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How to Register for runDisney Races

by Mommy Frog on April 13, 2024 Los Angeles

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The race is on, and it's not the actual race you need to worry about ... yet. It's scoring one of the coveted race bibs during runDisney registration, so you can join the race. Popular races at Disneyland and Disney World can sell out in less than an hour. We frogs secured our Disneyland 5K and 10K race bibs, but only because we did our research and had backup plans and multiple ways to register. And we are sharing all that frogtastic information with you so you can successfully register for your next race, too! Here's what you need to know about runDisney 2024 registration, as well as runDisney registration dates.

runDisney Registration - Person running race

What to Know About runDisney Registration

Guide to runDisney 2023 — Runners posing at Expo Photo-Op

We are not trying to stress you out about registering for a runDisney race, but we don't want you to take it lightly either. Even experienced runDisney racers can find out that their first-choice race is sold out before they can register. A little prep work, good timing and planning will help you successfully sign up. Here are the things to know to register for runDisney races.

If you are familiar with any special event ticket sales or even Magic Key sales at Disneyland, you know how the waiting rooms and waiting to join the queue goes, with the timer showing your wait time is "over an hour" or a certain number of minutes to get into the buying/registration page. And when you register for a runDisney race, it's like that, too. Here's how to increase your chances of getting into the runDisney registration in terms of timing, prep work and how to move lightning fast.

Know the runDisney Registration Dates

It's important to know the runDisney registration dates and times for each race. It's not actually easy to find this information, but we are putting it all in one place! Registration takes about seven months before the race. Registration dates for the following year and a half are released in October. We will update the rest of the 2025 race registration dates once they are announced.

Here are the upcoming runDisney 2024 registration dates by event:

  • 2025 Club runDisney membership sign-ups — TBD but likely May 2024 (activated Oct. 1, 2024)
  • 2025 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend registration — June 18, 2024 (Club runDisney June 11, 2024)
  • 2025 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend registration — July 30, 2024  (Club runDisney July 23, 2024)
  • 2025 runDisney Springtime Surprise registration — Aug. 27, 2024  (Club runDisney Aug. 20, 2024)
  • 2025 runDisney Virtual Series — TBD but likely March 2025
  • 2025 Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon — TBD but likely February 2025
  • 2025 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend — TBD but likely March 2025
  • 2024 runDisney Virtual 12Ks of Christmas virtual registration — July 9, 2024

How to Prepare for runDisney Registration

Guide to runDisney Events - Starting line

Make Sure You Have a Solid Wi-Fi or Cell Signal

You need to register in a location with a solid signal that will not bump you out of the waiting room or your place in line. For us, that's at home next to our router! We did not have a good signal in a hotel room once, and it knocked us offline, so we lost our place in line! Luckily, we had froggy friends also trying to register for us at home, and we had our phone as a backup plan. If you don't have a strong Wi-Fi signal, use your phone in a spot with a strong cell signal.

Set up Your Disney Account in Advance

If you have gone to a Disney park recently, chances are you already have a Disney account. Remind yourself of your username and password before registration day. If not, you can create an account in advance at runDisney.com. Everything you can do to prepare in advance will help you move faster and skip unnecessary steps on registration day. Our Disney account worked when we went to register at runDisney.

Set an Alarm and Have the runDisney Site Pulled Up

Know what time the registration goes live and in what time zone. Registration opens at 10 a.m. ET and 7 a.m. PT. Set your alarm for about half an hour early so you can get set up. Open the race page. On the runDisney site, navigate to the race you want to run. Where is the link to register for runDisney? The link will appear on the page for that race about 20 minutes before the registration time.

You can join the waiting room about 20 minutes before it goes live. Then at 7 a.m., it will dump all those people in the virtual room into the actual virtual queue but in random order.

But, you should also pull up the world clock, count down the seconds and join right at 7 a.m. in a different browser or even a phone. That puts you in line in the order that you connect, so it could be a faster route.

