Overall Rating
Overall Rating (34 Reviews)
4.4
(34 Ratings)(34 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.5
You’re invited to join us for the most magical race weekend on Earth at Walt Disney World® Resort where your favorite classic Disney characters are the hosts! With race distances for all skill levels, including Kids Races, a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon, participants will enjoy special Disney entertainment … MORE
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Recent reviews

    johnmallonee REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Run through Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, well spaced characters, starts in the dark so need to be careful in some spots. One section is narrow with orange pylon cones. MORE

    Run through Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, well spaced characters, starts in the dark so need to be careful in some spots. One section is narrow with orange pylon cones.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Maniacmay FIRST-TIMER '18

    The Dopey Challenge is a 4-race Series where you run a 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, half marathon on Saturday and full marathon on Sunday. What makes this challenge … MORE

    The Dopey Challenge is a 4-race Series where you run a 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, half marathon on Saturday and full marathon on Sunday. What makes this challenge even greater is that you have to be up by 2-2:30am to get prep for race day, shuttle to the start and wait 1.5-2hrs before you actually start your race. Then after your race, go back to your hotel to wash up and spend the rest of the day on your feet at the theme parks, try to get an early dinner and go to bed to repeat it all over the next day. By the 4th day you are sleep deprived and exhausted and now you get to run a full marathon which runs through each of the theme parks and their sports park. Yay! What a crazy experience, but as long as you aren’t “in it to win it”, it’s a fun experience. Need a rest break? Pull over to line up for a character photo. Some of the roads and pathways were narrow and congested. But the Cast Member, voluntEars and theme park spectator support was awesome. And the medals… ooh, the medals!!! Once you finish the marathon, you go through a tent where they verify that you completed the prior 3 races, then you are adorned with a Goofy Challenge medal for doing the “race and a half” (half+full marathon) and a Dopey Challenge medal for doing the 4 races. You also got at packet pick up a shirt for each race plus the challenge shirts. And since this year was the 25th anniversary for the marathon, finishers got commemorative Mickey ears. Swag galore!

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    jhemond REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Disney races are expensive, but they know how to put on a good race. This was the 25th anniversary of the Disney World Marathon and they did a great job … MORE

    Disney races are expensive, but they know how to put on a good race. This was the 25th anniversary of the Disney World Marathon and they did a great job with the medals.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    gjramsey REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Disney World Marathon weekend Dopey challenge is certainly that. 5k and 10k in Epcot before Sunrise is magical. Half runs through the Magic Kingdom and Future World of Epcot. The … MORE

    Disney World Marathon weekend Dopey challenge is certainly that. 5k and 10k in Epcot before Sunrise is magical. Half runs through the Magic Kingdom and Future World of Epcot. The Full goes through all 4 theme parks and Wide World of Sports. During the half and full there are plenty of miles on the roads of WDW. Disney does a magnificent job with characters photo ops throughout all races. I was able to stop and get photos of 13 different characters in the half, and 20 during the full. Plenty of hydration spots during all races. Course can get crowded at some locations on the courses, but that is what it is when you have over 20,000 folks finishing a half or full marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    Mueller375 FIRST-TIMER '15

    A) A Race like you have never done before B) It's not about the speed... It's about the journey. C) Stop for the pictures D) Make sure you have a … MORE

    A) A Race like you have never done before
    B) It’s not about the speed… It’s about the journey.
    C) Stop for the pictures
    D) Make sure you have a good Proof of time. If you are doing the half you need a good 10K time for the full you need a 1/2 time, so plan one that you go as fast as you can to qualify into a better corral
    E) The Kids 1 miler wasn’t worth losing 3 hours in the parks… do the 5k with them and just make sure you keep a good pace.
    F) Plan for COLD and WINDY weather bring stuff to toss

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    4
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    5
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    5

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    M_Sohaskey Jan 16, 2018 at 3:46pm

    Great points John, and especially your advice to make sure you have a good qualifying time – the better your corral, the less time you'll spend standing in line at each photo stop. I was able to start fairly close to the front in 2015 and the lines were minimal, which saved a lot of time since I ended up making 20 photo stops. Congrats on conquering the Dopey Challenge, you 48.6-mile runners are an impressive bunch – amusingly, WDW was the first race where I found myself telling fellow runners I was "only" running the marathon. Glad you had such a magical weekend, and thanks for your helpful review!

