Dale with Runners
  • On Aug 7, 2023
    Fiona from Berkshire Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi. We are looking forward to our trip to WDW at the beginning of January but it coincides with the Run Disney events. Do you have any advice on visiting the parks during these events if we are not taking part in them? Thank you. Fiona

    Why hello there Fiona, I'd like to wish you a very warm welcome to planDisney!

    Personally, I love spending January in and around Walt Disney World Resort for a myriad of reasons including the cooler, comfortable weather and being able to avoid the crush of crowds that come to celebrate the holidays just prior. In fact, this is why my husband and I chose January for our Disney Fairy Tale Wedding date and invited our families from around the world to come at a time that directly coincided with the runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. While we were mostly able to avoid having this affect our holiday too much, here are a few of my personal Princely pointers and first-hand advice that may help your visit be more enjoyable:

    • An excellent way to prepare yourself for this week is to take a look at the runDisney schedule of events so that you can get an idea of the hours or areas that you'd ideally want to avoid. You'll notice that the majority of events take place early in the morning and extend for several hours; while typically centralized at EPCOT, the Half Marathon and Marathon days extend across Theme Parks. (You'll likely want to adjust your strategy over those particular days to avoid EPCOT in the morning as you may experience delays just getting into the parking and drop-off areas.)
    • The various courses require a load of logistics that include road closures and detours along some major roadways; personally I would definitely factor in an additional half hour or more when taking any complimentary Resort Transportation to the Theme Parks as you may find the Resort buses and even the Walt Disney World Monorail to be filled to capacity at various times of the day. The road closures make it very challenging for folks who choose to hire a car for their visit, and we personally found it difficult to locate available drivers who were willing to accept rides on our Apps without having to accept hefty surge pricing.
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park is a great option for a slightly more tranquil experience on the days of the runDisney events, though you might find the Theme Parks to be exceptionally busy as compared to the following weeks. I recommend prioritizing the rides and attractions you'll want to experience earlier in the day as I observed standby queue wait times begin to spike once the runDisney participants and spectators had begun entering the Theme Parks following their runs; this is definitely one of those moments where Disney Genie+ service may definitely help you avoid longer waits throughout your day.
    • Be sure to make your reservations for dining locations and any Enchanting Extras early as you may find availability to be limited especially in the evenings when the runners seek to celebrate their achievements with each other. One might say that the competitive spirit permeates the Theme Parks that week, so an extra pinch of patience and pixie dust may definitely be in order!

    Here's to staying ahead of the crowd on your upcoming visit!

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Meet the Panelist: Prince, Ontario

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha and Ahoy there! As a performer and world explorer who's been to all of the Disney theme parks around the globe, I'm always happy to provide my best adventuring advice and knowledge to navigate your way to all of the greatest snacks, attractions and entertainment on land and at sea. Find me featured on the planDisney Podcast and on the Disney Parks Blog, discussing Disney Eats at festivals and beyond, holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort and planning my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding! Learn More About Prince

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