Crossing the Finish Line; man; Mickey Mouse; Minnie Mouse
  • On Nov 15, 2023
    Ashleigh from IN 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 will be in the park Jan 3rd-6th. Just realized there is a marathon. Will this be an obstacle we will need to plan for? Will Disney transportation be slower because of the race? Also will early entry and rope dropping be affected?

    Hello Ashleigh!

    Welcome to planDisney. I'm thrilled to hear of your upcoming visit to Walt Disney World Resort, and so glad you decided to stop by with this question. I'm happy to put your worries at ease for your upcoming trip.

    Marathon weekend is an exciting time at Walt Disney World Resort, and while guests may notice plenty of runners proudly wearing their medals around the parks and enjoying a celebratory post-race treat, the events shouldn't put too big of a damper on your visit. Yes, you may experience some road closures and a bit of extra traffic or even some bus delays, but the location and timing of the runDisney events are designed to pose minimal issues for guests visiting the parks on those dates.

    The only event happening on January 3rd, the first date of your visit, will be the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo. This is typically held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and is just for runners to pick up their race bibs and do a bit of shopping before their particular event. This really should have no effect on your park timing or itineraries. The Walt Disney World 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon events are scheduled between January 4-6th respectively, each beginning at 5 a.m. The longer events have minimum pace requirements in efforts to clear the race courses early, so I'm hopeful that most of the road closures or potential delays will be resolved by the time you are ready to head to the parks. If you are traveling back to the airport on the morning of January 7th, I'd allow for some extra travel time so the Walt Disney World Marathon doesn't affect your plans.

    I took a look at the Hours & Events Calendar during your visit and it doesn't appear that Early Theme Park Entry is any different than the week prior. Of course, operating hours and experiences are subject to change, but I'm crossing my fingers you'll be in the parks bright and early ready to rope drop your most magical day. As you are navigating between your Disney Resorts Collection hotel and your preferred theme park, I strongly suggest utilizing complimentary transportation around the resort. Disney Skyliner and Monorail service typically aren't affected, and Walt Disney World Resort Bus Service is likely to have detour routes prepared on runDisney event dates that will be easier to navigate than if you decided to drive in your personal vehicle. 

    My top tip during any busy holiday season, runDisney weekends, or even during dance or cheer competitions is to pack your patience and a positive attitude. There is so much magic to enjoy that potential crowds, less-than-ideal weather, or even traffic delays shouldn't take away from your experience if you show up like Snow White with a smile and a song in your heart.

    My pals Kaitlin and Lauren are both runDisney pros so feel free to reach out to them directly if you have more specific questions about the races and what you can expect during your trip.

    Magic and memories,
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Meet the Panelist: Amy, North Carolina

Hi, I'm Amy- a proud wife, mom, and Disney adult. I'm a natural planner with a flair for the creative, always looking for ways to add a little magical sparkle to our family's day-to-day happenings and once-in-a lifetime moments. You'll find me and my crew visiting the parks from rope drop to close and packing in as much magic as possible to each day of our Walt Disney World Resort vacation. From dining to photo spots and all the details in between, you've got a friend in me! Learn More About Amy

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