Posts Tagged by ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
|March 7, 2016||Posted by Running at Disney under Guest Posts, Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Race Recaps|
I was so excited when Brian reached out to do a review of his experience during Princess Half Marathon Weekend. With only 11% of the participants male, this race weekend definitely caters to the ladies and it is interesting to get the male perspective…the good, bad and the ugly. I hope you enjoy his journey from the Expo and through all the races as much as I did!
Glitter, tiaras fit for royalty, light blues, pinks in every shade and every kind of tutu imaginable, including my devilishly proper yellow tutu, I knew this was going to be a fun weekend. I wasn’t off the plane an hour before some of my clothing had glitter on it, Princess Weekend at Walt Disney World was about to begin with style. My wife Jenny and I were running our first runDisney Princess Weekend. My wife had wanted to run these races for the longest time, and I was along for the ride. But what I was in for, I had no idea. Through all the estrogen and pixie dust, this guy had a grand time.
We have learned to arrive at the runDisney expos extra early to avoid the massive crowds that tend to develop around 11am. Our mission was get to the ESPN Wide World of Sports (WWoS) about two hours early. Officially the expo was scheduled to open Thursday at 10am, however, recent expos have unofficially opened the doors to the Jostens Center around 9:30am. At 8:30am we were greeted by a royal red carpet and were about 100 or so back from the main doors. We have done this strategy three times now and haven’t been disappointed yet. In fact, we saw some of the same people in line at this expo that we had at previous expos. The one topic that kept coming up: ‘how busy this expo is compared to the others’.
By 9:20am the line was around zig zagged through the red carpet and around the corner.
The doors opened early at 9:30am letting the swarm of princesses into the Jostens Center where most of the official runDisney Race merchandise is showcased and sold. For the most part, people were calm walking at a brisk pace past most of the expo dealers on the way to the main merchandise area, although some actually ran past us.
We arrived in the madness of the merchandise area, full of people swarming around, grabbing, pulling things off of racks, and even taking entire shelves, I had never seen this kind of sheer madness outside of black Friday. I met another prince running that weekend, and he was on a mission for his wife to find a certain wine glass. We both noticed the same thing, we were in a sea of women who were on missions that dumbfounded us men. I saw Jeff Galloway standing all alone at his booth watching the madness, and I quickly escaped, to head over and meet him. Mr. Galloway has been an exceptional motivator for me on my quest to start longer runs. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and he truly cares about your successes in running and health.
Entering back into the madness of the merchandise area, it was even more chaotic and frantic, with a couple people just grabbing things to trade amongst the other princesses. I actually felt bad for Steven and Ray, both cast members at WWoS complex who were pinned in the corner getting yelled at for certain sizes of the pink ‘Princess Up’ jacket.
It was something you would witness at the stock exchange. For the most part it was pretty civil except for a few shoving sessions. I was so fascinated with this chaos, I had to become apart of it, so I went straight into the hoard of people yelling for these jackets. Ladies were yelling sizes out as the two cast members pulled them out of boxes as quickly as they could. “SMALL”, “TWO MEDIUMS” sizes were being yelled out, so I thought I’d insert a joke, I yelled “Xtra Xtra Large for ME”, which received quite a few laughs. Cast member Steven received a new box, it was a medium, a very popular size request, he knew I needed one for my wife, and I had been pushed to the side by some ladies, he quickly handed me one, and said “only dude crazy enough to battle this.” Thanks I think.
Being a prince surrounded by princesses I was personally looking for something to commemorate my race weekend too. I found a cast member, and asked him if they had anything for the gents. He quickly said “No, we tried that in years past, but it failed miserably.” (RAD Note: This is VERY disappointing on the part of runDisney. Even just one shirt for the guys would be nice.) I was a little disappointed since the race tech shirts were teal and fuchsia, not exactly manly colors. It was then I decided to escape to the checkouts.
The line looked bad, but it progressed along nicely. Just an FYI, we were down in November for the runDisney Wine and Dine Half (half ;-)) and I had my sweatshirt given mistakenly to someone else in all the commotion. Make sure you watch your items go inside your bag at the cash wrap area, things can get very hectic and items can be easily missed. I was lucky the cast members at my resort were nice enough to rectify the situation for me.
One word for the fellas – Don’t look at the receipts, please.
