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Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024/2025 Events

by Leap on June 18, 2024
Los Angeles

Inside This Post Inside This Post

runDisney Disneyland races are back! And given how fast the first January 2024 Half Marathon races sold out back in February 2023, people are sprinting for those bibs. It had been several years since the last runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend took place, so it was super fun to have them return in 2024. And what's this, what's this? Disneyland announced an all-new Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend 2024 in September. And now the Disneyland Half Marathon 2025 themes are out, too (with dates and prices)! After a several-year gap, there are a lot of newcomers and even past racers who may need a refresher course and a planning timeline. Here is our step-by-step guide to the Disneyland Half Marathon 2024 and 2025 events.

Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - Half Marathon Medal

Overview of runDisney Disneyland Events

Before the gap, the last Disneyland Half Marathon weekend was in 2017. After many years without any events, runDisney events returned to Disneyland in 2024! runDisney hosts races at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and internationally at Disneyland Paris. Virtual races on your own time are also an option. But today, we are focusing on just runDisney Disneyland races since this is essentially a whole new world. (Sorry, we are running amuck with Disney puns.)

Most weekends consist of four early mornings of yoga (new!), kids races, the 5K, 10K and half marathon, plus a bib pick-up day up to a day in advance. Note there are age requirements:

  • 5K: 5 years or older on race day
  • 10K and Yoga: 10 years or older (and must be accompanied by someone 14 and up)
  • Half Marathon and Dumbo Dare: 14 years or older

For those who want to go the extra mile, racers can sign up for challenges in which they complete multiple races throughout the weekend. If someone says they are "perfect" for a certain race, it means they have finished that runDisney race for every year the race has existed. Getting dressed up in themed outfits is also part of the fun for runDisney events, so grab your ears and outfits to completely immerse yourself in this magical experience.

Planning ahead is extremely important if you wish to participate. Race registration opens many months in advance at 7 a.m. PT, and the races can sell out in just a few hours. The registration dates for runDisney 2024-25 races have been announced, so mark your calendar!

Hop along with us as we review everything you should know about runDisney 2024 and 2025 events, plus planning timelines and what to expect on the day of your race.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2025 Weekend

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - castle

I wanna be where the runDisney people are, I wanna see, wanna see 'em smiling; Running around on those, what do you call 'em? Oh, feet!

The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend takes place:

  • Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, 2025 — Registration opens June 18, 2024, at 7 a.m. PT (Registration had some technical issues, so sales are paused. runDisney will announce a new registration date.)

The West Coast saw the return of Disney races with the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in January 2024. Enjoy a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or complete the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge (10K and Half Marathon). Speaking of challenges, the Coast to Coast Challenge returns. Registration for the 2025 event opens June 18, 2024. We regularly update this post for the 2025 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend as the event draws closer. In the meantime, some 2024 details and photos remain, so you can plan accordingly.

Disneyland released the themes, dates and prices of the 2024 races and events.

Kids Races — Adventure is Out There, Hosted by Dug on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2025 — $40

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - Child running in ToontownDid we mention that the tadpoles can race too? Every tadpole ages 0 to 9 can get in on the fun, with even a Diaper Dash for crawlers! Kids Races are broken down into the following age groups:

  • 0-1 year
  • 1-3 years
  • 4-6 years
  • 7-9 years

The race is typically at 10 a.m. PT near Disney Way. Parents can run with their kids, but only the kids will get a medal and shirt. This race includes post-race refreshments and an activity village with a DJ and challenges.

Athlete and spectator parking is at the Toy Story Lot. Allow enough time to arrive, park and walk to the event, which is about a 15 to 20-minute walk from the lot.

Yoga — A Feel-Good Adventure, Hosted by Baymax, on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2025 — $130

You can do 5 a.m. yoga in Disneyland Park with a view of Sleeping Beauty Castle and appearances by Disney characters! Participants must be at least 10 years old. Participants receive a yoga mat, a carrying strap and a bottle of water. Your yoga location in the area is first-come, first-served.

Disneyland Hero 5K on Friday, Jan. 31, 2025 — $120

This 3.1-mile adventure usually begins at 5 a.m. PT. The starting line is in Disneyland Park near the castle. You'll run around Disneyland, around to the back of Disney California Adventure and end at Pixar Pier. You do not need proof of time to do this race. Enjoy Disney character sightings and entertainment throughout the race. You'll get a 5K finisher medal and can enjoy on-course and post-race refreshments. Racers receive a participant shirt, race bib, digital Expo & Event Guide and a downloadable finisher certificate.

