If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World for runDisney you’ll want to get the lowdown on the Run Disney Race Retreat. And lucky for you, you have come to the right place!
Image credit: Orlando Informer
I’ve been going to Disney World ever since I was a kid and it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you love everything Disney, a Disney vacation at the Magic Kingdom never gets old.
Whether you’re visiting Disney World or the Disneyland Resort, there is plenty to do on the Disney grounds including an array of runDisney events.
And, what better place to participate in a marathon weekend than at good ole’ Walt Disney World with your beloved Disney characters?
It’s by far one of the most magical places for a Run Disney race experience.
Disney races are popular among Disney fans and with so many different Run Disney events that take place across Walt Disney World, you can be sure to expect to enjoy every moment.
I break down all you need to know about the Run Disney Race Retreat and runDisney events so you can plan ahead and ensure you have a great time!
What is the Run Disney Race Retreat?
The Run Disney Race Retreat is what used to be a VIP service option that came with an additional fee for participants in the Walt Disney World Marathon and the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
This VIP service allowed runners with a wristband early entry to the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo and exclusive access to the race retreat.
Furthermore, the Run Disney Race Retreat included a climate-controlled tent with perks and VIP extras that were accessible before and after the race.
While the Run Disney Race Retreat was a nice option for participants, it was discontinued a few years back.
Now, the only other “VIP” type ticket option is buying a membership with Club Run Disney.
What’s included in the Run Disney Race Retreat?
The VIP race retreat used to include a climate-controlled tent with character greetings, private bathrooms, changing area, and a padded stretching area that runners had access to before and after the races.
Something everyone enjoyed having exclusive access to.
The Run Disney Retreat also included snacks and refreshments throughout the tented area as well as a continental breakfast and a post-race buffet.
How do I register for the Run Disney Race Retreat?
Since the runDisney race retreat is no longer available either at Disney World or Disneyland, you would have to sign up for a club Run Disney membership for runDisney perks and VIP ticket options.
Club Run Disney membership benefits for the 2023-2024 season begin on October 1, 2023, and run through September 30, 2024.
During the club Run Disney membership period, membership holders can enjoy onsite benefits that include early access to the runDisney Merchandise Shop at the Health & Fitness Expo during the runDisney race weekends below –
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend 2023
- Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2024
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2024
- Disney Princess Marathon Weekend 2024
- Springtime Surprise Weekend 2024
How do I get access to Club Run Disney?
Since exclusive access to the Run Disney Race Retreat has been discontinued, access to Club Run Disney is the next best option at this time.
You can access Club Run Disney memberships here.
The Gold and Platinum memberships are currently sold out but the Silver membership is still available.
When does registration for Run Disney Races begin?
General registration for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2024 began on April 11, 2023, while early registration for Club Run Disney members began on April 4, 2023. This gives you plenty of time to plan and prepare for race day.
Race registration must be completed and booked online through runDisney.com.
2023-2024 runDisney Race Registration Dates:
Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend 2023 – Registration begins March 14 for Club members, March 21 for general registration, and March 24 for the virtual race
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2024 – Registration is April 4 for Club members, April 11 for general registration, and April 14 for the virtual race
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2024 – Registration begins Feb 7 for Club members, Feb 14th for general registration, and Feb 17th for the virtual race
Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2024 – Registration begins June 13 for Club members, June 20th for general registration, and June 23 for the virtual race
Springtime Surprise Weekend 2024 – Registration begins August 15 for Club members, August 22 for general registration, and August 25 for the virtual race
runDisney 2024 Summer Virtual Series – Runs from June 1 through August 3. Registration begins in April for all
Keep in mind that if the information provided is incomplete or unverifiable during the registration process, you will be placed in the last starting group.
Once you are all registered, it’ll be time to start planning your Run Disney vacation.
Watch the video to learn more about the registration process.
Video: How to Register
runDisney Race Events at Walt Disney World Resort
runDisney hosted its first Disney race in 1994 at Walt Disney World Resort. It began with the Walt Disney World Marathon which would later become the first of many.
Disney World now runs four Disney race weekend events each year from Walt Disney World to Disneyland to Disneyland Paris and virtual races you can participate in on your own time from anywhere you choose.
Disneyland held its last runDisney event in 2017 but is ready to bring back the fun in 2024 potentially including the runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge!