So we decided that since we had to come back to the Jostens Center to pick up our race tech shirts anyway, we would just head over to main registration across the way (HP Field House). We walked out into a situation we have never seen at any runDisney expo.
The line for the HP Field House was way back in the parking lot, which we had to walk from the exit of the Jostens to the parking lot in order to enter the line back to HP. We were not happy about this, but oh well.
Usually at expos there are ample cast members there to guide you, I personally found there to be a lack of them at this one. Within twenty minutes time we made our way back to the main courtyard ofWWoS where Jostens and HP are centrally located.
Finally we snaked around (Mine Train style) to the entrance of HP Field House were you pick up your race bibs.
We entered and found a nice treat, my wife Jenny and I both loved being greeted by the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique ladies already to glitterize you for the upcoming weekend. These ladies were the same that made me a princess with glitter on Sunday, but more on that later.
We noticed how quite and civil race bib pickup was, this past January at the Marathon Weekend had been much busier and chaotic compared to this one. We actually forgot our freshly printed out waivers at the resort, no problem, it took less than 90 seconds to print out all of ours.
Glass Slipper Challenge pick up was a breeze for Jenny, they even gave the tech shirts at this location.
The rest of us (5k, 10k, Half Bibs) had to go to the Jostens Center to pick up. It took 25 mins to grab (different lines) the 5k, 10k, and the Half bibs. We stopped to take a few personal photos, Jenny was disappointed the Glass Slipper Gentlemen from years past were not at the expo for pictures (they were found at mile marker 12 in Epcot during the half).
We started to make our way back outside to head over to Jostens. We entered into complete chaos in the central courtyard of WWoS. You had people trying to enter HP Field House, you had people trying to get to Jostens from 3 separate lines, those three lines were combined by one cast member, utter chaos. Once combined the line lead down stairs and out to the track and field area, a far distance away were thousands of people were lined up to enter Jostens.
My wife and I kept a positive outlook, since it was 73 degrees and gorgeous, while back in Boston it was 21 degrees.
The line actually moved quickly despite its its length.
Most people thought this would take 4 hours, it took all of 40 mins.
Heading back up to the main court yard.
Back in the Courtyard – Cast members wait to lead you to the red carpet line in front of the Jostens.
Zig Zagging the line. Very Civil.
The Expo was swarming with race goers. My wife had to pick up shirts she ordered online at the Raw Threads booth, great idea and it was painless.
The New Balance area was insane as always, and felt even busier than it has for previous expos.
No flippers needed with these.
Finally exiting the expo. Jenny did exceptionally well with merchandise, while I did not.
Disney Princess 5k – Day One of Three
We have found that Disney’s Pop Century Resort is an optimal location for the races. It is located next to ESPN Wide World of Sports and very close to Epcot (where most races start and end). We woke up at 3:15am and made our way to the buses at 4:00am for the 5k start time of 6:00am. We got to the bus area in front of the resort to find a large line, 2 hours before the first corral would go off, pretty early for a runDisney race. The bus situation at Pop Century was exceptional, and even though the line was long, it moved amazingly fast.
At the Start line, everyone was in high spirits, and before I knew it Rudy announced “30 seconds” and then we were off in typical runDisney style, with magical fireworks.
My wife hand made three epic tutus that were amazing compared to the store bought ones, like the amazon special I got. I decided to wear it so I would match my wife, since it was her weekend, and I was just a sidekick along for the ride. I received tons of complements, followed by “I wish my husband or boyfriend would of done that for me!” Most of the ladies out there on the course would of loved their fellow prince to have joined them it seemed.
Something other races that go through Epcot do not have is pink lighting to all the pavilions. Pretty cool.
The Princess 5k was a fun run for us, so we decided to run from character to character.
Sunrise was just coming up as we made our way towards the finish line. It was a special race as I got to run next to my loving princess.
We received our medals, and headed over to get our pictures taken with Ariel and Sebastian. What a great way to wrap up the race.
Disney Enchanted 10k – Day Two of Three
Saturday Morning we woke up at 2:45am to ensure we had ample time to arrive at the race with time to position our selves in our corrals with better placement. Again Pop Century Resort provide exceptional bus service with buses arriving ever couple mins, we were ushered off to the race with ease A very cold morning, but at least there was no rain like we had during the Walt Disney World 10K in January.
The Enchanted 10k was started by the Fairy Godmother magically counting down and of course, fireworks.
Anna and Elsa said hello from their overpass. Typical race pullover.
