Welcome back my Disney race lovers! The second race weekend (in Florida) of the year is finally here! The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and the theme is Beauty and the Beast. This weekend holds a special place in my heart because it was the weekend that sold me on runDisney for the rest of my running life. When I first moved here my friends talked me into signing up for a 10k (I had never ran a 5k so this was terrifying). I finally arrived to Epcot, it was freezing, I was exhausted, I hadn’t trained, I was miserable. Boy, do I regret those feelings. The entire experience was incredible and I was so excited that I had started this magnificent journey! Since then I have tried to sign up for at least one race each weekend in Florida. And I’m finally making my way to California in May for the Tinkerbell Weekend. I can’t wait to head over to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex again and check out all the awesome merchandise runDisney and all of the other vendors have to offer! If you haven’t checked that out yet, be sure to right now so you know what to run for once you get in
For all of you who have never done a Disney race and this is your first experience, never fear! My first time was a bit confusing and I think I had to go with friends for the first 3 Disney expo’s before I was confident with where I was going. That could also be because I didn’t pay too much attention the first few times….oh well! Anyways, I’m here to help out those who don’t really have all the details about this event. Now, this is my third Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend so I like to think I’m pretty experienced. The first year I ran was my 10k year. The second year I took a step back and ran the 5K (and dressed up like Pinocchio. It was great). And this year I’m taking a leap forward and running the half marathon! Next year: Glass Slipper Challenge! 😉
The expo schedule is:
- Thursday, Feb 23 – 10am-8pm
- Friday, Feb 24 – 9am-7pm
- Saturday, Feb 25 – 9am-3pm
The race weekend schedule is:
- Kids Races – Friday, Feb 24 – Saturday, Feb 25:
- Kids Dashes – 9:30am – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
- Kids One Mile Run – 10:30am – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
- Princess 5K – Friday, Feb 24 – 6am – Epcot
- 10K – Saturday, Feb 25 – 5:30am – Epcot
- Half Marathon – Sunday, Feb 26 – 5:30am – Epcot (Corral Assignments)
- Glass Slipper Challenge (10K + Half Marathon=19.3 miles) (Corral Assignments)
If you purchased the VIP Race Retreat this gets you:
- Exclusive Early Access to the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo
- Thursday, Feb 23 – 8:30am-9:30am in Jostens Center (runners only)
- Thursday, Feb 23 – 9am-9:30am in Fieldhouse (runners only)
- Private Hospitality tent near the Finish Line including live video feed from the race and access to live runner results
- Sunday, Feb 26 – 3am – 5am (runners only)
- Sunday, Feb 26 – 5:30am – 10am (runners & Platinum ChEAR Square only)
- Pre-race bagels and fruit, plus coffee, water and PowerAde
- Private restrooms, changing tents and bag check
- Disney character Meet & Greets
- Recovery Zone including padded stretching area, self-treatment and first aid station and massages available for purchase (first-come, first-serve)
- Disney catered post-race brunch
- Designated location to meet friends and family to celebrate your accomplishment!
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend commemorative item
Once you get to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and walk through the gate, there are 2 potential buildings you could go into. The second building on your left is the Field House, which is for the packet pickup. This building is also for if you made any pre-purchases. Once you have finished with that, head out and go across to the other building, Jostens Center, where you will pick up your race shirt (>>) along with all the fun merchandise you could spend hours looking at!
If you’re wanting some of the cool gear that they have to purchase then I would suggest getting to the expo as soon as you can! In the past I have always gone after work and not been able to get some of the stuff on this list because people go crazy for it! If you go and don’t see what you’re wanting, I would keep an eye out online if you really were looking forward to that purchase. To me, it’s not that big of a deal, but I also go for the basic stuff that they make a ton of.
Okay, now we’re finally ready to race! Are you dressing up? My favorite part about runDisney races is seeing how creative people can get to become a certain character.
However, there are rules:
- Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
- Guests who dress like Characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
- Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
- Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.
- For runDisney participants ages 13 and under:
- Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.
- For runDisney participants ages 14 and older:Layered costumes, that could conceal prohibited items, are not permitted (e.g. Jedi robes).
- Costume props, including those that surround the entire body (e.g. Death Star, UP House) are not permitted.
- Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground. (e.g. full-length Princess dresses)
- Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.
- Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts, and hats are acceptable.
- Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords, and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.
- Guests may not wear masks of any kind.
If you’re wanting to try and get some pictures in front of their backdrops or with characters before the race, the lines get pretty long. I suggest getting there AT LEAST an hour early, but even earlier could never hurt. I do an hour because that already causes me to wake up at 3:30am. I’m not sure I could wake up any earlier…Also, don’t forget to use these hashtags while you’re taking pictures. Maybe runDisney will pick your picture to be featured on their site
The most important thing to remember this weekend is to just have fun! It’s an incredible experience and I’m looking forward to marking this weekend off my checklist