Are you looking for the ultimate guide to runDisney? You’ve found it! Want to see a race course map? Read a race recap? Looking for basic information? Want to make a perfect running costume? Need a place to stay when you runDisney? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about planning your next trip to run Disney at Disney World or Disneyland.
Fun fact: when I first started this blog in 2013, it was in essence, a runDisney blog. There wasn’t a ton of information (at that time, anyway!) on the internet covering the nitty-gritty details about the famously magical races at Disney World.
And I decided to change all that by starting a blog with my experiences running Disney races.
Table of Contents
runDisney: The Ultimate Guide to Magical Miles
My first runDisney events happened in 2011, and I soon became hooked.
As a new runner, I quickly learned that the way to keep me running was to distract me with fun race signs, costumes, shiny medals, and a castle or two: all things a Disney race provides.
Here’s what I’ve learned over the years of traveling to Anaheim, Orlando, Disneyland and Walt Disney World for the runDisney events.
What is runDisney?
It’s pretty much what you think: road races you run at Disney World. They close the roads down, you run through the parks, and yes- through the castle on some of the race courses.
And it’s as magical as you’d think!
runDisney races happen four times a year at the Disney World Resort. runDisney races are back at Disneyland starting in 2024, with two race weekends scheduled.
To date, there have been 31 years of the runDisney Marathon Weekend held at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
That one event weekend has grown to four different runDisney race weekends held throughout the year.
Racers can choose their perfect distance to run: a 5K, 10K, and a Half Marathon are held on all weekends with a full marathon held one time a year during the January race weekend.
The Disney Marathon is the ultimate park hopper: you’ll race through all four theme parks!
If you want to run your first half-marathon, a runDisney half-marathon is an excellent choice!
Disneyland used to offer four race weekends as well. But in 2017, the races were put on hiatus.
After a long 7 years, we have the races back on the West Coast.
Here’s what you need to know about the runDisney Disneyland races.
Who can run Disney? Can Walkers Participate?
Pretty much everyone can run Disney!
There’s a division for wheelchair athletes and elites, and military members may compete as well at all runDisney race weekends.
You don’t have to be fast to runDisney: the spokesperson for the race series is Jeff Galloway, the creator of the run/walk/run method of running. Now, don’t get me wrong: he’s fast!
But his racing method has made running a Disney marathon or half marathon attainable for runners at almost all levels of fitness.
The runDisney events are extremely walker-friendly.
The minimum pace requirement must be upheld, however: a 16-minute mile pace is required for all Disney races.
Best Hotels When You Run Disney At Disney World and Disneyland
I made it my goal to run Disney as often as possible!
A few Disney World resorts we love for runners include:
Hotel options for runDisney runners at Disneyland include:
And that’s just a start! There are so many more we love.
We also love to send runners to some of our favorite Disney World restaurants to fuel up before a runDisney race. With the Disney Dining Plan coming back, choosing a sit-down option is going to be a lot of fun when running these races.
Be sure to check those out before making your advanced dining reservations!
My Most Important Posts About the runDisney Races
These posts are some of the most important ones I think you’ll find here. Don’t skip them, especially if you are new to runDisney. I promise you will get a lot of your general questions answered and be more prepared to run Disney. And if you aren’t, leave me a comment and I’ll try to help clarify!
This one has a lot of early and basic questions answered for you.
Seriously, there’s some good info here! These are things you definitely do NOT want to do at a runDisney event.
The runDisney Balloon Ladies are real, but they aren’t scary! You can learn who they are, why they are important, and what you need to know to stay ahead of the runDisney sweepers.
What happens after you cross the finish line? You’ll want to read this post to find out!
And if you need #allthereasons to love to run Disney? I’ve got you covered here as well.
List of runDisney Events
The runDisney Marathon Weekend
The Marathon distance is only run on this race weekend at Disney World. They do not offer 26.2 miles of magic any other time of the year. This weekend is the granddaddy of runDisney races: it’s BIG, y’all!
It typically runs the weekend following New Year’s Day. Some years, that means early January, and some years a little later depending on when the New Year Holiday falls.
The 2025 runDisney Marathon Weekend will take place from January 8 to January 12, 2025 at Disney World.
Here’s everything you need to know: The 2024 Disney World Marathon Corrals, Waivers, Course Maps & Event Guide!
Races offered during Marathon Weekend include:
- runDisney Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
- runDisney Marathon (26.2 miles)
- The Goofy Challenge (run the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday)
- The Dopey Challenge (run all four races back to back: 5K, 10K, half, and full)
Helpful runDisney Marathon Weekend Posts
runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
The Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend was my first runDisney event and it holds a special place in my heart. It is traditionally held at the end of February the weekend following the Martin Luther King holiday.
This race is female-centric: think tutus and tiaras!
The 2024 runDisney Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend will take place February 22 – February 26, 2024, at Disney World.
The 2025 runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend will take place February 20 to February 24, 2025.
Races offered during Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend include:
- Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
- The Glass Slipper Challenge (run the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday)
What do you need to know about the Princess Half Marathon? There’s a lot.
It’s the race weekend that sells out the quickest and it’s the race weekend that seems to have the most drama.
And if you are all in, be sure to download this runDisney ebook. It’s all about traveling to a racecation at Disney World and how you can make the most out of your Princess Half Marathon weekend.
Additional runDisney Disney Princess Half Marathon Posts
Etiquette at the Princess Half Marathon
runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend
This is the newest of the runDisney races.
