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Why Participate in a Run Disney Event?

Why Participate in a Run Disney Event?

Ilana Robinson | @disneymom2.0

While participating in a Run Disney event is a very personal decision, since you will likely be committing to a training schedule and financial investment in order to succeed, there are races that are lower risk, and require less commitment. Even if you choose to participate in the shortest race offered, the 5k (3.1 miles), you will still be able to enjoy what makes a Run Disney event so special, while reserving the heavy training schedule to those participating in longer length runs. So, what makes a Run Disney event so special?

The People

Disney people are like no other people on this planet. If you are an avid park goer, or even if you have only been to the Disney parks a few times, it’s pretty clear that Disney enthusiasts are a different breed. We love our characters and theming, being ultra competitive (how many lightning lanes can you conquer in one day), and we love connecting with others who prioritize Disney trips the same way we do. Now, put all of those people in the same Disney Race, AND line spectators along Main Street, or other points along the race route with Disney adults as cheerleaders - and something magical happens. Everyone genuinely wants you to succeed, and you will feel their cheers egging you on to the finish line!

It’s worth mentioning that I have found a genuinely supportive and friendly community in Run Disney. It’s a great way to meet friends who are passionate about the same things you are - Disney, and hopefully running/fitness.

The Characters

Yes, every single Run Disney race offers the opportunity to meet characters, sometimes extremely rare characters, along the race route. The character meet and greets appear every mile or so along the race route - so the longer the race, the more characters you will have the opportunity to meet. This past marathon weekend boasted characters such as Darkwing Duck, Monterey Jack, Meeko, Lumiere, Jack and Sally, and many many others. How exciting it is to turn a corner during a race and see a rare character meet and greet opportunity!?! The only downside can be the line - since every runner has the opportunity to meet these characters, the wait can get quite long, which can interfere with your run time or will to finish the race.

It Isn't About Your Run Time or Personal Records for Most

Yes, running a Disney race can bring you closer to any fitness goals you may have, but it isn’t always about the exercise itself, or how fast you can finish the race. Of course, the competitiveness will increase with each race length. I have found the 5k to be the most low key, fun race of them all, and the 10K was also a fun length. Each run length will have a slightly different course mapped out, and I prefer the courses that are heavy on in park miles vs. road miles. Make sure to take a look at past race maps to decide.


Do you find yourself checking out the medals for the finishers of the Run Disney races and eyeing them with envy? The one thing every Run Disney participant will tell you is that the bling, aka the medals, are 100% worth it. In fact, I participated in my first Run Disney event because I thought the medal was cool. There is also something quite addicting about collecting each of the medals, from each of the races.

There are several things that make Run Disney races attractive for even non-runners. For me, I felt like I unlocked a new level of Disney enthusiast, and there is no going back. It’s satisfying to also know that I am on a fitness journey with a community who appreciates Disney parks (and running through them at dawn) as much as I do. Plus, there is just no feeling like running down Main Street through Cinderella Castle for the very first time - it’s emotional enough to bring tears to your eyes. Would you ever participate in a Run Disney event?

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