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5 Tips No One Tells You About Running At Disney

Okay so many not “no one” but it’s a catchier title than the some of the alternatives. Since I’ve been running Disney races for 10 years, I’ve learned and seen a lot at these race weekend. Here are some of the tips that I don’t hear a lot but are important when you are thinking about your run-cation strategies!

1. You will not be able to leave the 5k before 6:15/30 – If you are thinking, “oh I’m in an early corral, so I can just run a quick 5k hop on the bus and be back at my resort by 6:15 or so,” think again. Because of how the course is set up it basically prevents the buses from being able to leave until the first 1-1.5 miles are clear of runners. Since it takes about 30-40 min to send off all the runners this means the last runners won’t be cleared until 20-30 min or so after that so around 6:30. Plan accordingly if you are trying to make it to the parks for rope drop!

2. Yes, your running belt is a bag that needs to be checked – Bag check is not just there to annoy you, it’s to keep us all safe. Don’t be that runner. If you are carrying items in a bag of any kind/is not a pocket that is a part of your running gear, it’s a bag & you need to go through bag check. If you try to walk through, they will send you back to go through the line.

3. Be extra kind to the bus drivers and people helping at the race weekend bus stops – The team managing the transportation to the races and expo are working a really intense schedule over race weekend (many working 12hr days). This isn’t their normal routes, they may mess up, and they are all just trying to do their best. I’ve had a couple rides where the driver got a little lost but I’ve never missed a start line. Just pack your patience and be sure to thank those working the race weekend because without them the experience wouldn’t be nearly as magical.

4. Sometimes characters don’t get what’s going on – Usually characters understand that the race photo ops are the definition of “hug and shove”. Runners are coming in for a pic not for a full interaction. Occasionally, you will get a character that doesn’t understand this and those lines crawl. Usually it’s like 5-7 sec a person so it makes a difference.

5. Real bathrooms are great but they will probably F-up your GPS – Being able to use a real bathroom when running through the parks is awesome but it always messes up my GPS. The buildings at WDW are built with lots of concrete and steel which means your GPS signal is going to go a little haywire. Normally, I’ll gain 0.25-1.0 miles because of this (and because I have a strict policy not to pause my watch when racing) and sometime opt for port-o-potties to avoid the iddues. Note your distance before you run into the bathroom or, if you forget to look, note the difference at the next mile marker!

So these are some tips that don’t normally get talked about, what are your “lesser known” tips?