Running a runDisney race has been on my bucket list for quite some time and the main reason it took me so long to run one was the cost. Have you seen how much it costs to register for one of their races? Registering for one of their half marathons is almost $200 and if you decide to register for one of their challenges like Dopey or the Rebel Challenge, that is an even bigger investment. You also need to consider the travel expenses you will incur if you do not live near Disneyland or Disney World. It all adds up.
So are runDisney races worth the cost?
I guess that depends on what “worth it” means to you.
Obviously I am no runDisney expert as the Rebel Challenge (which included the Star Wars 10k and the Star Wars Half Marathon) is currently my only runDisney experience. And since the Rebel Challenge was held at Disneyland, I can’t speak for any of the races at Disney World. I can however, break down the pros and cons of my experience which will hopefully help you make the decision on whether or not a runDisney race would be worth it to you.
Pros of a runDisney Race
- Very Organized – runDisney knows what they are doing and they do it well. We found every part of our runDisney experience to be well executed and organized. This included registration, packet pick up and race day.
- Disney Magic – What other race can you run that incorporates the magic of Disney into the race? Running in the theme parks and the character stops along the way make the runDisney races very memorable and unique.
- Instant Vacation – Running a runDisney race pretty much guarantees that you will also be getting a mini vacation as well. Unless of course you live nearby. Making a runDisney trip into a vacation can be a good thing and a bad thing though. Good because it is a vacation, bad because that means more money and more tired legs.
- Great Race Swag – The shirts and medals that we got from our races were top of the line. The three medals we got are easily my favorite out of my entire medal collection.
Cons of a runDisney Race
- Early Start Time – Most runDisney races have a very early morning start time. In the case of the Rebel Challenge, the races started at 5:30am. (The Wine and Dine is one race that does have a nighttime start which presents its own challenges.)
- Big Crowds – Big races like runDisney races means that there will be lots of runners on the course with you. They do have a wave start which help but there will definitely still be congestion along the course and the wait for the characters may be longer than you had hoped.
- Course Outside of Parks – Before signing up for a runDisney race you may want to check out the course map to see just how much of the race is inside of the parks and how much of it is spent outside of the parks. I loved the Star Wars 10k course but wasn’t impressed with the Star Wars Half course. The time spent out of the parks was a let down and not very magical.
- Cost – As I mentioned the cost for a runDisney race is quite an investment. Often you could register for several local races (if not more that several) for the same price as one runDisney race. Do you want to allocate that much of your race budget to one race experience?
So would I run another runDisney event?
Absolutely! But I mostly just say that because I really want to earn the Coast to Coast medal. You can earn the Coast to Coast medal by running one qualifying runDisney race at Disneyland and another qualifying runDisney race at Disney World in the same calendar year. This year would probably be my only chance to do that as I don’t see us going back to Disneyland for a race.
We have our eye on doing the Wine and Dine this year to earn that Coast to Coast medal but we will have to see if we will be able to swing it or not.
In addition to wanting the Coast to Coast medal, I also would like to try out a race at Disney World to see how they compare. Maybe the experience would be different.
Now I want you to weigh in!
Do you think runDisney races are worth it?