If you want to run in this year’s Wine & Dine races, grab your lucky registration shirt because the menu has been set!
General registration is this coming Tuesday, March 21 at 10:00 a.m. ET
This year’s themes all focus around dining, and I think they really nailed it!
5K – The Mad Tea Party
This Alice in Wonderland theme set off a bit of a frenzy at my house!
November 3, 2023 at 5 a.m.
10K – Be Our Guest
This Beauty and the Beast theme feels slightly redundant since Belle was featured at Princess weekend, but hey I can get some more milage (pun intended) out of my Belle costume.
November 4, 2023 at 5 a.m.
Half Marathon – Encanto
“Isabella, your boyfriend’s here! Time for dinner!” Who can forget the incredibly awkward dinner scene from Encanto? We’ll have 13.1 miles of Encanto-themed fun that is guaranteed to have us talking about Bruno all day.
November 5, 2023 at 5 a.m.
Two-Course Challenge – Figment
I’m not going to lie, the Challenge might sell out faster than the virtual queue for Cosmic Rewind. Everyone will be clamoring for the medal featuring Epcot’s own “Figment and his topsy turvy kitchen”
November 4-5, 2023 at 5 a.m.
Don’t forget that Wine & Dine weekend features the afterparty on Sunday night. The afterparty is a private event at Epcot that hypothetically offers short wait times for attractions and rare character meet and greets. Half marathon and challenge participants get free tickets to the afterparty, and you can purchase tickets for friends and family during registration for $105 each. Last year, the party sold out and tickets were hard to come by.
Virtual races will be offered as well, registration for these starts on March 24. Prices are slightly less expensive. But please don’t ask me why the longer distances are more expensive than the shorter ones. It’s not like runDisney needs to close roads and find volunteers!
5K – $85
10K – $106
Half Marathon – $126
Two Course Challenge – $270
I’m not planning on missing a minute of the weekend events! Drop a comment and let me know which ones you’re excited for. If you need help with registration, you can prep by reading this post. Good luck!
There hasn’t been a runDisney race at Disneyland in California in 5 years. That feels like a very long time. West Coast runDisney enthusiasts have been forced to go the extra (2,000) miles to get to races in Florida. That’s all about to change! As of this writing we are less than 2 days away from general registration, and since it’s been a minute, it’s worth reviewing the process.
I’m lucky enough to be in Club runDisney, so I registered myself for Dumbo Double Dare this week, but to attempt to get my family into the 5K, I’ll be joining the Thunderdome/Hunger Games event with the rest of you on Tuesday.
So let’s go over the basics:
Registration starts at 7 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Plan on being on the runDisney site, logged into your account about 15 min early (it’s import to be on sometime before the clock strikes the hour)
Sometime before 7 PT/ 10 ET the “Registration Opening Soon” link will change to “Register”
Click “Register” as soon as you see it
This places you in the virtual waiting room. DO NOT hit refresh
The waiting room is like a lottery. At exactly 10 a.m. you’ll pe placed on the queue page based on the results of the lottery
ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY DO NOT REFRESH
As much as runDisney hates it, it’s beneficial to do this on multiple devices. They tell you not to, I’m sure because of the server load, but every device is essentially another free lottery ticket, so you do the math
Can I register more than one person?
Sure, but you can only use one form of payment. Try to keep your wits about you and be careful about who you’re registering for what. The process can feel a bit panicky… breathe deep and focus.
Can I register for more than one event?
Yes, but see above note about keeping your cool. Basically you’re building a shopping cart for one checkout – and you need to do it all at once. If you try to get through the queue more than once, you will most likely leave empty handed.
Are there dicounts for Passholders or DVC members?
Nope. Everyone pays full price. Womp, womp.
What other info do I need?
T-shirt size, emergency contact info. These can be changed later, worst case you swap your shirt at the expo. Don’t let these questions slow you down.
Can I pre-order merchandise?
Yes, but see above note about keeping your cool. Merchandise orders can be added later. Don’t spend time trying to decide which pins you want and miss out on your race.
