Here's Everything You Should Know Before Running A Disney Race
Spoiler alert: Running through Magic Kingdom is literally MAGICAL.
Hi everyone! I'm Arielle, and this past weekend I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon (for the second time — I'm dead). Here's everything you should know before running a Disney race!
Every February, Disney World in Orlando, Florida has a Princess Half Marathon race — and it sells out QUICK.
For training, make sure you find the right plan for you — and if you're new to this, you might want to consider a run-walk-run pacing group.
Establish an eating regimen that works for you while training, and don't go overboard with carbo-loading before the race.
If you don't think you're ready for 13.1 miles, you can also sign up for the 5K or 10K races.
Or if you're REALLY ready, you can sign up for the Challenge and run 19.3 miles.
If you are a spectator, you can purchase a ChEAR squad package (GOLD or PLATINUM) and support your runners!
Be prepared to plan for an entire vacation, because you'll likely have a lot to do and spend a hefty amount of money.
You will pick up your bib at the Run Disney Health and Fitness Expo, which has a ton of cool vendors that sell everything from shoes, to costumes, to foam rollers.
Weather at the start of the race is usually in the 50s, and by the time you finish, it's typically somewhere in the 70s. However, this year it was roughly 10-15 degrees warmer, and it was ROUGH.
The race starts dark and early at 5:30 a.m. because the parks still open to the public at normal hours.
And because there are SO many runners, your corral might not start for 30-45 minutes.
And if you stay on Disney property, the buses pick you up between 3:00-3:30 a.m.
Do not drink more than a glass of water before the race or you will be faced with very long porta potty lines!
As for the race course, you start on the highway by Epcot, run through Magic Kingdom, run through more highway, and then finish at Epcot.
Running through Magic Kingdom is literally the most magical moment you'll experience.
There are photographers in Magic Kingdom and Epcot, so keep to the sides and smile when you see the cameras!
There are a total of nine water stations, which are available about every 1.5 miles.
And when your body starts to fatigue, they provide a power food around miles 8-9.
There are characters along the course (mostly in Magic Kingdom) and you can totally stop to take pictures.
But beware — some of those lines are VERY, VERY LONG.
And something to keep in mind is that you need to maintain a 16-minute-per-mile pace, or you might be picked up along the course and transported to the finish line area.
There is a very long stretch of highway between Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but Disney does their best to provide some entertainment.
And some spectators even have some very amazing signs.
Right around miles 11 and 12, there are some ramps and hills that will make you want to quit — but don't!
Right by mile 13, there's a gospel choir that ignites your soul and gives you chills.
It gets you PUMPED to cross that finish line. It honestly feels so good.
At the end of the race, you'll get a bottle of water, a banana, and a snack box with Oreos, tortilla chips and cheese dip, applesauce, and fruit leather.
If you want to splurge, you can also buy a Race Retreat ticket, which includes a post-race breakfast buffet, massages, and exclusive Disney Meet & Greets.
Your feet will hurt like hell, especially if you go to the parks after the run.
And of course, the best way to celebrate completing a 13.1-mile run is to DRINK AND EAT AROUND THE WORLD AT EPCOT!
If you ever want to cross a half marathon off your to-do list, I promise this is the most magical one to run. 💖
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