One thing that I was pretty negative about – was the amount of people in this race that dumped their race heat wraps or old warm clothing on the ground and didn’t toss it off the course as a courtesy for fellow runners. Also, people just stopped for Anna and Elsa and mile marker photo ops, which caused several collisions.
I love the 10k course and always have found it to be rewarding without being too challenging. The guys stuck together in little packs, mostly to pass clumps of people walking 5 across. With being less than 10% of the course, guys would pound fists and high five each other in support, and we were all part of a special fraternity of prince’s. I did find this 10k to be a little light on the support side from crowds in both Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club Resorts compared to the other races I have participated in.
After completing the 10K, we did some park touring. What better way to celebrate your race, than to go to your park of choice.
Disney Princess Half Marathon – Day Three of Three
Sunday Morning we woke up at 2:40am and we headed out of the room at 3:30am to meet a larger line for the buses then we did the previous morning. Once again, Pop Century was prepared and executed perfectly, we were very impressed.
We arrived at the race around 4:00am which was good, since my nerves were on edge. This was my first attempt at a half marathon since January 2014 Marathon Weekend were I was so sick, I disqualified myself at mile 8. So I was NERVOUS and had to force myself to eat, and I drank water like a fish.
We started to make our way to the corrals, that 3/4 mile walk down the same path the 5k goes, seemed cold to me. Jenny was on cloud 9, she looked like nothing could hinder her path to completing her 5th Half Marathon in the last two years. Her first Half was in 2014, the same one I was too sick to finish. She had her cousin Jamie there who is a seasoned runner, and she calmed her pre race nerves. That morning, Jenny was my soothing blanket, she was great. Every step down to the corral split, my heart raced faster and my grip on her hand got tighter. I knew eventually I would have to let go. The split came, and I started to tear up, my nerves on complete edge. I desperately held on for additional seconds, Jenny told me “you got this, you trained for it, enjoy it” She smiled and we hugged and gave a good bye kiss, and she and I headed to our separate corrals.
I made it to my corral with about an 45 minutes before the start. I counted 5 men in my corral. In previous races, both Marathon Weekend and Wine and Dine, inside the corrals people usually start to chit chat, and make small talk. This corral was all business, no talking, no nothing, felt very cold compared to the others. Luckily I was texting my wife for last minute advice.
Before the blink of an eye, Rudy and the Fairy Godmother were letting Corral A off. In true Disney fashion the fireworks were magical. Odd thing, the new digital start line was absent at these races. Wine and Dine along with Marathon Weekend both utilized it, hopefully it comes back.
We were ushered up the start line, and let loose to 13.1 miles. I didn’t get too excited at the start, I stuck to my training pace and pressed on like a trooper.
This hot air balloon was fantastic and photo doesn’t do it justice.
A very cliché picture, but a one I love.
Captain Hook is my favorite and it was a refreshing sight.
Entering the Magic Kingdom was so motivating and it can’t really be described. The support from the cheer squad and cast members was amazing, Thanks to all who supported us.
Fast forward to mile 7, I started to choke up, my sunglasses started to fog, and tears started to form, I knew mile 8 was coming up, this mile had haunted my thoughts for two years. There it is, Mile 8 maker, along with three “parade buses” (these are the buses that sweep people up if they fall behind pace). I stopped for a picture, and away I went – Strong.
Just like in the 10K, the guys would fist bump each other in support for the 9% of us on the course. One thing I didn’t like on the course, that really made me mad, was a fellow guy ran far off the course to relieve himself in the woods. Women passing started to boo, which surprised me as this is typical in other races and usually not an issue, guess that’s not the case for this race. I made it to a port-o-pottie for quick stop, however, I was cut off twice, which made me feel like a second class citizen to fellow princess racers. Other than that, the race was extremely pleasant and up lifting.
Between water volunteers, volunteers in general, random cheerers and my texts from my wife, I was able to make it to Epcot with ease.
Epcot was kind of a joke since you barely skip through it. Finish Line time, I thought I’d tear up, but I powered through like a pro.
Finally got a Half Marathon medal, and the funny thing is I want more of them. Addicted!
After the race we went to 1900 Park Fare for breakfast. Lady Tremaine wanted my bling for herself and I smiled and handed them off with no dismay. I didn’t need a medal to show my worth, I had proven to myself that I could do it, and for that I am so grateful for this weekend. On to the Star Wars ‘Dark Side Challenge’!