Run Disney races take place inside the theme parks before and after regular operating hours with your favorite Disney characters cheering you on as you push through to the finish line.
Virtual races are conducted similarly to regular Disney races where registration is still required and a virtual race medal is awarded upon completion of the virtual race requirements on your chosen race day.
Each Run Disney Race weekend includes runDisney events for everyone and makes a great Disney vacation getaway.
Run Disney Race Event Weekends
runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend 2023 includes:
- runDisney Springtime Surprise Yoga
- Disney Pixar Cars 5K
- Disney Pixar Monsters 10K
- Disney Pixar Toy Story 10 Miler
- runDisney Springtime Surprise Challenge
- Virtual Races
The 2023 races have already come and gone but it’s not too late to start planning for the Run Disney Springtime Surprise Weekend in 2024. Themes and commemorative medals have yet to be revealed so be sure to keep checking with runDisney.com for 2024 updates.
General registration for this race will open on August 22, 2023.
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend 2023 includes:
- Disney Wine & Dine 5K
- Disney Wine & Dine 10K
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
- Disney Two Course Challenge
- Post Race Party
- Virtual Races
The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon is usually the final race at Walt Disney World Resort every year, and usually takes place in November to coincide with the International Food and Wine Festival EPCOT.
The Disney Wine Dine Half Marathon weekend begins with the Disney Health & Fitness Expo on Thursday followed by a Wine Dine half marathon on Saturday.
Disney will host the second Wine Dine Half Marathon weekend on November 2-4 2024.
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2024 includes:
- Walt Disney World 5K
- Walt Disney World 10K
- Walt Disney World Half Marathon
- Walt Disney World Marathon
- Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
- Dopey Challenge
- Virtual Races
January marks the start of the Run Disney races at Walt Disney World Resort and kicks off with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
Go the race distance and join Mickey Mouse and his friends as they fill you with inspiration and encouragement every step along the way.
This weekend includes four races and two challenges with the opportunity to receive a challenge medal and commemorative medals at the end.
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2024 includes:
- Disney Princess 5K
- Disney Princess 10K
- Disney Princess Half Marathon
- Disney Fairy Tale Challenge
- Disney Princess Yoga
- Virtual Races
The Disney Princess Half Marathon is open to Disney princesses of all ages.
Children as young as 5 years old can participate in the Disney Princess 5K race and 10 years and older can participate in the Disney Princess 10K race.
The Princess Half Marathon Weekend is a magical experience with loads of fun to be had at every mile as Disney princesses empower and cheer you on!
runDisney events are a great way to have fun and stay active at the same time but don’t wait too long before registering as they all sell out pretty quickly.
The 2023 runDisney events are already sold out except for the virtual races and the post-race party for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon runDisney event.
runDisney Health & Fitness Expos and Merchandise
The Run Disney Health & Fitness Expo is the official race headquarters for all runDisney events and race weekend merchandise.
It is located inside the ESPN Wide World Sports Complex at Disney World and is held prior to race day.
The Run Disney expo marks the start of all Run Disney race events.
As a participating runner, the expo is where you would check in prior to the day of your race to gather up your Run Disney race essentials such as your race bibs, race t-shirts, etc.
The Run Disney expo is also where you will receive the schedule of events for each individual race.
Keep in mind that Run Disney race bibs must be picked up at the expo prior to the day of the race as you will not be able to pick them up on race day.
Star Wars Rival Run Race Weekend
The Star Wars Rival Run Race Weekend underwent some changes over the years. It was first known as the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend before it changed to the Star Wars Rival Run Race.
Then in 2021, the in-person Star Wars race came to an end due to a lack of popularity in filling up. Run Disney replaced it with a virtual race for a while but that too came to an end.
There has been talk about the Star Wars Half Marathon potentially coming back as one of the Disneyland races in 2024 but that is still yet to be known.
I would keep checking back with the runDisney blog for updates to see what Disneyland has in store for 2024 when they bring back the Run Disney races.
Run Disney Coast to Coast Race Challenge
The runDisney Coast to Coast Challenge will begin in 2024 and will require the completion of any 10-mile race (or longer) either at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland.
The 10-mile race challenge will need to be completed within the same calendar year in order to receive a runDisney Coast to Coast Race challenge medal.