  • Parking for this race is Mickey & Friends structure.
  • Spectator viewing is only at the finish line at Pixar Pier from 5 a.m. to 6:15 a.m. (See Spectator section below.)

This was a Pluto and Disney dog-themed race in 2024, and the characters and medal represented that.

Disneyland Star Wars 10K on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2025 — $175

This 6.2-mile race is typically at 5 a.m. PT. The start and finish are on Disney Way behind the Grand Legacy. Your course will take you through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. You receive a 10K medal and the same things included in the 5K race. Participants must maintain a minimum of 16-minute-per-mile pace. A training pace of 15 minutes per mile is recommended.

Parking is at the Toy Story Lot. Racers must arrive by 4 a.m.

This was the timeline in 2024:

  • 3:30 a.m. — Staging area opens.
  • 4 a.m. — Corrals open.
  • 5 a.m. — Race starts.
  • 5:25 — Starting line closes.

This was a Donald and Daisy Duck-themed race in 2024, and the Disney duck characters and medal represented that.

Disneyland Mickey Mouse and Friends Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2025 — $260

Join Mickey and Minnie as they host this 13.1-mile adventure through Disneyland Resort and Anaheim. The race usually starts at 5 a.m. For this race, you will need to submit your proof of time. Participants must maintain a minimum of 16-minute-per-mile pace. A training pace of 15 minutes per mile is recommended.

In 2024, runners were able to start and finish in the same place off Disney Way, following a similar course as the 10K through both parks. Then the course ran through Anaheim for the next 8 miles.

Parking for the Half Marathon participants and spectators was at the Toy Story Parking Lot in 2024. Daily parking rates apply. Athletes must arrive at the lot by 4 a.m.

This was the timeline in 2024:

  • 3:30 a.m. The Staging area opens at Disney Way.
  • 4 a.m. Corrals open.
  • 5 a.m. Race starts.
  • 5:35 a.m. Start line closes.

Dumbo Double Dare Challenge on Feb. 1 and 2, 2025 — $440

RunDisney at Disneyland 2024 - Dumbo Double Dare Medal

Complete both the Disneyland 10K and Disneyland Half Marathon races on pace and earn:

  • Disneyland 10K medal
  • Disneyland Half Marathon medal
  • Dumbo Double Dare medal (2024 medal shown in photo)

You must register for the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, which includes both races, to be eligible for the challenge medal. You must submit proof of time for this challenge. There is no Disneyland Marathon, so this is the longest event you can do, split over two days at Disneyland.

(New!) Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend 2024

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - Oogie Boogie Bash Overlay on Disney California Adventure Park Entrance

The Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend takes place:

  • Sept. 5-8, 2024 — Registration opened Feb. 13, 2024, at 7 a.m. PT (and sold out quickly)

An all-new runDisney event debuts in 2024 with the Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend! This spooktacular weekend combines the festiveness of Halloween Time at Disneyland with the classic runDisney fun. Featuring yoga, kids races, spooky challenges and more, it's a perfect addition to the Halloween season. Registration for these activities opens Feb. 13, 2024.

Some Seriously Goofy Yoga Sept. 5, 2024, for $130

Stretch those muscles with a stunning view of the Sleeping Beauty Castle before the weekend kicks off.

Disneyland Halloween 5K — Sept. 6, 2024, for $120

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024/2025 Events - Chip 'n' Dale on 5 K medal

Run alongside hosts Chip 'n Dale during this delightful 3.1-mile, themed race.

Disneyland Halloween 10K — Sept. 7, 2024, for $175

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024/2025 Events - Hitchhiking Ghosts on 10K medalJoin a plethora of friendly ghosts, including the infamous Hatbox Ghost, for just over six miles of hoppy haunts during this race. Some of this race will run through the Anaheim city area.

Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon — Sept. 8, 2024, for $260

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024/2025 Events - Minnie, Daisy and Clarabelle as the Sanderson Sisters on the Half medal

Embark on a spellbinding journey (of a little over 13 miles) with Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Clarabelle Cow as the Sanderson Sisters.

Chills & Thrills Challenge — Sept. 7-8, 2024, for $440

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024/2025 Events - Jack Skellington on the Challenge medal

This special challenge, hosted by Jack Skellington, Sally and Zero, dares participants to complete both the 10K and Half Marathon on pace. You earn a special medal if you succeed!

