Packed full of excitement, adventure and surprises, the Annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will show you a whole different side of Walt Disney World® Resort. One of the most popular race events in America, the Disney marathon is jam-packed with Disney characters and amazing sights for the whole family to enjoy. This one-of-a-kind experience means you can choose your race and walk, jog or sprint to the finish line at the Happiest Place on Earth.
What to expect
Held every January, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is like no other race event in the world. It winds through incredible locations at Disney’s four parks with up to 45,000 runners taking part over the four-day spectacle. Whether you’re a first-time runner or experienced athlete, the wide variety of running events means the whole family can get involved.
Run the half marathon and take in a 13.1-mile course through two of Disney’s most beloved theme parks: Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Home to Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the Disney gang, your half marathon begins at the Magic Kingdom park before heading on to Epcot.
Fancy running twice that? Then the Disney marathon is for you. After you’ve experienced fireworks at the start line, the race takes you through all four of the parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Disney-inspired mile markers let you know exactly how much you’ve achieved, while a glance at the magical Cinderella Castle as you turn down Main Street provides all the motivation you’ll need to complete the Magic Kingdom route.
You’ll be cheered on by all your favourite childhood heroes as you cross the finish line in the shadow of Spaceship Earth, before collecting your unique commemorative medal. If you’ve still got energy to burn and 26.2 miles isn’t enough for you, then sign up for the Goofy Challenge. Be one of the few to complete this ultimate endurance test of both the half and full marathon and leave with a third finisher’s medal, and jelly legs!
Little ones will love all the Disney entertainment along the way, especially taking part in the runDisney kid’s races. There’s plenty of fun to be had in any of the kid’s dashes or the one mile event, as you can run alongside them to spur them on and everyone under 13 will feel like a winner as they leave with their very own finisher’s medal.
Babies still learning to walk won’t miss out on any of the fun either, as there’s even a Diaper Dash race for crawlers. If competing isn’t for you, then there are still plenty of ways to soak up the incredible atmosphere of Walt Disney World at the before and after parties and by cheering on the runners from the sidelines.
Make sure you book your place at the Disney marathon far in advance as registration for the long-distance races often fills up quickly within days of opening. Also, the adult races start early (usually at 5.30am) so if excitement allows, try and get a good sleep the night before!