But… Just in case you want to see what they’re offering and for how much, I did grab some screenshots when I registered. No merchandise pics yet. I imagine they’re still working on it. Sorry these aren’t edited into a pretty collage, but you get what you pay for 🙂
With that, I’m going to turn my attention to Princess packing. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
I know I am not the only one who is excited to finally have the opportunity to not only run a race at Disneyland, California, but to get the coveted Coast to Coast medal! These were discontinued several years ago when Disneyland races were put on pause. I’m really hoping to add “all the medals” to my wall, and this is a giant leap forward!.
So what is Coast to Coast?
Simply put, Coast to Coast is a medal runDisney runners earn if they run a long race (10 mi+) at both Disneyland and Disney World in the same calendar year.
Runners do NOT have to register for the challenge; it’s automatic. (What’s that… no separate fee? Like really? Disney passed on a money-grab opportunity? Huzzah!)
So besides money, why is this tricky?
There are two factors (other than OMG I’m running races two weeks in a row?????) that look really important to consider right now:
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Florida) and Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend (California) races are back-to-back in January, 2024. Yup Florida is January 3-7 and California is January 11-14. If you want to do both, you’d better be able to have 2 weeks in the bank or be willing to accept a really chaotic remote work schedule.
Registration for the Disneyland races is soon… SOON! Club runDisney members start their registration on Feb 7; general registration is on Feb 14. No time for general registration has been announced yet. I’m presuming it won’t be 10 a.m. ET just since they should be catering to the Pacific Time audience, but that is only my opinion. I’ll post more when I know it.
Keep in mind that it has been years since there has been a Disneyland race. If you thought Dopey 2023 registration was bad… you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I predict instant bloodbath.
So what else do I need to know?
There will be two different versions of the C2C medal offered. One for those who complete a race during Marathon Weekend first, and one for those who complete a race at Disneyland first. Do we know the difference? No. Did runDisney make it clear that the medal for those who complete the Marathon Weekend first (thus doing back-to-back weekends) is special to 2024 ? Yes. Is that the money grab? To get marathoners to sign up for Disneyland one week later? Maybe.
You can only get one C2C medal per year. If you run Marathon Weekend then Disneyland, there’s your medal. No double-dipping if you head back to Florida for Princess.
Virtual races will not qualify. This makes perfect sense to me. The point of the medal is to go to California and then go to Florida. If you do it all on your treadmill, where’s the challenge in that?
So which races qualify?
Per the runDisney site, challenge or 10 mile races will qualify you in 2024. You must have a Florida and a California race/challenge:
Walt Disney World Half Marathon (FL)
Walt Disney World Marathon (FL)
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge (FL)
Dopey Challenge (FL)
Disneyland Half Marathon (CA)
Dumbo Double Dare Challenge (CA)
Princess Half Marathon (FL)
Fairy Tale Challenge (FL)
Springtime Surprise 10-Miler (FL)
Springtime Surprise Challenge (FL)
Wine and Dine Half Marathon (FL)
Two-Course Challenge (FL)
I personally am beyond exited. Can I pay for this? No clue. I’ll have to make some choices and beg my boss for a lot of time off. But I am ready to charge forward.
Is it bad that I am simultameously thinking “Castle to Chateau????”
Maybe it’s because runners are traumatized from Marathon Weekend registration, maybe it’s because people are broke after registering for Marathon Weekend and Princess Half Marathon weekends, maybe it’s because airfares are (pun intended) sky-high during the school vacation week, or maybe it’s because some annual passes are in a blackout period, but the Springtime Surprise weekend was not an instant sell-out.
As of 3pm on on registration day (August 23, 2022) only the 5K is sold out. The rest of the races are still available and up for grabs – including the 3-race Surprise Challenge! That’s great news for anyone who is on the fence or likes to sleep late. No doubt the races will eventually sell out, but it looks like everyone gets a chance at the fun this time!
