7 Reasons Why RunDisney Races are Worth the Cost

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Looking for a fun and easy way to get in shape and lead a healthier lifestyle? You should take up running! It’s free, convenient, and only requires your own two feet!

Well, your feet and a pair of properly fitted running shoes. Plus running socks so you don’t get blisters.

Oh, and some sweat wicking shorts and shirt so you don’t have any chaffing issues.

You’re probably going to want some running sunglasses. The kinds that don’t slide down your face and keep the sun out of your eyes. (I really do love these ones by goodr.)

A running hat would be great too for keeping rain and sweat from clouding your vision.

Plus, a few running headbands are super helpful if you have long hair. There is nothing worse than having your hair all over your sweaty face during a run. Am I right?

A nice running log would be super useful in helping you keep track of all the miles you plan to run. Afterall, it’s really nice to look back and see how far you’ve come. The believe training journal is really motivational too!

What about races? If you have something on the horizon it’s so much easier to stay motivated. How about a runDisney race? Those are some of the most fun races out there.

If you do a runDisney race, you’re going to want to have a fun costume to wear as well! Need to get busy making that. Plus you probably want to stay at a Walt Disney World resort and head to the parks a few days..

Okay, so let’s start running. Just your own two feet and about $500 or more worth of gear and race entries. Not to mention the cost of a Walt Disney World trip…

Whew, that escalated quickly! Feels kind of like a, ‘If you give a mouse a cookie type of situation…’. Are all those expenses, race entries and every other cost that goes along with running and running a runDisney race worth it?

In short: Hands Down, YES!

I have personally been running since I was in middle school. I started out as a sprinter for our track-and-field team and slowly transitioned into long-distance running, running cross-country my last two years of high school. As a college student, I co-started the Grand Valley State University running club and have continued to run ever since.

In 2013, I ran, not only, my first runDisney race, but also my first marathon at Walt Disney World.


I instantly fell in love and would say the experience was so worth it. Yes, it is expensive and I’m paying to sweat. Yet, to this day it is still my favorite race and I think it was a great experience, definitely proving that runDisney is worth the cost.

I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world and think that if you love running, or if you love Disney, you should at least run one runDisney event. It doesn’t have to be the full marathon. You could start with a 5k and see how you like it.

Why did I love it so much? Let’s explore my 7 reasons why I think a runDisney race is worth the cost.

1. Unique Character Opportunities

If you love Walt Disney World, odds are you love meeting or seeing the different Disney characters. The runDisney characters are often especially unique. Mickey and Minnie are often decked out in their runDisney athletic apparel for the Marathon weekend or a variety of other costumes on other race weekends. Other characters might not be dressed up, but might be rare characters. You’ll be lucky to spot them along the course and might be able to grab a quick picture.

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Interested in grabbing a picture?

As you are approaching a character just check out the length of the line. The lines move pretty quickly, runners are eager to get back to running and the Disney photo pass photographers are efficient. I have found that if I am in an earlier corral I have better luck at waiting less time for photos. I have also found that in the first few miles, the character lines seem to back up. If you wait for the later characters you might score some super short lines. I’ve seen the lines go both ways during races, so if a character is really important to you, be sure to stop. If you’re indifferent, wait until you find one with little to no line if possible.

2. Cinderella Castle at Sunrise

It’s been said it can bring tears to a grown man’s eyes. It’s the thing that signals to most people that they have finally reached Walt Disney World.

It is, the one, the only: Cinderella Castle.

It’s a sight to behold for the first time park goer and veteran park-goer alike. There is something special about walking down Main Street, USA and seeing the magical castle in the distance.

Now, imagine it’s dark out and you’re RUNNING down Main Street, the USA with a bunch of equally obsessed Disney runners. Up ahead is Cinderella’s castle illuminated against the dark sky. If you love Walt Disney World, you’ll agree, it’s a pretty sweet sight to see!

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You don’t have the opportunity to run through the Magic Kingdom in ever race, but those that don’t feature the Magic Kingdom usually include other Disney parks. All fun experiences!

3. Disney in the Dark

I love to run in the early mornings back home. There is something about the quiet hours of the morning that makes the miles past by faster. I don’t know if it because your mind is focused different or if you’re still just half asleep, but I’m a fan.

Therefore, if you combine running + Disney + the nighttime, it’s basically my favorite time and place to run all rolled into one. It’s something you need to experience at least one. Plus, as mentioned above, you are going to be running through the various Disney parks. This isn’t something you get to do every day. Half of the magic of Walt Disney World is the overall atmosphere, and exactly what you get to experience as you are running through the parks.

Experiencing Disney in the early hours of the day is just one amazing reason runDisney is worth the cost.

4. Great Way to Sneak in an Active Vacation

You know how you made a resolution to exercise more? Well, you, my friend, have just found the perfect excuse to go to Walt Disney World!

Once you sign up for a runDisney race, you most likely are going to want to follow a training plan to help you reach your goal. Whether you are gearing up to go from the couch to a 5k or working on improving your overall 1/2 marathon time, Disney is a great place to accomplish your goal. Then, once the race is done and you continue spending time at Disney, your activity level will most likely not decrease. You can walk several miles each day you’re in the Disney parks.

Walt Disney World, runDisney Races Worth the Cost, Magic Kingdom, Magic for Miles

If your family isn’t too keen on a Disney trip (which I find hard to fathom), you’ll probably be able to talk them into it by telling them it will help you get healthy. They can’t say no to that. You’ve basically just paid to set yourself up for a healthy vacation! Mickey bars and turkey legs aside…

5. People Watching Galore

Did you know people love completing runDisney races while wearing costumes? If you didn’t, consider yourself enlightened. The two kind of go hand-in-hand. While not everyone gets on board with wearing a running costume, it is a very popular concept at runDisney races. People go all out. You really truly see some unique costumes and get inspired for my own unique costumes.

6. Sense of Accomplishment

You know that feeling you get when you set out to complete a task and you nail it? How you spend months working towards a goal, each day building on the one before? Well, when that task is completing a runDisney event, whether it be a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon or the full marathon, that sense of accomplishment is nothing short of wonderful.

After your race is complete you’ll be able to look back and think about the hard work you put into achieving your goal. Even if it’s not your first race, let me tell you from experience, the feeling of crossing the finish line never gets old.

The feeling of crossing a runDisney finish line? That REALLY never gets old. It’s especially exciting because you are able to celebrate by playing at a Walt Disney World park for the remainder of the day (or week if you’re lucky!).

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7. Most Fun Ever While Running (Especially if you Love Disney!)

I love running and am happy doing most days around my home. It is a great way to burn off stress, relax and set the tone for the day. Any day that I run is a good day, but any day that I run in Walt Disney World is an extraordinarily good day.

What makes the runDisney races even more fun than normal races? First, they have Mickey and the gang at the start to help you count it down until the race begins. Second, they have fireworks for each corral at the start. Nothing like getting your race started with a bang!

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There ya’ go! The top 7 reasons why I think runDisney is worth the cost. I’m sure there are several more reasons, but these are my favorites. Do you love runDisney races? What makes the races special to you?

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I have completed the full twice and the 1/2 once. Three top races ever, heading down this week just to be a spectator!

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