How to Qualify for the Coast Challenge in 2024
There are two ways to earn the Coast to Coast Challenge medal in 2024.
The First Option is to complete the Half Marathon during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend along with one of the other marathons below:
- Walt Disney World Half Marathon
- Walt Disney World Marathon
The following challenges also count toward the Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal:
- Dumbo Double Dare
- Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
- Dopey Challenge
Run Disney participants who select this track option, will receive a special Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal.
The Second Option is to earn the Coast to Coast Challenge medal by completing the 2024 Disneyland Half Marathon in addition to any qualifying event at Walt Disney World including:
- Disney Princess Half Marathon or Disney Fairy Tale Challenge
- runDisney Springtime Surprise 10-Miler or runDisney Springtime Surprise Challenge
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon or Disney Two Course Challenge
Run Disney participants who select this track option will receive a unique runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal.
runDisney Races in Disneyland Resort
Run Disney races at Disneyland Resort on the west coast came to a stop in 2017 but the themed Run Disney race events are due to make a comeback in January 2024.
If you’re interested in participating in any of the Disneyland Resort Run Disney events, they are already sold out.
Registration for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend began on February 14th of this year (2023) and sold out pretty quickly.
Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Marathon races typically sell out fast so if you want to start planning for these events for the following year, I suggest following the runDisney website for registration updates. This way you are ready to go when registration opens.
Run Disney Spectators
Family and friends can watch the race from the sidelines and keep track of your distance and how close you are to the finish line with live online runner tracking.
The live online tracking tool is only available for the 10K and Half Marathon races.
You check the Digital Expo and Event Guide as the event weekend draws near for the access link tracker.
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on an adventure through Disneyland on a fun Run Disney race experience.
Throughout the half-marathon race, expect your beloved Disney characters to be cheering you on and waiting for you at the finish line.
Get ready to jam to the music and enjoy live entertainment throughout the race – a Run Disney adventure you will never forget!
Runners that make it to the end will receive commemorative medals with the Run Disney weekend theme.
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Registration:
General registration for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend begins on February 14th at 7:00 AM Pacific Time and 10:00 AM Eastern Time.
If you have a Club runDisney Gold or Platinum membership, you’ll have access to early registration which begins on February 7th at 7:00 AM Pacific Time and 10:00 AM Eastern Time.
If you purchase your ticket between February 14 – July 17, 2023, the cost is $234.99
If you purchase your ticket between July 18 – January 3, 2024, the cost is $244.99
FAQs for the Run Disney Race Retreat
First and foremost, the Run Disney Race Retreat is no longer available and has been discontinued for quite some time. This section is simply to help answer questions for those still searching for the race retreat option.
Can I bring my family to the Run Disney Race Retreat?
The Run Disney Race Retreat is no longer an available option. However, you can bring family and friends to any of the Run Disney Race weekends for support and to cheer you on as you embark on your Run Disney race adventure.
Is the Run Disney Race Retreat accessible for all participants?
The Run Disney Race Retreat is no longer an available option so it is no longer accessible. However, all runDisney races and exclusive perks are open to anyone with a Club Run Disney membership.
Can I leave the Run Disney Race Retreat during the race?
The Run Disney Race Retreat was not a race or something you would access during a race. It was a VIP exclusive tent retreat option available before and after the Walt Disney World Marathon or the Disney Princess Half Marathon races for anyone who paid the retreat fee.
Is runDisney coming back to Disneyland?
Run Disney is returning to Disneyland Resort in January 2024 after a six-year hiatus.
Can anyone go to the runDisney Expo?
Everyone is welcome at the expo! The Run Disney Health & Fitness Expo is a free-to-the-public event that draws crowds from all over the world – from race participants, family and friend supporters, and spectators.
Remember, that the Run Disney Race Retreat is no longer an option nor was it ever a race itself. If you’re looking for perks, extras, or added bonuses, Club Run Disney is your best bet at this time.
Retreat or no retreat, the runDisney events are a whole lotta fun to participate in.
It’s a great way to enjoy the Disney theme parks with family, friends, or your partner. All while staying active at the same time.
Just don’t forget to plan and prepare with plenty of time and be ready to go come registration day so you don’t miss out!
Images are from rundisney.com