The 2024 runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend will take place April 18 – April 21, 2024, at Disney World.
The 2025 runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend will take place April 3 to 6, 2025, at Disney World.
Races offered during Springtime Surprise Weekend include:
- Springtime Surprise Challenge (all three races to earn an additional medal)
Helpful Springtime Surprise Weekend Posts
runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend
The Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend is a favorite for runners. It was originally a night race but now follows the traditional Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning race schedules as the other races.
If you love food and wine, this might be the race you enter to run Disney!
This one typically happens the first weekend in November, which is also the last weekend of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival (where it’s fun to Drink Around the World at Epcot!).
And the additional draw to running this event is the Wine and Dine private party for runners held on Sunday night in Epcot.
Read more about the Wine and Dine Afterparty here.
Entry is included with the half marathon or challenge bib purchase and you can buy additional tickets for non-runners.
The 2024 runDisney Wine and Dine Half Weekend will take place October 31 – November 3, 2024, at Disney World.
Races offered during Wine and Dine Half Weekend include:
- Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
- The Two Course Challenge (run the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday)
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
The 2025 runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend will be held from January 30 to February 2, 2025.
Races offered during Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend include:
- Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
- Dumbo Dare Challenge (run the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday)
- Kids Races
We just got back from the first Dumbo Double Dare race weekend since 2017 and have a ton of information to share! So check back in February 2024 for more comprehensive resources.
We’ll add our reviews, tips, and information for this race weekend soon.
Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend
This is a new event for 2024 and we don’t have a ton of information about it.
Races offered during Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend include:
- Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
- Chills and Thrills Challenge (run the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday)
- Kids Races
We’ll also update this section as we learn more.
runDisney Virtual Races
And what if you want to run Disney but can’t actually make it to Anaheim or Orlando for the races? Welcome to the world of runDisney virtual races.
From 2020-2023, all race weekends offered a virtual run option. This did not happen in the “before times” and it sadly looks like it might have been a temporary option.
The 2024-2025 calendar does NOT show any Virtual Race options except for the summer and winter virtual series.
runDisney Registration Dates and Tips
Registering for runDisney isn’t hard, but it has changed over the years.
Check out this post to learn everything you need to know before the next runDisney registration date.
The current runDisney registration dates are as follows:
** 2024-2025 runDisney race calendar is available! **
- Halloween Half Marathon Weekend (New in 2024 in Disneyland)
- Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend
- Disney Marathon Weekend
- Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
- Virtual Race Series
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
- Springtime Surprise Weekend
runDisney race courses, corrals, and event guides
When looking for the race course maps or last year’s corrals, come here. I’ve got ’em!
At least, I had them up until 2021 when runDisney stopped putting together corral charts. But we do still have the maps for you.
Every race I put together a condensed one-stop shop for all your race weekend details.
You’ll find the runDisney course maps, waiver links, corrals, and event guides here.
You might be surprised at how often they are referenced when a new race weekend is on the horizon!
runDisney Yesterland: Archived runDisney experiences and races
As Walt always intended, Disneyland and Disney World keep growing and changing. And when that happens, most of the other Disney experiences change too.
It’s seen quite a transformation since its inception.
There were New Balance runDisney shoes to buy and pre-race meetups to attend. A 10-miler race that featured Villains and of course, all the races at Disneyland.
Here’s some information on the now-discontinued Disneyland races: Superheroes, Star Wars, Tinker Bell, and the Disneyland Half.
runDisney race recaps
If reading how the races went down is your thing, then this section is for you!
There are quite a few race recaps about the run Disney experience, so settle in! Fair warning: most are by a decidedly non-runner runner… which means I was there for the costumes & shenanigans more than the actual running.
A “serious” runner I am not.
2013 Tinker Bell Half Re-Cap
The runDisney running Costume Experience
Reminder from up above: I don’t take this running thing too seriously!
Just in case you forgot and mistook me for Des or someone. (Ha!)
One of the draws to me of runDisney is, in fact, the running costumes. Dressing up somehow helps ease the pain of running 13.1 miles.
Yup, I know, it’s totally ridiculous. But I love running in costumes- and that’s really all that matters in the end.
If you want to have the full runDisney experience, I highly recommend jumping on the running-in-costume bandwagon for a race or two. It’s a ton of fun, and the race pictures will have you giggling forever!
I’m currently in my Taylor Swift Era (who isn’t?) so most of my race outfits have had some tie back to her for the 2023-2024 race season.
Trust me: you will NOT be alone and sometimes it’s fun to get that extra encouragement on the course that only a running costume can provide.
runDisney Dooney and Bourke Disney Purses
Dooney and Bourke have released some beauties for the race weekends! I might have a few of these myself (okay- I totally do!)
People are legit obsessed with these Dooney and Bourke Disney purses, and I can’t say I blame them for the most part. Here are a few of the Dooney and Bourke runDisney bags from years past.
General Tips to Disney World for the runDisney Race Weekends
Taking the kids? Need some tips for Disney World with toddlers?
This is what you need to know for your next Disney World vacation!
More Disney Tips You’ll Love
- Top 50 Park Bags: Best Crossbody Bags For Disney (2024)
- Is Disneyland Busy In December? Best Days To Visit (2024)
- Top 50 Park Bags: Best Fanny Pack For Disney (2024)
- Is Disneyland Busy In November? Best Days To Visit Including Thanksgiving (2024)
- Are Disney World After Hours Events Worth It? (2024)
- Big List of Cool (And Free!) Things To Do In Disney World In 2024
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