Running a Disney race for the first time (or even the second or third time!) can feel really overwhelming. You might have a lot of questions, so I wanted to do my best to put them all in one spot so you can get some answers to everything that’s going on. Hopefully this Beginner’s Guide to RunDisney will help! I’m going to break this guide into two posts: one for all of the pre-race stuff, and one for questions about running and during the race itself. And a shout-out to my friend Stephanie for some of her help with this FAQ!
How early should I register?
As soon as you possibly can! RunDisney races have been selling out within the first day of being open. You can also get access to early registration if you have an annual pass or you are a DVC member. The 5k races tend to last a little longer, but even these have been selling out, so if you want to guarantee a spot in the race you really should register as soon as it opens.
What happens if I register and can’t attend?
RunDisney does not allow you to defer your registration to the next year anymore. They used to allow this but it has since been discontinued. Races are non-transferable and non-refundable.
What is proof of time?
Proof of time is a way for you to “prove” that you can finish the race in the time you say. You can submit your finishing time for another race. Usually they will accept a time for a race that is 10k or longer. You can use another RunDisney race if you have one, but any other race with an officially recorded time should work too. You can enter it upon registration, or you can go back and send it in to email@example.com.
What’s the earliest the buses leave my hotel?
For the morning races – early! You’ll get this information in your packet at the expo, but for example, the Princess Half Marathon starts running buses at 3am, and they recommend everyone be on the bus no later than 4am. Buses for the 10k races usually start at 3:30am.
Which hotels are host hotels for each race?
You can find this information on the RunDisney website – just click on the “travel” tab at the top and select which WDW or DL. Then there will be a list of the different races – pick the one you’re doing and there will be a drop down of what hotels are hosts for that race. Some, like the Princess Half, have every resort be a host. So no matter where you stay you will have bus transportation! Others usually have a couple of choices in each price bracket.
How do I get my packet?
Packet pick up is at the expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. You need a photo ID and your signed waiver (if you didn’t print it ahead of time you can print it there). You must pick up your own bib/packet, no one else can do it for you. Keep this in mind when making your travel plans!
How do I get to the expo?
You can either drive or take a bus. Buses are available from the host resorts on the days that the expo is open.
What else do I do at the expo?
The main part of the expo is really shopping! There are tons of booths set up selling all sorts of running gear. You’ll find official Run Disney merchandise, as well as a variety of outside vendors. Things like shirts, sparkly skirts, headbands, earbuds – almost anything you can think of! If you’re interested in some of the hot ticket items, like the New Balance shoes or Dooney & Bourke bags, make sure to get to the expo early!
How do I find my corral?
In order to know what corral you’re in, look at your race bib. It should have a letter on it. Once you arrive on the race morning, the corrals should be clearly marked. For most races they have large lit up posts with each letter on them. Also, the booklet you get at packet pick-up will have lots of information in it, sometimes including a picture of where the corrals will be set up.
What is proof of time?
Proof of time is what determines which corral you are in. Disney asks that you submit an official race time from a race that you’ve run previously. A valid proof of time must include- name of race, distance, city, state, date, and finish time. If proof of time is not provided by the deadline you will be placed in the last start corral. If your proof of time data is incomplete or cannot be verified, you will be placed in the last start corral. To provide or update your proof of time, you must email all proof of time data requested above to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many corrals are there?
It depends on the race! For the Enchanted 10k there were only 5, A-E. For the Princess Half Marathon, however, it was A-P.
What is the purpose of putting people into corrals?
The reason why people are put into corrals by proof is time is to try and alleviate some of the crowding that occurs in a race with so many people. The hope is that if you put all of the people that expect to run at a pace of 10 minutes per mile together, they won’t be slowed down by having to run around the people who are at, say, a 13 minute per mile pace. And on the other hand, the slower people (like myself sometimes!) don’t have to worry about getting in the way of those that are faster.
Does registering for a Disney race get me into the parks?
Other than while you’re actually running the race, no. If the race course takes you through the park you don’t have to pay any extra, but of course it’s usually before the park opens (the full marathon being an exception!). If you’re around before or after the race you’ll have to buy your own park tickets.
Is it mostly women who do Disney races?
While I’d guess that the majority of people that do Disney races are women (especially at the Princess races) there are plenty of men that do them too. Even at the Princess ones you’ll see a good amount of guys there! My favorite t-shirt I’ve seen a man wearing said on the back, “Why are all of these princesses chasing me?”
What questions about RunDisney do you have? Anything else you want to see added to the Beginner’s Guide to RunDisney?