Music and Movie Scenes
In addition to characters, runners may also encounter live music being played on the course or a recreation of a scene from a Disney movie. Which each race having a unique theme, Disney Imagineers incorporate the race theme throughout the course, so there are plenty of distractions for fatigue.
While fans are not allowed to gather along Disneyworld roads, there are sections of each course that are accessible to Disney guests. Runners will get a boost from running through areas with cheering fans.
During any race, safety is the #1 priority. Runners should always practice running etiquette during the race for everyone’s safety and enjoyment.
- Running in a group – RunDisney races are a social sport and many runners participate in races with friends and family. However, it is important that groups running together do not obstruct the course in a way that prevents other runners from passing. Groups should run no more than 2-3 abreast (depending on the width of the road and density of the crowd.)
- Slowing or stopping – When needing to stop or slow to a walk, runners should be mindful of runners behind them. Runners should raise their arm before slowing down and work their way to the side of the road before stopping or walking.
- Be mindful of announcements – Throughout the course, there may be safety or informational announcements. Runners should be mindful of signs and alerts and refrain from wearing headphones that block all outside sounds. Runners should follow the instructions given by race officials at all times.
Runners will find beverage stations throughout the course that offer both water and electrolyte sports beverages. Beverage stations will be staffed by volunteers holding out disposable cups. Runners will find the area less congested towards the middle or rear of the line of volunteers. At the Finish Line, there will be volunteers handing out full bottles of water and electrolyte beverages. Disney does allow runners to bring their own water bottles on the course.
Portable Rest Facilities
Portable Rest Facilities are located throughout the course near beverage stations.
Disney photographers are positioned throughout to take action photos during various points in the race. Runners are matched with their runDisney accounts through their bib number and can find all their pictures through Disney Photopass. Photos are available for viewing online for a limited time after the race (covered by a watermark.) Guests have the option to purchase photos for an additional fee.
The Infamous “Balloon Ladies”
While it might sound festive, the term ‘Balloon Ladies’ strikes fear in the hearts of many runDisney participants. As previously stated, runners must maintain a pace of at least 16:00 per mile throughout the race. To track the 16:00 pace, a final set of pace leaders starts from the back of the last corral and maintains a 16:00 pace throughout. These final pace leaders are identified by the large Disney balloons that they pull along on a tether and are affectionately referred to as the “Balloon Ladies.” Runners that fall behind the ‘Balloon Ladies’ are in danger of being ‘swept’ from the course.
At various points in the course, runDisney staff is positioned to ‘sweep’ runners who have fallen behind pace. While being ‘swept’ might sound harsh, it actually entails boarding an air-conditioned coach bus and being transported to the Finish Area. No runner wants to have their day cut short, but Disney takes good care of all swept runners…did we mention the air-conditioned coach bus? Runners also get a refreshment box, bananas, and water.
And remember…“Did not Finish” beats “Did not Start.”