Maybe you’ve seen the classic runDisney Instagram post, runner dressed in a cute outfit running in front of Cinderella Castle. Or maybe you’ve heard a friend go crazy over the races or seen Disney Instagrammers talk about how difficult it can be to get your running bib. After years of talking about it, we completed our first runDisney event this year. And we are here to tell you all about it! Here’s what you need to know about the runDisney Summer Running Series.
What is the runDisney summer running series?
Ok, so first things first. What actually is this event? It’s a self-paced virtual running event that can be done anywhere. It consists of three 5k runs. You can complete it whenever you want, as long as you complete it by the end of August. This race has always been virtual because, well Florida gets pretty hot in the summer, so there are no runDisney races held during that time of year.
How much is the summer running series?
Like all runDisney events, you get to decide which races you want to complete. Since this race is part of the runDisney virtual series, most people choose their races based on the medal they want. Each race has its own theme, and therefore its own medal. If you complete all three races, you will get all three medals plus a bonus finisher medal as well. The cost of one race is $40 and the cost of all three is $145. This price can change every year, but you can usually see prices when the registration dates are announced.
How do you sign up for runDisney’s summer running series?
Signing up for any runDisney event is generally a little stressful. From what I’ve been told by a friend who runs every runDisney race she can, the summer series is much less stressful than other events. That doesn’t mean you can slack on registration day though. We signed up for the full challenge; so our chances were a little better but even just after about 20 mins of registration opening, one of the single races was sold out.
Again, most people tend to choose this race by what medal they want so if you want a certain medal that happens to be popular and you’re only doing a single race, we recommend being ready to register as soon as possible. Regardless of which race or races you want to run, plan to be on the runDisney website about 20-30 minutes before registration begins. Get into the queue as soon as it opens up and then from there you’ll choose your race, fill out all the info, and registration is finished once you’ve paid.
Make sure you have everything ready because registration isn’t complete until you have paid; so if you have to spend time going to get your credit card, you could lose your place. We also recommend creating an account before trying to register. This will save you a lot of time as well.
Can you run this at Walt Disney World?
So here’s the thing. Yes, you can! You can run it anywhere. Anywhere including your neighborhood, Walt Disney World, or even on a treadmill! So if you happen to be at Walt Disney World when the time period for your race is happening, feel free! But, keep in mind, you can’t just walk into a Disney Park and start running a 5k. So when I say, yes you can, I mean, you can run the 5k at the resorts. Many of the Disney resorts have a New Balance trail, so you can run those to complete your 5k. So, you won’t be able to get a classic runDisney Park photo, but you technically will be running it on Walt Disney World property.
But again, if you don’t already live in Florida, this might not be the best choice. There’s a reason runDisney events aren’t held in person in the summer, and that’s because it’s very hot and very humid. So if you have the chance to run it a little cooler, we suggest that.
How do you keep track of your races?
Keeping track of your runDisney miles for the summer running series is up to you! You can use an apple watch or something similar, your phone or any other way you’d like to track your mileage. When you submit your race results, no proof is required, so it’s really up to you!
What do you get for the price of the runDisney summer running series?
For the price of the runDisney summer running series, you get the corresponding medals, your race bib, and a few fun digital extras to add some magic to your runs. You’ll get a completion certificate for each race completed, which is a fun way to keep track of your race times. If you do the entire series, it’s kind of fun to see how much you’ve improved if that’s your goal! And if you complete the entire series, you’ll also receive a bonus finisher medal. We also received a small finisher collectible pin as well!
When do you get the runDisney medals?
After you have completed all of the races and submitted your results, you’ll get your medals! They generally ship out within 30 days of completion.
Is the runDisney summer running series worth it?
That really depends! Let’s get this straight. The runDisney summer running series isn’t what we’d call cheap. But, it is cheaper than in-person runDisney races. That being said, it’s also more than an average 5k that might be held in your hometown. So it’s really a personal choice, and only you can decide what’s worth it or not.
Pros and Cons of runDisney summer running series
This is really subjective because what might be a pro to one person could be a con to someone else! But I’ll share my thoughts on this and you can decide if it’s a pro or con!
Pros of runDisney virtual summer running series
Personally, I think one of the biggest pros about this runDisney series is that you can do it anywhere! This means you don’t have to pay to travel and you can choose where you run. This is also a positive thing because you can do it any time. So if you’re not someone who wants to get up before the sun, you don’t have to. And you can plan your runs around the weather. Or you can even run it on a treadmill or indoor track.
Another positive about the summer series is that you can do it at your own pace, even if that means walking the whole thing or even breaking it up. There is no specific thing that tracks your time; so if you’re just getting started with running or don’t have the time, endurance, or maybe even an injury or something else that would prevent you from completing a 5K all at once, you don’t have to let that stop you from participating.
I also love the fact that if you’re a new runner, this feels more inclusive. For in-person runDisney races, even though they say you can walk it, there is a certain time when they sweep the back of the pack. This means if they come by and “sweep” and you’re at the end during that time, you may not be able to finish the race. They do this out of practicality because of course at some point, they need to open the Parks. But if you’re at the end, you might feel a little cheated if you don’t get to complete it. The summer running series is appropriate for all fitness levels and is a great way to just enjoy the journey.
Lastly, it’s a good option if you don’t love the crowds. In general, the in-person races can be a pretty crowded event. And if crowds aren’t your favorite thing, you don’t have to worry about that!
Cons of runDisney virtual summer running series
Even though this running series is virtual, it is still a little pricey for a virtual race. But it is the most budget-friendly runDisney race currently available. Keep in mind that what you’re actually paying for is the medals. I think that’s probably the biggest con, but I think we can all agree that we wish most things were less expensive, right?! And even then it’s much cheaper than in-person races.
Another con, which could also be a positive for some people, is that you don’t get to run with others. For some runners, their pace can really be determined by other runners’ paces. So if you enjoy running in groups, this one could be a little challenging to run on your own if you don’t have an established running group.
And I think the most notable con to the runDisney virtual running series is that you don’t get to run it at Walt Disney World. Yes, this is also a positive because I don’t know anyone who would want to run in the Florida heat/humidity in the middle of summer, but that also means you miss out on some of the fun that in-person runners get. Character photos, the runDisney expo, swag bags, and fun running photos in the Parks are all things you can’t get with the virtual series.
So there you have it! Our virtual summer sunning series experience in a nut nutshell. Have you run this series before? Let us know your thoughts!