Why You Should Consider Running a runDisney Race

January 5-9, 2022, we saw the return of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, and it brought all the emotions along with it. We were so excited when runDisney events returned at the end of 2021 with the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. It was great to see runners back in the Theme Parks after a long time away.

Even if you aren’t a runner right now, we have a few reasons why you might want to consider a runDisney event in your future.

Credit: Disney

What Events are There?

Walt Disney World currently hosts four different runDisney events throughout the year. The year begins with Disney’s Marathon Weekend, which features four races; a 5K, 10K, half marathon, and the full marathon. This race is typically the second weekend in January.

Next comes Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend that offers a 5k, 10K, and Half Marathon option. This race is usually towards the end of February. The 2022 dates are February 24th to 27th.

This year a new race was announced in Disney’s Springtime Surprise Weekend. This new race will feature the Expedition Everest 5K, the Race for the Taste 10K, and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-miler on March 31st – April 3rd.

Finally, the running adventure wraps up the year with the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, held from November 3rd to 6th, 2022. This race has a 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon to choose from when it comes to distances.

Now that you know what races there are to choose from, let’s get into why you might want to lace up your shoes and head down to Walt Disney World for a race.


We will start with the most obvious reason, and that is health. You might want to consider a runDisney event as your reward for getting back into shape, or for pushing your running distance.

Participating in a runDisney race is a great way to get yourself back on track, and you’ll have a fun end reward for all your hard work.

runDisney partners with Jeff Galloway, and you find a lot of tips and tricks on their website as well as training guides. This is a great way to get your new year started off right.


The runDisney running community is like nothing you have ever experienced before. Participating in an event is a wonderful way to meet other Disney fans and have a great experience together.

There are many running groups out there that focus on runDisney events, so you can meet new people and work towards your goals together through social media.

Disney runners are overall a very warm and welcoming group of people, making it a wonderful experience.

See Walt Disney World in a New Way

A runDisney event allows you to see parts of Walt Disney World in a whole new way, and we don’t just mean super early in the morning.

By participating in these runs, you are able to run through the Theme Parks and see backstage areas. It is an interesting experience to see exactly how big Walt Disney World truly is. You will feel like you are sneaking in the back doors when running through the Parks.

For some of the races, like the Princess Half Marathon, runners even run through the Cinderella Castle near sunrise. This is a magical experience.

From running through all four Parks during the Disney Marathon to watching the Parks come awake with the sun, runDisney events really are a whole new way to experience Walt Disney World.

Credit: runDisney


If you are a fan of characters, runDisney events bring some of the most beloved and rare characters out during the races.

Throughout the course, runners are cheered on by characters to help them to stay motivated and add even more Disney magic.

During the 2021 Wine and Dine Race, we saw numerous villains, as that was the theme of the race. For Princess Weekend, many of our favorite princesses make appearances as well.

But it isn’t always the main characters you normally see in the Parks, a lot of the races bring out fun and unique characters that might only appear during the races.

We love seeing characters such as  Pain and Panic from Hercules.

runDisney events are a fantastic way to experience a lot of characters as you run by!

Credit: Disney

All the Food

It is a joke that most Disney runners run to eat, and what better place to do that than in Walt Disney World?

There are so many fantastic dining options throughout the four Theme Parks, the Resorts, and Disney Springs that it is a great place for runners to fuel and celebrate.

Credit: Disney

Celebrating in the Parks

After you finish running your race, there is nothing like celebrating while wearing those medals into a Theme Park.

Once you have accomplished your goal, heading into the Parks for pictures and rides is just a little more magical.

Cast Members and Guests both do an amazing job at congratulating runners on their impressive accomplishments.

Proudly wear your finishers medal and take pictures in front of the icons, and then stop by and see Mickey Mouse.

Even though races at home are a huge accomplishment, there is no celebration like being able to visit a Walt Disney World Theme Park after running.

We hope that we have inspired you to at least think about a runDisney race in your future. No matter which race you choose, they are amazing events, and Disney does a fantastic job with them.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.