Run Disney vacations are awesome, but Run Disney girl’s trips are the best! My friends and I flew to California to run the second portion of our Coast to Coast Challenge and the Pixie Dust Challenge. First up was the Run Disney Tinkerbell 10k. I was so excited to lace up my running shoes and explore Disneyland. It was my first glimpse of the park since 2005 and so much changed.
The day prior, news broke out that the Tinkerbell 5k had no character stops. It didn’t give me much hope for a fun 10k, but I was determined to create my own photo opportunities and have fun. Since the 10k was part one of 19.3 total weekend miles for me, I kept an easy interval pace.
Before Run Disney Tinkerbell 10k Race
If you’ve only participated in Run Disney events at Walt Disney World, then the Disneyland events are surprisingly differently. I love how the corrals start in front of Downtown Disney and directly in front of the Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier. You don’t have to walk a mile to the start or wait for transportation. That’s a nice touch.
Disneyland did require every runner to go through security, with metal detectors. This was new for me since we only have a bag-check security at WDW. The line was long, but not unbearable. Select Downtown Disney restaurants are open for snack options are porta potties are available.
Run Disney provides some pre-race entertainment with a DJ and your race hosts. Tinkerbell sent each corral on their way and we were off!
Running Through Disneyland and California Adventure
Prior to this race weekend, I was warned that the West Coast races aren’t entirely through the parks. I wasn’t disappointed in the 10k because there was plenty of park time. We ran through Sleeping Beauty’s castle, through fantasyland, backstage areas and Paradise Pier at California Adventure.
The best part of the race was the surprise character stops! Apparently the 5k tested the “no character” idea and after complaints on social media, Run Disney added characters throughout the 10k course. Hook, Smee, Chip and Dale, Lost Boys, Wendy and Peter Pan was on the course. The lines for character photos seemed long to me. I think it’s because Run Disney didn’t have any stops on the 5k, the day before.
I’m always nervous about to my time, so I opt for photos with small lines. I love taking my photos in front of the mile markers, with ride pieces or popular park attractions.
For a cute touch, Run Disney scattered the Lost Boys throughout the course as if you had to “find them”. They also played “Following the Leader” song – on repeat.
I started in Corral C and didn’t see Paradise Pier lit up because it was light out. My faster friends, in higher corrals, said they saw it lit up for a short amount of time.
Finishing the Run Disney Tinkerbell 10k
The end of the course takes you back to the starting position and the finisher’s shoot is located right in front of the Disneyland Hotel. I felt like I finished strong and had fun. It was only the second race I ran after the birth of my 2nd child (who is now 5 months old).
The medal design is cute and features the lost boys. Run Disney provides snacks, drinks and photo opportunities after you finish.
I would definitely sign up for another Disneyland 10k. I like how the majority of the race is inside the park. The 2017 Run Disney Tinkerbell race weekend was the first time Run Disney used paid temp workers vs. volunteers. I felt like everything was still organized and well prepared, like any Run Disney event.
Overall, I liked the Run Disney Tinkerbell 10k!
Get the full experience and check out my video below!