• On Jul 17, 2019
    Shaunna from NY Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I read during rundisney events such as the 5k and 10k events that you can meet rare disney characters along the way. Is this true? Also, can you stop and get their picture and autograph with them during or after the race?

    Hi Shaunna!

    Welcome back to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! There are so many reasons to participate in a runDisney event. Some are looking for a new challenge, others love designing and running in a costume, and I need a big race to motivate me to run through cold and snowy Indiana. Some run just for the characters!

    While the specific characters during each race can vary and are a surprise up until the race itself, you can count on several character stops per event. In my experience, if rare characters bring you a thrill, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January seems to offer the most diverse and exclusive array of Disney friends. In 2019 for example, the 10K included Chip and Dale as Rescue Rangers, as well as Ralph and Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph. The Disney Princess Half Marathon features friends of the princess variety of course, so these tend to be less rare sightings. My family enjoys the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend in April, and this year the Ewoks were my favorite!

    Before the race start, there are usually a few select character locations in the pre-race area. I recommend arriving early, think 3 am, as lines can get long. During the race, you are welcome to stop for a photo with the characters if time allows. You can use your cellphone for a quick selfie, and some stations will have a PhotoPass Photographer available. I highly recommend Memory Maker if you'll be participating in the races! Due to time constraints, and runners needing to stay within pacing guidelines, character interactions should be limited to a hug and a photo. Although this could change, runDisney has also added character stops at the end of the races over the past few seasons. When I am mid-race, I find it hard to stop for a photo as I am in the running frame of mind, and I am always concerned about the pace requirement. This is why I take full advantage of the character meets before and after the race itself. While I haven’t specifically seen someone get an autograph at this point, as long as it is after the race, you could certainly ask.

    I hope this helps with your planning, and I hope you’ll let us know what other questions you have as you get ready for your runDisney event!

    Run like the wind, Bullseye!
    - Kate
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Meet the Panelist: Kate, Indiana

"Welcome Home!" I'm Kate, a mom and nurse from Indiana. A lifelong Disney fan, Disney Vacation Club opened a world of vacation possibilities for our family. I’ve traveled with young children and those young at heart, planned romantic trips for two and made FastPass+ reservations for an entire marching band! Whether dining with Mickey, surfing in Hawaii, or relaxing around the pool we make the most of our Disney Vacation Club Membership. For this nurse, every day is better with a little dose of Disney! Learn More About Kate

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