Disney’s Princess Half Marathon is a magical race and one that holds a special place in my heart. It was my first race (yes, you never forget your first!) and while I’m saddened not to be running this year, I thought I’d share some tips that can help make this event for you even more magical.
1. Arrive Early
Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo – Try to arrive at the expo on the first day if you want a chance to purchase official runDisney race merchandise as it is known to sell out fairly quickly. Disney Parks Blog usually updates prior to race some of the items offered for sale. If you’re interested in any items, I suggest to go to that merchandise tent FIRST, then visit the other vendors. Trust me when I tell you I missed out on so many things I wanted.
Races – All Walt Disney World Resorts including Swan and Dolphin, and Shades of Green, are host resorts, meaning that transportation to and from Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo will be provided as well as transportation to the race start and back to the resort from the finish line. Buses start around 3 AM, and please, please arrive early. I was on the buses no later than 3:30 AM, and while race start isn’t until 5:30 AM, some bus drivers have gotten lost or stuck in traffic. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re going to miss start time when you already have the race nervousness going. Leave early, take your pre-race meal with you (most resorts have marathon boxes with bagels, fruits, etc.) and find a spot to sit and stretch, eat your meal, use the port-o-potty, take pics with friends, etc. If you purchased a race retreat, you’ll have access to a private potty, and eat breakfast under a heated tent. I did this during my first Princess Half and it was so worth it!
2. Plan on running in costume
Running 13.1 or 19.3 miles through Walt Disney World in costume makes it much more fun. My first Princess I ran in Cinderella costume (she’s my favorite princess) and I’ve run as Minnie, Merida, Remy from Ratatouille (for Wine and Dine Half), and Tinker Bell. Look at Pinterest for some ideas! It’s so much fun planning and making costumes, but be sure to run in it before race time. You don’t want to find during the race that the costume chafes your skin, rides up, etc. That way you’ll be prepared and ready to go.
3. Take your phone/camera for pictures
Disney knows how to put on a race. From fireworks after every corral starts, to character stops throughout, make the most of your race and take pictures. Photographers take pictures at character stops, including the beautiful Cinderella Castle stop and VoluntEARS can also take pictures with your phone. Don’t forget to use an armband, and if you’re placing the phone in your pocket, don’t forget to put it inside of a sandwich baggie so that sweat or rain (hope not!), it doesn’t get damaged.
4. Run Disney for fun
This one is up to you, but I’ve runDisney multiple times and learned to run Disney primarily for fun, not time. There are many reasons that bring you to the start line, so get out there and enjoy it. The entire weekend, the 5K, Enchanted 10K and the Princess Half Marathon is beyond magical. Run with friends, or run solo, but make the best of it. Stop at character stops, jump high in front of the Castle and just have a blast. The spectators are wonderful, and the voluntEARS are amazing.
5. Wear your medals with pride around the parks.
You’ve earned it! I wear mine to the parks the day after and take pictures throughout the parks with them. Love when people as well as cast members congratulate you on your accomplishments. It’s really motivating and uplifting!
I’ll be excitedly cheering for you all from the City of Brotherly Love, as well as following all your tweets and Instagram posts.
Have a magical race!