“Git-R-Done” Runs for Younger Ones — Sept. 7, 2024, for $40

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024/2025 Events - Vampire Mater on the kids medal

This series of races is specifically for kids 9 years old or younger. Tadpoles can win a unique medal when they participate in these events. Races are divided by age groups.

Races sell out very quickly when registration opens, but if any races are still available in August, prices increase Aug. 13, 2024.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events- Halloween 2024 dates

For specific registration dates and prices, visit the runDisney website. Later registration can result in a more expensive registration fee so stay on top of these dates for the best prices!

There is no Oogie Boogie Bash party night scheduled during the runDisney Halloween Half Marathon weekend. Just the Tuesday before and after, so you might want to extend your trip if you want to go. If you want to attend the party, buy tickets as soon as they go on sale (usually in summer).

If you are not familiar with SoCal weather, this race falls during what can be some of the hottest days of the year. So keep that in mind before you register. The races generally take place during the coolest time of day, but be sure to be well-hydrated as it's often a dry time of year as well.

Keep in mind that you will want to book your refundable hotel stay as soon as possible. You won't want to wait until race day draws near, as room rates can drastically increase at that point!

Your Registration and Planning Timeline

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - room at Pixar Place

Well before you register for the race, you need to start planning. Where will you stay? How long will you stay? Will you add a park visit to your weekend? When does registration open? Are you prepared to get on and register the second it opens? Keep in mind that hotel rooms will be in demand, especially those within walking distance or near park transportation.

You may want to book your hotel stay — refundable, of course — well before you register. Once everyone gets their bibs, they'll be booking a room, and you want to be ahead of the game on that for the best price and selection. We have some hopful posts to help you pick a hotel, with options at Disneyland Resort and at one of the many nearby hotels.

Arrive at least a day in advance in time to pick up your race bib and participant shirt.

The runDisney Health & Fitness Expo is at the Disneyland Hotel at the Magic Kingdom Ballroom on the second level of the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall. On day one of pick-up, there is a virtual queue to get in to purchase some race-exclusive merchandise, but not the other days. You do not need to join a virtual queue to pick up a bib or to enjoy the rest of the Expo.

If you plan to run several events the following year, consider a Club runDisney membership, which gives you early access to Tier 1 pricing and, for some levels, a guaranteed opportunity to purchase a designated number of race registrations through early registration. Club memberships go on sale in May and most levels will sell out. The membership is valid from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 for 2024. But you really need to plan ahead for this, joining a year and a half to two years before a race so you can register during the early registration period.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - Steps to register

Leading Up to Registration

  • Assemble your running crew if you want to run with others.
  • Book your hotel early (Before bibs go on sale! Just be sure you can cancel if you cannot get a bib or your plans change.)
  • Set up your runDisney account if you don't already have one.
  • Register for the race (about seven months in advance) at 7 a.m. PT.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - Halloween Planning Infographic

Planning, Training Reservations and Research

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - Disneyland Ticket

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - Spa at Grand Californian

  • Consider any other reservations, such as massages, foot massages or spa visits to pamper your body post-race. Or a pre-race dinner. The Westin has an all-you-can-eat pasta dinner for racers on select nights.
  • Consider your outfit. Basic workout wear or a DisneyBound flair? Are you dressing with others as a team or going solo?
  • Train (and be sure to wear your race wear to some training sessions to make sure there aren't any chaffing issues or wardrobe malfunctions). You can download beginner and experienced training programs from the runDisney site. Beginners start at 13 weeks for a 5K, 18 weeks for a 10K and at 19 weeks for a half marathon.
  • Do theme park research on rides, shows, Genie+ and food (you deserve a snack after that race!). We have hopful blog posts on so many subjects.
  • Download and fill out the waiver (approximately two weeks before the event). Parents or legal guardians must complete the race waiver for minors to pick up their bibs.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events-Rece weekend infographic

Race Weekend

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events - runner

Hooray, race weekend is here! Hop over to the Expo site to find all the details about the weekend, find the waiver, see Expo maps and hours, get the details on bib pick-up, see course maps and all the swag you have access to for a limited time.

