The Casual Runner

Top 5 Tips: Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Top 5 Things You Need to Know for the runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Last year we brought you the Glass Slipper Challenge and Princess Half Marathon Preview and Tips in the weeks leading up to your run at Walt Disney World. This year we’re stepping up our game by giving you the five things you need to know to have a magical Princess Weekend!

So let’s get down to it…

Please make sure you go back and read our Glass Slipper Challenge and Princess Half Marathon Preview and Tips for a more in-depth preview of the weekend. 

5) Pack Now

Make sure you’re packed and ready to go. Put those last minute rhinestones on your tiaras and fluff your tutus because it’s time to run like a princess. Don’t forget to pack emergency supplies (such as a glue gun) in case something happens to your costume in transfer.  Trust me I’m speaking from experience. Nothing sucks more than not being able to run in your costume because it fell apart on the way to Disney.

Bonus tip: The backside of the half marathon course sends you down World Drive. At this time of year, many of you will be running directly into the sun. It is a good idea, if possible, to consider a pair of sunglasses or a hat with a brim on it that compliments your race costume to help shield your eyes, you’ll thank me for this one.

4) Survive the Expo

The race Expo will be insane on opening day…imagine Black Friday with all runDisney items. Get there hours before open if you want to be one of the first princesses in the door or wait until the next day to go!  Unless you have a special piece of merchandise you are seeking out or you are running the 5k, there is no need to go to the expo on the first day. The expo opens Thursday February 23rd at 10am and crowds will thin out as the weekend goes on. Of course, if you want to go at the opening of the first day for the thrill of the hunt or the entertainment value, have at it!

Check out our tips for surviving a runDisney race expo.

3) Plan Your Parks

Minimize park time the day(s) before your race(s).  Doing laps around World Showcase will exhaust your legs, especially if the weather is warm. Staying to watch your favorite firework show is not advised if you want to get sleep for your 3am wake up call. Instead, consider spending a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (it is the smallest park), where you can enjoy For the First Time in Forever a Frozen Sing-a-long, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, One Man’s Dream, Disney Junior Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Star Wars Path of the Jedi, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and  Muppets Vision 3-D. As you can see, this park offers lots of sit-down shows and there is minimal walking between them, so it is a great option for saving your legs the day before a race.

2) Adjust Expectations: No Castle This Year?

Unless the official event guide is wrong…we appear to not be running through the castle during the half marathon. According to the course map contained in runDisney’s official event guide, which is the only official statement we’ve seen from runDisney itself to date, instead, when we run by the carousel towards the castle, we will take a right turn before the castle that will send us on the path toward Liberty Square, bypassing the Hub altogether. Fingers crossed runDisney will find a way to have a Photopass station set up where we can still get pictures with the castle in the background.

runDisney made this same change in the published course map for the 2017 Donald Duck Half Marathon course, and, even though weather cancelled that race, this change upset and disappointed runners as running through the castle is a highlight of any runDisney race. Yes, there is a possibility that this course map is wrong, but, until we receive official word otherwise, we are adjusting our expectations accordingly.

1) SMO Celebration!

Wear your medals to the parks!

Embrace the clank (that all-too-familiar sound where your multiple race medals clank against one another as you walk around the parks). Get your medal pictures in front of the castle (since you won’t be running through it during the race) or in front of Spaceship Earth. Maybe even ask your favorite Disney Princess to sign the back of your medal and snap a quick pic with her! You will see plenty of your fellow princesses doing just this, so join them, you’ve earned it!

I look forward to seeing all of my favorite Princess runners soon! If you see me out there say hi. I’ll be dressed as Mrs. Potts for the 5K and will be wearing a Be Our Guest running tank for the half.  Fellow Casual Runner Team Member, Tracy Bratt, will be on the course as well and Mike plans on being out on the course spectating, so chances are you will see one of us. So don’t forget to stop and say hello.

We have even more great articles to get you ready to run during Princess Weekend!

Glass Slipper Challenge & Princess Half Marathon Preview & Tips
Race Review: 2015 Princess Half Marathon
Race Review: 2013 Princess Half Marathon, Part 1 & Part 2
Race Review: 2015 Enchanted 10k

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!