The Casual Runner

Top 5 Tips – Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

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

Last year we brought you the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge and Disneyland Half Marathon Preview and Tips in the weeks leading up to your run at Disneyland. This year we’re stepping up our game by giving you the five things you need to know to have a Pixar filled Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!

So let’s get down to it…

Please make sure you go back and read our Dumbo Double Dare Challenge and Disneyland Half Marathon Preview and Tips for a more in-depth preview of the weekend. 

5) New Theme – Pixar

This race weekend comes with a brand new theme this year – Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Celebrating Pixar.  Along with the theme change the 10K/Half Marathon Challenge is no longer referred to as the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, now it is called the Disneyland Double Dare Challenge.  The runDisney website is referring to the challenge as the 5th Anniversary of the Challenge, so fingers crossed they do something to celebrate the runners that have ran all 5 years.  Last year runners who had run all four challenges had a different color bib and lanyard on their medal.  For completing the challenge all finishers will receive a medal featuring Luxo the lamp and the infamous Pixar ball.

So, let’s breakdown the themes.   “Adventure is Out There” and they will celebrating the characters from “Up.”  Finishers will receive an adorable rubber medallion featuring Russell and Doug.  The 5K celebrates everyone’s favorite super hero family, The Incredibles.  Dash to the finish line to receive your gold medal featuring the entire family.  The 10K celebrates all the monsters from Montropolis starting in Monsters Inc and Monsters University.  The medal features  Mike and Sully coming out of a door.  The half marathon is all about the Toys!  Hurry to the finish line to get your finishers medal featuring Toy Story characters, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, and Woody.


This theming makes way for excellent costume ideas.  We here at Casual Runner cannot wait to see some of the costumes some of our readers will be wearing.  Keep your eyes out for Not Real Runners John Biel and Sara Lupien… cannot wait to see all the pictures of Harryhausen’s Sushi Chef and Miss Fritter!

Side note – one more important change to this race weekend… All races start at 5:00 AM PST!  Remember to set your alarms earlier than you are used to for runDisney races.

4) Survive the Expo

The Expo will be insane on opening day…imagine Black Friday with all runDisney items. Okay maybe not that crazy, it’s not like this is Princess Half Marathon weekend, but pretty close to it.  Get there hours before open or wait until the next day to go! Unless you have a special piece of merchandise you’re seeking out there is no need to go to the expo on the first day unless you’re running the 5K.  The expo opens Thursday August 31st at 10am PST 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!  You may see a few of our readers there on the hunt for a certain shoe ornament.

Check out our tips for surviving a runDisney race expo.

3) Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout 

If you only travel to Disneyland for runDisney race weekends this is your first chance to ride Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout at Disneyland’s California Adventure.  This ride was formerly Tower of Terror, but has been rethemed to take you thru the Collector’s Museum collection. This is definitely a ride you will want to grab a Fast Pass for or ride during an Extra Magic Hour. I know we cannot wait to ride this ride, but unfortunately we will have to wait until we head out to Disneyland for the Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend.

Can’t get enough Guardians of the Galaxy?  Disneyland’s California Adventure is currently celebrating “Summer of Heroes” through September 10th.  You can catch the Guardianns of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off featuring Star Lord, Gamora, and Groot throughout the day in front of the que for Mission Breakout.  There are also photo pass opportunities where Baby Groot will appear in your hand (no one tell Candace about this we are already going to have to figure out how to not let her see all the Baby Groot merchandise on the way out of the Mission Breakout ride).

2) Angel’s Stadium

One of the best parts of this race is that you get to run through the Los Angeles’ Angels of Anaheim Stadium.  I’m not just talking about running around the structure.  You actually get to go into the stadium and run on the field.  While you running around the stadium typically it is the Boy and Girl Scouts of America that are cheering you on, but this is subject to change.  Also while you’re running keep your eyes on the Jumbotron as you will see yourself on it!

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 Sleeping Beauty’s Castle or Mickey’s Fun Wheel.

If you decided to skip photo ops on the course you can always get your picture with Lightening McQueen and Mater in Cars Land and Russell and Doug at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.  Or some other great photo ops with your Pixar medals can be done in Cars Land, Monsters Inc Mike and Sully to the Rescue!, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Bugs Life land.

Magical Moment – You really should try to stop for photos on the course if you can allot some time for it.  There are typically rare characters that you cannot see in the parks that you will see along the course.  With a Monsters Inc theme for the 10K hopefully they’ll have Boo and/or George Sanderson out – we have only spotted them once at the 2016 Disney World Marathon.

Unfortunately we will not be seeing you at this race, but we cannot wait to hear from our readers and all the fun they have!

Bonus Tip – Cigna Runs Together

We feel it is important to let all of our readers heading out to California all about the Disneyland Half Marathon Race Weekend sponsor, Cigna.

Cigna does an excellent job of hosting this weekend.  Make sure you check out their booth at the expo to “Know Your Numbers.”  They also tend to have some great freebies at their expo booth as well.


Cigna Runs Together is not just another catchy hashtag.  Many Cigna employees run the events during the race weekend.  Don’t worry you’ll be able to spot them along the course with their matching shirts!  We have found them to be awesome support along the course to their fellow runners, so much so that we felt the need to make them one of our top five tips for the weekend.

We have even more great articles to get you ready to run during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!

RACE REVIEW: 2016 Disneyland HALF MARATHON, 2015 DisneyLand Half Marathon, 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon
RACE REVIEW: 2016 Disneyland 10K2015 Disneyland 10K2014 Disneyland 10K
Cosrunning Pixar Style: Lightening McQueen, Boo and mike, George Sanderson
Cigna: Cigna Runs Together, Cigna Great Race, Training Tips: Avoiding Injury

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!