  • Arrive at least the day before your first race.
  • Pick up the bib and T-shirt at the Health & Fitness Expo the day before. Bring ID, a digitally signed waiter and Check-In Pass. Each person must pick up their own bib. Pick-up is at the Magic Kingdom Ballroom on the second level of the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall.
  • Arrive to race an hour early.
  • A gEAR Bag Check is available for the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon. Use the clear plastic bag issued to you at Packet Pick-Up for the gEAR Bag Check service. No other bags are accepted. Your number will be used to verify your bag when you pick it up. Do not check valuables.
  • Ready, set, go! Run like you are Dash from the Incredibles, and smile for the cameras. Photos are linked to your bib number. Stay ahead of the "balloon ladies."
  • Wear your medal with pride.
  • Take it in the park to take photos and take advantage of special race PhotoPass Magic Shots!
  • After the race, enjoy a well-deserved nap, a swim in the hotel pool, a soak in the hot tub or for those with a spring still in their step, a day in the parks.
  • View your results and photos, and download your certificate. For seven days post-event, you can score digital goodies, discounts, samples and special offers.
  • Start planning your next runDisney Disneyland race!

Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland 2024 Events- Halloween Post-Race infographic

What to Expect at a runDisney Disneyland Race in 2024

You've registered and trained, and now time is racing toward event day. Here's what to expect at a Disneyland race so you can get an idea for future events.

Before race day, you'll need to stop by the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo the day before. Be sure to bring your ID. Each person must pick up their own bib, shirt and clear gEAR bag — and cannot collect a bib for others (except children). You can shop at the vendors and buy official runDisney merchandise. Expect long lines for the race-specific collections (particularly on the first day); there can be limited sizes and inventory if attending on the remaining days. There are also multiple photo opportunities available.

If you want the first pick of some race-exclusive merchandise, join the virtual queue on the first day of pick-up. After day one of the Expo, you do not need to join a virtual queue.

Expo and Bib Pick-up Hours

Here were the Expo and bib pick-up hours for the Disneyland runDisney races in January for planning purposes:

  • Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hop back before the next event in case they change. But this should give you a general idea of your pick-up options each day of the week so you can plan to arrive on time. You cannot pick up a bib for someone else except for your minor children.

Guide to runDisney Events - Vendors at the runDisney Expo

Getting Ready for Early Rising

It's a week of early rising. With the races and yoga typically starting at 5 a.m., start cutting screen time right before bed and going to sleep a little bit earlier for the week leading up to the race. The night before, don't stress too much about lack of sleep (that'll just cause you to get less sleep thinking about it). On the morning of, adrenaline will keep you going and then you can look forward to a well-deserved post-race afternoon nap.

When to Arrive

It's recommended to arrive before 4 a.m. on race day. We'd say by 3:30 at the latest. Many racers are heading over between 2 and 2:30 a.m., and you don't want to be at the back of your corral. Head through security (lines can be very long) and over to the pre-race area with a DJ and photo-ops. Before the race, you'll gather in your assigned "corral" or starting group. For the 5K and 10K, you will be placed in the appropriate corral based on the anticipated pace-per-mile that you submitted during registration. For the Half Marathon, you’ll need to submit an official race time to get into the earlier corrals. If you do not submit a time, you'll be in the last corral.

BANG! runDisney lets smaller groups go at a time so you can have your own fireworks start moment. It's more crowded at the start of the race but crowds will spread out as you go, especially with people stopping for characters. A big benefit of runDisney races is getting these character photo-ops, featuring rare characters and popular favorites! Be prepared for long lines, so you may have to pick and choose which characters you want to stop for.

Photos

Because there are many races to get through, character photos are very fast, often just one photo from the PhotoPass photographer. Attendants typically will take them on their phones as well. Photos can be downloaded later by using your bib number (more information is on the back of the bib on how to link to your account). Don't have to worry about tapping a MagicBand or getting a photo card.

Guide to runDisney Events - Cinderella and Perla character stop

There are also tons of PhotoPass photographers along the course to get you the ultimate action shot. Pics or it didn't happen, right? We recommend purchasing PhotoPass packages to get unlimited photos from runDisney and the rest of your trip. If you purchase Genie+ that day and enter a theme park, your race photos should be included. If you have a Magic Key with included PhotoPass photos those may be included as well.

Guide to runDisney Events - Running in Princess 5K

Water Stations

For the 5K, you'll likely encounter one water station about halfway through, with more available in the longer races. Pace-wise, you'll ideally want to be able to do at least a mix of a walk and a jog.

