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Walt Disney World Marathon Reviews


4.5 Stars from 19 Runners





  Half marathon cancelled full good

By about 2017


Review

This was my first half marathon mixed with 24 hour rest to run the full marathon, the weather on Saturday was heavy rain and thunder and lightening, Walt Disney did a great job keeping the runners aware of a possible cancellation of the half marathon, it was cancelled. I ran the 13 miles on my own around the boardwalk where I was staying. There were hundreds of runners wearing their race bib for the half marathon, high fives and spectators passing out their own drinks and candy, that was amazing. I wanted to have the full feeling in my legs to run the Goofy Challenge that I signed up for and I was pleased I ran/walked the marathon on Sunday. No Disney staff was out on the 26.2 course it was so windy and 34 degrees to start the race out, ouch it was really cold waiting in the corrals for a long time till I ran. Water and sports drink was plenty, the staff had smiles and words of encouragement every mile I ran. Yes the main miles are run on the long roads between the parks, but in the parks you can see the rides animals, monkeys, that was incredible, because of the colder weather not a lot of pictures were taken since high winds stopped the famous Disney cast along the half and full marathon. This was a relaxed and very enjoyable experience, loved the ice bag wrap at the end of the marathon, boy did that feel good on my sore quads.


Race Tips

Slower runners and walkers did stay to the right of the road for the most part, remember the roads are slanted for water run off so your inner leg is really stretched when you stride forward. Running in the parks, take it slow and soak up all the energy, lights, sparkle, and hundreds of people waiting to go into the parks, as a runner you may have 7 feet to run wide till you are out of the crowds inside the parks. Finishing at Epcot was amazing, wow that is a long run around the lake to the finish line.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Spend the extra money to stay in the parks hotels, this really adds to a magical experience.


4 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

The course is fast and flat with plenty of entertainment. Fuel and water stations are plentiful (with extra treats like banana, pretzel sticks and candy along the way). If you're pacing yourself right, you can also take pictures with characters, ride some rides, and make a stop at the petting zoo. However, the miles through the ESPN Wide World of Sports are some of the most boring I've ever run.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

It's worth staying at a Disney hotel for the transportation. You get to the start so long before the race starts that it can be pretty exhausting, especially since you have to be on a bus no later than 4am. Ouch!


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

Was in half cancelled weather. I was given a marathon bib. Training for Boston so was a workout race. Ran a 339 a BQ as need 340. I found the course awful. Concrete, million turns in and out of parks, 530 am start in dark. Course long as 26.7! GPS and by mile 50 yards off already. I'm on the button most times in 3 miles out too soon tangents. It's a good beginner race. 1 percent BQ should show you not a popular race for good runner.


Race Tips

Don't run the full to BQ do the half


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Not a BQ race and I've run 6 bostons 235 best and BQ 12 X out of 15 Mara total


1 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

Pancake flat with only a few overpasses to add any "hills". You absolutely need to submit proof of time if you want to run a decent race. Even then, you'll have traffic around you. I was on the line in corral B, and even though there were only about 300 runners in corral A, and they started 1 minute ahead of me, I caught them within a half mile, and some were walking already! The traffic was thin enough to get through without much bobbing and weaving, but still a little frustrating nonetheless. Plenty of support with water and Powerade along the course, and tons of characters and music to keep you entertained. The weather was nice and cool at the start (38 degrees) but we could've done without the 15 mph winds. A quick trip to Walmart the night before got us some $5 sweatshirts and sweatpants to toss at the start. After about a mile in, I had warmed up so except the the occasional wind blast, it was perfect running temp.


Race Tips

The course runs mostly on roads, long boring roads with the occasional detour into a park. The area around Wide World of Sports is the worst. LOTS of turns around all the playing fields. Difficult to keep up speed around all those 90 degree turns. I've run this race 7 times since 2008 when we didn't do this section. Better back then. Also this year, because of the demolition of the backlot area at Studios, the course was radically changed to divert us around this area. Someone really should've done a better job measuring the new course. I had 26.60 miles. Again, I was up front (315th finisher overall) without excessive traffic, so I wasn't running around people, and I took every tangent and clipped every corner that I was allowed. At the finish, I asked everyone around me what they had, and all were at least 26.59. I continued to ask others for the next 2 hours as I waited for my girlfriend to finish. EVERYONE was long. This much extra distance is ridiculous. It added 3 minutes to my time and although I qualified, it hurts my under for actually getting into Boston. My advice to you? Plan on running faster than you thought if you're hoping to hit your goal. Do the math at every mile marker because they get exponentially longer every mile.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

You absolutely must stay on property the night before the race. Vehicle traffic is insane morning of the race. Stay the night, take the bus to the start. Running 4 races in 4 days isn't the hardest part, it's getting up at 3am to catch the bus that's the hard part. Disney wants you in and out of the parks early so we don't upset the "regular" guests or get in their way. This is a great marathon for first timers, but it can also be good for the faster crowd if you run smart and account for the distractions and obstacles on the course.


