2017 runDisney Princess Half Weekend
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again Princess weekend is by far my favorite runDisney weekend! Why? For so many different reasons, but most of all for the AMAZING people you meet! So if you get a chance to do 1 runDisney race (especially ladies) I highly recommend it!
5 tips to have a successful runDisney princess weekend/half marathon:
1. Arrive Early
You have to take time off work and get to WDW anyway, so why not take the extra day and make for a very memorable runDisney weekend. This way you have plenty of time to enjoy the expo and all that WDW has to offer, without feeling rushed. Many participants want some runDisney merchandise to commentate their trip. Be aware those items can sell out. I recommend getting to the expo the day it opens to guarantee getting certain sought after items. I arrived to the expo Thursday afternoon/evening and walked away with everything I wanted (and avoided the crazy lines). The only sold out item was the 5K “I did it shirts” so keep that in mind if that might be an item you want. They still had plenty of 10K, Half and challenge gear left, but it was day 1 of the expo.
2. Get Some Sleep/Stay on Disney Property
runDisney races start at 6am for the 5K and 5:30am for the 10K/Half. The last thing you want it to be extra tired race morning. Practice going to bed around 7/8 for a few days prior to get your body used to it. I know that might sound weird, but it works. You will be up around 3am to get dressed, ready and to the bus on time. Staying on Disney property with provided transportation makes race morning a breeze and a lot less stressful since they let the busses in their own area. I know many people were upset because traffic was so bad this year (2017) and they ended up waiting at a stand still for 30+min. Trust me, thinking you might miss race start is NOT something you want race morning. Bite the bullet and pay for a Disney resort, you will thank me later! Also, laying out everything the night before (#flatrunner) makes race morning grab and go simple.
3. Plan The Weekend
Make sure to plan out your weekend a little and don’t just think “we can decide when we get there”. Disney has reservations for almost everything and planning ahead can save you on time and hassle. Besides the normal dinner reservations and days in the parks, I hope you also plan to attend the We Run Social meet up. It is always a BLAST and great way to get to know other fun runners. It is one of the things I look forward to every Princess weekend. Check out #werunsocial on Instagram to see what I’m talking about! Even if you are shy (like me) don’t worry, everyone is very welcoming and I have met some great running friends by going.
4. The Course
Okay what you really want to know about, what is the course like! Just FYI runDisney does change the course slightly sometimes (they have a lot of construction going on). The 2017 course was a great one. It had 2 real “hills”, one at mile 1-2 and one at mile 10. They aren’t really hills as much as they are on ramps for traffic so they slope and go up. Personally, I think that is worse since running on a slant is not my idea of fun. The course starts outside Epcot, but be sure to be there early since you have about half a mile walk to corral start from where you get dropped off. You then run to the Magic Kingdom, through the park and back to Epcot. By far my favorite part of the course is running down Main Street USA. It is even better then running through the castle since there is a giant cheer crowd. Every time I get emotional at this point since it really is magical. Check out the course below for the exact mile details.
5. The Characters!
Why do most people runDisney? For the Characters of course! Princess weekend has no shortage on character photo stops. The half marathon in particular had about 12 characters and a few other great photo spots (in front of the castle and Epcot ball). Some of the 2017 characters included: Pirates, Incredibles, Genie, Evil Queen, Snow White and Prince, Beast, Gaston, Buzz Lightyear, Mushu, Glass Slipper Security, and Woody. Elsa, Anna and Kristof were on top of the castle before running through. They also have school bands, gospel choirs, DJs, and even the local fire department there to support the runners. Some of the voluntEARS also put on cute outfits and cheer along the course. The photos below show some of the characters I got to see. Also be on the lookout for the #princessmen, a great group of people that run dressed as prince and princesses. They are very encouraging and fun to snap a picture with at the end!
Whelp thats a wrap on the Princess Half Weekend 2017. Cheers to the “new” Fairy Tale Challenge next year! See all my fellow princesses in 2018.
<3 Dr. Carrie