runDisney: Then & Now

By April 22, 2016Blog

Disney marathons have become a celebrated part of the Disney family, making marathons fun for those who might not normally choose to run. Starting out under the name Disney Edurance Series, runDisney was initially just one race, the Disney marathon at Walt Disney World®. In its inaugural year, 1994, only 5,588 participants ran. A small amount compared to the 55,000 who participated in 2014! Over the years, the marathon has also expanded into multiple races on multiple days. These races have become so popular that there even had to be capacity reductions put in place in 2014.


Fun Fact: The course records for both men and women were set in 1995, both by international runners.

About now you are probably asking, but what about the Disneyland® Resort? Well don’t worry, one of the most popular runDisney events is the annual Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland® Resort. This run encourages you to wear your own set of wings, in the women themed race. Remember, Grand Legacy At The Park offers a special early breakfast for participants on the morning of the race!

tinkerbell half marathon

The Disneyland® Resort is also host to the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in September. Similar to the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend, it holds a half marathon, 10k, and kids races. It also includes the Dumbo Double Dare which, like the Goofy Race at Walt Disney World® Resort, has participants run both the 10k and the half marathon. If you finish within specific requirements, you even get an extra medal for participating.

Disney certainly doesn’t shy away from encouraging people to show off their passions. The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon “The Dark Side” was just last year at the Walt Disney World® Resort. Slightly different than the Tinkerbell and Disney Princess Half Marathons, this time you will be running along stormtroopers as you run for either the light or the dark side. Although labeled a half marathon, the weekend also consists of a 10k, 5k, and a kids race for children 8 and under. The Disneyland® Resort also holds the Avengers Half Marathon Weekend, where you can dress up as your favorite superhero while running.

stars wars medals

Timeline of runDisney history:

1994: The first Walt Disney World® Resort marathon takes place.

1998: The Inaugural Donald Half Marathon, which initially takes place on the same day as the full marathon.

2006: Inaugural Goofy Race which has since become a fan favorite. The race combine’s both the half marathon and marathon and allows racers to run through all four Walt Disney World® Resort theme parks.

2009: Inaugural Princess Half Marathon

2010: Inaugural Wine and Dine Half Marathon, where you celebrate your race finish at the Epcot® Food and Wine Festival.

2012: The first Tinkerbell Half Marathon.

2015: Both Avengers and Stars Wars Marathons have inaugural marathon weekends, which both sell out within two hours.

2016: The first Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend in September.

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