It’s Walt Disney World Half Marathon time. Welcome Goofy challenge runners and the half marathon runners. It’s time to leave the Epcot area and run to the Magic Kingdom!
For runners running the half marathon as their first race you’ll need to get your bib on Wed (10a-8p), Thurs (12p-6p), or Fri (10a-7p) at the Wide World of Sports.
Check out the full digital event guide: https://www.rundisneyexpo.run/
It’s Saturday morning and it’s time to go. The start time for the race is 5am but aim to be there by 3:30am to make sure you have plenty of time. All runners should read instructions at their resorts or at the expo to make sure they arrive in time. You will get dropped off at the usual resort bus drop off if you are coming from a resort or park in the usual lot and then go to the front of the park and use the usual EPCOT security entrance. Prepare to have time for this walk!
Also, as a reminder, the walk out to the starting corrals is a bit of a walk. Give yourself plenty of time (45 min at least) to walk back to the start area.
The 2023 WDW Half Marathon course is very familiar. Runners will start outside the park, run up to Magic Kingdom, and then run back to EPCOT. This might be the most consistent course of all the runDisney race weekends. The only differences from 2022 are in the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. In 2022, runners went through the Fantasyland expansion while this year we run along Winnie the Pooh and Princess Fairytale Hall. In EPCOT, last year we didn’t run on the backstage roads before finishing but this year we are. Other than that it’s pretty much identical.
Start: The start as always is outside EPCOT and takes us immediately to World Dr.
1. We then take the very banked road to World Dr, be careful here. It’s always very dark and still pretty crowded so just watch your feet!
2. We run through the Magic Kingdom toll booth (Runners, Caution Ahead!) and then through the MK parking lot.
3. You’ve made it to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)! There are always a ton of people cheering here and then a band on the way out. There are also real bathrooms here that you can run to if you want! We then run up the road and start “cone alley” (where they line up hundreds of cones to split the road, cars on one side, runners on the other. DO NOT CROSS THE CONES! Once we go under the water bridge and pass the Contemporary we are at the Magic Kingdom!
4. We will then run through the resort bus drop off area, through the main turnstiles, and then under the train station to enter MK. This is my favorite way to run into MK!
5. Once in MK, we’ll run down Main St (have those cameras read for a castle selfie), then hang a right into Tomorrowland, then run through Fantasyland and the castle (if you want a picture in front of the castle hang towards the left side of the running path), then we run through Liberty Square and Frontierland before exiting the park. There is always a fun pic in the backstage area here too!
6. Once exiting MK, it always gets really dark and crowded if it’s still pre-sunrise. It’s back to a single lane road and the only lights come from those temporary spotlights which always means the brights are too bright and the darks are too dark.
7. Running past the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian are always fun because there are people out cheering but also watch out for the speed humps. They can be hard to see.
8. We then make the long journey back to EPCOT. At the clover on-ramp it will be a bit of a hill and on an incline so watch your footing. You’ll then run over World Dr and head back into EPCOT.
9. At this point, there will be a sharp turn and then you’ll take the ramp (hill) into the EPCOT parking lot.
10. You’ll run through the EPCOT bus drop off area, before heading backstage behind the Seas and the Land.
11. We will enter EPCOT between the Land and Imagination before running across Future World before heading backstage again near Test Track. This will feel pretty winding. We then run the roads backstage before exiting to the parking lot finish line. Smile pretty and throw those arms up!
You’ll then get your medal, your snack box, and find your friends and family before getting on the bus or into your car to head home to shower.