Walt Disney World Marathon Prep

If you’re thinking about running in the Disney World race series this year, stop. You’re too late. This blog post is strictly for those who marked their calendars and blocked their schedule to register back in the spring. Or, if you’re a super early preparer (is that a word? I’m thinking no.), stay and see how to prep for the Disney World Half Marathon in 2017!

So if you’re still here, I’ll be seeing you (and a million other people) at the races this weekend! Can you feel the magic yet? 
For background purposes, I’ve never run any RunDisney race. This is my first! I’m an avid Disney freak lover and had this race on my bucket list since I started running. Thus, this blog post is purely from a first time Disney racer’s POV. Oh, and my favorite character is Stitch. That’s the important stuff, right? 


Like I mentioned before, you can’t just wake up the night before the race and decide to run. This race requires planning almost a year in advance. I will tell you that it sells out lightening fast, so log on noon when registration opens to secure your spot. Registration usually opens the spring prior to the race and I can’t stress enough how quick it sells out. 


Book room like the second after your register. I’m kidding, except not really. Disney will sell out for a big weekend like this and I’d hate to see you having to stay off property. That’s just zero fun.

Book Flights

I actually booked our flights on Black Friday (no relation to the price), but we ended up getting a round trip from Philly to Orlando for $150 each. Not too shabby. And once you land in Orlando, you can take the Magic Express to your hotel for FREE, so don’t waste money on a rental or car service.

Buy tickets

Tickets will be expensive. There is no way around this. I believe for 4-5 days Hopper passes we’re looking to pay around $400 each. Let’s be honest though, you’re not going to Disney for a cheap vacation. You’ll be spending a lot of money. Disney is seriously a mastermind at getting people to spend their money. I have heard of discounts through Undercover Tourist and AAA, so you might want to check those out. 

Dinner Reservations

There are a couple of places I just have to eat at when I go to Disney. One being the Beach Club Character breakfast. (Mickey waffles get in my belly!) And the second is the Whispering Canyon in the Wilderness Lodge. I can’t wait to see my boyfriend’s face when they bring all the ketchup to our table. You don’t have to make reservations, but there are some pretty fun places to eat in Disney (plus, after the race you’ll be starving). 


For my health and fitness readers, don’t hate me. You know I’m a fitness freak, but I didn’t really train for this race. I’ve already run 2 half marathons and I figured with my normal (6-day/week) exercise and weight training I’d be in enough shape to finish the race. Plus, with the stopping and going for characters, I didn’t want serious training to inhibit me from having fun by focusing on time.
For the sake of sharing, here’s what I did the months leading up. I think it’ll be fine, but if you disagree, feel free to criticize me in the comments.
November: Ran the AC Half Marathon
December: Weekly spin, run, strength training sessions


It’s a surprise! Or I haven’t gotten it yet. It’s hard coordinating what the boyfriend will wear. Regardless, I promise lots of pics in the race recap!
Finally, on a last note, if you’re like me a love to research and prep or are just curious about the runDisney races, listen to the podcast Mickey Miles Podcast. They are serious pros at knowing the ins and outs of the runDisney business and will share tons of helpful tips!
For runDisney veterans, what is some advice you can pass on? Or first timers (like me!), what are your questions about the race?

Until next time, gotta run!


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