RunDisney Races Impact Park Attendance and Affect Vehicular and Pedestrian Traffic
Usually held the second weekend after New Year’s, the Walt Disney World Marathon pulls in more runners and their families every year. In 2016 some 100,000 runners participated in the event—enough people to affect crowd conditions and pedestrian traffic throughout Disney World. In the spirit of participatory journalism, Unofficial Guide coauthor Len Testa usually runs one of the 5K, 10K, half, or full marathons. (Bob ices Len’s tequila.) Following the marathon by a few days is the Castaway Cay 5K, but you’ll need passage on Disney Cruise Line to run it. Information on all Disney running events can be found at rundisney.com. Also check mickeymilespodcast.com for in-depth coverage and tips.
Usually held the second weekend of the month is the Princess Half-Marathon event, February 23–26 in 2017. The schedule includes a health expo, kids’ races, a family 5K, a 10K, and the big race. The 2016 event drew more than 20,000 runners, enough to increase park attendance and affect vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
May the Force be with you if you are visiting during spring-break season, as the Star Wars Half-Marathon (April 20–23 in 2017), draws tens of thousands of runners and Star Wars enthusiasts to the parks. In addition to the half marathon, a 10K, 5K, and kids’ races are also offered.
The Wine and Dine Half-Marathon in early November revolves around a 13.1-mile race and a nighttime party amid Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. A 5K race is held the Friday before the half-marathon race, and a 10K race is held the Saturday before the Sunday half too. The number of runners and their “cheer squads”—combined with the guests who descend upon Epcot for the food festival alone—blows up the crowd levels like an agitated pufferfish. Again, vehicular and pedestrian traffic is disturbed by the running courses throughout Disney property.
For all events and attractions at all Walt Disney World parks, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa.