I had been looking forward to the Jingle Jungle 5k ever since they released the Fab 5 Christmas medal. My favorite RunDisney events are their 5k races and it was my first time running the Jingle Jungle.
The race started at 7am, instead of the usual crack-of-dawn starting time. It felt like I was sleeping in for the event!
My friends and I put on our best Christmas gear and took the bus over to the Animal Kingdom parking lot where the race started.
As much as I loved the later start time, the heat and humidity were rising as we waited to start. Orlando was having record breaking November heat wave. Some runners looked to be roasting in their costumes.
After a winter inspired send off, complete with faux snow and a send off from Mickey, we were off and running! The course does a loop around the Animal Kingdom parking lot before heading directly into the park.
After Mile 1, I saw my favorite thing during any race: REAL bathrooms! I ducked into the restroom to take a quick potty break and wipe some sweat off. After a quick shimmy to get my skirt back over my sweaty legs, I was back to running and found my 1st photo opportunity with Flick from Bug’s Life.
There were a handful of characters out for photos, but the lines were pretty long. I saw several people who opted not to wait in line and take selfies with the characters in the background instead.
Even though this was a fun 5k that my friends & I ran together, the course felt overcrowded. We got split up several times from runners weaving in between us. At several narrow spots on the course, we couldn’t even run if we wanted to. We were all in corral A and still struggled with finding space to run.
Between the crazy humidity and the crowded course, I was done taking photos. I just wanted to finish the race & go back to our resort. Everybody seemed to be struggling with the humidity and rising sun.
I FaceTimed my family so they could watch me finish the 5k!
After the race, Run Disney offered a cooling towel, snack boxes and bottled water to runners. Several characters were available for photos too.
I loved the later start time and Christmas theme of the race, but I didn’t care for the crowded course. If Run Disney is still going to sell the same number of bibs, it might help to spread the corral start times a little more.
The Jingle Jungle 5k was definitely a fun way to start the holiday season!