4 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

Entertainment, Lots of water/Gatorade, restrooms, and first aid stations.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

Fun first marathon, lots of support on course although there have been a few relatively long stretches that were a bit lonely. Weather was very cold and windy. Lots of fluid and fuel stations on course, bathrooms, as well. Race starts very early and the wait in the morning is tough.


2 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

Perfect for first time marathoners like myself! Clearly marked and flat course. Water stations and medical stations every mile and some form of entertainment every mile, even when not actually running through one of the parks. Makes the miles fly by! Would definitely recommend it and would definitely do it again!


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Arrive early! As with anything related to Disney world, traffic is awful!


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

This is a perfect marathon for first-timers, as long as people are aware it's not all about the running. There are a lot of distractions on the course, with rides and characters, etc. For some, that might be an awesome and needed distraction while running. For those that are serious (or too serious) about running, it might get in the way of a "perfect run" but I can't imagine anybody not enjoying this marathon. The course is pretty flat, which is also nice.


Race Tips

The course is flat, a couple of small hills to look out for, and the journey through the Wide World of Sports gets a little tedious, but all in all it's a very runnable course, perfect for newbies. Be aware that it is VERY crowded at the beginning, no matter what corral you are in, so you likely will have a tough time running the pace you want right out of the gate as you are packed in so much.

The weather could be somewhat of a factor too. We had nearly 100% humidity the day of our race in 2016 (Dew Point of 70) and coming from training in Minnesota, made for a very tough day. But the very next day, the weather didn't get above 50 degrees, and it wasn't humid. So weather could be hit or miss!


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Traffic getting to the start line is atrocious. We stayed at the Pop Resort which (like all Disney properties) have shuttles to the start line which are really nice.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

I loved everything about this race. I was in corral D and crowds were not really an issue except when running thru the magic kingdom when certain spots were tight. Crowd support was amazing and love the fact it started early to avoid the heat later in the morning. Lots of characters and lots of entertainment.


Race Tips

If you have a chance to purchase the race retreat I highly recommend it. It was well worth the money to have a place to relax that was comfortable and private portapotties. They provided a light breakfast as well, plus brunch after the race and place to change clothes.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

I highly recommend staying at a host hotel if you can. They provide transportation to the race and even though it was not the greatest thing having to get up at 2 a.m., I didn't mind getting up that early and getting to Epcot without having to worry about traffic jams closer to race time.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

WDW Marathon Weekend is magical if you love Disney, Characters, music etc. Don't expect to set a PR here...the courses for all of the events are crowded and walkers tend to spread out, blocking faster participants. The entertainment is the best bar none...Disney goes all out in this regard.


Race Tips

If your finishing time is important to you, you need to submit a Proof of Time to runDisney by the date indicated to get into an early corral. If you do not, you will be in the back of pack and you'll be frustrated trying to pass thousands in front of you. You need to arrive early on race day either via car or shuttle bus since there is a fairly long walk to the corrals.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

To savor the full experience, one should stay at a Disney Hotel, but if saving money is higher on the list, there are many hotel/condo options nearby. If you review all the race instructions regarding race logistics you'll set up to have a wonderful weekend.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

Well organized but too many people. First 5-6 miles were slow because people were walking & stopping. I did not get into a groove until mile 7-8. Very hot & humid too. Lots of bathrooms though! The start is too early in my opinion.


Race Tips

Arrive early.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Stay at a host hotel


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

A must for any Runners and especially if you like Disney. Goes thru most of the parks. As much Fun as you can get from a marathon experience!!!


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

Expo was a amazing. Swag, race support and medal are all top notch!


Race Tips

It's disney but it is still a marathon. Train train and train. Don't let the relaxed vibe of this race fool you.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Stay on property! Easy transportation to and from expo and race!


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

Unless you're a Disney fan, you can skip this marathon. Not really worth the price, otherwise.


4 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2014


Review

Disney runs a well organized race with plenty of on course entertainment and water stops. Flat course and great for first timers.


Race Tips

Run a qualifying time to get in a fast corral. The slower corrals have too many walkers.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2012


Review

Course, entertainment, course support, Disney parks.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2012


Review

Great on course entertainment.


Race Tips

Long wait before the marathon starts. Keep stretching or running in place,


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Stay on the property and take the property transportation buses.


5 / 5 Stars





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