It’s finally time to review the half marathon course! That medal is definitely not just some prize to be won, you’ve got to dig a little deeper to make it a part of your world. The race may make a man out of you but it will all feel once upon a dream when you return home but they can’t order you to stop dreaming of another race weekend, can they?
For the 2022 Princess Half Marathon it looks like they are going back to basics and giving runners a very familiar half marathon course. The course starts in Epcot, goes to the Magic Kingdom, and then ends back in Epcot.
The start corrals are completely different and IF YOU ARE DRIVING you will not be parking at Epcot but rather parking at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and then taking a shuttle over. I would give yourself at least 30-45 minutes for this or plan to get a drop off either from a family member/friend or from a ride-share service.
From the Digital Event Guide: (note runDisney replaces the info at this link with the latest race)
Same as the 5k and 10k, all runners will need to use the theme park security and enter the runner area at the “Event Entry” location on the map. But you will get to save some steps, because unlike every other half marathon that starts in Epcot’s parking lot, you are NOT going to have to make the half mile walk to the start corrals on the roads, yay! This is happening because of some roadwork, so the same start corrals that were used for the 5k and 10k will be used for the half. The shuttles for drivers will be a pain but starting the parking lot is great!
Overall, the half marathon course is similar to past years. It starts out in front of Epcot, runs up to and through the Magic Kingdom, and then runs back to and through Epcot before finishing. As in past years, I’m assuming you will be in “cone alley” from mile marker 4 to the Contemporary and then from mile marker 6 to mile marker 7, for those that haven’t run a half marathon at Walt Disney World before, cone alley is a section of course where there is a two-lane road, one lane is kept open for cars and one lane is used for runners and there is a thick line of cones separating the two. DO NOT CROSS the cones. Just don’t do it. The course through the Magic Kingdom takes Princesses through the main turnstiles and under the train station while the route through Epcot has you entering from behind Imagination and then exiting on the opposite side of Future World but you won’t run through the backstage area like in 2020.
Now that we have the overall idea of the course, let’s jump into the details.
- As we talked about above, Princesses will start in the Epcot parking lot before talking World Dr to Magic Kingdom.
- The course through the MK parking lot is the same as in 2020, basically running a straight shot through the parking lot and then through the Ticket and Transportation Center. You then run on the road to the Contemporary (cone alley), under the water bridge, and then pass in front of the Contemporary before turning left into the Magic Kingdom resort bus drop off area.
- You then run through the resort bus area before turning right and running through the turnstiles/front entrance of the Magic Kingdom. You then run under the right passage under the train station and run up Main St USA towards Cinderella Castle. You’ll hang a right into Tomorrowland, run past the Speedway and the Tea Cups on your way to Storybook Circus and New Fantasyland where you will run the “back side” of Seven Dwarves Mine Train. You then run through Fantasyland and through Cindy’s castle before hanging a right through Liberty Square. You’ll finish your run through MK by running through Frontierland and exit the Magic Kingdom behind Splash Mountain.
You then start your trek back to Epcot but hopefully after exiting Frontierland they will have an awesome parade float photo op in the backstage area. Once you are back on the roads, you then enter another cone alley area as you run past the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian. This part of the course always has weird lighting so watch your footing especially if you decide to run in the grass. You then follow the road along the Magic Kingdom parking lot.
You then head out onto World Dr again before taking the exit ramp back to Epcot (an incline).
You’ll run on the overpass to Epcot, then there are some more small hills on this section of road, and then the small out and back at mile 11 before we enter the Epcot parking lot.
You then run through the Epcot parking lot (another small incline) before running backstage behind the Seas and the Land. You will enter the onstage Epcot area from behind Imagination.
It looks like you will take a wiggly route across Future World. You’ll then run along the construction walls, before running through the breezeway by the Creations Shops, past the Guardians construction and then exit out the backstage area by Spaceship Earth and finish in the usual spot in the Epcot parking lot.
Again, overall, this is a very familiar course for seasoned WDW Marathon Weekend the Princess Weekend runners and I hope you enjoy running through the castle again!
So, what’s your favorite part of the the Princess Half Marathon course? Let me know in the comments below!