runDisney 2023-2024 Disneyland & Walt Disney World Event Guide

runDisney races take place at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and even include virtual races so everyone can participate. Disney sponsored runs are a Disney fan favorite as these marathons often take place inside the theme parks before/after normal operating hours. Runners will experience their favorite characters and Disney fans cheering them on as they cross the finish line. Plus runDisney fans go all out in full costumes that rival those that you'll see at even D23!

runDisney is the official host of Disney races which began in 1994 at Walt Disney World Resort where you will find most of the runDisney races held each year. Disneyland also hosts runDisney events but many of their events were put on hold in 2017 which makes the announcement of runDisney returning to the Disneyland Resort in 2024 even more exciting! Disneyland Paris also offers runDisney events which began at that park in 2016.

Keep reading to see the full runDisney event listing for the next two years at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

runDisney 2023-2024 Event CalendarrunDisney madHatter poses with runDisney guests

runDisney has announced the 2023-2024 calendar of returning runDisney events at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World along with the 2023 virtual Disney series.

2023 runDisney Events

  • 2023 runDisney Virtual Series
    • June-August 2023
    • Registration begins on April 25, 2023
  • 2023 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
    • November 2-5 2023
    • Walt Disney World
    • Club runDisney registration: March 14th 2023
    • General registration: March 21st 2023
    • Virtual event registration: March 24th 2023

This year the main runDisney event will take place at Walt Disney World around the same time as the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. This runDisney event is coordinated to run alongside this popular festival which celebrate international food, wine, and offers culinary demonstrations for all guests to enjoy.

Disney World in November is a great time to visit right as Disney begins preparing for the holiday season plus some of the best weather you'll see in Florida year round.

2024 runDisney Events

runDisney 2024 events sees a near full return to normalcy for the runDisney calendar as events are taking place at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland throughout the Spring. I anticipate we'll see even more events announced as the year draws closer as this event listing only goes until April 2024.

  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
    • January 3-7 2024
    • Club runDisney registration: April 4th 2023
    • General registration: April 11th 2023
    • Virtual event registration: April 14 2023
  • Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
    • January 11-14 2024
    • Club runDisney registration: Feb 7th 2023
    • General registration: Feb 14th 2023
    • Virtual event registration: Feb 17 2023
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
    • February 22-25 2024
    • Walt Disney World
    • Club runDisney registration: June 13th 2023
    • General registration: June 20th 2023
    • Virtual event registration: June 23rd 2023
  • runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend
    • April 18-21 2024
    • Walt Disney World
    • Club runDisney registration: August 15h 2023
    • General registration: August 22nd 2023
    • Virtual event registration: August 25th 2023

Club runDisney is for racers that have completed a set amount of races to qualify for early registration so they will get first chance at signing up. Disneyland hasn't seen the runDisney races return since 2017 so the Disneyland Half Marathon event is guaranteed to be a popular one next year, I expect registration will fill up quickly. This special half marathon event will include three endurance events, a runDisney challenge and more. If you plan on attending the Disneyland Half Marathon event, you may want to consider reviewing what Disneyland hotel you will say at during your race as you will likely see hotels fill up quickly for that weekend.

Along with the return of the Disneyland Half Marathon event, the runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge will be returning in 2024. More details on how to qualify will be released later this month.

Walt Disney World is also seeing nearly all its usual marathon events announced for 2024 (just waiting on that Star Wars Marathon event announcement!) which means next year is going to be a packed one for racing events. Some of these events draw large crowds especially the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January 2024 so be sure to start picking your Walt Disney World hotel now.

We'll keep you updated on more information regarding these runDisney events as they draw closer. Keep reading for our full overview on past runDisney and returning events below!

Disneyland runDisney EventsrunDisney at Disneyland Resort

The first runDisney runs were a 5K and a full marathon in 1995 which begun the history of Disney races on the West coast. Here is a brief history of the races we've seen offered in the past at the Disneyland resort!

