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Running through Disney Parks--for medals!!!

Have you ever dreamed of being in either Walt Disney World or Disneyland before the parks open? Run Disney offers a way to run through the parks before they open. These races are held eight times a year, four at Walt Disney World and four at Disneyland in California. There is an additional race at Disneyland Paris as well.

These are races anyone can do! The distances run the gamut from the diaper dash for the littlest crawlers to the kids’ races including the 100-yard dash to the Mickey Mile. For families 5k family fun race is ideal, and the other races include the 10k, the half and full marathons. The Run Disney Events at Walt Disney World in Orlando include Marathon Weekend in January, Princess Weekend in February, Star Wars the Dark Side in April and Wine and Dine in November. The race weekends at Disneyland include: Star Wars the light side in January, Tinker bell half marathon weekend in May, Disneyland half marathon weekend in September and Super heroes weekend in November.

With the exception of Marathon weekend in January, all the other race weekends include the kids’ races, the family 5k run, the 10k and the half marathon. They all offer challenge medals as well, which involve running both the 10k and the half marathon.

Marathon weekend in January is the race weekend with a full marathon (26.2miles). This very special weekend includes the kids races, the family 5k (3.1miles), the 10k, the half marathon and of course the full marathon. There are two very special challenges: The Goofy challenge is awarded for completing both the half and the full marathons, and the aptly named Dopey Challenge is awarded to those running all 4 races on 4 consecutive days! Each challenge comes with its own medal, so if you run all 4 races, you come home with 6 gorgeous medals.

One of the most fun aspects of running these races is getting to dress up in costume. Disney lets runners run in costumes that are appropriate to a race and don’t interfere with other runners! But the best part of running any of these races is the opportunity to meet many characters along the race route and the entertainment Disney supplies all along the routes. You get to see some of the back lot areas which tourists are not allowed to see when the parks are open. Also Run Disney takes safety very seriously and provides medical tents, and fuel and water stops along each race route.

Most, if not all the hotels on property at Walt Disney World are considered host hotels and bus transportation is provided from these host hotels to the events. Each weekend also includes a full expo where you can purchase all sorts of running items, plus official Run Disney clothes and souvenirs of the races. There is bus transportation to the Expo from all the host hotels as well.

If you would like to experience a Run Disney Race, or would like more information about visiting WDW during a race event please contact me at bpolan@coastersandcastlestravel.com. I can help you plan a magical race-caton at Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

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