With runners already heading to WDW for Marathon Weekend it’s no better time to take a look at the final race of the 2023 WDW Marathon Weekend, the 30th WDW Marathon!
This will be my 13th time running the WDW Marathon and as always, I’m so excited to make this 26.2 mile journey in my favorite place!
First, for those running only the marathon you will need to go to bib pickup Wed (10a-8p), Thurs (12p-6p), Fri (10a-7p), or Sat (11a-3p). Be sure to give yourself at least an hour to get your bib and long sleeve tshirt!
Check out the digital event guide here: https://www.rundisneyexpo.run/
Morning of the race, be sure to read the information at the expo or at your resort regarding bus and driving transportation directions. I’m not a first bus person but I usually try to get on the bus 15 min ahead of the end of the bus times given at the resort.
As with all the races during the 2023 WDW Marathon Weekend, your bus drop off will be in the resort bus drop off area and all runners will be directed to the front of the park to use the EPCOT bag/security check gates. Make sure you have plenty of time to not feel rushed.
Once you take care of any pre-race needs, you will then make your way to the start corrals. I’m not a front of the corral person but I’ll usually give myself 45 min to 1 hour to make my way to my start corral and make a last porta-potty stop need the corrals.
Now it’s show time! I love the spectacle that is the WDW Marathon, it’s a wonderful journey and just full of so much of what makes humans great. There will be struggles but also victories along the way, so just take it one mile at a time and soak up the journey!
The 2023 WDW Marathon course is very similar to 2022’s course. We will start with a loop in EPCOT before heading to the Magic Kingdom. After running through the castle we then make the journey to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We run through Animal Kingdom and then run past the entrance to Coronado before a quick loop in the Blizzard Beach parking lot. We then run to Hollywood Studios, around the Crescent Lake area, and then make that final run around World Showcase. The route at the end of this marathon really can’t be beat!
Start: The start is just outside EPCOT, on the roads that cars take the enter/exit.
1. After running on the roads you will then be running the same way the 10k started or the end of the half marathon. We’ll go on the overpass ramp before entering EPCOT.
2. Runners then run under Spaceship Earth, across Future World and Exit behind Test Track.
3. We then run along the roads outside EPCOT, where we started and make our way to World Dr.
4. The ramp to get on World Dr can get a little narrow, be a little dark, and it’s banked so watch your footing here!
5. After running up World Dr, through the Magic Kingdom parking lot, then we run through Transportation and Ticket Center which is always so much fun and gives me a boost from all the people cheering on runners. Once you are through TTC, we’ll then enter cone alley where runners have one lane of the road and cars have the other lane. DO NOT CROSS THE CONES!
6. After running past the Contemporary it’s finally MK time! We will run backstage before entering MK around Tony’s Restaurant before running up Main St. Have those cameras ready for a caste selfie. A loop through Tomorrowland, through the Fantasyland expansion, and then through the castle (stay to the left if you want a pic in front of the castle!). You’ll then head right into Liberty Square and then make a tight turn near Big Thunder before exiting the park.
7. When we exit MK, they usually have a parade float set up as a character stop. Once we get back on the roads, it gets pretty dark with weird spot lights and it’s always had to see if you are running pre-dawn. This quickly turns into another cone alley, please don’t cross the cones, and watch your step on the speed humps, they can be sneaky!
8. Running by the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian is always a boost too with all the people out cheering! We then run along the parking lot and begin out journey to DAK! Just before mile 15 is the water treatment plant, just a heads up!
9. We now start the out and back loop into DAK. We’ll run past the backstage animal enclosures and they usually will have some animals out for photos which is always so fun.
10. We enter DAK around Africa, then run to Asia, past Everest, and exit through Dinoland. This is always a fun loop, the cast members in DAK are always so energized and DAK is just so beautiful!
11. After we exit the park, we run back to the place where we enter so say hi to your fellow runners! You’ll then turn onto Western Way making our way to Coronado Springs.
12. At the entrance of Coronado Springs Resort we’ll then run towards Blizzard Beach, do a quick out and back and then run through the Blizzard Beach parking lot.
13. We’ll then run along Beuna Vista Way to Disney Hollywood Studios. This is the beginning of the end everyone, you are almost there!
14. Runners will enter around Fantasmic where they will be greeted by a small hill and volunteers with chocolate/candy 🙂 We’ll then run down Sunset Blvd for a little bit before taking backstage routes to the front of the park. This is always a fun place full of people cheering in the DHS parking lot!
15. We then run towards Crescent Lake area and get ready for lots of crowd support. It always starts getting real here and the emotions start coming up!
16. We will run around Crescent Lake on the Boardwalk side before entering EPCOT through the International Gateway area. We then run around World Showcase (always fun music and lots of characters out!) and run towards Future World.
17. We will exit behind Test Track again and then run the roads backstage before finishing in the parking lot with big smiles and arms raised in triumph!
You’ll then get your Marathon Medal, water, and then get your challenge medals if that applies. Grab a snack box and then it’s time to celebrate with friends and family!
I can’t believe we are only a week away, it’s coming up so soon!