The Disney Princess Half Marathon is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Whether you are a seasoned marathon runner or are on your way to your first 5k, the race weekend has something for everyone. From the rigorous training, to the exhilaration of the races themselves, to the community, to every single magical touch, to the way that it ties into your Walt Disney World vacation, participating in the Disney Princess Half Marathon really is a dream come true for so many. Not to mention, it’s the largest women-focused race weekend in the United States – talk about princess power! I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about the event weekend including information about the races themselves and how to plan an entire stress-free vacation while also training for a half marathon.
Registration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon opens to the general public normally in early August for the following year.The registration will fill up very quickly, especially for the half marathon race itself. If this is something you’re interested in, I would recommend signing up online as soon as registration opens, as it has been known to sell out that same day. (TIP: If you book your Walt Disney World vacation with one of our Second Star Wishes agents before the race registration date, your agent can complete the registration for you!) The best part about coming to Second Star Wishes to plan your event vacation is that we have two agents with personal experience in running the races and planning vacations around them – myself and Taylor Koslo.
The Disney Princess Half Marathon Experience
The Disney Princess Half Marathon follows an enchanted course. It begins just outside of Epcot, goes to and through Magic Kingdom (including running through Cinderella Castle!), and finishes by running back to and through Epcot. Runners love getting to see the sites – and characters – of Walt Disney World, and it definitely makes those 13.1 miles more enjoyable!
Almost everyone who participates in the Disney Princess Half Marathon dresses up in some way! Some costumes include Cinderella and Prince Charming, a Dole Whip, Minnie Mouse, Ariel, Tinker Bell, Dalmatians, basically any Disney costume you can think of. Part of the fun of running the race is picking out your own unique costume, and seeing what everyone else comes up with! One of my all-time favorite group running costumes were a group of men each dressed up like a Disney princess, it was hilarious! To top it off, they were keeping everyone laughing the whole course long, not only with their attire but their jokes and fun spirit they shared with everyone along the way.
While the runners dress up as Disney characters, you’ll also get the chance to see plenty of the real Disney characters, and even pose for pictures with them along the course of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Some notable characters from past race weekends have included: Belle and Beast, Princess Jasmine, Pocahontas, Merida, Jack Sparrow, Mickey and Minnie, Maleficent, Gaston, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Queen of Hearts, Genie, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Flynn Rider, Princess Tiana, and Snow White. Each year the characters that come to cheer on runners can change, so it’s always exciting to find out who you’ll see along the way!
There’s a tangible sense of togetherness that all runners in the Disney Princess Half Marathon experience. Runners cheer each other on, run alongside each other, compliment each other’s costumes, even meet Disney characters together. However long it takes you to complete your half marathon, you will have a community of fellow Disney runners supporting you while you do it. In addition to the other runners, family, friends, and other Disney guests will be there cheering you on. Free of charge, your family and friends can choose different viewing locations to watch you run by and cheer you on while you do. Every time you feel weak or tired, there will be someone there to encourage you and remind you that you can make it to the finish line.
Something that you absolutely need to make note of about the Disney Princess Half Marathon is the race start time. The race takes place very early in the morning, 5:30am to be exact. This means that transportation from the Walt Disney World Resorts begins around 3:00am, so you’ll want to make sure you get extra early beauty rest the night before! Once your transportation brings you to the Epcot parking lot, you have about a 20 minute walk around the edge of the park to get to the race starting line, so make sure to take that into account with your planning. Another important thing to note about the race start time is that the over 24,000 runners will be broken up into corrals that will start at staggered times. So if you are in the last corral, there’s a good chance your corral won’t leave the start line until over an hour after the 5:30 race start time.
Once you’ve run your race, there’s an incredible party waiting for you at the finish line! Now that you’ve got your very own Disney Princess Half Marathon medal, rejoin your family and friends, enjoy your complimentary post-race refreshments, live entertainment, and maybe a few more Disney characters.
