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Complete Guide To runDisney – Part 1 (Registration and Planning)

Complete Guide To runDisney – Part 1 (Registration and Planning)


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Are you new to runDisney or just looking for more information? We have all the details you will WANT to know for your next runDisney event.

runDisney

Photo Credit: KtP writer Heather

runDisney has FOUR race weekends at Walt Disney World and will soon bring races back to Disneyland. I (Heather) can’t wait for these races to return, and I know I am not alone. They sold out in record time! Are you a member of Club runDisney or thinking about becoming one? Read HERE to find out why it may become even more popular to be part of club runDisney.

Check out some of my previous runDisney posts below:

Dates and Location

Photo Credit: Heather

This might sound silly, but one of the first things you have to know is when the dates of each race weekend fall. These dates are released months to almost a year in advance.

runDisney race weekends typically fall the same weekends each year, with maybe a little wiggle room. This makes it easier to predict when each race weekend will happen.

Now, decide which race weekend you want to try to participate in. There are race weekends now at both Disney World and Disneyland! Once you pick your the weekend you wish to participate, mark your calendar for not only the race weekend, but also the registration date.

These aren’t you regular hometown races. When these races go on sale, they sell out quickly!

Registration

Photo Credit: Screenshot runDisney confirmation email

Okay, you know your race(s) you want to participate in and it’s time to register! You will want to make sure you block off time to complete the registration.

Some are lucky and done within minutes, while others wait in the queue for an hour. There has even been technically issues where registration was delayed for HOURS (we are looking at you Marathon Weekend 2023).

Photo Credit: Screenshot of rundisney.com

Disney recommends only using one device for registration. Unfortunately, that isn’t what everyone does and you could be stuck with a device that reads “your wait is more than an hour.” Check out runDisney’s video tips for registration here:

However, here are our tips for registration:

  • Create a runDisney account beforehand
  • Use multiple devices
  • Have all your contact and personal information for all participants you are registering
  • Skip buying products or submitting proof of time at this point, you can go in at after registering and complete these steps if needed
  • Have payment information ready
  • Have a backup plan for races if your race is sold out

Guaranteed Registration

Photo Credit: Heather

Is there a way to have a guaranteed registration? There actually are two ways! What?!?!

One, and the one most of us won’t be able to qualify for is being a “perfect runner.” A runDisney “perfect runner” is someone who has run every race since that race began! When at the races you will see these perfect runners with a different colored bib honoring their amazing achievement.

Now, some of you may be thinking, “I have done Springtime Surprise since it began maybe I can be PERFECT for that one.” Unfortunately, this is not an option. runDisney announced that this race weekend will not have perfect runners. I know, I’m disappointed by this too.

Credit: runDisney

You can guarantee race registration by running for a charity or being a Perfect Runner.

There is another way, and it’s much easier! runDisney events hold bibs for charities. Runners can sign up under a charity and raise money for that specific charity. Each charity has fundraising requirements, so be sure to read all the details so that you know exactly what you are signing up for.

Charity runners will have a minimum fundraising goal before they are able to sign up for the event. If you are unable to meet your goal, you may be held responsible for the minimum fundraising amount or unable to run and forfeit your bib.

Pirate Tip: If you run for a charity, pick a charity that holds meaning for you. It will be easier to raise money for something you are passionate about!

Planning and Booking

Credit: Monica

You have now successfully registered for your runDisney event, now what? If you aren’t local to Orlando, you need to arrange your travel accommodations.

There are some things you will need to consider when booking your hotel accommodations. Will you be staying on Disney property? Will you have a car? Do you plan on using Disney transportation?

Photo Credit: KtP Writer Heather Alosa

runDisney provides transportation to and from all their events to Disney hotels. If you stay on property you can easily use the transportation provide. Disney does recommend using their transportation as road closures can make travel difficult the morning of the race.

If you are going to stay off Disney property (I recommend Homewood Suites at Flamingo Crossing), you will need to provide your own transportation. This can be your own car or Uber. Due to rolling road closures, be aware that some races may have different drop off locations if you arrive late by rideshare (read HERE to see how they moved drop off at 4:00 am for Marathon Weekend).

Be sure to book early if choosing to stay on property, as rooms can often sell out quickly and your options may be limited. You can also try renting Disney Vacation Club points. Read how to do that HERE.

Training

Credit: Disney PhotoPass

Alright! You are registered and your accommodations are booked, and now it’s time to get training. Probably one of the hardest things I think about how early runDisney registration is that it is many months before the race.

By this I mean that many are so excited about doing their runDisney race that they want to get out there and train right away. However, if you are new and not following a training plan, runner burnout is a real thing.

Pirate Tip: Follow a training plan that is geared towards your level of running.

My biggest recommendation from one runner to another is to follow a training and listen to your body. I truly enjoy the Jeff Galloway training plans that are provided by runDisney.

Photo Credit: www.jeffgalloway.com

These are a run-walk-run method that get you not only to the finish line, but to the finish line strong! Training programs can last from 13 to 29 weeks depending on what race you are training for. I didn’t believe the run-walk-run method until I tried it, and now I won’t do anything else!

Be sure to check out my Part Two of our Complete Guide to runDisney coming soon!

Have you done a runDisney event before? Are you getting ready to register and run your first runDisney event? Do have any other tips for the registration, planning and training process for new runDisney runners? Let us known in the comments below and share this post with a fellow runDisney runner!

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