Consider Two Ways to Join

There are two ways to try to get into the site to register for a runDisney race:

  • Join the Wait Room 20 minutes Early — Your page will refresh when registration opens, and you will be placed in a virtual queue in random order, regardless of how early you joined the page.
  • Join Right at Opening Time — You'll be put in line in numerical order. If you have ever tried to join a virtual queue for a Disney theme park, you might be familiar with counting down the seconds on a world clock or Apple watch to tap "join" at just the right second. This gives those same vibes.

We tried both methods. We counted the seconds and joined on our phone (which had a more reliable signal — not on Wi-Fi) right at 7 a.m. Our phone beat out our laptop that was on Wi-Fi and in the pool since 6:40 a.m. But it could be different each time, so try all the options that you can. Our friends at home got in faster on one of their computers that had been in the waiting room. You'll see an estimated wait time on your screen. But don't walk away! The timer can make big jumps in counting down and you might get in quickly before you know it!

Use Several Devices

It's kind of a lottery system for getting into the registration. Increase your odds by using a laptop, a desktop, a tablet, a phone, your friends' devices, etc. Any device you have can work for you to see if one of them gets in first. Use different browsers on each. If one is using Google Chrome, then use Microsoft Edge or Safari on another.

Collect Everyone's Information the Day Before and Set Up a Group Chat

Are you registering for multiple people? If so, everyone should be doing their part to secure these bibs (if possible). Everyone who is trying to register the group should have each participant's information (see "Participant Information") and be able to purchase for the group with one payment.

Set up a group chat to let the others know any updates, how much time you have before getting in and if you get in, and when you are done. That way you don't accidentally get too many bibs for the same people.

The runDisney Registration Process

OK, you are online and ready to go! Ready, set go! Once you get into the registration, here's what to do. The first thing you'll do is select the bib for the race you want. Then whom the bib is for: "Myself," "Spouse" or "Friend." You cannot save your spouse's or friend's information ahead of time, but you can have it in front of you, so you are ready to go. Or save it in a Google Doc or notes app so you can copy and paste it in if you like.

Participant Information Screen

Here is what you will see on the Participant Information screen.

  • Choose a Category (which race bib you are buying)
  • Participant's Name (first, middle initial and last name)
  • Gender
  • Shirt size (we've been told to round up a size or two)
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Emergency contact name, phone number and relationship to the participant

Other categories:

  • In-person race (check the box)
  • Military Division (yes or no)
  • Athlete with disability (yes or no)
  • Proof of time submission (check the box - not required, but you'll want to for half marathon and marathon)
  • Anticipated Finish Time
  • First Half?
  • Have you done a runDisney virtual race?
  • Have you run in Walt Disney World or Disneyland Paris?
  • Are you an AP/Magic Key holder? If so, at Disney World or Disneyland?
  • Are you a DVC member?
  • Are you a cast member?

Hop Tip: You can fill out many of the fields after you check out! Just head to your runDisney dashboard. Your name and address cannot be changed without contacting runDisney and verifying you are you. But you can update other information as needed.

You can exchange your shirt for a different size at the Expo if you need to.

Proof of Time

You do not have to submit a proof of time for a runDisney race, but you might want to for some longer races (such as the half marathons and marathons). If you are a competitive racer and want to be in some of the first corrals, you'll need to submit a proof of time to prove you are fast enough. You can add proof of time after you register. You can put in your previous finish time, the race location and a link to the race results. For the sake of time, skip this step while registering for a runDisney race. Go back to your dashboard after you complete your registration.

Adding Another Bib

After filling out the necessary components, you can click a button that says, "I want to add another registration." If you want to add yoga, another race or another participant, this is where you can do that.

Again, the more bibs you add to a purchase, the longer it will take to finalize the purchase and secure those bibs. That means the bibs could sell out before you buy. If you have a must-do race, purchase it first. Then go back and add more races or participants. You can see that just one hour after Disneyland Halloween race bibs went on sale that the 10K and 5K were both sold out. Croak!

