Are the Disney Princess Races the Right Races for You?
There is a wide variation of opinion within the running community when it comes to Run Disney events. We know that not all our runner friends like Disney and some of them wouldn't be caught dead at a Disney race, and that's okay, to each his own. But something that we find to be very odd are some of the negative feelings about Disney races that other runners have expressed, runners that have never experienced a Disney race before. Some have confessed that they will not "Drink the Kool Aid" that is Run Disney! If you've come and run a Disney race and you find that it's not your thing, it's okay but please don't bash a Disney race before you've tried it.
Here are some of the comments we've seen mentioned about Disney races and our responses to them.
1. It's Way too Expensive: Yes, Disney races are very expensive. If you are use to only running local road races, you may lose your breath for a moment when you see the cost of the 10K or Half Marathon. My first race ever was a Disney 5K at $50. I had no idea that local 5K's were only $25, so therefore I had nothing to compare it to at the time and by golly I thought that $50 was a bargain for being able to run around Epcot when the park was closed. I also received a Disney T-shirt (which saved me $29.95, if I would have bought a souvenir shirt at the gift shop anyway). Add to this race registration fee, your transportation, hotel stay, park tickets, food, and don't think you'll get through that expo without a new t-shirt, sweaty band, or race magnet, and you could end up spending 2 months worth of mortgages in one weekend. The costs for everything that encompasses this weekend seems to increase from year to year. Do we complain about the cost? Yes. Do we keep going back? Yes. So I guess in essence you could say that we are contributing to the problem. If people are willing to pay, Disney will keep charging and charging. We are just Disney fans at heart and we know that the joy we get from being there always gives back two fold to what we pay!
2. I'm Not Prancing Around the Park in a Tutu and Tiara: Pleas know that it's not dumb to dress up at a Disney race and wearing a tutu does not make you any less of a runner. Dressing up at a Disney race is not required but it certainly adds to the fun. I love coming up with ideas and preparing outfits for Disney races. Truth be told, I think about that most of the year.
3. The Course is Way too Crowded: It IS crowded! To help control the masses of runners, Disney will corral you based on your expected finish time. Last year I believe the corrals ranged from "A" through "P". My sister Lacey was in corral "A" and didn't experience much crowding at all. In fact, she said there were no lines for any of the characters when she passed through. I, on the other hand was in corral "D". My corral was moving at a pretty good pace until we hit Magic Kingdom. After we exited Magic Kingdom ( about mile 6), things really started to bottle neck for a little while. After that, I never really thought that I didn't have enough personal space to run.
4. Disney is Not a Course to PR at: Well, this one could go either way. Of course you want to enjoy the race and have fun, get a picture or two but PRing is not out of the question. We know plenty of people who PRed and a few who won age group awards. This course is mostly flat so if you want to try to PR for this race, go for it!
5. Disney Races aren't for Serious Runners: Just because the race is at Disney doesn't make the distance you are running any less. 13.1 miles is still 13.1 whether you are running a Rock N Roll series race or you are running a Disney race. It's true that Disney races are great for first timers because of the fun atmosphere, the distractions along the course, and the generous time limits, but all this is great for advance runners as well.
We will be embarking on our 5th year of Disney Princess races. If you'd like to see pictures or read recaps of the last 4 years, please visit FairytalesandFitness.com
Thanks for reading!