While there are overall, military, and age group awards given out to top finishers, most Disney Princess Half Marathon participants run this race more for the fun experience than the personal record. The size of the crowd and the entertainment along the way will probably slow your time down, and that’s totally ok! This is a one-of-a-kind event, so enjoy every second, no matter how fast you finish.
runDisney provides expert training programs for all experience levels and race links. You can find the perfect one for you here.
The runDisney Health & Fitness Expo is most runners’ first stop for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Weekend. It will be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Expo is your one-stop headquarters for all your race weekend needs! All runners must attend the Expo for race number, shirt, and gEAR bag pick up. During the Expo celebration, you’ll be able to check out the latest in Official runDisney Race Weekend Merchandise, and get a sneak peek at the latest in fitness apparel, footwear, sunglasses, high tech gadgets, and nutritional products.
Full Weekend Event Schedules and Prices
So aside from 13.1-mile half marathon, what other race options are there? Check out the full race weekend schedule below.
Disney Princess Half Marathon
Gather your fellow Princesses and Princes for a magical 13.1 miles through Walt Disney World Resort! This spectacular race will feature some of your favorite Disney characters on course as you journey through Walt Disney World Theme Parks toward the finish line where you’ll receive a medal fit for royalty.
Disney Princess Enchanted 10K
Get ready for a royal journey through Walt Disney World Resort for the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K – a 6.2 mile course with plenty of Disney entertainment along the way with some of your favorite Disney characters cheering you on as you race toward the fairy-tale finish.
Disney Fairy Tale Challenge
This 19.3-mile royal running adventure combines two days of magical runs including the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon. If you finish both races within the pacing requirements, you will be awarded the Disney Fairy Tale Challenge finisher medal in addition to your Half Marathon and 10K finisher medals.
Disney Princess 5K
Here’s a royal opportunity for everyone to share the magic during the Disney Princess 5K through Walt Disney World Resort. Princesses and Princes (ages 5 and older) and their families are invited to take part in all the racing fun on a spectacular 3.1-mile course.
runDisney has thought of everything, even races especially for your little ones! Children 13 and under are invited and everyone who participates gets treated like royalty and goes home with their very own finisher medallion. See the race schedule below to see how even the littlest princes and princesses can get in on the fun of the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
100m Dash: 10:30am – 11:30am ($20)
200m Dash: 11:30am – 12:30pm ($20)
Diaper Dash: 12:30pm – 1:00pm ($20)
One Mile Run: 1:00pm ($30)
Why to Stay on Property
Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel is truly the best way to experience the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. You will be right in the middle of the action for the races. Transportation from your Resort hotel to all the race events is complimentary, and they’ll be running transportation even as early as 3:00am to get you to your races on time. If you stay at a Monorail Resort, such as Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort, transportation is even easier. Here you can hop on the monorail at your Resort, ride it to the Transportation and Ticket Center, switch to the Epcot monorail, and arrive at Epcot ready to begin the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel gives you many other benefits as well. You will continue to receive complimentary transportation to all Disney Theme Parks and Resorts, you have access to Extra Magic Hours (special hours at Theme Parks each day only open to Disney Resort hotel guests), you get to make your Fast Pass selections 60 days before you arrive (opposed to 30 days for everyone else), and so much more!
Why to Use Second Star Wishes
If that all seems like a lot that goes into planning your Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, that’s because it is. There are so many details involved, not to mention training for this rigorous event. That’s where we come in! A Specialist in Disney Travel with Second Star Wishes is ready to handle EVERY detail of planning your Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend, all completely free of charge to you! We have multiple agents with personal experience in participating in the Disney Princess Half Marathon and other runDisney events (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org). We will coordinate all your race and vacation activities to flow seamlessly together. If you’re running with family and friends, we can handle and connect multiple reservations so that you can all enjoy this experience together. Finally, you get all of our concierge vacation planning services, including helping you find and book the perfect resort hotel for your family, booking all your dining and FastPass reservations, and so much more. So now it’s time for you to start training, and us to handle everything else! For more information on how a Second Star Wishes agent can help you plan your Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend vacation, please visit http://www.secondstarwishes.com/free-consultation or email email@example.com.
*Special thanks to Taylor Koslo for so many great photos featured in this blog!*