It's the biggest runDisney day of the year (well, usually it is), as today would normally be the day of the Walt Disney World Marathon! Tonight the panel will discuss all of the aspects of the runDisney experience and some advice on running these weekends as a DVC Member. While the entire 2020-21 runDisney season was officially converted to all virtual races with the recent cancellation of the Star Wars Rival Run, we hope tonight will build up excitement and anticipation for those looking to attend these race weekends in the future!
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runDisney Race Weekends as a DVC Member
What is your favorite runDisney Race Weekend?
At the time of this live show, there are currently four different race weekends at Walt Disney World:
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – Early January
- 5K through Full Marathon, Goofy Challenge (Half & Full Marathon), & Dopey Challenge (5K-Full Marathon)
- Disney Cruise Line Castaway Cay Challenge – run any race distance during Marathon Weekend and the Castaway 5K during a predetermined sailing (usually the sailing right after the race weekend).
- Princess Half Marathon Weekend – Mid February
- 5K through Half Marathon & Fairy Tale Challenge (10K & Half Marathon)
- Star Wars Rival Run Weekend (undergoing a retheme in 2022, which is still TBD) – Mid April
- 5K through Half Marathon & Star Wars Rival/Kessel Run Challenge (10K & Half Marathon and/or Virtual Half Marathon)
- Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – Early November
- 5K through Half Marathon & Two-Course Challenge (10K & Half Marathon)
Which are the best DVC Resorts to stay at during these races?
The answers can vary since all four races do not have the same starting location. Here are the usual starting locations based on previous years:
- Marathon & Princess Weekends:
- All Races: Epcot Parking Lot
- Star Wars & Wine and Dine Weekends:
- 10K & Half Marathon: Magic Kingdom Parking Lot/Transportation & Ticket Center
- 5K: Epcot Parking Lot
For those that begin in the Epcot parking lot, any of the Epcot Resorts, such as Beach Club & Boardwalk, are excellent choices for those weekends. As for the ones that kick-off from the Magic Kingdom parking lot, resorts like Wilderness Lodge, Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian will be your best options if you want to be as close as possible. However, there are two resorts that will work for almost all of the weekends, and those will be Saratoga Springs & Old Key West given their central locations; they may not be right next to the start line like some of the others, but they are the most practical for those wanting to be fairly close while saving some points.
What are some advantages to running Disney as a DVC Member?
Loyalty definitely has it's perks. As a Disney Vacation Club Member, you have the ability be to be among the first to register as DVC owners and Annual Passholders receive early registration. What this means: runDisney will set aside a certain number of spots per distance where runners with these affiliations can register a few days in advance. While they do limit the number of spots during that period, it is a nice perk being able to have the chance to register first.
As for the accommodations and amenities DVC Resorts provide, some perks include having a fitness center onsite, a kitchen in multi-bedroom villas since the races start very early and quick-service locations will likely not be open, and a microwave in Studios for on-the-go breakfasts.
First Timers: Which distance would you start off with as your first race? Regulars: What is your dream bucket-list race distance or weekend?
For many, their first race is usually a 5K (3.1 miles) or a 10K (6.2 miles). If you're an experienced runner but haven't run a Disney race yet, they are very similar to other races, and you should be fine with the distance you are used to. For runDisney regulars, challenges – especially the Goofy & Dopey challenges, are bucket-list races since you will usually get an extra medal for doing one of these during any race weekend. For most of these challenges, you will receive 3 medals except for Dopey, where you receive 6 medals!
Regardless of the race weekend or distance you choose, every runDisney finish line is magical and we look forward to seeing you cross one when these races return in the future!
As always, be sure to join us next Sunday evening at 9 PM Eastern Time for a review on Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort!
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