mouse
Never been so happy to be D-O-N-E!

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.


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.

Walt Disney World hurricane policy: what you need to know if your travel and family vacation is in the way of a category 5 storm.

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.

princess half marathon runDisney balloon ladies selfie
Sarah was a Dead Last Start runner in 2018 at Princess Half Marathon. This means she lined up with the Balloon Ladies on purpose to prove that you can run from the back!

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.

Princess Half Marathon runners and course congestion

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.


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.

minie and mickey line at the Princess Half Marathon
Yep.  That’s what happens when you hang with Captain Jack or chit-chat with Cruella.  You play, you pay!  Are the pictures worth it?  I say YES, clearly!  But YOU may want to reassess this.

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.

princess half marathon runners dressed in costume

And then again in 2016 with these fun friends:

Running the Princess Half Marathon- do it with 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?

Princess 10K rundisney costumes and characters
On-course shenanigans with the Princess 10K Move It Shake It crew.
Disney World Move It Shake It Dance and Play It Street Party costumes
After the race we took our costumes to the Move It Shake It Dance and Play It Street Party on Main Street. It was an absolute BLAST!

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!

10 Essential Tips For the Princess Half Weekend

Know before you go: these 10 Essential Tips For the Princess Half Marathon will ensure the first time runDisney participant has the knowledge they need to have a royally good time at the races. Running at Disney World is a very different experience- magical and all that; as long as you know what you're in for!

More Posts You’ll Love

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Medals

Princess Half Charity List

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runDisney Princess Half Marathon: Everything You Need To Know

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Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

Thursday 2nd of August 2018

I enjoyed running the Disney Princess 10K with my sister, who also ran the 5K. It's just a really cool experience worth trying at least once!


Thursday 2nd of August 2018

Oh my gosh- yes! The early wake ups are killer. I've dialed my race weekends back to one or two wake ups. And naps. lol

Becky @ Disney in your Day

Wednesday 1st of August 2018

I do love Princess (it was my first half marathon too!) but I agree with your points. Sooo much corral drama. And I always tell people who haven't run a Disney race before that it's not going to be the best vacation - you have to wake up at 2:30-3 in the morning, which means no late nights the night before and you'll probably need a nap the next day... and if you're doing 2 or even 3 of the races that weekend you cut into your vacation time quite a lot!

Becky Ginther

Sunday 19th of June 2016

I just can't quit it either. I told myself I wasn't going to sign up again this year because I'm doing the full in January - and running aside, I really shouldn't financially go to Disney a month later. But i probably will because it was my first half as well and I just love it. Plus I love they change the theme to match a different princess every year. And I'm sure the one year I don't do it will be the year they choose Beauty and the Beast.


Sunday 19th of June 2016

You are so me! Lol


Tuesday 14th of June 2016

Thank you so much for your tips and hints.

This will be my first disney event (2017), if I'm fortunate enough to get in. I am just excited about the prospect of running it and will deal with all the 'issues'.


Tuesday 14th of June 2016

That's the spirit! I hope you have an amazing time.