Events and themes are as follows:
runDisney Springtime Surprise Yoga – (Thursday, April 13 at 5 am) this time it will be held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney Pixar Cars 5K (Friday, April 14 at 5 am) start at EPCOT
Disney Pixar Monsters 10K (Saturday, April 15 at 5 am) start at EPCOT
Disney Pixar Toy Story 10-miler (Sunday, April 16 5 am) start at EPCOT
Of course there is a challenge option!
runDisney Springtime Surprise Challenge all 3 races! The theme is Finding Nemo and you’ll get all 3 medals plus the special Finding Nemo challenge medal for 19.3 combined miles!
Having not fully recovered from the Marathon Weekend registration fiasco myself, I hopped into the registration queue this morning, as so many Disney runners do, on multiple devices. The first device to get into registration was my phone, so I breezed through the form (or so I thought). I missed the T-shirt size field on the form (like I always do) and had to scroll back. Then I got distracted / tripped up by the merchandise that is available at registration for the first time in a while:
I might have scrolled through the form a few times while trying to make up my mind…. but anyway I got my registration in with a sigh of relief, and only a bit of adrenaline in my veins. Then I got the confirmation screen and realized, somehow, that I had registered my daughter instead of myself. (Insert shriek of terror here.)
I’ve heard of varying degrees of success attempting to contact support for runDisney. I guess I’ll be finding out about the process first hand now. There’s a contact form on the runDisney site. I tried filling it out about 4 times on my phone and 3 times on my computer, and got an error message every time. Most annoying is that you can’t copy and paste anything into the form. After typing my sob story to the support team 7 times, I gave up.
There is support phone number listed on the runDisney site. I called, sat on hold for a few minutes and then got a message saying that there were no agents available, and to please leave a message. So – we’ll see how this goes. I’ll update this post with the results as soon as I hear something.
Update: August 25 – After a short game of phone tag with the runDisney technical support team, everything is resolved!
In the meantime, I have 3 new costumes to sort out!
Anyone who has attempted to register for a runDisney race in recent memory knows that registration is a more competitive sport than the races themselves. You can count on the races filling up in under an hour (or much quicker) like you can count on death and taxes. We have seen races re-open periodically, and then fill up once again within minutes. Word of race openings tends to circulate pretty fast on Facebook, and there is a Twitter account that announces when races open up (@runDisRegStatus or https://mobile.twitter.com/rundisregstatus)
Usually when this happens there are a bunch of people that finally got the race they’ve been stalking, and a bunch of people that still didn’t get it. Either way there’s a mini shock wave of energy that spreads through the runDisney universe. As a participant in these runDisney social groups it’s so hard not to get caught up in the madness.
There’s something about being able to get your hands on a product or experience that’s hard to get, whether you need it or not that’s pretty addictive, and Disney sure knows how to generate the buzz and demand.
Case in point: I’m running all of the Wine and Dine and Marathon Weekend races this year. I made the conscious decision not to do all of the Princess weekend races. I’m *only* running the 10K that weekend. I don’t live local to Disney, and planning 4 (or more!) Disney trips for race weekends is really a budget buster. I’ve gotten pretty adept at managing airline credit card offers, low cost airlines, and travel club promotions. It’s a game to be won – but if I slip up I know I’ll spend my weekends delivering for Grub Hub instead of training. There are stakes involved (hopefully not steaks).
Airfares to sunny spots, particularly Orlando, can double or triple in the winter when schools are on vacation. Some days of the week are better to fly than others. Always try to fly (and also buy your plane ticket) on a Tuesday or Wednesday. But since that’s not always possible with work and school schedules, sometimes you just need to be smarter in your planning process. The one time of week I always avoid flying is on a Sunday – usually the most expensive day of the week to take to the air. A February Sunday flight out of Orlando might set you back as much as a flight to Europe, so plan wisely!
So… back to my story, I already decided not to run the Princess Half, which happens on a February Sunday. Assuming I needed to get home immediately after (which I would) might cause me to miss a mortgage payment. And yet… one day I see that the Fairy Tale Challenge (10K plus Half Marathon) is open. My irrational FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) takes over. The calculating planner in me gets body-slammed by the adrenaline junkie that sees the green “register” button available on the runDisney site.
