woman with arms up running; in costume as Buzz Lightyear; EPCOT
  • On Nov 11, 2023
    Debra from CT Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I am running the Half Marathon at Disney for the first time in January 2024. I have family coming and they want to cheer me on. What do I need to do so they can see me run?

    Hi Debra!

    Thanks for bringing your question to planDisney! I have spectated and participated in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon event, so I know a few ways your family can be there to support you as you complete your race. The official Digital Event Guide for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend has not been released yet, so the locations I share may be subject to change. 

    There is usually a location for spectators near the start line of the race. So, if your family is a group of early risers, they may accompany you on the bus that takes runners to the race start from the Disney Resort hotels. The great thing about this is the entertainment offered before the corrals officially open. Your family can join you as you meet characters or dance to music, then once you enter your corral, they can find the spectator area. They will not be allowed to enter your corral with you prior to the race. 

    During the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, the half marathon and full marathon events usually run down Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park.  If your family can make their way to Magic Kingdom Park, spectators are allowed entry to Magic Kingdom Park without a theme park ticket for a certain period on the morning of the race. In the days leading up to your race, I recommend talking to the Cast Members at the Front Desk of your Disney Resort hotel to see what the transportation options will be if your family is planning to see you in Magic Kingdom Park. 

    Depending on the Disney Resort hotel you are staying at, your family may be able to see you running by. You’ll need to see this year’s official course, but in the past, I have watched my family run from areas near Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Beach Club Resort. 

    And finally, there is usually a spectator area located at the finish line of the race, which is typically in the EPCOT parking lot. I love this location because your family can be there to cheer you on at the very end of your race, when you might need the support the most! 

    Now that we’ve discussed locations, let’s talk about how they can track where you are! Prior to your race weekend, runDisney will share a link for Runner Tracking. Your family and friends can input your bib number and watch as you progress on the course. My dad tracks me from home and likes to send motivational texts mentioning where I am in the theme parks! Sometimes the tracking site will estimate where you are based on your projected pace, so it may not be accurate until you cross the next timing mat. In that case, you’ll probably want to keep your mobile device with you, so you can turn tracking on for your family, or you can send quick texts about where to look for each other. Make sure your family knows what you are wearing, and if they have a sign or a bright outfit on, that will help you spot them as well! 

    As I said, your Digital Event Guide will give you the exact course you will be running, and additional information on how your family can get around Walt Disney World Resort on race morning. This will usually come to your email before race weekend. 

    I hope this information was helpful, Debra. I love that your family will be there for you as you run, and now you have another cheering squad for you here at planDisney! Please come back again if you have any future questions!

    Wishing you many magical miles, 
thumbnail image for Kaitlin

Meet the Panelist: Kaitlin, Indiana

Hi friends! I'm Kaitlin, a wife and mom to two young boys. I can always be found with a list of the latest and greatest snacks and treats at Walt Disney World, and sometimes I'm even willing to share those snacks with my family. In the meantime, I'm here to help answer your questions about your vacation to Walt Disney World Resort!  Learn More About Kaitlin

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