Well I am happy to say I completed my 1st Disney Half-Marathon, my 4th half all together. This was a very fun run so I'm putting a little review of the joys to be had at Disney. The background - I am a casual runner who has done a few half's. I normally finish about middle of the pack; longest run was 2:15. For this run I purchased one half-marathon, and one Gold Chear Squad for the hubby. No other goodies and we stayed off -site. So on to the review:
The Expo:This was held at the Coronado Springs Resort conference rooms. To get to the resort we parked at Downtown Disney and were shuttled to the expo. There were continuous shuttles so this was great, and Downtown parking is free. The line to get in was very long but moved quickly. At the entrance you printed your waiver and then lined up for the bib. NOTE: Disney has LOTS of lines, but they do move. You got the bib and then had to go across the room to get the swag bag, this part I wasn’t fond of, seemed too many lines. There were a lot of typical race booths, I admit I didn’t shop hardly at all, just to many people jammed in a small space. The RunDisney merchandise was in a small section off to the side, it had a huge line to get in so I didn’t bother. Overall review – it should have been held in a larger space.
The Swag:In my bag was one Disney shirt, nice fit. One net bag, a large button for the half-marathon, a temporary tattoo, and a small luna bar. That was all. The coupons were digital, no gel samples, no biofreeze samples. I wasn’t impressed.
The Pre-Race:To get the race for offsite people we drove. You had to be in your corral by 5am and everything said expect long delays. So we got to Disney about 4am, there was a runner drop off bypass so we took that. No long lines, I hopped out and started walking, hubby went and parked. He said the parking was very full but moved nicely so we wouldn’t have had a problem with that. In the starting area they had music, character photo ops, and LOTS of porto lets. I never saw a line for the bathroom, Disney did this right. They announce corral gatherings, you walked a lot to get to where you needed to go. At the entrance they had music, a little show, and eventually, with fireworks, we were off and running. This is a nice casual run, you can do fast if you want but will miss too much.
The course:A few rises, no really steep killing hills. You will stop a lot for photo ops. The course is lined with spectators who can get shuttled around. The hubby was at the start, at Magic Kingdom, and at the finish with no problems. There will be many character photo ops, the lines move quickly. If you stop for other photos just step to the side. There were more powerade/water stops than I have ever seen, almost every mile. At each mile is decorative sign and a course clock, many people stopped there for photos.
The finish:Mickey & Minnie were at the finish when I got there. Regretfully didn’t hear me call so he left about 2 min before I came through. You stop for your really spiffy medal. Powerade/water at end but you can only take one bottle. Medical with Biofreeze, Tylenol, and ice also at end. The end snacks are in a little box. Disney was very particular about snacks and stuff, nothing at beginning unless you bought a race retreat and they only handed out one box. The snack box was a medley of trail mix type snacks and granola bar.
Overall review:I would do this run again. The changes would be to stay on site, just for park convenience, and take a real camera on the run. My phone photos were not the best. Would not do chear squad, hubby didn’t get anywhere others could get to and weather was great. He didn’t have time for anything else. Princess Half Marathon Gear on Princess Half Marathon