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runDisney Spectator Guide: How To Cheer At Disney World Race Weekends

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Once upon a time, in a Walt Disney World far far away in 2019, runDisney cheer sections were epic! Along the courses, runners could expect to see friendly faces with snacks, drinks, and awesome race signs to keep them going. As with many things in the post-2020 world, the rules and expectations have changed. If you are cheering on a runner at an upcoming event, here is your runDisney spectator guide so you’ll know how to cheer at Disney World races.

rundisney spectator guide cheering at disney world

runDisney Spectator Guide: How To Cheer At Disney World Race Weekends

As we all know, the world has changed- and that includes how runDisney allows spectators to cheer a race.

Here is your spectator guide for runDisney events so you know how to cheer safely at a Walt Disney World race weekend.

Best Locations For Cheering runDisney Events

The ChEAR packages did not come out for the 2022-2023 race weekends at the time of this writing.

That may mean they are a thing of yesteryear, or they may simply still be in the evaluation phase.

So you can’t count on those premium locations being available for your cheering needs.

Here are the official suggestions from runDisney for your cheer squad.

rundisney race spectator with sign

Wine and Dine Spectator Cheer Locations: runDisney spectator guide

We’ll update for each race as we know more, but this is the official scoop from runDisney.

There will not be any spectators allowed on highways or overpasses at this time.

If a park is open, you will be able to see your runner along the routes inside the park. But if it is still closed at the time they run through, that will not be an option.

Where to Cheer the 5K Wine and Dine Runners

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot
Finish – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:15 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot
finish line rundisney 5K is a great place to cheer and spectate a runDisney event
The Finish Line is a great place to spectate ALL runDisney races.

Where to Cheer the 10K Wine and Dine Runners

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:00 a.m. – 6:10 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot
Finish – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:25 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot

We cheered at the finish line for this race in 2021.

How we got there:

  • Took an Uber to Epcot.
  • Was dropped off in the Epcot parking lot at the standard Uber/Lyft drop-off.
  • Walked over to the edge of the race course and stationed ourselves on the railing.

You can also take the race bus to Epcot.

One note: since Marathon Weekend 2022 there has been a different security setup, so you will need to go through Epcot security to get to the same location we ended up at in the future.

complete stragner rundisney 10K wine and dine 2021
This was taken before you got to the spectator’s stadium seating. We stood on the edge of the finish line chute with plenty of room to see and cheer the runners on!

Where to Cheer the Half Marathon Wine and Dine Runners

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:00 a.m. – 6:20 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot
Finish – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:55 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot

If you check out the runDisney race maps for the Wine and Dine, you’ll see that the half and 10K both go through the Boardwalk resort area.

boardwalk runners

If you are staying at these resorts, you should be able to walk out to the racecourse and cheer your runners on.

If you are NOT staying at these resorts, it is unclear how likely you will be able to take an uber or drive and park in the lot in order to cheer.

Be prepared to be turned away as parking lot security has tightened a bit over the past 2 years.

Marathon Weekend Cheer Spots

2023 5K Spectator Locations

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot
Finish – Epcot Imagine Parking Lot5:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot

2023 10K Spectator Locations

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot
Finish –Epcot Imagine Parking Lot5:30 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Imagine Parking Lot
Spectators at the start line of the 5K and 10K will have stadium seating. You can also line up along the course in the parking lot where runners loop around after going through the start line.

2023 Half Marathon Spectator Locations: runDisney spectator guide

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start – Epcot Center Drive5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.Accessible ONLY by foot from Epcot Parking Lot
Mile 3.6 – Ticket & Transportation Center5:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.Take monorail from Epcot to Ticket & Transportation Center
Mile 4.4 – Disney’s Contemporary Resort5:15 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.Accessible to guests staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Mile 4.8 – Magic Kingdom Park- Main Street, U.S.A. Area5:15 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.Take monorail from Epcot to Ticket & Transportation Center, exit monorail and walk down ramp, follow overhead signs and take the monorail to Magic Kingdom Park. *Theme park admission ticket not necessary before 8 a.m.*
Mile 6.7 – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa5:15 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.Accessible to guests staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Mile 7.1- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort5:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.Accessible to guests staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Finish – Epcot Imagine Parking Lot5:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Imagine Parking Lot

We spectated at the TTC and the Epcot Bus station locations.

Taking the Monorail from Epcot was quick and easy transportation for spectators that allowed us to bypass any road closures.

In our case, we:

  • Took the race bus from the resort hotel to Epcot.
  • Went through race security at the Epcot entrance.
  • Boarded Monorail.
  • Changed Monorails at the TTC. Took the Magic Kingdom monorail.
  • Entered Magic Kingdom. Decided there wasn’t enough room for us on Main Street since our signs were HUGE and reversed back to TTC.
  • Found a spot at TTC to cheer! This was an excellent place to see our runners go by.
disney world marathon spectators
Cheering at the TTC was easy for the half and full marathons. The same location should work for Princess Half Marathon cheering as well!

