Expedition Everest Challenge
tbd – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
The details on this page are for the 2014 Expedition Everest Challenge. This page will be updated once 2015 information is available.
If you enjoy running, but feel like your jog could use a few more obstacles, than the Expedition Everest Challenge might be for you. This 5k race mixes running, obstacles, and a scavenger hunt into a fun filled journey. Oh, and we should also mention that it starts at 10 o’clock…at night.
This 3.1 mile race will take place on Saturday, May 3, 2014 and is held solely at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The cost for an individual participant varies depending on when you register. If you managed to register by January 14, 2014, the cost would have been $120, between January 15 and February 18 it became $135, and after February 19 it grew to $150.
As with all RunDisney events, the pleasure of running is not the only thing participants receive. Those that race also go home with a Champion short sleeved tech shirt, personalized race bib (if you registered prior to March 1, 2014), a compass-themed finisher medal, and admission to a post-race party inside the closed-to-the-public Animal Kingdom.
The actual 5k Challenge begins and ends in Animal Kingdom’s parking lot. In between, runners wind their way through the Oasis, Discovery Island, Africa, and Asia past Animal Kingdom’s impressive foliage and attractions. Along the way participants encounter short, but interesting obstacles such as jumping small bales of hay, running through tires, or crawling under a cargo net.
Once the race is finished…well, it is not finished. Rather than handing you a finisher medal you get a clue card so you can begin the scavenger hunt. Rather than collect items, you need to solve a few clues and find an answer of sorts to be allowed to officially finish the race. (You may want to be aware that collecting the clues can add a mile or two onto the race total.)
Run as A Team…or as the A-Team
If you like running with a friend, enlist them into the Expedition Everest Challenge and save a few dollars on the registration fees. If your two-person team registered by January 14, 2014 the cost was $230, between January 15 and February 18 it is $255, and on February 19 it became $280.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, May 3 the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosts the Expedition Everest Challenge Family Edition. For anyone ages 4 and over (although the team must contain someone 18 or over), this is a short race followed by a scavenger hunt. Teams of up to 6 are allowed so you can bring your whole family. For the registration fee of $35 per person, each participant receives a t-shirt, personalized race bib (if you register prior to March 1), and a finisher medallion.
Disney isn’t forgetting about the young ones either. Also at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, the RunDisney Kids Races are running, climbing, and searching adventures for children ages 4-10. Each participant gets their very own finisher medallion and t-shirt, all for the low, low price of $20, if you registered by April 2, 2014, $25 otherwise.
Don’t worry, the fun doesn’t stop when you stop running because that’s when the party starts. Included in the registration fee, this event allows participants into the closed-to-the-public Animal Kingdom and allows entry onto Kali River Rapids, DINOSAUR, Dinoland U.S.A., and the titular Expedition Everest. Being in Animal Kingdom at night is rare normally, but to experience this with a relatively low crowd is spectacular.
But what if friends or family aren’t running? Not to worry, Disney allows you to purchase extra tickets to the post-race party. If purchased prior to April 2, 2014 anyone 10 years and older costs $49 and children ages 3-9 are $25. After April 2 adult tickets will run you $59 and children $35.
Participants in ALL EVENTS (except the Kids Races) must pick up their race packet at the ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex from 11am-7pm on Friday, May 2, 2014 or 9am-3pm on Saturday, May 3.
Bus transportation is provided from only the host resorts. For the 2014 Expedition Everest Challenge, those host resorts are the Pop Century Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Please allow plenty of time to get to the race as the lines may be quite long both waiting for the bus and to get to the start area.
The Expedition Everest Challenge is a relatively small race and takes place well after the park is closed for the day, therefore the impact on crowds is very minimal. If you are staying in one of the host resorts (listed above), you may notice an increase in guests, but you won’t notice an increase in attraction wait times.