Keeping the Pace

For longer races, there are typically runners at the back with balloons attached to them (often referred to as the "balloon ladies") that represent the 16-minute-per-mile pace. You'll want to be sure you can keep ahead of that pace or you could be "swept" and unable to complete the race. If you are close to the end of the race, there is typically a point where you may finish no matter what. Be careful of bathroom breaks if the balloon ladies are following closely behind. If you do get swept, don't stress! You should still receive a participation medal, though you may not qualify for the Challenge medal if competing in all races.

Depending on your corral position and your pace, you should still be able to stop for at least one or two characters. You can't go back if you regret not stopping for a character, so my advice is to wait for those characters if you are up for it. Unless you really want to get a certain time or just aren't up for stopping and starting up again, I say get those character photos or photos in front of the castle. They make great memories to look back on. But if you don't want to wait in line for that long, consider taking a character photo from afar.

You Did It! The Big Finish

After crossing the finish line, it's time to get your coveted bling! You are handed a medal, bottled water and/or Powerade, and then a snack pack. After that, stretch and make sure your legs are OK, get some last pics (the classic medal photo) and make your way back to your car (you remember where you parked, right?) or hotel. Head back to your hotel and prepare for a well-earned nap! Many racers head to the theme parks to take photos with their medals and to take advantage of race-themed PhotoPass Magic Shots. If that is your plan, be sure to get your park tickets and reservations early.

Spectators at runDisney Disneyland Events in 2024

Spectators can follow their runners virtually at Disneyland. Each race does have designated spectator areas. Spectators are prohibited from handing out food or beverage items to athletes along the race course. Parking is subject to daily parking fees. Here is the information for the Jan. 2024 race. Hop back for updates as ech race approaches.

Kids Races: Parking is at the Toy Story Lot and the event is off Disney Way. Spectators may watch near the finish line.

5K: Located only at the finish line at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure. The location is accessible from 5 to 6:15 a.m. via the gate between World of Disneyland Earl of Sandwich. Parking is Mickey & Friends.

10K: Located at several locations — along Harbor Blvd, Katella Ave. in the esplanade between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure and the finish line at Manchester Ave. Cast Member Parking Lot (as of 3:30 a.m.) Parking is located at the Toy Story Lot.

Half Marathon: Spectator Viewing is available along Harbor Blvd. and along Katella Ave. Spectators can also cheer on their athletes in the Esplanade, between the entrances of Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. Spectators can cheer on athletes along the course on the streets of Anaheim. Please be aware of street closures and possible parking locations when planning your viewing locations. Finish Line Viewing is available within the Manchester Cast Member Parking Lot. This lot is accessible as of 3:30 a.m. through the conclusion of the race.

Tips and Tricks for a runDisney Disneyland 2024 and 2025 Event

Guide to runDisney Events - Group with matching outfits

We have just a few more tips and tricks for a toadally awesome runDisney 2024 experience:

  • Allow for plenty of time to arrive well ahead of race time. It's better to arrive early and wait around than be concerned about missing the start time.
  • Pace cyclists on the course indicate when runners are behind pace by waving a red flag at each mile marker according to the official pace time. If you reach a mile marker with a red flag waving, please note you are behind the required 16-minute-per-mile pace for 10K and half marathon. You can be picked up at any time and transported to the course pick-up tent.
  • During the race, stay to the right if you are walking and keep your group condensed. Everyone is running at different speeds and you don't want to spread out too much and block those trying to pass. If you do need to pass and have no room, stay on the far left side and politely say, "On your left."
  • Dress up! Half the fun is coming up with unique outfits for your magical trek through the parks.
  • Remember that there can be a difference between a runDisney PR (personal record) versus a regular PR. You can certainly have your best runDisney times and perhaps even your best overall time, but I would not necessarily go into it thinking you're going to break records. It’s also about taking it all in and enjoying the ambiance, energy and characters. It's up to you to decide what your priorities are and what you want to get out of the experience.
  • Enjoy every magic mile! These races are a truly unique experience and a great accomplishment, so have fun.

Have you ever participated in a runDisney race? Let us know in the comments below! Did you know you can save money on Disneyland theme park tickets and hotels at or around Disneyland with Undercover Tourist? 

Related: The Full ~Frogtastic~ Schedule of Events at Disneyland

Related: Our Spooky-Good Guide to Disneyland Halloween Time

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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