Family on dock at Yacht and Beach Club; Mickey and Minnie Plush
  • On Jun 15, 2024
    Rebecca from WY Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We our planning our family's first Disney trip for January 5-10, 2025. We know that the end of this trip will overlap with the runDisney Marathon Weekend. Which parks would be best to plan for the beginning of our trip to avoid the extra crowds?

    Welcome to planDisney, Rebecca! I remember planning our first family trip to The Most Magical Place On Earth; picking out the perfect Disney Resorts Collection hotel was so exciting, as was making special Character dining reservations and experiencing my favorite childhood attractions with my kids for the first time. You are going to have a wonderful time!

    The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend festivities with runDisney will start on Wednesday, January 8, 2025, and conclude on Sunday, January 12, 2025. This event attracts runners and their cheer squad from around the world, me included, but it shouldn’t impact your vacation negatively. There are many variables regarding how the races will affect the theme parks. Plenty of runners add an event or two to their existing vacations, meaning these Guests would be in the parks anyway. Some come only to run without visiting the parks, and some will run a marathon in the morning and walk a marathon through park hopping immediately after, so it all depends. I would recommend two things. One is looking into adding the Park Hopper Option to your theme park ticket so you can go from one park to another whenever you want or based on the crowd levels. Secondly, I recommend visiting the runDisney website a week or two before you arrive to review the released course maps. These maps will detail each race's routes, giving you a better idea of which park may be affected by that specific race. While the races and times are designed to have the majority, if not all, of the runners out of the parks before the parks open to Guests, you could make plans based on each day’s race. 

    For example, this past marathon started with a quick run through EPCOT before the long stretch up to the Magic Kingdom. Then, it continued to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, finishing with another stretch through EPCOT. If I were to plan a morning in the parks, I would consider rope-dropping the Magic Kingdom to knock out all my favorite attractions. You can ride your favorites right at opening while the marathon runners are still on the course. Once you’ve tackled everything you wanted, you can check your My Disney Experience app to see the wait times at the other parks and then utilize the complimentary transportation to Park Hop!

    Running (see what I did there?) it back to the Park Hopper Option previously mentioned; not only would it help you on the back end of your vacation when the running crowd is in town, but it could also help you ensure you are seeing and experiencing all that you want to do on the front end of your trip as well. My family loves to rope drop the parks in the morning for three to four hours, head back to our resort for a nap or pool time, and then go to another park in the evening just after dinner. Breaking our day up like this allows us to enjoy the low crowds and short lines in the morning, relax and reenergize in the afternoon, and then be ready to go late into the evening with fresh legs after most families have thrown in the towel. 

    With these suggestions in mind, I would love to help you plan your day-to-day in more detail. Let me know if you want to ask me about Disney Genie+, Lightning Lanes, Individual Lightning Lanes, and Virtual Queues. Utilizing any of these options will help minimize your time in lines, experience more attractions or shows, and make the most of your time in the parks! 

    See you real soon!
thumbnail image for Brent

Meet the Panelist: Brent, Maryland

Welcome to planDisney! I'm Brent, a husband, father, coach, and dog dad from Annapolis, MD, with a mind on a permanent Disney vacation! I specialize in crafting unforgettable trips to the Walt Disney World Resort but when it's my turn to vacation, you can catch me indulging in the food options of EPCOT's World Showcase, ascending Disney Mountains, and lounging poolside at Stormalong Bay with a delicious treat from Beaches & Cream Soda Shop! Learn More About Brent

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