Crossing the Finish Line
  • On Jul 23, 2023
    Claire from MN 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! I’ll be running the Disney World Dopey challenge this coming January and have had alot of questions from family as to whether they can cheer in the park or if they have to pay to do so? Can’t find anything regarding spectator policies! Thank you!

    Hiya, Claire!

    Thanks for stopping by with your Walt Disney World Resort vacation planning question. You're as welcome as can be here at planDisney! Oh boy - lace up those running shoes, because you're about to embark on an unforgettable journey through The Most Magical Place on Earth. Claire, I'm here to support you and your family as you pursue those coveted Dopey Challenge medals!

    My family usually takes our annual trip during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - we love the milder weather and lower crowds before and after the weekend rush! (Plus, nothing beats escaping the Midwest during wintertime.) I'm happy to inform you that spectating at runDisney events is made easy by race-sponsored and resort transportation. While specific details pertaining to spectators at the 2024 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend have not yet been released, rest assured that you'll be able to find detailed information on the runDisney website closer to the event. In the meantime, I'd be happy to share some of my experiences from previous years.

    Courses for both the half marathon and marathon usually route through Magic Kingdom Park, offering a special viewing experience for your spectators! Historically, theme park tickets are not required for Guests spectating in the theme park before the park opens for the day. Spectating at Magic Kingdom Park is especially easy for those Guests staying at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney's Contemporary Resort. Another great viewing location is the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). Guests staying at Resort hotels not located near Magic Kingdom Park can reach these locations by utilizing race transportation to EPCOT (start/finish line) and hopping on the EPCOT Monorail to the TTC.

    One of my favorite viewing locations is Disney's BoardWalk, Claire. Typically, the 10K, half marathon, and marathon all pass through this area, making it a great place to spectate for Guests staying at Disney's BoardWalk Inn, Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, and the Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve! Once the theme parks open for the day, Guests with valid admission can spectate from within the parks. I had a great time "chasing" my friend running the Walt Disney World Marathon around the theme parks this past January! To make this easier, we enabled location tracking on our phones so that I could see her location in real-time.

    If your family members hope to catch you crossing the start or finish line, they should rely on race transportation, so be sure to check the runDisney website closer to race weekend for details. Complimentary race transportation to/from the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo and each of the races is available at all of the Disney Resort hotels. The course maps will likely be released about a month prior to race weekend, so you'll be able to map out spectating locations ahead of time!

    Claire, I hope these details have been helpful to you. Stay tuned to the runDisney Blog for exciting announcements about the 2024 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! Also, if you ever have specific runDisney-related questions, feel free to reach out directly to my panelist pal Lynne or myself. We're runDisney enthusiasts, too, and always thrilled for the opportunity to chat about our passion. I'm wishing you miles and miles of magic!

    See ya real soon,

thumbnail image for Lauren

Meet the Panelist: Lauren, Michigan

Hello friends! I'm Lauren M. from the Mitten State. I'm a mom, scientist, runDisney enthusiast, Disney Vacation Club Member, and self-proclaimed connoisseur of Disney snacks! For my family, it's a mix of both new and nostalgic that keeps us returning to the Walt Disney World Resort year after year. Throughout my life, I've been fortunate enough to experience many milestones and unforgettable moments at Disney Destinations and I can't wait to help you make magical vacation memories of your own! Learn More About Lauren

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