Runner giving Donald Duck a High Five
  • On Sep 3, 2023
    Sara Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hello! We are at Disney from Christmas Day through to January 8th, which we now know will be during the marathon weekend - we already have park reservations but are there any recommendations for which parks to do each day and how it will affect crowds?

    Hi Sara,

    I’m so glad to see you here at planDisney! Thanks for stopping by with your question about your jolly holiday at Walt Disney World Resort. It will certainly be full of good cheer celebrating Christmas, New Year's Eve, and the runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!

    My family has spent many of our Walt Disney World Resort vacations during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, so I have a few tips to help make the most of your time. Now, this popular event typically means extra Guests and some challenges navigating around the resort, yet it is also an exciting time even if you are not participating in the races. 

    Your Disney Resorts Collection hotel will have helpful information about race schedules and events. Also, keep checking the runDisney website since course maps are released a couple of weeks before the weekend. Both sources of information will help you fine-tune your plans. No matter which parks you visit on any of these days, Disney Cast Members do a marvelous job of making it all work for runners and non-runners alike.

    The good news is that each race typically begins and ends in EPCOT. They also start in early (pre-dawn) hours, so the shorter races (Walt Disney World 5k and 10k) will be finished about the time you are rolling out of bed! The 5k is raced through EPCOT. The 10k runs through EPCOT and Disney’s BoardWalk. So, if you are staying in Disney’s BoardWalk area, you may be awakened by the sound of runners on the boards. 
    The Walt Disney World Half Marathon races through EPCOT and Magic Kingdom Park, with much of the run along the roads between the two parks. The Walt Disney World Marathon visits each of the four theme parks. So, as you think about your mornings, remember that each park will have areas reserved for runners and access throughout the park is controlled by friendly Cast Members. Magic Kingdom should be the first park that is clear of runners. In my experience, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the least impacted park.

    Sara, I have a few other tips to offer! I suggest you utilize Disney Resort Transportation since it will have better access to roadways and routes. Also, runDisney weekends are a great time to book the most popular breakfast reservations since many Guests are finishing up their race mornings during that time. And finally, take some time to cheer on the runners! 

    I hope this information is helpful, Sara. Please write back to me if you have other questions or would like some personalized tips for your vacation.

    Wishing you many magical memories,
thumbnail image for Shannon

Meet the Panelist: Shannon, Georgia

Hi! I'm a dreamer and doer who loves exploring the big blue world! My love for Disney began at Walt Disney World Resort and after my first Disney Cruise Line vacation I was hooked. I especially enjoy the ships' adult-exclusive spaces and activities while experiencing the magic only Disney can create. A Land and Sea vacation combining an action-packed Walt Disney World Resort visit and a relaxing Disney Cruise Line voyage is my favorite way to do Disney. I can't wait to help you create your magical memories! Learn More About Shannon

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