Dates: February 23-26, 2017
The constant growth and popularity of Run Disney events has spawned several races throughout the year. In February, Walt Disney World hosts the Disney Princess Half Marathon which, like the Disney World Marathon, is surrounded by a full weekend of races and activities.
Disney Princess Half Marathon
The Disney Princess Half Marathon is a 13.1 mile race through Walt Disney World. It occurs each February with the 2017 edition taking place on Sunday, February 26. What makes this event special is that it is themed specifically towards women. Although members of both sexes are welcome to participate, men are not eligible for winners awards, but they do still get a finisher medal.
The route for the half marathon starts and finishes in Epcot, winding north through the Magic Kingdom in between. As the runners wind through both parks, several characters, including some rarely seen ones, make themselves available for impromptu meets.
One important item is the cost, which is significant. Like all runDisney events, the Princess Half Marathon will run you (pun intended) $185. As you are probably hoping, all of that money is not simply for the thrill of the race and the availability of some characters, there is also a goodie bag for each runner. These gifts include a Champion short sleeve tech shirt, a commemorative finisher medal, a personalized bib, and on-course and post-race refreshments. Running as part of a 2 person team adds a commemorative sash and a team photo to the above haul.
Disney Princess Enchanted 10k
The Disney Enchanted 10k returns in 2017 and will be held on Saturday--the day before the Half Marathon--and the 6.2 mile course will lead runners through Epcot and the Epcot Resort area. Like the Half Marathon, the 10k featured characters and on-course entertainment.
Much like the Princess Half Marathon, participation comes at a price. In 2017 for the 10k, registration costs $120. The extra goodies for the Enchanted 10k are also the same as the Princess Half Marathon, although the finisher medal is different.
Disney Glass Slipper Challenge
If you read the above and thought that a half marathon sounded too darn easy, the Glass Slipper challenge might be more to your liking. This combines both of the above races into a 19.3 mile, two-day joy of jogging.
If you manage to finish inside of the pacing requirements for both the Enchanted 10k and the Princess Half Marathon, you will be awarded with the Glass Slipper medal in addition to your two shiny new Princess and Enchanted finisher medals. Please note that to be eligible runners need to pre-register specifically for the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge.
The 2017 price is $320. This registration fee includes all the swag and extras that the other races enjoy, although you may notice that the Glass Slipper registration costs a few dollars more than the other two races combined. Oh well, someone has to pay for those Glass Slipper finisher medals.
Disney Princess 5k
A relatively short race that everyone can participate in, the Disney Princess 5k, is a 3.1 mile jaunt around Epcot. This event is for princesses of all ages and their families and takes place the Friday of the Princess Half Marathon weekend, which, in 2017, is February 24.
The 5k cost is $75 per participant. It also includes characters and on-course entertainment; runners receive a t-shirt, finisher medallion, and personalized bib.
runDisney Kids Races
Just in case the young ones feel left out during this fabulous weekend, runDisney has designed a pair of special events in Epcot just for those under age 13.
The Kids Dashes are all short sprints with varying distances depending on the child’s age: The Diaper Dash is specifically for crawlers under 1 year old. There is also a 100 meter dash for the 1-3 year olds, a 200 meter for the 4-6 crowd, and a 400 meter for the 7-8 year olds. All participants receive a t-shirt and finisher medallion in return for the $20 registration fee.
The other event for all those 13 and under racers is the One Mile Run, which is pretty self-explanatory. Just as in the Dash races, all participants receive a t-shirt and finisher medallion although the One Mile costs $30 per entrant.
Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo
Billed by runDisney as “Your one stop headquarters for everything a Princess needs,” the Expo is a multi-day event held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. The most important part is that all runners MUST attend the Expo in order to pick up their race packet and number.
In addition, attendees can check out much of the latest in fitness equipment, clothing, and footwear as well as the official Princess Half Marathon merchandise. There are also frequent presentations by runners and fitness experts.
VIP Race Retreat
On Sunday morning of Princess Half Marathon weekend the Epcot Imagine parking lot becomes the Race Retreat area. Pre-race this area features light food and drinks, a temperature-controlled tent, and a padded stretching area. Following a race the area contains changing tents, a self-treatment station, and a 10 minute massage for a small fee.
To take part in these extras will set you back $120 for those participating in the Princess Half Marathon. Sadly, it is not available for the tykes in the Diaper Dash.
Special bus transportation is provided from on-site Disney resort hotels to all Princess Half Marathon weekend races and events.
Just kidding, speed isn’t the only thing to shoot for with a race, especially a runDisney event. Most of all you want to enjoy yourself as much as you can. Here are a handful of things to keep in mind about Disney’s races:
Sign up early. Disney races sell out very far in advance, so find out when the race you are interested in opens registration and sign up. The Princess Half Marathon usually opens registration in early June, 8 full months in advance.
The races DO NOT include admission to a park. While you will run through parks, you will not be allowed to stay. If you would like to visit one or more of the parks after you finish the race, you will need to have an admission ticket.
The finish area is very busy. If you are meeting people at the end, pick a spot that is not near the finish line.
Dress in layers that you don’t want. Standing around and waiting for the race to begin in February can get chilly, so it is good to wear layers, but why one’s you don’t want? All clothing discarded during the race are donated to charity so shedding those layers doubles as a good deed.
Like all Disney races, the Princess Half Marathon brings a significant amount of people to the resort, but doesn’t necessarily increase the wait times on any of the attractions. Being in the parks during this event weekend you may notice more people wandering the pathways, many of them with brand new, shiny finisher medals. You will not notice much of an impact to your touring strategy, especially if you use a proper Touring Plan.
To find out exactly how busy each park will be so you can determine when and where to visit, make sure you explore our Crowd Calendar.
Last updated by Brian McNichols on September 21, 2016