Races at Disneyland have included the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. This race included the 10K, 5K, and runDisney Kids Dashes. The Dumbo Dare Challenge (10K and half marathon) was launched in 2013.

The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend debuted in 2012 on Mother's Day weekend. Athletes could choose a 5K, 10K, and/or half marathon or all three as well as the runDisney Kids Dashes. The 2015 inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge was the combined 10K and half marathon.

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Race Weekend debuted in November of 2014. The weekend events included a 5K, 10K, and half marathon as well as the races for the smaller heroes. And, like the other race weekends, a challenge was thrown- actually the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge- which included the 10K and the half marathon.

Finally, to appease the Jedi within, Disneyland Resort offered the Star Wars Half Marathon– Light Side Races for the January slot. Runners could select a 5K, 10K, and/or half marathon. The Rebel Run Challenge included the 10K and half marathon. Again, smaller Skywalkers could choose a Kids' Dash race. runDisney events at Disneyland were put on a hiatus in 2017 which is why the announcement of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend returning in 2024 is so exciting for runDisney fans!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend will return to Disneyland on January 11th-14th 2024! Registration will be available first for Club runDisney members on February 7th 2023 followed by general registration February 14th 2023 and virtual event registration on February 17th 2023.

Walt Disney World runDisney EventsrunDisney race going down Main Street towards Cinderella's Castle

runDisney usually hosts four separate race weekends at Walt Disney World throughout the year making it the central hub for most runDisney events.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

January kicks off the race season at Walt Disney World Resort with Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! Guests can choose a multitude of race options including a 5K, 10K, half marathon and FULL marathon. Participants can run one, two, three, or all four races! Each race course is specific to the race distance with favorite characters along the way for photo ops.

The weekend begins on the Wednesday before prior with the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo. This event operates four days at which potential runners can hear keynote fitness speakers, check out the newest race merchandise, and score plenty of power bars. Racers can also pick up their running bibs and specialized race shirts during this time.

The next Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place on January 3-7 2024.

Walt Disney World 5K Race

The 5K race features a 3.1 mile run through EPCOT early Thursday morning where finishers receive the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit medal.  Typically, the medal line-up for the four races represents Disney's “Fab Four”- Pluto, Minnie, Donald, and Mickey. But this year's 5K mascot was Oswald!

Walt Disney World 10K Race

Friday morning will find racers ready to cover the 6.2 mile course through Walt Disney World Resort. Minnie Mouse hosts this great warm-up race for athletes planning to run the longer courses on the weekend.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

For the half marathon, Saturday morning racers join their favorite duck on this 13.1 mile journey through the theme park with the start and finish in EPCOT'S parking lot. Qualifiers receive the Donald Duck medal.

Walt Disney World Full Marathon

And what would a runDisney race weekend be without the big cheese himself? Mickey hosts this race- a whopping 26.2 miles. The Sunday morning course covers all four Walt Disney World parks- EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Runners will also take a quick trek through ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex. Completion of this race garners the Mickey Mouse medal.

runDisney at EPCOT

runDisney Challenges

If the half marathon or full marathon aren't challenging enough, runDisney offers both the Goofy and Dopey challenges – because you'd have to be goofy and dopey to want to run these!

Goofy Race and Half Challenge

Racers finishing this challenge receive three medals total – Donald for the half marathon and Mickey for completing the full marathon. The Goofy medal is added to the bling pile for crossing the finish line on this challenge.

Dopey Challenge

Imagine covering ALL four races? Athletes from all over accept the challenge to run the 5K, the 10K, the half marathon, AND the full marathon for a total of 48.6 miles! Those who complete the Dopey Challenge receive SIX medals – one for each of the individual races, the Goofy Race and Half medal, and the Dopey medal for completing the challenge.

