Here’s the thing. I love running and I love Disney. GASP! I mean, who is totally shocked? No one? Okay cool. Every year I head out to Orlando for my annual girls weekend, and every year I come home on a running and Disney high. Even though it’s awesome, it has it’s ups and downs along the way. So I wanted to get real with y’all and share the best AND worst of runDisney Princess weekend.
I want to talk about the race weekend itself. Everyone always asks me what is so special about runDisney. There is so much that I could go on and on. Of course that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. There are pros and cons to racing at Disney. I thought I’d share some of the best and worst things about runDisney Princess Weekend with y’all before I head that way!
The Best and Worst of runDisney Princess Weekend
It’s the most runderful time of the year! runDisney is by far the most exciting, fun and highly anticipated races of the year for me. There is so much joy and excitement revolving around this weekend and the races that come with it.
It’s definitely a crowded weekend! In the early years, it was actually down season! Now it’s busy, lines are longer at the parks, the expo is packed and Disney Springs is full of people. It’s still a fun weekend to be there, but that is just something you need to be prepared for.
The expo is hopping! There are tons of vendors that seem to get better every year! This is a great chance to get runDisney swag and any other race necessities you need. They have tons of sparkle running skirts, headbands, running shoes, running clothes and race necessities like Gu, jelly beans, chomps or whatever your choice of energy is. There is also a great photo op leading up to the expo where you can take pictures in front of your race!
Wake up time is EARLY! Races start at 5:30am, but you have to be on a bus by 4am at the LATEST to make it to the prerace area on time. That means you’re waking up at 3:30am getting your costume on and feeling like a zombie. I have tons of sweet early morning pictures where we look like we’re glazed over!
Crowds along the course are amazing and supportive! Disney pulls in tons of volunteers to support the runners from the water stops to the long stretches of nothing. There are high school bands, cheerleaders and dance teams, choirs and other groups along the way. Oh and of course the characters! Just when you think you need a break, there is a character stop when you need it!
Lines can get crazy long on the character stops. The earlier corral you’re in, the more likely you are to get a shorter line. As the race goes on, those lines get longer.
TIP: If you really want to meet a character in a race and the line is long, go for it! You may never get to do it again. Just make sure you choose the right character because it may keep you from meeting others down the road.
Also, lines for characters after Magic Kingdom and as you get closer to the finish are shorter because people are ready to be done. If you haven’t gotten a picture by then, just do it!
Cast members are out on the course to support you and help you take pictures! There are cast members that you can hand your phone to at each character stop. How cool is that? Also if you see a cast member along the course and want a pictures, grab them! A great place to do that is along Main Street USA. You can snag a great castle pic!
It’s not the cheapest race that you’ll run. And by that I mean the race entry fees are STEEP! It’s definitely the most expensive race entry fee I’ve ever paid. You do get quite a bit for your money like dry fit race shirts for each race you run, a very supported race course, running through the parks, awesome post race snacks and of course your medal!
You feel like a badass at the end of the race! You did it, you finished your race or even your challenge!
You’re pretty exhausted after the half marathon and it definitely takes a bit to regroup before you head out!
Post race support is just as great as the support on the course. There’s a lot, so hear me out.
The medical tent is right there at the finish. Even if you aren’t in incredible pain, but you know that ice will help you recover faster and feel better later, get it! They will gladly help you and get you back on your feet. They also have advil, biofreeze, vaseline and other medicines to make sure you’re feeling okay.
You also get a really great post race snack box! Snacks are important to me y’all. Definitely one of the best post race snack boxes out there which is great because after the half you are HUNGRY!
The finishers area is big with tons of areas to stretch and meet your friends after the race. You also have the opportunity to take pictures with more characters! There may be a line, but it moves fast. It’s a great opportunity if you’re waiting for your friends to finish.
Lastly, the buses at the race finish are constantly rolling out to take you back to your resort. As soon as you’re ready to head out, the bus is there to take you!
I think I’m done with worsts now because runDisney Princess Weekend really is awesome! I wanted to be realistic and let y’all know some of the cons about the race. I will tell you that the pros outweigh the cons. This is my 9th runDisney race and my 7th Princess weekend race! I want to continue to do this for years and years because it brings me so much joy.
I can’t wait to see what Princess Weekend 2018 has in store. I have a feeling that this one is going to be one of the best! I also say that every year. This will be my first year that I’m pregnant and able to run since my race weekend while pregnant with Chloe I was injured. Wish me luck! We take off tomorrow dark and early. One more sleep and I CAN’T WAIT!!!
While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out my tips for running your BEST runDisney 5K!