Visit Brian Meljac’s personal blog, Dark Side Challenger, where a true star wars geek takes on 22.4 miles of Star Wars Races in April 2016. You can also follow Brian on Periscope (@LiveatDisney).
|February 26, 2016||Posted by Running at Disney under Guest Posts, Health & Fitness Expo, Princess Half Marathon Weekend|
All runDisney race weekends start with a trip to the Health & Fitness Expo. Kristin Cooke is here to take us on a tour of this year’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend Expo and fills us in on all the ins and outs…including some stories from the craziness at opening!
I heard lots of stories from opening morning of the Expo. One girl had a wine glass taken out of her hand and the person ran away right after. A man stood in the checkout line with 3 different boxes of merchandise. Some girls were throwing wine glasses at each other and they broke. Apparently, there was a crush at the jacket table.
Luckily, I didn’t get in town until later Thursday night. So, I headed over to the Expo first thing Friday morning. My sister drove from the resort and we had no problem getting in and parked. We ended up in a gravel lot to the right of the main area.
We walked to the HP Field House to get our packets. The set up was slightly different this year. All packet pickups were on the ground floor. Since I was doing the Glass Slipper Challenge, I picked up my bib and immediately got my picture taken.
I also got my pre-ordered necklace and GSC pin at the same place. In a separate area, I picked up my race retreat bracelet. My sister got her 10k packet in a second area. The shirts for the Glass Slipper were also in this area. After picking up everything, we followed the directions to the Dooney & Bourke pre-purchase area. I had ordered the shopper purse (the largest one) before they even showed the pattern. They dressed up the hallways with princess silhouettes and topiaries. There was no line for the pre-purchased items at all.
The Dooneys were in their own location. I walked right up and got my bag. I think it looks great. I love this pattern. It’s close enough to the original but not too childish to take to work. I had not pre-purchased any other items. There was a tape queue line on the floor. However, no one was in line.
Next to the pre-order area was an official merchandise area. It had a nice selection of items. The only thing that was completely sold out that I noticed was the Princess wine glasses. They had runDisney ones, but no Princess ones. Next to the Official Merchandise was the Dooney & Bourke area. I was surprised to see there were still Dooneys for sale. Either they had a lot more stock this year, or a lot of people disagreed with me about the pattern.
After we finished browsing the official merchandise, we went over to the Jostens Center to the main Expo area. I love browsing Raw Threads and Sparkle Skirts for their latest offerings. They always have a large selection at the Expo. We kept going to the back so my sister could pick up her 10k shirt. The non-challenge shirts are all picked up here. They also had a shirt exchange. There was another section of official merchandise in this area. The offerings we almost identical to what was in the HP Field House.
Right outside the official merchandise was Jeff Galloway. He was promoting his half marathon in Atlanta and the virtual option which could be used while running the Princess half. I had to stop and get my picture with him. He really is a nice guy.
We also tried the samples of different Luna bars. Most of them were really tasty. We saw some other booths doing wheel spins and other giveaways, but didn’t stop. While my roommate picked up some socks from Fit2Run, I wandered back to the New Balance area.
I knew there was a virtual queue for shoes. I was hoping to pick up a pair for my daughter. I bought my son a pair a year ago at the inaugural Star Wars race. After talking to a man at the entrance, he went to the back to look for my daughter’s size. If I had wanted them for myself, I would have needed to register for the queue. Luckily, he found the Ariel shoes for my daughter. I also got the flounder clip-ons at the register. The New Balance area wasn’t too crowded. I think the virtual queue has really helped with that.
I went back to find my roommate and sister. The one other thing I wanted was the discount from MarathonFoto. After consulting the map in the event guide, we realized we would have to go back to the HP Field House. Last year, they had booths in both places. I guess they consolidated this year. As we made our way back, we noticed the crowd was starting to build. Luckily, I was able to go right up to a tablet and purchase the certificate. It was not as good of a deal as last year, but $75 for a $100 certificate is still good. They did have a wait when I was finished as they only had 3 working tablets.
We decided to grab a bite to eat at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grille. I ended up with chicken nuggets, fries, and a Coke Zero in a bottle as the fountain wasn’t working. They did have a pasta special for the runners which my sister ordered. They were not crowded this year. We were slightly earlier than normal lunch crowd at 11, but there were only 4 other tables in use. Last year it was packed and overflowing. The food was pretty good. The staff were wonderful and cleared our empty plates for us. When we were finished, we went back to our car.