Castaway Cay Challenge

Runners can also cover a land AND sea challenge. Guests complete one of the four races during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, then on that following Monday, sail aboard one of the Disney cruise ships to head to Castaway Cay, Disney's own private island. Racers just need to complete the 5K on the island in order to secure the medal for this challenge. The medal usually depicts Mickey and the cruise ship.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Runners can have a happily-ever-after race retreat in mid-February with the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Races include a 5K, 10K, and a half marathon filled with Disney's princesses and their supporting characters. These races are for princesses and princess of all race levels. The medals received feature princesses but every year the theme rotates. Again, corresponding race shirts and runners' bibs can be picked up at the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo which opens the Thursday prior to races.

The next Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend will be held February 22nd-25th 2024.

runDisney Princess weekend

Disney Princess 5K

This magical 3.1 mile race has its own course which starts and finishes at the EPCOT parking lot on the Friday of the event weekend. Racers will receive a designated royal medal.

Disney Princess Enchanted 10K

Princesses and princess alike will cover 6.2 miles on this course around Walt Disney World Resort on Saturday. Finishers will receive the 10K medal.

Disney Princess Half Marathon

Chase your fantasy ending in this 13.1 mile Sunday race through Walt Disney World Resort with Disney's favorite royalty cheering you on! Runners will receive the finisher's bling.

Disney Fairy Tale Challenge

Athletes can earn the coveted Disney Fairy Tale Challenge medal by running both the Enchanted 10K and Disney Princess Half Marathon races for a combined total of 19.3. Runners will receive three medals total – one for each individual race then the challenge medal along with all three shirts for each event.

Star Wars Rival Run Race Weekend

What used to be the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend- The Dark Side in mid-January was changed to Star Wars Rival Run Weekend.

The April runs are hosted on the first April weekend with the runDisney Health Fitness Expo kicking it off on the Thursday prior. T-shirts and runners' bibs can be picked-up at the Expo.

runDisney at Star Wars weekend

Star Wars Rival Run 5K

Channel your inner Jedi in this 3.1 mile race that starts and ends in the ECPOT parking area. Runners will receive a Star Wars themed medal.

Star Wars Rival Run 10K

Athletes can blast through the galaxy on this 6.2 mile course which follows throughout Walt Disney World theme parks then pick up the Star Wars themed medal upon completion.

Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon 

This 13.1 mile course starts at Magic Kingdom's parking lot and concludes in EPCOT'S parking area. Runners will defeat the dark side when crossing the finish line to collect the special Star Wars medal.

Star Wars Rival Run Challenge

Combining the 10K and the half marathon, racers can challenge themselves to run at light speed through the theme parks with the Rival Run Challenge. Racers receive the 10K and half marathon medals as well as the challenge medal and all three corresponding shirts.

Kessel Run Challenge

The Kessel Run Challenge was for athletes who ran both the Star Wars Half Marathon- The Light Side and The Dark Side on both coasts.  The option is still available for the Kessel Run Challenge medal, where athletes can sign-up to partake in the virtual version of the race.  Complete the virtual race during the designated time frame before April then complete the Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon or the challenge to win your Kessel Run medal. You must sign-up for the Kessel Run in order to secure the medals. Runners will receive the additional shirts and the Kessel Run Medal which is usually the Millennium Falcon. But can racers make it in less than 12 parsecs?

Kessel Run badge runDisney

*It is unclear if this medal/race opportunity will return unless this particular race returns to Disneyland.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

The final yearly race weekend at Walt Disney World Resort is the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, usually in November to correspond with EPCOT's International Food and Wine Festival. The race weekend kicks off with the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo on Thursday and concludes with the half marathon the following Sunday.

The next Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place November 2nd-5th 2023.

runDisney wine & dine weekend

Disney Fall Feast 5K

The 3.1 route is through a designated theme park for ages 5 and up. Dress in your favorite fall attire or character and race through the course to win your themed medal.

Disney Wine and Dine 10K

This course is a 6.2 jaunt around the theme parks and again, racers will receive the winning 10K medal.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Of all the half marathons runDisney hosts, this is the one to attend because at the end of the day, racers can enjoy an exclusive post-race party at EPCOT's International Food and Wine Festival. The race course is 13.1 miles throughout the theme parks with a special Wine and Dine finisher's medal.