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    RunKMacRun FIRST-TIMER '18

    This race challenge covers 4 days. 5k, 10K, 1/2, and full. Very very early mornings. Be sure to get to the corrals early as the 1/2 and full are about … MORE

    This race challenge covers 4 days. 5k, 10K, 1/2, and full. Very very early mornings. Be sure to get to the corrals early as the 1/2 and full are about 1.6 mile walk from the staging area. Be prepared to wait up to 1.5 to 2 hours depending on how far back in the corrals you are. Go slow and this is a very long challenge. Totally fun and will do again in a few years 😀

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    4
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    5
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    4

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    Mueller375 Jan 09, 2018 at 5:09pm

    It's addicting and I can't wait to do it again!

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    It was a wonderful family vacation. I think this race will appeal to most. I did the Dopey challenge. You do get to see some Disney characters, and its is … MORE

    It was a wonderful family vacation. I think this race will appeal to most. I did the Dopey challenge. You do get to see some Disney characters, and its is very well organized.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    portlandrunner FIRST-TIMER '13

    I don't think I could have picked a better half marathon as my first! RunDisney puts on quite a production, but like the rest of the parks and resorts, they … MORE

    I don’t think I could have picked a better half marathon as my first! RunDisney puts on quite a production, but like the rest of the parks and resorts, they do it right! All the cast members were friendly and helpful, the course was filled with entertainment and inspiration, there were local community touches as well as plenty of Disney characters, and lots water/food stops. The only drawback was the 5:00 am race start time, but from the fireworks at the beginning to Donald Duck at the finish, this is a magical and enjoyable race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    ljanik FIRST-TIMER '16

    This race is unique because it gives you an opportunity to run in places you never could otherwise. The selling point of the race is you get to run through … MORE

    This race is unique because it gives you an opportunity to run in places you never could otherwise.

    The selling point of the race is you get to run through the Disney parks- don’t let that fool you, most of the running will be on the 4-lane roads/highways connecting all of the parks. Because it’s all highways, the course is super flat with the exception of on and off ramps and bridges. Also because of this, there were long stretches without any spectators (the parks however, were lined with spectators the whole way through). There are water/gatorade stops every mile with a Disney character at each (and a huge sign displaying the time) and that was encouraging.

    If you are planning to RACE this half-marathon (or any of the races), make sure you put in a good seed time. They will put you in corrals based on your time. Unfortunately this was my first half-marathon and I had NO previous time, they put me in “I” (“A” was the fastest, “O” the slowest), and I eventually convinced them to put me in “B” (where I was still plowing through people for the first few miles). If you are running sub 1:20, you might end up in no man’s land after the halfway point, luckily my training partner was with me, but we passed a lot of people on their own.

    You have to get up early- 3:15 at the latest. The race starts at 5:30, but you need to be there no later than 4:30 and the last shuttle leaves around 3:45 or maybe 4. Because of the early start, it was dark for the whole race (if you finish before 7 o’clock). Which is bad for two reasons- 1. you miss a lot of the scenery and 2. some of the turns inside the park (especially the last mile) are not obvious in complete darkness. The bright side is that the temperatures are fairly cool at this time of day (60’s to low 70’s).

    If you are deciding whether or not to stay at a resort the weekend of your race, I can’t recommend it enough. The shuttles took us to and from the expos (and parks, obviously), and to the race and back. They had food the morning of the race at the cafeteria/restaurant if we wanted it.

    If you want a “magical” experience for your first (or one-hundredth) race, choose this one!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
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    5

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    RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '14

    Disney is, as we all know, an empire. They do things a certain way, and you pay a high price for it (literally, it's expensive to register and expensive to … MORE

    Disney is, as we all know, an empire. They do things a certain way, and you pay a high price for it (literally, it’s expensive to register and expensive to go and stay there to do it). My first trip to Disney World was to run the Goofy Challenge. I was worried I’d hate it; I don’t like Florida (too hot and humid), I don’t like crowds, and generally, I like smaller races. Why in the world would I sign up for this race? Same reason I signed up for NYC, Boston, and Chicago: they’re banner races, I wanted to run them once. Checked that box at Disney too, and glad I did.