Leaving the ESPN Wide World of Sports, although slightly confusing, was not hard. They had officers directing traffic at the exit. It was frustrating watching them talk to people in vehicles while we waited, but overall it was not bad.
Having not been to the Expo on Thursday morning, I did not see the worst part. In my experience, the Expo was better than last year and the merchandise (aside from the Princess wine glasses) seemed to be well stocked. There were even Dooneys left! I hope they learn from the Thursday fiasco and make changes for next year. Although it will never happen, having the first day for runners only might help. (RAD note: This is a really good idea!) Also, allowing runners to pre-order more items could take some of the pain away. I truly believe most of the bad behavior comes from resellers. Thursday’s issues aside, I think it was a well-run Expo with lots of good vendors.
Kristin Cooke is a running mother of 2 who loves Disney. She is a Database Administrator by profession and started running in 2012 to get in shape after her second baby. Running has become her social activity and stress relief.
You can read about Kristin’s races on her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
|January 2, 2016||Posted by Running at Disney under Health & Fitness Expo, runDisney Merchandise, WDW Marathon Weekend|
Yesterday runDisney released a first look at some of the merchandise you will find at the Health & Fitness Expo during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. (Side note: Shouldn’t they just be calling it WDW Marathon WEEK by now??) There are the usual shirts and hats, but there are also some fun new additions this year. Let’s check it all out!
runDisney WDW Marathon Weekend 2016
Right off the bat, I’m loving the use of the original Walt Disney World logo. It gives everything a bit of a retro feel which this WDW enthusiast loves! My favorite item at any runDisney race weekend is the glassware, pint glasses in particular. I collect them from all the races I’ve done and use them as my daily water glasses. It’s a fun daily reminder of those events!
WDW 5K, WDW 10K & Kids Races
As usual, the merch for the Kids Races is the coolest! Steamboat Willie is super cute and I just love the “Future Runner” shirt. I might have to pick one of those up in the future for a certain little someone 😉
WDW Half Marathon
Look…pants! From the photo, they look like women’s capris, but it sounds like there will be both pants and shorts available for certain races. Their a bit busy for my taste, but I like that they are adding new items.
Goofy’s Race & a Half Challenge
Come to think of it, all these designs are a bit busy this year. What are your thoughts? I’m sure this is only a fraction of what you will find at the Expo. I can’t wait to see what the 2016 Vinylmation looks like!
If you are headed to the WDW Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo, make sure to arrive early if you have your heart set on a particular item. Also, stay tuned for information in the next few days on the new runDisney New Balance shoe design that will be released at the Expo.
What do you have your sights set on?
|March 17, 2015||Posted by Running at Disney under Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend|
Registration opens today at Noon EST for the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend! Named as the perfect “Runner’s Night Out,” this race takes you through 3 Walt Disney World parks and ends at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. How can you go wrong with that?!
All running events take place on Saturday, November 7th beginning with Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K at 7:00 am at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. (Here’s a great review of that race from 2013!) Later that morning at the New Balance Track & Field Complex, located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS), are the Kids Races with the dashes starting at 10:00 am and the 1-mile run at 10:45 am. And if that’s not enough running for one day, the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon starts at 10:00 pm in the WWOS parking lot. This nighttime race takes runners through Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and finishes at Epcot…the only Disney Half Marathon to take you through 3 parks…and ends with free beer & wine at the finish!
Other events taking place over the weekend are the Pre-Race Taste and the Finish Line Party. The Pre-Race Taste is a 1 1/2 hour event on Friday, November 6th located at Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! Theater inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios and features food from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, entertainment and unique photo opportunities. The Finish Line Party is a great event for runners and their supporters. It takes place at Epcot following the Wine & Dine Half Marathon where select attractions including Soarin’, Test Track and Mission: SPACE are open until 4:00 am for those attending the party. Another added bonus is that all of the Food & Wine Festival kiosks are open during the party to feed your post race hunger!!