Disney Two Course Challenge

This challenge totals 19.3 miles combining the 10K and half marathon. Racers will receive the corresponding three medals completing both individual races and the combined challenge.

Don't forget about the runDisney Kids Dashes, Race Retreat and ChEAR Squad packages. Prices and events are usually the same each weekend but themes alternate.

Virtual Running Shorts

runDisney offers virtual running shorts– 5K races you decide upon at your own leisure.  Just sign-up, pay the fee, submit the required information after your race, and you'll receive a medal. Runners can participate in one, two, or all three races and then obtain a challenge medal on top of that! You can see the coveted Incredibles 2018 medals above.

Disneyland Paris Run WeekendrunDisney Paris medals

If a more adventurous race is calling you, jump the pond and head to Disneyland Paris for the September race weekend. The races for this event are the same as what Walt Disney World Resort offers- a 5K, 10K, and half marathon along with the Kids Dashes. There is also the 31K challenge which is the 10K and the half marathon combined. Finishers will receive an additional medal on top of the individual race medals. Those seeking more course can also sign-up for the 36K challenge which is all three races!

runDisney Basics

Every runDisney race will offer VIP packages, Kids Dashes and the chance for supporters to join the ChEAR Squad!

runDisney Kids Dashes

Smaller guests also have the option of their own race if the other runs seem too daunting. Kids and infants up to the age of 13 can choose from four races specialized just for them!

  • Diaper Dash for Crawlers for 12 months and younger.
  • 100-meter dash for youngsters ages 1-4.
  • 200-meter dash for 5-8 year-olds.
  • One-mile run for athletes ages 4-13.

The fun event takes place at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World Resort usually on that Friday morning after the 10K has finished. Parents can run along side their kiddos and everyone receives a participant medal.

 

Race Retreat Package

The Race Retreat Package is the ultimate addition to make your race complete. This VIP treatment includes:

  • Early entry into the Health and Fitness Expo on Wednesday (the first day)
  • Private finish line hospitality tent with live feed and results
  • Snacks and beverage pre-race
  • Private restrooms, changing facility, and security bag check
  • Catered post-race brunch
  • runDisney keepsake

ChEAR Squad

The ChEAR Squad lets spectators cheer on their favorite racers at a designated location and the participant will receive commemorative gifts for their support.

  • The Gold ChEAR Squad- Supporters will receive a ChEAR Squad bag, stadium blanket, and cowbell with a viewing area near Cinderella's Castle in The Magic Kingdom, along with beverages and private restrooms.
  • The Platinum ChEAR Squad- Fans receive all the Gold amenities AND continental breakfast, catered lunch, character experiences, and hospitality tent with live feed and race results.

Race Information

As a former runDisney participant, I'd be amiss if I don't mention the dreaded balloon ladies. These runners are the end of the racing line for athletes hoping to get a medal. They set a 16-minute mile pace and if you stay ahead of them, the medal is yours. I'm not the fastest runner but I never had the ladies pass me but I did seem them behind me during a 10K. Yikes! A shuttle will pick up runners who do not keep ahead of the balloon ladies or if there are racers who feel they can't continue.

Along with the specialized shirt, bibs and medals, runners will receive on-course and post-race snacks, a virtual goody bag, and a finisher's certificate available for downloading. Guests participating in the race weekends in Florida will also receive complimentary transportation from the Event Host Resorts.

Training

Check the runDisney website for great tutorials and training schedules from Jeff Galloway, Olympian and runDisney trainer. He has training tips and schedules for all races and challenges.

Registration

The registration for races opens up as early as 8 months prior to an event.  If you have your racing heart set on a particular event, you'll want to know as soon as possible when registration begins so be sure to look at runDisney's website for updates. Sometimes however, spots are still open the day of the races as was the case of the Dopey and Goofy challenges the last time I competed.

Many non-profit organizations will sponsors racers who can raise a certain amount of money for that charity. RunDisney charity racers can purchase a running package before the event goes to public sale.

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runDisney Guide and Events

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About Lisa Stiglic

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