    I ran the Goofy with the American flag and I convinced my husband to run the half with me so I wouldn’t go too fast. We lucked out with the weather – while it was kind of humid, the temperature was actually not bad. Cool mornings and early start times helped a lot. So here’s my rundown:

    Hotel: Amazingly, if you’re an SPG member, the Swan & Dolphin hotels are tough to beat. They are also Disney properties, so we were able to stay on property and use points. Sweet! Great location and amenities. We still had free shuttle access to the parks and to the race starts and back at the end. Fantastic food, strolling to the boardwalk was nice, and we got to see some of the parks.

    Expo: I was underwhelmed by the expo. It seemed dimly lit and kind of lackluster. A lot of the merchandise was picked over and there just wasn’t much. I didn’t buy anything. The shirts were kind of nice, good graphics and unique, but a little on the small side. While we’re on the swag, the medals were great. Three big medals with the Disney characters and nice ribbons. Loved hanging those on my wall.

    Races: The start times to both races are very early, but that, to me, was awesome. I was back at the hotel early giving us time to explore, dine, visit a park, etc. (all by design, I’m sure). There are shuttles that drop you off at the start village, then you go through security (not bad) and the usual hang around and wait time. Then there’s the long trek to the corrals. Good for a warm up! There are many corrals and waves that are supposed to seed you based on pace/finish time, but much to my annoyance people were jumping barriers left and right to move up. I hate that.

    Anyway, there are fireworks at the start, a whole big production, and then you’re off. The courses were pretty good. Very flat, and pretty windy in some places. You do get to go through the parks, which is the fun part, and there are Disney characters all over the place. I didn’t care about time too much, so I stopped to take several photos (if the line was too long I skipped it). The half went through Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and the full ran through Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom (I hear that if you go a little slower, you can ride the Everest ride while still running the marathon, which is unique), ESPN (wide world of sports, maybe?) around a baseball diamond, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. There are some long, boring, and lonely stretches between parks where there’s not much scenery, but that’s the price you pay for running through each property.

    My personal opinion: it was worth it. I hadn’t ever been to Disney World and I had fun, even as a crowd-hating adult. It actually wasn’t as crowded as I feared and it’s very clean and well-run. There’s obviously a lot to do so it’s one of those fun build-a-little-trip-around-it races to do with your spouse or family. I may never go to Disney again, after all. The half and full marathons were far from my fastest races but that’s okay, I knew that going in and sometimes it’s way more fun to just enjoy the sights and take some photos with Goofy. It’s a great way to cross Florida off your list if you’re a 50 stater, and if you’re like I am, it’s another box checked.

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    5
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    runsoncarbs FIRST-TIMER '14

    Very crowded course. Lots to see along the course , but not a course to PR at. Where else can you ride a roller coaster in the middle of your MORE

    Very crowded course. Lots to see along the course , but not a course to PR at. Where else can you ride a roller coaster in the middle of your marathon?

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    2
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    runnerbee FIRST-TIMER '17

    Didn't know what to expect going into this marathon as I never ran an official race before this one, but I figured since it was Disney couldn't be that bad … MORE

    Didn’t know what to expect going into this marathon as I never ran an official race before this one, but I figured since it was Disney couldn’t be that bad right? Turned out I had a blast! Officially transformed me from a non-competitive runner to a marathon believer. Course was relatively flat but too much time was spent running in between the parks/ESPN area where the views weren’t anything special. Luckily the live entertainment and characters on course more than made up for the lack of scenery.

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    5
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    jeffruns FIRST-TIMER '16

    This marathon is well run. It's just plain awesome. There are tens of thousands of runners in what must have been 20 corrals and Disney let off fireworks for the … MORE

    This marathon is well run. It’s just plain awesome. There are tens of thousands of runners in what must have been 20 corrals and Disney let off fireworks for the start of each and every corral. They spared no expense.

    By the way, did you know your marathon bib is a fast pass? So there are two schools of thought regarding this marathon. One is run it. One is start at the back, jog it and ride the rides on the clock. Yes I know, what hardcore marathoner would do a thing like that but this is Disney. You’re saying you aren’t willing to add a big fat minute and forty seconds to your marathon time to ride Expedition Everest? Think of it as a modified Jeff Galloway run walk method, only this is the run ride method. Run a little faster up to Everest, ride the thing, then run a little faster up to Aerosmith’s Rock’n Roller Coaster, ride the thing… and so on, run a little faster up to GM’s Test Track, and so on…

    One thing I did not like was getting up so early to run. It made for a long day but at least we got to finish before it got really warm. It was humid enough and they announced at the start that we should go 30 seconds slower in these conditions. I managed to go only 3 seconds slower but if I’d known about that fast pass thing, who knows?

