27 Things You Should Know About Running the Disney Princess Half-Marathon


Are you a massive Disney fan? Do you love Disneyland? Actually, how could you not, it’s like the happiest place on Earth! Are you also very active and a keen runner? If the answer to both those questions is yes, then this may be the perfect thing for you – The Disney Princess Half-Marathon.

This magical event involves running a half-marathon through the Disney park in Florida. The course runs through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and there are even Disney characters you can pose with during the race. It’s a marathon, only much more sparkly and you can even run in costume.

For those who are already itching to pull on their running shoes and get going, here are a few handy tips. A weekend like this involves a lot of planning, and you don’t want to end up a poor unfortunate soul… So scroll down through this list, and you’ll already be one jump ahead. Get ready to go the distance!

#1. Book quickly.

Run Disney, Arielle Calderon

As you can imagine, like everything Disney-related, this event sells out pretty fast. Tickets are usually sold out after a day or two so if you want to do this, book early to avoid disappointment.

#2. Follow a training plan to make sure you are ready.


Disney requires you to keep up a 16 minute-per-mile pace, and they will pick up anybody going slower than that so make sure you finish strong by getting yourself a good training plan. Apps like this one are great to use- 13.1 helps you build up muscle by making you run for four minutes and then walk for one. Remember, the earlier you start, the better you’ll be on race day!

#3. Be prepared for it to get costly.


This, of course, depends on where you live but the race itself costs $200, and that’s not even mentioning flights, taxis, and other travel expenses… It helps to pay things over a series of months but at the same time be mindful of what you are spending.

#4. Park admission does NOT come with race entry.


Yes, that may not seem nice, but that’s the way it is. Tickets can cost anywhere from $100-500 depending on what tickets you get and time of year. Remember what I said about money? This is why!

#5. Prepare for a very busy weekend.


Treat this as you would any other Disney holiday and remember to get all those things you would get if it were a regular trip like fast passes and dinner reservations. The park will be full to bursting at the time of the event so you will need to plan or you won’t get near a restaurant the entire time you’re there.

#6. While you obviously do not need to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort, it is recommended regarding parking and transportation.


There are buses available to take you to and from hotels to the parks, the Health & Fitness Expo, and the race itself which makes getting to the events stress-free. Also, when you stay at an on-site hotel, you get this cool MagicBand that works as your room key, your fast pass, your park admission, and more.

#7.  You will need to pick up your packet/bib number at the RunDisney Health and Fitness Expo before the race.


It’s located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney. You can also buy a bunch of stuff here, including swag, costumes, running shoes, running gear, k-tape, energy bars, shoe charms, etc. They have anything you would need before the race, so it is worth a look.

#8. Bring friends and family, they can come free!


At last, something free! There are several places along the course where your loved ones can stand and cheer you on- it’s great motivation, even if they get to relax whilst you’re running like mad.

#9. Every year the race medals change.


This year, the theme was Beauty and the Beast to celebrate the live-action movie. Each race has its own fun medals so take a look and see what you could get!

#10. The race starts at 5:30 am.


Yes, you did read that right. As it starts so early, you will need to make sure you get some sleep and maybe move that carb-filled breakfast to dinner the night before. Just do what is best for your running routine.

#11. This means the buses will pick you up from your hotel around 3 a.m.


Again, get some proper sleep (sleep is very important y’all) but also make sure you make your morning as painless as possible- set out your gear the night before and know where you are getting picked up. Don’t worry about fatigue- you’ll soon be pumped up by the music they pay just before the race.

#12. It’s the largest women-focused race weekend in the U.S. with over 24000 women running.


This does mean that there are a lot of people running at the same time so mind yourself but it is also a great bonding experience- at that moment you are all Disney Princesses so treat each other as such.

#13. Remember you are assigned corrals based on your projected pace and you will be between A-P.


When you sign up for the race, you can enter your pace and proof of time to get proper corral placement. If you don’t enter a time, you might be placed in the backend of the corrals. If you are in K-P you may not start for a while but that’s fine- just focus on your pace and you’ll be fine.

#14. You have all weekend and can race 5K, a 10K, the Half, OR the 19.3-mile challenge if you want.


You have the option to do more than one and the more you do, the more medals you get! Be aware though, the most you enter, the more the cost goes up.

#15. People run in costume so if you want to, do it!


Some people do embrace the Disney magic and run in amazing costumes and if this is something you want to do, go for it! If you’re running with friends, a group costume may be an awesome idea- it will give you more of an incentive to stick together!

#16. There are Disney characters along the race available for photos so get smiling!


However, if you want to take a picture, you would have to stop running and veer off to the side to wait in long lines. It will be worth the wait though- characters last year included Belle and Beast, Princess Jasmine, Pocahontas, Merida, Jack Sparrow, Mickey and Minnie, Maleficent, Gaston, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Queen of Hearts, Genie, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Flynn Rider, Princess Tiana, and Snow White.

#17. You do spend the majority of time running on the highway and in between parks but that’s still good.


This is good for a few reasons; it means not only is the running mainly flat but you also get a lot of stunning views!

#18. This is not the type of race to worry about timing.

Oh My Disney

This isn’t the Olympics- this is a fun race at Disneyland of all places, this should be a race for enjoying yourself. There will be lots of beginners there so don’t worry about feeling out of place. Keep with your own pace and above all, listen to your body- it knows what is going on.

#19. The weather will likely be perfect. It is Florida after all.

Gifs Lair

The historically average weather in Orlando in February is about a low of 55 degrees and a high of 75 degrees with low precipitation, meaning you hopefully won’t boil. There’s also low humidity which is great for running.

#20. When you hit the Magic Kingdom, look out for the photo guy. Say cheese!


You want at least one good photo from this, right?

#21. You should also stop and take a selfie. How many other chances are you going to get? 

We Heart It

#22. Magic Kingdom is the best part of the course. People cheer you on and it rocks!


You really feel something special as you run through and all these people are cheering you on- that’s where the magic truly is.

#23. There are water and energy stations all along the route so don’t dehydrate.


What is energy, you may ask? It’s a little packet of sugary goo that’s supposed to give you an energy boost. They will come in handy for that last little stretch.

#24. The last mile of the race is running through Epcot, and it will be amazing to cross that finish line!


#25. Have breakfast plans ready- otherwise you will be disappointed.


You will likely be starving afterwards from burning so many calories. However, they only give you a lunchbox so have breakfast reservations ready and toast your awesome run! Go wild!

#26. Go to the parks and do more walking BEFORE the race.


You don’t want to end up injuring yourself by walking around the parks all day afterwards. Do more walking before the rest so you can have fun.

#27. And lastly, you should really give it a go!

the thrill of the {gif} hunt

It will be a great experience and you will love it! So one question remains… what are you waiting for?

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