Packing for vacation can be kind of a challenge. Especially if that is a trip to Disney World. There are so many things to remember, weather patterns to be prepared for, and loose ends that you can only pack up in the last few minutes before you leave for your trip. Then on top of the regular clothing, you have to make sure you pack the right shoes for parks and you have the right stuff in your park backpack.
Add on packing for a RunDisney event on top of normal vacation packing, and it’s a LOT to remember. You want to be prepared for every possible race situation but you don’t want to pack your entire closet. Nor do you want to be stuck buying all new items at the race expo because you didn’t plan ahead. What you really need is a RunDisney packing list!
Never fear, I have a whole list of tips and suggestions on what to pack for your race (and after your race!). And if you read all the way to the end you can snag a RunDisney packing list for yourself.
Let’s break down the basics of what you need to bring along for your RunDisney event. These are suggestions for race day/race only and don’t include any park days, the expo, travel days, etc. By having a general idea of what to bring you can kick back, relax and not worry about this aspect of the RunDisney logistics.
Be Sure to Pack Your Running Shoes for Your RunDisney Event
Shoes, specifically your running shoes, are an obvious item on your packing list. That being said, you have no idea how many times I have almost left my running shoes at home when traveling to a race. That’s right. I’m heading to a race and I almost leave my running shoes at home.
It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s actually kinda common that running shoes get left behind when people are traveling to a race.
Because typically we will pack up our belongings a day or two before we leave for a race, get everything ready to go, but leave our shoes off. You see we have another run in the morning and need those running shoes. We can’t pack them up yet or else we wouldn’t be able to get in the last run before the trip!
Let this be a reminder to you that your running shoes need to come along with you for your race (you already know that!). In order to make sure I don’t forget them, I typically leave myself a note, reminding myself to pack them. Or, alternatively, if I have more than one pair of shoes I am rotating I make sure to pack the pair I am racing in and use the alternative ones for my last run at home.
Moisture Wicking Socks for Your RunDisney Races
You probably have some running socks that you love. They might be tall compression socks like ProCompression or short socks like Balega. Whatever they are, make sure they are moisture-wicking! Odds are your race in Florida is going to be a little on the warm side. And if it’s not on the warm side, it’s probably going to be humid. Or rainy. Or a combination of all three!
Therefore, you desperately need something that is going to keep the moisture away from the skin on your feet as you are running. Not only is this desired in order to make yourself comfortable but to also help prevent blister formation. You don’t want to deal with a blister during a race (trust me, they aren’t fun). Nor do you want to deal with the aftermath of getting a blister from said race while you are trying to walk around and enjoy the parks!
A Tried and True Costume or Race Day Outfit
One of the cardinal rules of racing is NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY!!
You’ve either heard this advice and took it to heart, making sure you didn’t try anything new on race day. Or, you learned the hard way, by trying something new on race day and coming to regret your decision.
Therefore, whatever you plan to run in, whether it is a costume or a simple tank top and shorts, be sure to try it out before you race. And if you don’t get to try it out, keep those fingers crossed and hope for the best!
Add Race Day Fuel to Your RunDisney Packing List
While there is a good chance that there will be fuel along the racecourse, it’s always a good plan to pack your own fuel as well. Especially if you know you won’t tolerate what is offered on the course. Or if you’ve never had a chance to try what’s along the course.
My favorite type of fuel (currently) is UCan and GU Rocatane gels. I like to take UCan before the race and then take gels along the race. I’ve used them during training and they seem to work great for me most of the time.
If for some reason you forget your fuel, there typically are a few vendors at the expo that will be selling gels. You might not get the exact flavor you like, but hopefully, you can find your favorite brand.
Anything that is going to enable you to nail that jump shot photo at mile 12.5!
Tissue Paper or Toilet Paper for RunDisney Race Day Emergencies
It doesn’t happen often, and typically doesn’t happen (from what I’ve experienced) at RunDisney events, but every once in a while you’ll snag a porta potty that is fresh out of toilet paper. A potentially uncomfortable situation will be avoided because you’ll have a square to spare! Plus, you’ll have some tissues to blow your nose, should you need them. Or to wipe the gel that smeared all over your hands off!
Fully Charged Phone and/or Portable Cell Phone Charger
Ideally, you’d start your RunDisney event with a fully charged cell phone. (P.S. I highly recommend bringing a phone with you when you run, even if just for the purpose of a post-run meet-up with family and friends.) If you plan to use your phone during your RunDisney event, whether it be for photos or for playing tunes while you run, you might find yourself with a drained battery when you hit the finish line. To make sure you can get the juice back into your device, throw a cell portable cell phone charger into your bag too. You know you’re going to want to take photos of yourself with your medal post-race!
Add Sunglasses to Your RunDisney Packing List
Even though RunDisney events start when it is still dark out, if you’re doing a longer event, you might be seeing the sunrise while you’re on the course. And with the sun comes brightness!
If you know you’re going to be out there past sunrise, bring along your sunglasses. My favorite pair are currently anything from Goodr.
