Disney World Marathon Weekend
Official 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend discussion in runDisney forum on DISboards.com
Official 2019 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend discussion in runDisney forum on DISboards.com
Blogs about the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
This festival of races is held annually during the beginning of January (usually the first full weekend after the New Year), and has grown into the largest combined running event in the country. Nearly 55,000 competitors registered for one of the races in 2010. The schedule for the weekend’s races has remained consistent with a Family 5k Fun Run on Friday, the Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday, and the Full Marathon (26.2 miles) taking place on Sunday. Runners can also register to compete in both the half and full marathons in what’s known as Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge (39.3 total miles and you receive 3 medals for completing the 2 races). The Dopey Challenge was new in 2014 and runners who register for this must compete in all four races over the weekend, for a total of 48.6 miles (runners who complete this will get 6 medals – one for each race, plus one for the Goofy Challenge and one for the Dopey Challenge). Disney races welcome competitors of all abilities, and one definitely does not have to be a World Class athlete to take part. There are many walkers participating in the event, and Disney has set a generous 16:00 min/mile pace time to complete the race.
The Disney Castaway Cay Challenge has been added to the Marathon Weekend lineup of events. Runners who are registered for any of the Disney races (5K or longer) during Marathon Weekend have the option to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing the Disney Cruise Line 4-night Bahamian Cruise January 8-12, 2018 following Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend January 3-7, 2018. The 5K will take place on January 10, 2018. When runners complete both a Marathon Weekend race and the Castaway Cay 5K, they will receive a special Disney Castaway Cay Challenge Medal in addition to their finishing medals. Runners will also get to participate in exclusive activities, enjoy featured menu items and purchase special merchandise while on the cruise.
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge is for runners wanting to run both the full and half marathons. Those who complete the challenge will earn the coveted Goofy medal in addition to their finisher medals. This challenge takes place on Saturday, January 6 – Sunday, January 7, 2018 during the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
The 5th Anniversary Dopey Challenge is four days of racing for a total of 48.6 miles! Participants will run the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and 25th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, and if you complete all four races within the pacing requirements, you will be awarded the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge medal and the Dopey Challenge finisher medal for a total of six pieces of “bling.”
Of course, the big draw of any Disney race is running through the theme parks. However, there are also many characters and entertainers throughout the course. Racers will stop for photos with characters, many of which are rarely found out and about in the parks. There will also be bands, high school cheering squads, DJs, dancers, and lots of entertainment along the course to distract you from the miles.
Registration spots for the races fill up quickly. If you know for sure you want to participate in one of the events, we recommend you register as soon as possible.
Course maps for the marathon weekend events can be found below as well as first hand reports from previous years’ races.
Friday, January 5 – Saturday, January 6, 2018
Kids Dashes: 11:00am
One Mile Run: 1:30pm
These races are held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and are a great way to include your little ones in the racing fun!
- 12 months and under – Diaper Dash for crawlers
- 1-4 years old – 100m dash
- 4-8 years old – 200m dash
- One Mile Run – Open to all children 13 years old & under
Family 5K Fun Run:
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Entire 3.1 mile course takes place in the Epcot theme park. This is a great chance for families to run together! If you’ve got a little one that’s not quite up to running that far, try out the Stroller Walk Division!
Friday, January 5, 2018
This is the first year for this new race – 6.2 miles through Epcot’s scenic World Showcase with Disney characters and entertainment along the way!
Walt Disney World Half Marathon:
Saturday, January 6, 2018
The 13.1 mile course starts outside of Epcot, up to the Magic Kingdom, back to Epcot through Future World, and finishes in the Epcot parking lot.
Walt Disney World Full Marathon:
Sunday, January 7, 2018
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
On the heels of the successful Walt Disney World Marathon weekend, runDisney created an event to celebrate women’s health and fitness. In 2009, the Disney Princess Half Marathon debuted and in its second year, the event drew 13,000 registered competitors. While runDisney markets the race as designed just for women, it is not exclusive to women. Men can (and do) enter this event, but are not eligible for any of the awards.
If you’re familiar with the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, then the Disney Princess Half Marathon will feel very similar. The 13.1 mile half marathon follows the same route as January’s Walt Disney World Half Marathon – starting outside Epcot, up and through the Magic Kingdom, and back to Epcot.
In addition, finishing the Disney Princess Half Marathon along with the successful completion of the Disneyland Half Marathon in September (of the same calendar year) qualifies you for an additional medal – the coveted (and equally handsome) Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal. Note: finishing any of the half or full marathons held at Walt Disney World along with the Disneyland Half Marathon will secure you the Coast to Coast Challenge medal.
Along with the 13.1 mile Princess Half Marathon on Sunday, there is also the Disney’s Princess 5k (3.1 mile) fun run staged in Epcot around the World Showcase and the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K at Epcot. There are also a series of kids races on Saturday held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The kids races are run on the track and range in various distances from a diaper dash; to 100, 200, and 400 meter dashes; to a 1 mile run.
- Disney Princess 5K – Friday, February 23, 2018
- runDisney Kids Races – Saturday, February 24, 2018
- Disney Princess Enchanted 10K – Saturday, February 24, 2018
- 5th Anniversary Disney Fairy Tale Challenge (a special challenge for racers who run both the Enchanted 10K, plus the Princess Half Marathon) – Saturday, February 24-Sunday, February 25, 2018
- 10th Anniversary Disney Princess Half Marathon – Sunday, February 25, 2018
Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side
Darth Vader, the legendary villain and Sith Lord, will rule at the brand-new Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side events. Runners can take part in kids races, a 5K, 10K or half marathon race. Those who are brave enough to complete both the 10K and the half marathon will receive a special Death Star-themed medal as part of the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge. Guests will enjoy special Star Wars-themed entertainment, merchandise and a unique course that takes them through Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and ESPN Wide World of Sports.
- Kids Races – Saturday, April 21, 2018
- Star Wars 5K – Friday, April 20, 2018
- Star Wars 10K – Saturday, April 21, 2018
- Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side – Sunday, April 22, 2018
- Star Wars Dark Side Challenge – Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22, 2018
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
This race weekend is timed with the opening of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Along the way, the race course winds through two theme parks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot. The Post RaceParty lasts into the wee hours of the following morning (1:00 am), and features food from the international kiosks of the Food and Wine Festival as well as access to Epcot attractions including: Soarin’, Test Track, and Mission Space.
In addition to the half marathon, the weekend also includes Mickey’s Holiday 5K, the Disney Wine & Dine 10K, and the Disney Two Course Challenge which combines the Disney Wine & Dine 10K on Saturday with the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on Sunday — a total of 19.3 miles! Click here for more information on the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend and to register for the race.
Watch the video below for a guided tour of the race course taken during the 2010 Inaugural Wine and Dine Half Marathon.
*These dates are subject to change, but this is when the races are normally held.