2023 Full Marathon Spectator Locations

Walt Disney World® Marathon ONLY

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start/ Mile 4.5 – Epcot Center Drive5:00 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.Accessible ONLY by foot from Epcot Parking Lot
Mile 9.0 – Ticket & Transportation Center5:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.Take monorail from Epcot to Ticket & Transportation Center
Mile 9.8 – Disney’s Contemporary Resort5:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.Accessible to guests staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Mile 10.3 – Magic Kingdom Park- Main Street, U.S.A. Area5:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.Take monorail from Epcot to Ticket & Transportation Center, exit monorail and walk down ramp, follow overhead signs and take the monorail to Magic Kingdom Park. *Theme park admission ticket not necessary before 7:30 a.m.*
Mile 12.0 – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa5:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.Accessible to guests staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Mile 12.5- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort5:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.Accessible to guests staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Mile 16.5 – 17 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.In park viewing is accessible to guests who purchase theme park tickets that are valid on race day
Mile 23.1 – 23.3 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.In park viewing is accessible to guests who purchase theme park tickets that are valid on race day. Guests must take WDW Transportation (buses or FriendShip Boats).
Mile 24 – 24.4 – Disney’s Boardwalk6:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Accessible via Disney’s Boardwalk
Mile 24.6 – 25.3 Epcot10:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.In park viewing is accessible to guests who purchase theme park tickets that are valid on race day
Finish – Epcot Imagine Parking Lot5:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.Accessible via Epcot Imagine Parking Lot
If you want to cheer on Main Street, arrive early! Take the runDisney race bus to Epcot and then the monorail to Magic Kingdom. But you really need to be on one of the first buses to get a great spot for cheering along Main Street as this fills up quickly!

Princess Half Marathon Weekend Cheer Spots

The Princess Half Marathon traditionally follows the same routes as the 5K, 10K, and half marathon of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weeknd.

While it’s too soon to know the official route and cheer locations just yet, it’s a safe bet that you can look to the Marathon Weekend spots above for guidance.

We’ll update the runDisney Spectator Guide when we have more information for 2023.

half princess half marathon course map 2022
2022 Princess Half Marathon Race Course Map

2022 Princess 5K Spectator Locations

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot
Finish – Epcot Imagine Parking Lot5:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot

2022 Princess 10K Spectator Locations

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start – Epcot Explore Parking Lot5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Explore Parking Lot
Finish –Epcot Imagine Parking Lot5:30 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Imagine Parking Lot

2022 Princess Half Marathon Spectator Locations: runDisney Spectator Guide

Please note: the parking lot for Epcot was used for racer staging in 2022. This may change for 2023. We will update you when the maps and event guide come out.

For 2022:

All spectators for the Half Marathon will be directed to Hollywood Studios for parking and will be bussed over to Epcot.

It also appears that the roads may close earlier to accommodate the new start line.

Please plan accordingly if you wish to see the start of the Princess Half from Epcot by arriving to Hollywood Studios early!

LOCATIONTIMEDETAILS
Start – Epcot Explore Lot5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.Accessible ONLY by foot from Epcot Parking Lot
Mile 3.6 – Ticket & Transportation Center5:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.Take monorail from Epcot to Ticket & Transportation Center
Mile 4.4 – Disney’s Contemporary Resort5:15 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.Accessible to guests staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Mile 4.8 – Magic Kingdom Park- Main Street, U.S.A. Area5:15 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.Take monorail from Epcot to Ticket & Transportation Center, exit monorail and walk down ramp, follow overhead signs and take the monorail to Magic Kingdom Park. *Theme park admission ticket not necessary before 7:30 a.m.*
Mile 6.7 – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa5:15 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.Accessible to guests staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Mile 7.1- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort5:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.Accessible to guests staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Finish – Epcot Imagine Parking Lot5:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.Accessible via Epcot Imagine Parking Lot

2022 Springtime Surprise Spectator Locations

There will likely be different course maps for the 2023 races. We will update with that information when it becomes available.

  • 5K: only available at the start and finish lines in the Animal Kingdom parking lot.
  • 10K: only officially available at start and finsh lines in the Epcot parking lot, but the route does encompass the Boardwalk. If you are able to make it to one of those hotels, you can see runners there. You can also see the runners as they enter Epcot from the Epcot bus stations. This would be between miles 2 and 3.
  • 10-Miler: only officially available at start and finsh lines in the Epcot parking lot, but the route does encompass the Boardwalk. If you are able to make it to one of those hotels, you can see runners there. You could also cheer from the Hollywood Studios parking lot if you are able to get to that location. You may also see the runners as they enter Epcot from the Epcot bus stations. This would be between miles 2 and 3.

Can You Hand Out Drinks Or Snacks To Your runDisney Runners?

Unfortunately, no, you cannot hand out drinks or snacks to runners along the runDisney racecourses anymore.

You can share fun race signs and ring those cowbells!

Spectator Tips For runDisney Events: runDisney spectator guide

  • Bring a sign! They really help make the miles go by for the runners on the course.
  • Be loud! Clap, cheer, encourage, cowbell- whatever works for you can help keep the energy up for the runners on the course.
  • Know what your runner looks like! This is HUGE- and helpful if your runner is in costume. Picking out a Goofy Hat is easier to see than someone in basic black Nike athletic gear!
  • Wear something distinct so your runner can find YOU! A bight shirt or big hat is always a good way to stand out in the crowd.
  • Stay to the end if you can. The Back of the Pack is the most wonderful experience of the human spirit to witness, and they will appreciate you for staying!

We hope this runDisney spectator guide will help you cheer those magical miles!

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How to cheer the Disney World Marathon and all runDisney races. Spectators Guide.
runDisney spectator guide

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