There are so many things Disney does right, and the races at Disney World are no exception. Disney World hosts five race weekends throughout the year, all of which include family fun runs, parties, and some pretty awesome pre and post race events. Races start the first weekend in January and run (pun intended) until November. Some of the races at Disney World are even at night!
1. Expedition Everest Challenge
The first of the races at Disney World is the Expedition Everest Challenge. This challenge takes place in Animal Kingdom the first weekend in May and is hosted at night. The race is a 5k, but with a bit of a twist. This 5k takes you through Animal Kingdom on an adventure trek filled with obstacle courses and scavenger hunts. After the race, there is also a post-race bash inside the Animal Kingdom that goes until the wee hours of the morning.
2. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend
The Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend is another race that is hosted at night. This ten mile race runs inside the Hollywood Studios theme park where you will see lots of spooks and Disney Villains along the way. Just like the Expedition Everest Challenge, the 10-miler ends with a post-race villain bash inside the park. This race also has a Happy Haunts 5k during the day, for all those little runners in your family.
3. Wine and Dine Half Marathon
One of the best times to visit EPCOT is during the Food and Wine Festival. To go along with all the mass consuming of food and wine during this time, Disney has added a half marathon weekend during November. The race weekend includes the half marathon, a family 5k through Animal Kingdom, kid's races, a running expo, Pre-Race Taste, and a finish line party inside EPCOT. The best part: all of the food and wine kiosks stay open during the finish line party!
4. Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is massive. There are more races going on this weekend, than almost any other time of the year combined. Yes, you have the marathon on Sunday, but you also have the half marathon Saturday, the new 10k on Friday, a 5k, family races, and some pretty fantastic parties. These races will take you through all four Disney World theme parks with lots of Disney characters along the way.
5. Goofy Challenge
The Goofy Challenge is an extra set of events that those attending the Marathon Weekend can sign up for as well. This challenge is definitely for all those Goofys out there since it includes both the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday. The challenge comes with a pretty neat finisher’s medal, and includes all of the perks of the marathon weekend. If you are feeling Goofy, be sure to load up on all the goods that the Pasta Party has to offer. This party takes place before the race with tons of delicious food and stunning views of the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth display at EPCOT.
6. Dopey Challenge
If a marathon and half marathon are not enough, there is the Dopey Challenge. This Marathon Weekend challenge includes a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon for a total of 48.6 miles in four days. Once the race is done, you can go to the Cool Down party in Downtown Disney with your new finisher medals from all four events, plus the Goofy and Dopey metals as well. This race is the longest that Disney has to offer, but comes with some pretty great bragging rights, 48.6 miles worth of them, to be exact.
7. Disney Princess Half Marathon
The Disney Princess Half Marathon has, hands down, the prettiest medal of all. This race takes place at the end of February and has weekend events that focus on the Disney Princesses. There is no short supply of Disney royalty here. Disney Princesses can be seen cheering runners on, replicated in running costumes, and throughout all of the pre and post-race events. The weekend includes a Royal Family 5k, Pasta Party in EPCOT, running expo, race retreat, and a Princess meet and great breakfast.
If these races sound great to you, but running is not your forte, do not fear. Each Disney race has a cheering option and some include all the same perks as a runner. Disney also has a pretty slow sweeper system that only disqualifies those running slower than sixteen minutes per mile. With all of these race options, the only question left is, which do you want to run?