Pricing for the events are as follows:
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
- $190 by March 31, 2015
- $205 between April 1 and April 14, 2015
- $220 on or after April 15, 2015
Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K
- $65 by April 14, 2015
- $75 on or after April 15, 2015
runDisney Kids’ Races
- $15 by April 14, 2015
- $20 on or after April 15, 2015
runDisney 1-Mile Run
- $30 by April 14, 2015
- $35 on or after April 15, 2015
Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste Tickets
- $79 for Adults (ages 3 and up)
- Children under 3 do not need a ticket
Finish Line Party Tickets
- $75 by August 12, 2015
- $85 between August 13 and October 28, 2015
- $95 on or after October 29, 2015
The price tag for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is a bit higher than other Disney races, but it includes a few extra perks. You get the usual amazing Disney entertainment on the course, a long sleeve tech shirt, and race medal, but also included is admission to the Finish Line Party at Epcot and a $15 gift card (increased from $10 in previous years) to use at the Food & Wine Festival kiosks!
Packet pick-up will be required at the Health & Fitness Expo held at WWOS beginning November 6, 2015. Remember you MUST pick up your own packet. Visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend and click here to register for any (or all!) of the events beginning at noon today.
Looking for a place to stay over Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend? Kingdom Magic Vacations has rooms available at various Walt Disney World resorts from Value to Deluxe. Not only will they get you the best rate, but they are experts when it comes to running at Disney. They will help you plan the perfect racecation and take care of every little detail for you. All you have to do is the training! Click here to get a free quote.
You can also check out some of these RAD recaps for more info on what the events are like:
- Sticking Together for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon
- Coming From Australia to Get Her Coast to Coast Part 1 – The Wine & Dine Half Marathon
As per usual with runDisney races lately, this is sure to sell out quickly. Make sure you are at your computer with credit card in hand when the clock strikes noon! This is such a fun race and I can’t say enough good things about it…well if the weather cooperates. 🙂 Will you be running in 2015?
|February 17, 2015||Posted by Running at Disney under Princess Half Marathon Weekend|
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon is only a few days away!! Do you have your tutus and tiaras ready?? This is such a fun race weekend and since it was my first half marathon it is my favorite! But sadly for the first time in 3 years I will not be participating in the festivities. 🙁
Because I won’t be in WDW this week I’m calling on YOU!! If you are interested in writing about any part of Princess Half Marathon Weekend, send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll send you some additional details. I would love to have you!!
Now let’s dive into some of the details about the weekend! The theme of the races this year is the oh so popular Frozen! Not only has the 5K been renamed the Frozen 5K, but all of ribbons now have the addition of beautiful snowflakes. I just love these designs!
Fit for a Princess Expo
The weekend starts with the Fit for a Princess Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The hours are as follows:
- Thursday, February 19th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Friday, February 20th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday, February 21st: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
All race participants MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick-up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag. The gEAR bag also doubles as the bag to use for bag check during the race. This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration. Transportation will be provided to and from all Walt Disney World Resort Hotels 30 minutes prior to the Expo opening and 30 minutes after closing.
When you arrive at the expo, your first stop will be the HP Field House for Packet Pick Up. Remember that you can no longer have someone pick up your race packet for you. Everyone MUST turn in a waiver, show ID and pick up their own packet. (Thanks to Julie for the reminder!!)
This race weekend has really grown in size and because of that, packet pick-up is spread out over the two levels of the HP Field House. On the Entry Level you will find: Kids Races, 5K, Glass Slipper Challenge and Runner Relations.
On the Lower Level you will find: 10K, Half Marathon, Castaway Cay 5K, Marathon, ChEAR Squad, Race Retreat, and Family Reunion Breakfast Pick Up. The Lower Level is also where shirt pick-up is for Glass Slipper Challenge participants and where great backgrounds are for some fun photo ops!
After visiting the HP Field House, head over to the Jostens Center to visit with vendors and pick up your race shirts, visit with the vendors, listen to the speaker series and pick up all that great runDisney merchandise!
All Walt Disney World resorts, including Shades of Green and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, will have transportation available to bring participants to and from ALL events during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
Bus service to the Expo will run during the following times:
- Thursday, February 19th: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 8:30 pm)
- Friday, February 20th: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 7:30 pm)
- Saturday, February 21st: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (last bus will leave for the resorts at 5:30 pm)
On February 19-21, bus transportation will be provided for runners and spectators to and from the races at Epcot. For those staying at a Magic Kingdom resort on the monorail line (Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian), the monorail will begin running at the same time as the buses each day to take guests to and from Epcot. Here are the times the busses will run:
- 5K & Kids Races, February 20th: 4:15 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 11:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 5:00 am for the 5K, 8:00 am for the 1-miler and 8:30 am for the Kids Dashes)
- 10K, February 21st: 3:30 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 10:00 am (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)
- Half Marathon, January 10th: 3:00 am – 5:00 am & 7:00 am – 10:30 am (runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am)
Shuttle service will be suspended between 5:00 am and 7:00 am because of road closures, but will recommence for spectators after 7:00 am. Traffic into the Epcot parking lot will also be suspended at this time and all cars will be routed to the Magic Kingdom Parking lot where spectators can take the monorail to Epcot. After the race, buses will be set by resort in the Family Reunion Area to take all participants back to their resorts.