Purchase Quickly

Even if you are in the act of purchasing a bib, it can sell out and you won't get it, so purchase ASAP. There are a few different philosophies when registering for a group or more than one race/activity:

  • Everyone for Themselves — Keep in mind that registering for multiple people could slow you down to the point that bibs sell out while you are still inputting information for additional people. So if you want to run no matter what, pay for yourself before adding anyone else.
  • If One of Us Doesn't Run, None of Us Run — If you only want to run if your friends or family can run with you, then input everyone before purchasing. That way you don't end up racing alone.
  • Book the Race You Want Most First — If you are looking at doing more than one runDisney race for an event, complete the transaction for the bib you want the most first. Then go back and buy the other.

The 10K and Challenge races seem to sell out the quickest. The Challenges might even sell out before the individual components of the challenges sell out. In that case, you could still book the 10K and Half Marathon separately, but you wouldn't be able to get the Challenger medal because it was sold out.

Bibs are not secure until you see the confirmation message. You'll also receive a confirmation email. (Be sure to check your spam folder.) Congratulations, you've made it to the finish line! Now to start training for the real race!

Accepted Payments

The registration accepts one form of payment in total. You can use a credit card or a gift card but not both in the same transaction. You can only use one gift card at a time to pay, so the card must have a large enough balance to cover the entire purchase. And a Disney gift card can hold a maximum of $1,000. So do the math in advance to make sure you can cover the cost with your gift card.

Using a gift card is one way to save on the cost of the race. You can often get a deal on Disney gift cards from your favorite membership warehouse (Sam's Club or Costco) or through Target with the 5 percent Red Card discount. Copy the gift card number or credit card number somewhere on your computer or phone so you can copy and paste it to save time. You do not get to use passholder discounts on runDisney races. But we do have a few tips for saving money on race weekend.

Book That Hotel Room and Buy Theme Park Tickets Early

We actually recommend that you book a refundable or cancellable hotel room before you register for the race. That way you secure lodging with the best prices and selection before everyone gets their bibs and starts booking. If you don't get the bibs you want, cancel the hotel. You can save some money on Disneyland and Disney World hotel rooms when you book through Undercover Tourist. We sell discount hotel rooms for both on-site hotels and off-site hotels. You can cancel up to five days before your trip (for 2025 stays, hotel rooms can be canceled up to eight days in advance).

Be sure to arrive early enough (at least the day before the race) so you have time to pick up your bib at the Expo before it closes the night before. You cannot pick up your bib on race day and nobody else can pick up your race bib for you (exceptions for parents of minors). Knowing the Expo hours can help you plan your travel. Don't let a flight delay keep you from getting there in time. Plan a buffer.

You know you want to take photos in the theme park with your race medal and get special race-day MagicShots from PhotoPass photographers! You'll need theme park tickets. You can also save some green on theme park admission. Keep in mind, at Disneyland you still need to make theme park reservations, so get those up to 180 days in advance. The parks will sell out closer to race weekend!

Club runDisney

Consider Club runDisney membership if you plan to participate in multiple races in the following year or two. You can purchase a race bib a week earlier than other participants (only for some membership levels), which can be a big stress reliever, and get Tier 1 pricing.

Club runDisney memberships open in May. The membership is valid Oct. 1 through Sept 30 the following year. The memberships are limited and do sell out quickly.

Are you planning on running your first runDisney race in the next year? Let us know what other questions you have in the comments below! Or, if you've registered before, please share your hopful tips for runDisney registration. Whether you are heading to Disney World or Disneyland, you can save money on race weekend with discount Disney World and Disneyland Resort tickets and hotel bookings.  

Related: Our Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney Disneyland Events

Related: The Frog Family's Step-by-Step Guide to runDisney 2024 Events at Disney Worl

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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