Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More things to know about runDisney events at WDW

In a previous post I tried to cover some of the hints/tips and things I have learned about runDisney. One thing I did not cover specifically was the morning of the race.

You know, that wonderful middle of the night, anxiety heavy time when we are rushing to get to the starting line to wait?

runDisney has a LOT of space to work with for running events at Disneyworld and they seem to take advantage of it. I am going to speak specifically to the Princess Half Marathon since I ran it this year but from reports, this is very similar for the other locations (though Wine and Dine and Tower of Terror do use a different start and end point).

Host Resorts: Disney does a good job of making sure runners can get to the events without having to have their own transportation. Since many visitors to WDW rely on the Disney system this only makes sense. runDisney identifies specific resorts as host resorts for events. They provide direct transportation from these resorts to the races and the expo. If you do not stay at a host resort you are on your own to get there. This year for both Marathon weekend and for Princess Half Marathon weekend, ALL Disneyworld resorts (including DVC) were host resorts which made it nice and easy for the runners.

Using Transportation for the runDisney events: I will say that Disney again did a great job. The buses for the Expo and Races were in the same place as the park buses at Beach Club (and I assume all others). They also had a Cast Member stationed out there to keep the participants informed! The best part is they use the Magical Express and Mears buses not the park buses so if you over hydrate the day before there is a bathroom on board!

It was similar coming back from the events. It was easy to find where you should be to get your bus and there were cast members telling you where to go and to help! I found the entire process easy.

***Note: Some resorts share a bus and others do not. Some also share for certain events and not others so you may have stops but you will get there.

Timing for Transportation: My advice here is the earlier the better. For some events Disney is working on moving over 20,000 people in a short time frame. Buses for the races start running at 3am and I recommend trying to be on as early as possible. I am a worrier by nature so I was out at 2:45am and on the first bus. We sailed right to Epcot and the staging area with ease. I think I arrived about 3:15am. I know other people got to the bus stops later and there were traffic issues getting the buses into Epcot. Personally I would rather have time to stand around and meet up with friends, shop, potty and other things than stand in line. I know people who got on one of the last buses at 4am and had to rush to their corral. So early is key for runDisney events.

Staging Area and Corrals: Be prepared mentally that while the staging area and bag check are not far from the bus drop off, the corrals are quite a walk (I heard someone used their GPS and it was just under 2 miles). After you check your bag, you are on your way to the corrals. It is a long walk but it is done slowly (come on, with 20,000 people nothing goes really fast) but it doesn't tire you out. You can stop at a PoP, eat a snack, chat or take pictures. Once in the corrals it is another long wait but Disney does a great job of having music and entertainment to keep everyone going and not falling asleep.

Finish Area: The finish area for the Princess Half (and I believe the Mickey Full and Donald Half) are near the start line so when you finish you are back where you began to get your snacks, your bags and the buses back to the resorts!

runDisney events can seem overwhelming but honestly if you read what is given or ask Cast members at the resorts (NOT ON THE PHONE), you will have no problem navigating the events.

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