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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!!