I like to throw them on my head at the start of the race and then swing them down over my eyes when the sun starts coming above the horizon. They don’t tend to bounce around much, honestly making me even forget that they are up there!
If you know the entire race is going to be completed in the dark, throw them in your gear check bag. You might want them post-race! Be sure to add them to your RunDisney Packing List.
Change of Clothes for After the Race
It might not be freezing out after your RunDisney event (but it can be!), but odds are you’re going to want to change into clean, dry clothes post-race. You might be covered in sweat and/or gels and nothing is going to feel better than putting on a dry outfit.
Typically, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to take about 5 million pictures post-race. Which means you’re going to want to have something cute on. That’s where the Magic for Miles shop comes into play. Whether you need a hoodie to throw on for the cooler days or a t-shirt sporting a design inspired by the race you just run, you’ll find what you need in the shop.
Typically, you can put all of these dry clothes in your clear gear check bag and easily grab them after the race. However, if you have anyone who plans to meet in the finish line/family reunion area, it might be best to give your bag of dry clothes to them. That you don’t have to worry about your bag getting lost or misplaced*.
Oh, and whatever you do, don’t forget dry socks and underwear to go along with your dry shirt and shorts/pants. Nothing is worse than putting clean clothes over a sweat-drenched sports bra and underwear.
*With all the RunDisney races I’ve done, I’ve never had a lost Gear Check bag. Just saying as a caution in case you have a shirt you just can’t have get lost! (Or other valuables!)
Snacks!! for After Your Event
Most races, including RunDisney events, provide some type of food or snack after a race. Typically RunDisney provides runners with an easy-to-carry snack box, which typically has a variety of snacks and the infamous cheese. Which you either love or hate!
However, if you’re a runner who has a touchy tummy post-race you might want to add something you know you can handle to your RunDisney Packing List. Specifically, something with some protein and carbs in order to help you with your recovery. Due to the likeliness of you being away from home, you might not be able to whip up your favorite protein shake. You can, however, grab a few things from Target or Amazon before the race to stash in your gear check bag.
Plus, after you get your initial snacks into your tummy, you can head to Port Orleans French Quarter and grab yourself some Mickey-shaped beignets!
Extra Shoes for After you RunDisney Event
You’ve already remembered to pack your running shoes, but you should also pack a spare pair of shoes to go along with your post-race outfit?
Since it’s Florida you can get away with sandals after your race. Oofos are a super popular choice as they are very comfortable for achy post-race feet. Sometimes you can find a great deal on the Oofos, but they do tend to be a little pricey. A good alternative might be these ones from Beslip. The price point is lower, but this might mean they don’t hold up as well for you. Yet, if you only need them for after the race and maybe bumming around the pool at your resort, they could be a good fit for you!
Alternatively, aside from sandals, you could pack another pair of running shoes. Just be sure to try said running shoes on after you do a long run at home. Your feet tend to swell when you run (which is why it’s often recommended to size up your running shoes!) and it would be rough (pure torture) to try and cram into a pair of running shoes that are too snug.
My current favorite running shoes are the Brooks Ghost 14 shoes. They are a nice supportive shoe that makes it kinda feel like you’re running (or walking on a cloud). Typically with looser laces, I can wear my normal running shoes size (which is a whole size up from my typical non-running shoe size) after a race. When it’s colder it’s definitely what I opt for.
Band-Aids, Anti-Chaffing Cream, Sunscreen, and Safety Pins
Many of these items, band-aids, anti-chaffing cream, sunscreen can be found at the first aid stations, but before the race, you might want to make sure you have these items on your person. Mostly because even if these items are present at the start area, the lines to access them could be long. You’re already facing other lines for porta potties and gear check, so worrying about another line in order to access these items just isn’t worth it.
In regards to safety pins, you should get these when you pick up your bib, but sometimes you don’t! And sometimes you don’t get them and don’t realize it until it’s too late and you’re back to your resort or home. Avoid a potential crisis altogether by bringing spares of these items with you.
Headphones for Running (Safely!)
If you do plan to run with music, be sure to pack your headphones. If you can, pack a pair that you can hear outside noises (there will be different parts of the course where you want to make sure you can hear things aside from your music. …Caution Runners: Speed Bump ahead!) or a pair where you can have one ear in and one ear out.
AfterShokz is one of the best types of headphones to use that encourage you to maintain awareness of your outside surroundings.
Mickey Ears Are Almost a Must!
Obviously, this one is optional, maybe. It could be considered essential. Or maybe it SHOULD be considered essential. Especially if you want to throw them on after a race for a few pictures. Doesn’t hurt to throw them in your suitcase!
Conclusion for RunDisney Packing List (And Grab Your Own List for Free!)
There ya go! A list of all the items you should be packing in your luggage in order to tackle your RunDisney event. Obviously, I left out some basic things like underwear and backup running clothing items (something you want to make a last-minute change), but this list will give you a good starting point, and then you can build from there. Do you have any essentials you’d like to add to the list? Leave me a comment below!
Don’t forget to grab your free list (looks like the one below, minus the watermark), by filling out the form below!