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8 Rookie Run Disney Mistakes

Run Disney is hotter than ever with new themed races attracting all levels of runners. Disney fans who haven’t run a mile since high school eagerly sign up for Run Disney races for the thrill of running through the theme parks. Even families team up and train together to conquer magical miles together.

Rookie Mistakes Runners make at Run Disney Races


But if you you’re new to the Run Disney scene, you may not even make it past registration! From the moment you decide to dish out the dough for a Run Disney race, you better know whats up…or else you’ll be swept before you even begin!

Below are my “8 Rookie Run Disney Mistakes” that everybody has made at one point. Learn from the Run Disney alumni runners and avoid these common pitfalls…

8 Rookie Run Disney Mistakes

  1. You Misjudge Registration.

48.6 miles throughout Walt Disney World, in the Dopey Challenge, sounds like a blast to you. But you casually log onto the night of registration AND POOF! It’s sold out! Don’t miss the party. Sign up for a reminder email, via Run Disney, for registration information so you don’t miss out.

Run Disney, Running Advice, Run Disney Runners


2. You Don’t Submit a Proof of Time.

You might think submitting a proof of time is a waste of time, but it’s best to submit something rather than nothing. Sign up for a certified local race at home to submit a proof of time online for your Run Disney race. It’s also great practice for race day.

3. You Don’t Train.

Even though Run Disney races are walker friendly, it’s smart to train at a 15 min/mile pace at least. You’ll need to take into account any stops for the bathroom or photos. You’d be amazed how many runners don’t prepare for a Run Disney race.

Run Disney, Running Advice, Run Disney Runners


4. You Forget to Test Run a Costume.

Everybody loves to run in fun costumes at Run Disney races. It’s smart to test your costume for a few miles before race day. Sometimes runners have to shed costume pieces mid-race. Run a few miles on the treadmill or outside in your costume.

5. You Don’t Take Advantage of the Expo Guest Speakers.

Run Disney provides amazing running resources at the expo with their guest speakers. Former Olympian, Jeff Galloway, provides runners with sound race advice. Registered Dietician, Tara Gidus Collingwood, talks to runners about proper fueling and wellness. I recommend any of the guest expo speakers to newbies!

6. You Bring a Selfie Stick Or Ignore The Costume Rules.

Run Disney just re-enforced new costume rules at the 2016 WDW Marathon Weekend. If a costume doesn’t follow guidelines, you may be asked to change or not run. It’s best to read the costume rules prior to the race weekend. Also, selfie sticks are strictly prohibited.

7. You Don’t Learn Race Etiquette.

Take the time to read race etiquette tips in your race weekend guide, provided by Run Disney. They offer valuable race etiquette tips that will keep you safe on the course. Last thing you want to do is stop suddenly for a photo and trip somebody.

8. You Book a Dining Reservation Too Close.

So many runners book a dining reservation close to their estimated race finish time but stress over it mid-race. Run Disney races can take you longer than expected since most runners stop for photos with characters. It’s best to give yourself plenty of time to make a reservation. Transportation time can always take longer as well.


Need some help with your training? Jeff Galloway, the official training coach for Run Disney has great half marathon training tips in his book, “Half Marathon, You Can Do It”.


Have any training questions or travel questions? Leave a comment below!


Wednesday 27th of July 2016

I'm doing my first run in Jan 5& 10 k crazy friend convinced me and helped me register for both.

Kimberly Stroh

Thursday 28th of July 2016

You'll have so much fun! As long as you train, you'll be ready to go!

Cheryl Sullivan

Friday 15th of April 2016

I'm running Disney for the first time next month for my 39th birthday. Neverland 5K (Friday) followed by the Pixie Dust Challenge (10K Saturday & Half Sunday). I might add to this list "practice getting up SUPER early, as most runs start at 5am." I know I want my usual breakfast + time to, er, relax and get ready...


Wednesday 13th of April 2016

I am soooo excited! First trip to Disney and I am participating in the Food and Wine Luminere's Challenge this Novemeber. Love me some runcations! I am currently looking for the perfect costume???

Caitlin + Dani

Tuesday 16th of February 2016

These events looks so fun! I love the princess themed runs.

Becky @ Disney in your Day

Monday 15th of February 2016

With the last one sometimes people also don't realize that start times are staggered - so even though it says the race starts at 5:30, you might not actually start running til 6 or 6:15 depending on what corral you are in.

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