It’s Finally Time!! You are heading with your family to Walt Disney World! You pull past those beautiful Purple Character arches with the adrenaline pumping….and then you see them. Rows and rows of cones, dozens of Port-A-Johns and a glowing sign reading “Marathon 1/12-1/13 Expect Delays” You had no idea this was a thing! You are a casual Disney visitor, looking to have a nice getaway with their family! Now you have to contend with thousands of runners making noise, clogging roads and making the first few days of your trip miserable.
Do not fret casual Disney visitor; I have some tips to help make your Marathon visiting weekend less stressful and even enjoyable!
Become familiar with the weekend schedule: The races this upcoming Marathon Weekend are all in the morning, but that is not always the case for other race weekends throughout the year. Find out from your resort concierge (or the internet) what times the races are that weekend so you know how to plan accordingly. If races are scheduled only for certain theme parks, you may want to schedule your day around that knowledge.
Add extra travel time during scheduled race times: If you need to travel by an automobile of any kind, including Disney buses, add at least 45 minutes to your travel time as traffic will back up. If you are driving, make sure to follow any detours and keep a watchful eye for the signs. If you are in the parks where races are being held, add an additional 30 minutes onto your walking time to get to any fastpasses or dining reservations as you may be held up several times by cast members as the racers make their way through the parks.
Be Prepared to Wait: Waiting to get on the bus, waiting on the bus, waiting at the front of the park, waiting to walk through different race areas of the park….there will be a lot of waiting. Make sure to have extra snacks and toys for the little ones to keep them content while they are waiting. The last thing you want is a breakdown about waiting before you have even gotten to your first ride queue. Forgot to bring something? Use the runners as a distraction! There are bound to be tons of different costumes and unique outfits worn by the runners which are sure to delight little ones and even the adults!
Cheer the Runners on!: After I had to stop running races, I would go to the races just to be part of the cheering crowd and it was SO FUN! I would sometimes even bring a bag of pretzels or Twizzlers to hand out to runners, which was always a huge hit! (You get hungry after running 12 miles) Those tired racers can always use a cheer or a high five and doing something good for others brings a little extra happiness to yourself as well!
Enjoy the Atmosphere: You are at Walt Disney World at a very unique time! Different music may be playing, you may have to move around the park in a different way than you normally would and the air is charged with the energy of the racers! I consider it a contact runners high!
Were these tips helpful for you? What are your favorite tips for race weekends? Are you interested in running a Disney Race? Contact me at [email protected] to get your quote or contact your favorite Enchanted Adventures travel agent! You can follow me on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram at @AAGTravel.