Now in previous years, it seems that people were permitted to edit existing race registrations and upgrade to a Challenge if the Challenge was available. People who have done this reported that they had to email runDisney, maybe a few times, but minus a processing fee, they would be refunded for the original race and get the Challenge upgrade.
It seems they may have changed the rules because I didn’t have any edit/change race option available in my profile, and when I tried to register for the Fairy Tale Challenge, I got an error message and couldn’t proceed. I heard the “Womp-womp” buzzer in my head and the same time Gandalf scolded me, “You shall not pass!”
Thankfully, rational me took over again and took this as a sign from the running and financial gods that I needed to let this one go. It’s not just the race fee that I saved, it was significant extra travel expense, too. It was HARD, but I’ve made peace with it. I won’t call it a decision, because the runDisney website decided for me, but really, if I want to make it to Orlando for Springtime Surprise it’s for the best.
So what are our take-aways here?
Fear Of Missing Out is real. It is expensive. You can overcome it.
runDisney races DO re-open from time to time. Follow social media or the Twitter account to find out when races re-open.
Make sure you have a plan in place for how to handle the race re-opening announcements. Don’t let the FOMO win.
Don’t try to fly out of Orlando on a Sunday in February
April 19, 2022 is a date that is going to live in infamy within the runDisney community. Not to spread unnecessary negativity, but Marathon Weekend 2023 registration was in no uncertain terms, a logistical and public relations disaster. Pent up demand for races converged with server traffic overload, and a total meltdown was in progress.
The registration queue waiting room opened up as expected at 9:45 am, and visitors, expecting registration to open at 10 as promised patiently waited for the “Thank You For Your Patience” spinner to change to the estimated wait time screen. That is, those who were lucky enough to get into the waiting room at all.
Another cohort of visitors reported they couldn’t get in to the waiting room –the entire runDisney site was reduced to an error page with the Seven Dwarfs insisting “We’re working on it.” That ceased to be cute in short order. As time ticked by, social media sites started lighting up when would-be registrants started to panic, cancel plans for the day, and of course, gripe.
At 10:37, the waiting room page flashed a message asking us to stay put, and not to refresh the page. It was very ,very difficult to resist refreshing – whenever someone tells you not to push the red button, all you want to do is push it, right?
So another message flashed at 11:15…11:30… 11:45… you get the point.
At this point, social media anxiety was out of control, people were calling their congressmen, claiming conspiracy theories that this was planned by Disney to boost registration in the incredibly overpriced Club runDisney, and of course, the memes were flying.
Finally, around 12:20, they announced that registration would begin at 12:30. Thousands, THOUSANDS of anxious people had been sitting at their computers on standby, not even daring a potty break for two and a half hours. I was just lucky because I happened to have the day off from work, but I know that there were many people who had changed their schedules so that they could register, and just weren’t able to stay by the computer. Seriously who expects that they need to take a day off to register for a race?
This time it went off as planned, but wait times were lengthy. I was lucky and got a place in the queue in about 40 minutes. I managed to get the races I wanted and get checked out. By the skin of my teeth. Nearly as soon as I got my confirmation email, races began to sell out.
The whole experience left me drained and exhausted, but as the social media posts started rolling in, I realized how fortunate I was. So many people had waited it out only to end up at the end of the queue and missed out completely. Even more heartbreaking were the stories that had races in their shopping carts to get a “Not Available” (sold out) message when hitting “I’m ready to pay”.
As dreams got crushed, normally positive social communities (understandably) turned their anger towards Disney and sometimes on other community members (bad manners, folks!). Many people were bitter. Others set their sites on alternatives – looking for a charity bib and thinking about fundraising, selecting a virtual race, or looking for a different race all together,
I knew I wasn’t up for this type of emotional roller coaster again, and frankly who knows if they will have the time to sit and wait in the queue on a future registration date? At this time in my life, I still have the endurance for long races, and I’ll look for any excuse to get to Orlando. Who knows if my circumstances will change and running at Disney is no longer an option for me?
The other route for peace of mind registration is joining Club runDisney. It’s the super pricey way to buy a jacket, and at some price points, a guaranteed opportunity to register for future races and better corral placement.
