To this end, we have taken it upon ourselves to #RunAllTheDisneyRaces so we can provide you with first-hand advice. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!
While Perfectly Goofy Gail and soon to be Delightfully Dopey Kimberly are not Perfect Princesses [meaning a person that has run EVERY Princess Half Marathon since the inaugural event], we have run a combined total of over 90 runDisney races and have 100+ runDisney medals between us. That gives us plenty of experience and insight into how to rock a race at Walt Disney World.
Just in time for the next runDisney race registration date, in this post we will share our tips and tricks for a royally successful Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
Our Top 10 Tips for a Royal Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend:
Do You Want to be a Princess? Determine if this is the right race for you. Not all runDisney weekends are the same. Yes, Disney’s Princess Half Marathon weekend races share the EXACT SAME COURSES as January’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events, however, that is where the comparisons stop. Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend is a FEMALE-FOCUSED weekend where the costumes, the participants, and the course theme all celebrate PRINCESS POWER. Not to say that there aren’t a fair share of Princes running, but during this particular race, men are not permitted to start in the first corral and the overall winner of the race must be female.
- If the slipper fits? Decide who’s running. Fortunately or unfortunately, Princess Weekend falls on the last weekend of February – this may or may not be during school break.
Know when and how to register for your chosen event(s): Not only does runDisney host a Half Marathon during Princess Half Marathon weekend, but there is also a 5K, a 10K, and Kids Races. Runners can also choose to register for the Glass Slipper Challenge – which combines both the 10K with the Half Marathon. You can take a look at the race details online at runDisney. NOTE: Runners wanting to complete the Glass Slipper Challenge should register for the Glass Slipper Challenge ONLY. Those runners that register for both the 10K and Half Marathon separately will not earn the challenge medal (and you NEVER want to not get EXTRA BLING). Early registration will open for both Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Member on Wednesday, July 9th at 12pm EST. Registration links will be available on the member pages only. General registration will open on Tuesday, July 15th at 12pm EST at runDisney online. For additional registration tips click here.
- Your Castle or Mine? Deciding whether you’ll be staying in a Walt Disney World resort or an off-property location can be more difficult that running the actual race! Both options are good and depend not only on your budget, but what experience you are looking for. To take a look at all the resort options Walt Disney World has to offer, click here. Thinking about staying off-property? Consider a “Good Neighbor” resort, generally located on Hotel Resort Boulevard – down the road from Disney Village Marketplace. “Good Neighbor” options include: Best Western, DoubleTree Suites, Hilton, Holiday Inn, and Wyndham [Got points?]. And, if you’re looking for the ULTIMATE PRINCESS EXPERIENCE, consider relaxing after your royal race on a DISNEY CRUISE!
- Be Our Guest: You can begin making your Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) 180 days out from your arrival date – and we suggest you GET ON IT. Many favorites fill up FAST, such as Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom, character meals, and dinner shows. Research all your dining options (and there are a ton) and make online reservations here.
- Planes, Trains , Automobiles, Coach or Carriage? The closest airports to Walt Disney World are Orlando International Airport (OIA) and Orlando Sandford International Airport (SFB). When you reserve Disney’s Magical Express and arrive at Orlando International Airport, you can begin your vacation the moment you step off the plane. Bypass baggage claim and avoid the inconvenience and cost of driving or finding ground transportation. With this special benefit of staying at select Disney Resort hotels, get from the airport to your accommodations in comfort and have your bags delivered directly to your room. You’ll also enjoy a complimentary ride back to Orlando International Airport on the day you check out of your Disney Resort hotel. Please note that pets are not permitted on Disney’s Magical Express but service animals are. Luggage delivery service is available for flights arriving between 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM daily. Your luggage will travel separately, and it may take up to 3 hours after you arrive at your Disney Resort hotel for your luggage to be delivered to your room. You need to pack any valuables, medications or anything you need immediately upon your arrival in Orlando in a carry-on bag—and have your MagicBand with you and easily accessible at the airport and when you arrive at your Disney Resort hotel. You do not need to be in your room to receive your luggage. You need to make a reservation for Disney’s Magical Express when you make your Disney Resort hotel reservation online or over the phone. If your flight arrives before 5:00 AM or after 10:00 PM, you will need collect your luggage at baggage claim to bring with you on the motorcoach. Please note: Disney’s Magical Express service does not provide luggage-only transfer. You must be present on the motorcoach to have your luggage transported to a Disney Resort hotel. Once on property (and if you stay at a “Good Neighbor” hotel) there are a host of transportation options to all Walt Disney World locations including buses, boats, and the monorail.
- No Tickey, No Mickey: While theme park tickets are NOT required in order to runDisney, if you want to spend time in the parks after your run, you will need to purchase a ticket. Walt Disney World has a ticket option for any budget and include options such as 1-Day/1-Park to Multi-Day/Multi-Park Park Hopper (which allows you to visit multiple parks on the same day), and Annual Passes. NOTE: If you plan to party at the theme parks, we suggest planning the time AFTER your race, so you have fresh legs for your run around the World.
- Look like a Princess: Costumes at a runDisney event can be a lot of fun. If you’ve never ran in costume before, give it try during the 5K or 10K. These are easier distances to run dressed up, but you still get the fun photo-ops along the course. Lots of companies provide easy costume options if you can’t or don’t want to sew your own. We love Sparkle Skirts [sparkly skirts, arm warmers, wings, and schwings], Raw Threads [themed bamboo shirts and skirts], Harvester Products [kick-ass crochet hats], and Etsy [anything else you can dream up].
- Party like a Princess: runDisney sponsors the Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney® on Sunday, after the Half Marathon. Participants can enjoy delicious food, great music, and get a chance to pick up some last minute keepsake merchandise to remember the weekend. Admission to the Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney® is open to race participants, their guests, and the public. And if you are like us and like to party with a runner friend, you can run any of the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend races as a member of a TEAM. Team registration is a fun way to compete in the Princess Half Marathon Weekend with added perks for each princess on your team. Team registration is $10.00 per team member and includes Commemorative Team Bib, Commemorative Team Item (has been a Miss America-type sash in the past), and a Team Photo area at Packet Pick-Up. NOTE: Teams can only be created after both individuals have registered and paid for the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or Glass Slipper Challenge. This is not a relay – both participants must run the entire race. You must be a registered participant of one of the Princess Half Marathon Weekend races to participate in the race. A team registration does not qualify as a registration for the event.
- Feel like a Princess: Not much feels as good after a long run than having someone pamper you by rubbing your legs and feet. Walt Disney World has a number of spa options. Most on-property resorts have fitness rooms and the opportunity to book a massage or facial. If you are looking for a deluxe spa experience, consider booking a service at Sense – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Florida Resort or Senses Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. To schedule treatments, please call (407) WDW-SPAS or (407) 939-7727 as far in advance as possible. Reservations are highly recommended.
For Tips on how to register for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend visit makermothermarathonerrunner.com
Are you a Perfect Princess? Have you run any of the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon Weekend races?
Perfect Goofy Gail & (soon to be Delightful Dopey) Kimberly