If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events. As usual, Disney says to EXPECT SIGNIFICANT DELAYS so make sure you leave yourself enough time. Road closures will begin at as early as 11:00 pm the night before! Be sure to arrive at Epcot and be parked by 4:30 am since it is about a 20 minute walk to the starting corrals for the Half Marathon from the parking lot and you must be in there by 5:00 am.
It’s so fun to see the creativity of all the runners for these races!! Since this is Princess Weekend, you are guaranteed to see more tutus and sparkle then you’ve ever seen before!! Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated. Who are you dressing up as?
Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside. The bag check tents are located in the Family Reunion Area in the Epcot parking lot. All bags must be checked prior to walking over to the start corrals.
Tip for you: Put a small, lightweight backpack or duffle bag inside your clear gEAR bag to transfer everything into after the race. The strings on the gEAR bags make them horribly uncomfortable to carry around.
Staging Area & Start Corrals
When you arrive at the Epcot parking lot, you will be directed to a large staging area before the corrals open. This is where you will find bag check, water stations, photo ops and most importantly Port-a-Potties. The corrals for the 5K & 10K will be located in the Explore Lot (see map below) and you will need to be in those corrals 30 minutes prior to the race.
The start corrals for the half marathon are located on Epcot Center Drive. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the half marathon starting corrals from the holding area, so you will want to head over there no later than 4:30 am. Your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or one behind you. You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.
If you are participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, you will have two letter on your race bib. One for the 10K and one for the Half Marathon. Here’s a look at last year:
Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt. Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo. Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time. If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly. Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible and smile for that camera 🙂
If you are participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, you will be given one bib for both races. Take good care of that bib throughout the weekend!
Remember, you must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line. Keep this in mind if you a planning to stop for character photos. Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time. Pace cyclists will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.
There will be 2 water stops along the 5K course and 3 water stops along the 10K course. No PowerAde or fuel will be provided for either of these races.
For the Half Marathon, there will be 9 PowerAde and water stops along the course and there will be one food station at mile 8.7 that will have Clif Shots available. Aid stations will be located approximately 1.5 miles apart from each other. The PowerAde flavor is lemon-lime, so if that isn’t your thing you should carry your own. Same goes for the fuel stop…don’t rely on those if you have trained with other products.
Coast to Coast Race Challenge
Participants in the challenge will be given a wristband at the expo that must be worn during the race. After completion, proceed to the Coast to Coast tent to claim your super awesome medal! If you ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January, you will be able to get the exclusive PINK Coast to Coast medal!
Frozen 5K & Enchanted 10K
Princess Half Marathon
I LOVE how the Kids Races are in Epcot. What an exciting 1-Mile Run for the kiddos to go through Future World!
Other events for the weekend include the Pasta in the Park Party and the Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney on Sunday night! More information is available over on the runDisney website including the Official Program for the weekend. Also, check out my packing tips as you get ready for travel…sadly we don’t all have a Fairy Godmother to do that for us.
And make sure to check out my experience from the last 3 years at Princess Half Marathon Weekend…it’s a BLAST!
- The Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge Part I – Enchanted 10K
- The Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge Part II – Princess Half Marathon
- Cinderella Royal Family 5K (guest post)
- Fit for a Princess Health & Fitness Expo (guest post)
- 2013 Fit for a Princess Expo: Too Close For Comfort
- 2013 Princess Half Marathon: Race Recap
- A Royal runDisney Meet Up
- Tangled Royal Family 5K
- Fit for a Princess Expo & Pre-Half Antics
- Princess Half Marathon: Pre-Race
- Princess Half Marathon: The Race
Make sure to tag me in your photos from the weekend and I will make sure to share them! You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get all the latest info from the race weekend. Have a magical time!!