Three tiers are currently offered, and these are the benefits highlights
Silver, which gets you a jacket, a virtual race and bragging rights will set you back $265.43
Gold also guarantees you the opportunity for registration for yourself for a full year of races and early access to merch at the expo for the low, low price of $531.93. Keep in mind that this is not your registration fee. This is an extra tax to give you the chance to spend even more money to register for next year’s events.
Platinum offers the lower tier benefits, the chance to register 2 people for all race weekends, an upgraded expo experience, and an upgraded corral placement. I hope you’re sitting down or very, very rich, because the total with taxes and fees is $851.73
I guess that there are enough runners with money to burn here, because when the Club runDisney memberships went on sale today, the Platinum level sold out within an hour. So… again I guess Disney proved that they can charge whatever prices they want, because there’s always someone willing to pay it.
To save myself from going through the registration hell again, I opted for the Gold level. Will I have to eat ramen for an extended time? Yep. Will I need to wait a little while before changing out my running shoes? Yep. Will my kid get to go to college? No clue. Will the Club runDisney expense be worth it? Only time will tell, I guess. Until then, I’ll be waiting by the mailbox for my jacket to show up!
Do you know that feeling you get when you’re trying to score an individual Lightning Lane pass for Rise of the Resistance at 7 a.m., knowing they’ll be gone for the day by 7:02? (Only a very slight exaggeration there.) Well then you know what it feels like to register for Race Weekend events.
Registration generally opens about 9 months ahead of any Race Weekend, and some of the races will sell out in minutes. Do not hit the snooze button on your alarm this day. You will miss out. Generally the shorter races sell out first. If you’re looking for one of the longer races or a challenge, you might have a little more time, but I recommend clearing your calendar for an hour or so on registration morning, for finding someone who can do it for you if there’s no way you can do it yourself.
In most cases, registration becomes available at 10 a.m. ET on a Tuesday. You can find the link to the form from the event page on the runDisney site.
About 10-15 minutes before 10 a.m. the tiles for each race will update (you will want to refresh your browser until you see the links change). As soon as the links change, click “Register Now”
From then until 10 a.m. you’ll be placed into a waiting room, along with several thousand of your best running buddies. At 10 a.m. you’ll be assigned a position in the queue for registration. There will be an estimated wait timer to help you gauge how closely you need to pay attention. The site will play a chime when it’s your turn to register. If you don’t start your registration within a few minutes you will lose your place in line and have to start over.
There’s a few pieces of information you should make sure you have handy while you’re waiting. This is especially important if you’re registering another participant. You don’t want to get half way through the form and realize you don’t have an essential piece of information.
Make sure you have the following information ready:
personal details (Name, address, phone number, etc)
credit card number
emergency contact information (can be added later)
They will also ask you if you are in the military, Disney Vacation Club or Passholder, or a cast member, and if you have run a Disney race before
As I mentioned before these races sell out fast! If you are registering for multiple races or are registering for more than one person, you will want to do it all on one form. If you submit a registration and need to do another, you will have to go back into the queue, and risk missing out if the race sells out in the meantime.
Another thing – even if a race is in your shopping cart, you are not registered until you get a confirmation email. Sometimes races can sell out even while an event is in your shopping cart. SPEED COUNTS.
How easy is the form? The last time I registered, I registered multiple people for different races in a flurry of adrenaline. I made some mistakes and I ended up overwriting the same registration 4 times. I was lucky I got all the races I wanted. Here are a couple of screenshots to help you avoid the pitfall that got me.
When you complete the registration for one person, you’ll see a button to select a registration for another person. After you click that button, the page refresh is very subtle. Make sure you scroll all the way up to the top of the page to select your new race for your second registration.
What happens if your race sells out? Well, there are a few options requiring either patience, flexibility, or more money.
You can wait and check back later. There may be cancellations an a spot could open up
You can run for one of the race’s designated charities. Details can be found on the runDisney site.
You can run the virtual race. Not the same, I know, but if you’re itching for that medal, the virtual medals are just as pretty!