This race weekend happens the weekend before the US’s Dr. MLK Jr. Weekend or the weekend before the second Monday in January. It is the oldest runDisney weekend and is the only race weekend to include a full marathon. The weekend includes a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon. You can sign up for the Goofy Challenge, which consists of the Half Marathon and Marathon (39.3 miles), or the Dopey Challenge, which consists of running all 4 races (48.6 miles).
Each race is dedicated to a classic Disney character, currently the 5k is Pluto’s race, the 10k is Chip and Dale’s race, the Half Marathon is Donald and Daisy’s race, and the Marathon is Mickey and Minnie’s race.
Depending on how close to New Year’s Eve/Day the weekend happens will determine the crowd levels at the park. Historically, New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest days at the theme parks so you may still experience higher crowds the earlier in January the race weekend occurs.
2024 Race Weekend Information
- Race Weekend Dates: Jan 3-7, 2024
- Registration Dates: Club runDisney – April 4, 2023 | Regular – April 11, 2023 10am ET
- Location: Epcot, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL
- Expo: Jan 3-6, 2024 | Wed 10a-8p, Thur 12p-7p, Fri 12p-7p, Sat 11a-3p
- 5k: Thurs, Jan 4, 2024 | $107.99 – SOLD OUT | Epcot | Time: 5am
- 10k: Fri, Jan 5, 2024 | $150.99 – SOLD OUT | Epcot | Time: 5am
- Half Marathon: Sat, Jan 6, 2024 | $218.99 – SOLD OUT | Epcot | Time: 5am
- Marathon: Sun, Jan 7, 2024 | $221.00 – SOLD OUT | Epcot | Time: 5am
- Goofy Challenge: Jan 6 & 7, 2024 | $432.00 – SOLD OUT | Epcot
- Dopey Challenge: Jan 4-7, 2024 | $672.00 – SOLD OUT | Epcot
- RunDisney Race Webpage: https://www.rundisney.com/events/disneyworld/disneyworld-marathon-weekend/
- runDisney Unveils Mickey and Friends Medals for 2024 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
RACE WEEKEND DESCRIPTION
The Walt Disney World 5k (3.1 miles) occurs on the Thursday morning of the race weekend and is an untimed, family race. It starts and ends in the Epcot parking lot at 5am and runs backstage past the cast parking lot, then around World Showcase, and into Future World. There are usually 4-6 characters along the course and at the finish you will get a medal, a water, a Powerade, a snack box, and a banana.
The Walt Disney World10k (6.2 miles) is run on the Friday morning of the race weekend and is a timed race usually around Epcot and the Epcot resort area or Hollywood Studios. The race starts and ends in the Epcot parking lot and runs on the roads outside of Epcot before either running around World Showcase, the Crescent Lake resorts, and Future World or runs to Hollywood Studios, then through the Crescent Lake resorts, and then through Epcot. There are usually 6-8 characters on the course and at the finish you will get a medal, a water, a Powerade, a snack box, and a banana.
WDW Half MARATHON
The Walt Disney World Half Marathon (13.1 miles/21.1 km) is run on Saturday morning at 5am. The start line is on a road outside Epcot and then runs to Magic Kingdom then back to and through Epcot and then ends in the Epcot parking lot. There are usually 10-15 characters on the course and at the finish you will get a medal, a water, a Powerade, a challenge medal (if applicable), a snack box, and a banana.
The Walt Disney World Marathon (26.2 miles/42.2 km) is run on Sunday morning at 5am. The start line is on a road outside Epcot and then runs all over property. The most recent course runs through Epcot, then to Magic Kingdom, then to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, runs in the Blizzard Beach parking lot, then through Disney’s Hollywood Studios, around Crescent Lake, then through Epcot, and finishes in the Epcot parking lot. In past years the course has included the Wide World of Sports. There are usually 10-15 characters on the course and at the finish you will get a medal, a water, a Powerade, a challenge medal (if applicable), a snack box, and a banana.
WDW Marathon Weekend Maps
Past Race Weekend Info and History
Inaugural Race Weekend: Jan 15-16, 1994
This is the original runDisney event. The inaugural weekend hosted a family fun run around Epcot on Jan 15th and then the marathon on Jan 16th that ran through Epcot, the Crescent Lake Area, MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios), and through the Magic Kingdom (the castle was the half way point. Watch the video below for all the action!
Then in 1998, Donald’s Half Marathon was run for the first time on the same day as the marathon. In 1999, the marathon course was changed to include the newest theme park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
In 2006, the Marathon and Half Marathon ran on separate days and created the Goofy Challenge.
In 2014, Minnie’s 10k was added to the weekend to turn it into a four days of running events and also created the Dopey Challenge where you ran all 4 races. In 2020, runDisney changed the 10k character to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and then in 2023 it changed to Chip and Dale.
In 2015, runDisney introduced the Castaway Cay Challenge where WDW Marathon Weekend runners could then board a Disney cruise, run the Castaway Cay 5k, and earn a bonus medal.
In 2019, the 5k character changed from Pluto to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit but the race returned to Pluto the next year when Oswald took over the 10k.
News Article from 1995: https://www.newspapers.com/image/134211425/?clipping_id=22100926&fcfToken=eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJmcmVlLXZpZXctaWQiOjEzNDIxMTQyNSwiaWF0IjoxNjkxMjc0OTQxLCJleHAiOjE2OTEzNjEzNDF9.1E5PoYn3THAM70h5gKXmQ4cmydSfqAIfwoTIOGlZdEM
Disney Blog Posts:
- Perfectly runDisney: Running 30 Years of the Walt Disney World Marathon!
- A Totally RAD First Look at runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Merchandise!
- ChEARs to 30 Years of the runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon!
- runDisney Unveils ‘90s Retro-Themed Medals for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
- ChEARS to New Event Gear With a Sneak Peek at 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Merchandise!
More WDW marathon Info
Let’s take a look at the 2023 WDW Marathon race route together!
Let’s take a look at the 2023 WDW half marathon race route together!