    I paid extra for the VIP tent. This was a good decision as I had a nice breakfast immediately after the race. I also paid extra for a massage. Another good decision.

    One thing that struck me is how many runners were willing to stop and wait in line to get their pictures taken with Disney or Star Wars characters. Once I got near the end and realized I wasn’t going to PR, I slowed down, ate pretzels and got my photo taken with Mike from Monsters, Inc. I will be doing this marathon again and maybe I’ll even do the Dopey Challenge (48 miles over 4 days) next time!

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    nathanialjg FIRST-TIMER '16

    Florida is so boring. Running through Disneyworld is dope. Seriously so much fun to run through the parks - I wish there was more of this. So much of the … MORE

    Florida is so boring. Running through Disneyworld is dope. Seriously so much fun to run through the parks – I wish there was more of this. So much of the race is running between the parks. The medal is cool. The shirt I got (Size: XL) is not as long as XL’s usually are, but very wide.

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    Donnie FIRST-TIMER '16

    Ran the Dopey Every Race was AWESOME the miles fly by. A Must Run for any runner. Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and lots more on the course. Running through the Disney … MORE

    Ran the Dopey Every Race was AWESOME the miles fly by. A Must Run for any runner. Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and lots more on the course. Running through the Disney Parks. Great Expo and bus transport if you stay in a resort hotel. I will run again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
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    5

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    The dopey challenge was a good way to see if I wanted to pursue ultra distance racing. I'm sold. This event was awesome, great to see characters and an excellent … MORE

    The dopey challenge was a good way to see if I wanted to pursue ultra distance racing. I’m sold. This event was awesome, great to see characters and an excellent course. Worth every penny.

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    Tiger26 FIRST-TIMER '15

    The best aspect of the race was the weather and all the characters you can get a photo with along the course. I would recommend this to experienced runners. To … MORE

    The best aspect of the race was the weather and all the characters you can get a photo with along the course. I would recommend this to experienced runners. To improve the race I would have vendors giving away products to rumours at the expo and after the race. It seems as if races have strayed away from this.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    gsadir FIRST-TIMER '16

    I'm glad I completed the Dopey Challenge, but will probably not do it again. Cons : excessive cost, 5k & 10k are not serious events for Disney and are poorly … MORE

    I’m glad I completed the Dopey Challenge, but will probably not do it again.

    Cons : excessive cost, 5k & 10k are not serious events for Disney and are poorly coordinated for serious runners (was put in a corral with 6 year olds who love to jump in front of runners), 75% of the race is on highway/back roads, post race food box is crap, if you want to arrive on time/stress free, you should stay at a Disney hotel, which is ridiculously expensive (stay/food).

    Pros : 25% of the race is in the parks and very magical, taking pictures with characters is a must (although you lose time), half & marathon are well organized, buses to / from Disney hotels very efficient.

    Final thought : If you want to enjoy the run inside Disney parks and meet Disney characters, your times will be totally off; so not recommend for serious runners. If you are serious runner, there are plenty of races with better views at a 10th of the price.

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    3
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    3
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    runbullardsrun FIRST-TIMER '16

    For more details about packet pick up, race shirts, finisher medals, post race party, accommodations, places to eat, and photos of the race, visit http://www.serialrunner.com/half-marathon-race-recaps/walt-disney-world-marathon MORE

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    sinderella2168 FIRST-TIMER '16

    All the medals and long sleeve tech shirts were nice. Expo was huge and easy to find and navigate. Courses are easy and well supported with volunteers. Several photo ops … MORE

    All the medals and long sleeve tech shirts were nice. Expo was huge and easy to find and navigate. Courses are easy and well supported with volunteers. Several photo ops throughout the races. Finish lines are all in the same place so transportation is fairly simple. Blankets were provided at finish on the colder mornings. All the races ran through at least 1 Disney park so scenery was nice. Marathon day runs through all 4 Disney parks with lots of things to see and photos to take. Lots of actual bathrooms along marathon course in the parks that were clean and well stocked. Marathon was my favorite race.

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