Disney Princess Half Marathon Advice

I know I’ve said it before, but the Princess Half Marathon really has been on my bucket list for years. Don’t believe me?

Here’s proof.

Back in September 2009, I wrote a post titled “I Want to Be a Princess” about wanting to run the Princess Half Marathon.

Then in September 2011, I wrote another post about how I wanted to run this race.

It’s been a long time coming.

Now that I’ve run the race, I have a few words of advice for you – a few “dos and don’ts” if you will.

i will forever run the princess half, i also enjoy this cute little blog :)

DO run this race: I don’t care if you’ve never run a 5k in your life. If you have EVER dreamed of doing just one half marathon in your lifetime, this is the one to do.

Oh, and by the way, this race is not just for “girly girls”. Despite the gigantic tutu I wore for this race, people who know me in real life will tell you that I am not the girliest girl out there. I rarely spend time doing my hair, putting on make up or wearing high heels. But once I got to Disney…this is how I felt:


DON’T stress about your time: This isn’t a race to attempt a PR. There are a lot of other races for that. This is your chance to run through Disney – take it all in and enjoy the sights. Take a few photos.

DO stay on Disney property – if you can: I know it’s not cheap, but if you are able to stay on Disney property, I highly recommend doing it. Logistically speaking, it is just the easiest way. There are buses out front of the hotel to take you to the race start and buses to take you back right at the finish line. I’m so glad I didn’t have to waddle my way out to my car in the parking lot after the race. The bus is just so convenient!

DON’T spend money on the Pasta Party: In my humble opinion, it wasn’t worth the money. The food was good, but not $50 good. But knowing Disney, they will probably improve it and it will be the best thing ever next year. Who knows. Oh and a big caveat – I’m pretty sure that people who bought the $50 tickets to the Pasta Party not only got the dinner, but also got entrance to Epcot for the rest of the evening. So if you’re looking at it from that perspective, it might be worth it.

DO spend money on the Race Retreat (if you have it): After paying about $150 for a race entry, I probably couldn’t afford the extra $99 for the Race Retreat. But if you happen to have some extra money, or if this is the one an only half marathon you think you’ll ever do, I really do recommend the Race Retreat. Who doesn’t love being treated like a VIP?


DON’T try to use the port-a-potties on the walk to the corrals: I promise – there are more of them closer to the starting line. Standing in line there will just frustrate you and others since the port-a-potty lines block the way for those trying to get to the corrals. Just wait. There will be more.

DO get there on time: The whole bag check and walk to the starting line takes longer than you think. Really. It does. Get there on time.

DON’T put your race bib on your back: I saw so many runners doing this – and I have no idea why. If you put your race bib on your back, the photographers can’t identify you in the race photos. And we all want to be able to see our race photos, right?? Oh and don’t forget to smile for the cameras too!

DO dress up in costume: Maybe you shouldn’t do a full tutu if this is your first half marathon, but at least do something to get into the princess spirit. You’ll be glad you did. Oh and by the way – the medic stops along the way have Vaseline available. Just in case that costume doesn’t end up being quite so comfortable after all.

DON’T try to use a port-a-potty with your tutu on: Just trust me on this one.

Do you have any advice to share about this race in particular, or about running a half marathon in general?



Filed under disney, half marathon, race, running

27 Responses to Disney Princess Half Marathon Advice

  1. Thanks so much for the tips! Looking forward to using them this fall for the Wine and Dine Half

  2. OMW, that video totally cracked me up! I love BBT and watch it every time it’s on;) You totally rocked your tiara, by the way!!!

  3. Love this!! I felt the exact same way about the tiara when walking into Disney. I was a princess all week long!
    Glad you had a great race experience. It was my half and I loved it too!

  4. I unfortunately took Princess way too seriously and tried to PR, and I only made myself mad and bitter because I couldn’t get around a lot of the crowds who wanted to walk and take pictures in the middle of the road. I’m a run/walker, but I was getting so annoyed with the people who didn’t move to the side to walk. If I run this again, it will be for fun. I should have known better since it was my second time.

    Congrats 🙂

  5. LOVE the tips! I especially like that you added the clip from The Big Bang Theory because I saw that episode and almost died. (Now my boyfriend knows what to get me…jk!)

    If you have time, please check out my Princess Half Weekend recaps and today’s post on my interview with an employee of Magic Kingdom!


  6. meg

    Great tips! I’d also add that if you want a less-crowded race experience and to start closer to the actual race time, to make sure you are in the lowest corral possible for your running ability. When registering, put in the most accurate time you have. If you don’t have a current race time, sign up for a slightly shorter race as a training run and bring the proof-of-time with you to the expo. I’m really glad I spoke with Runner Relations, showed her a race time online on my phone, and got placed in a different corral. Apparently, I had a totally different experience in “A” than my best friend did in “H.”

  7. Great tips but honestly I don’t see how the race retreat for $99 is worth it. I mean I can’t eat that much before a race and after the race I just want to go shower, I don’t want to hang around there but the food after the race is nice. Just seems VERY pricey! My one tip is wait until you get to MK to use the restrooms, so much better!

  8. Great tips! Thank you for sharing them! I am running it next year with my hubby and some friends! I can NOT wait!!! It has been on my bucket list for a little over a year now. Thanks again!

  9. I’m SO not a Disney fan but still … something about this race looks so much fun!!! LOVE your costume – it’s perfect!

  10. I can’t get enough of Mayim Bialik! She is my favorite and so crazy. That tiara scene is one of her bests this season. Have you read about her parenting style?

  11. I love this! I had never heard of this race and I’m dying to get into running/slash urgently need to lose weight and a princess costume would help.


  12. LOL about the porta potty and tutu! I luckily made it to the TTC so I could use a real restroom. I stressed the whole way there though trying to figure out how I was gonna be able to use a porta potty in my tutu if I had to!

  13. Great advice..I wanna sign up NOW!! 🙂

  14. OMG, LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I would LOVE to do that race! Already thinking of planning a family trip around it. Thanks for the tips! I will remember to check back here on your blog once I get ready for mine!

  15. I ran this in 2011, and I wish I’d worn a costume! The race course itself wasn’t that great for me other than the short time in the Magic Kingdom (I’m a scenery person, like running the Golden Gate Bridge or running along the ocean…) but it was very fun otherwise. I agree with not going for a PR, I wish I’d had my camera along the way too.

  16. Danielle

    This is a great blog! I’m planning to run the Princess Half in 2013. This might be a weird question…but are there professional photographers with every character along the course or do I have to have a camera with me and ask someone to take a picture?

    Thank you!

    • Yes, there are professional photographers at every characters – BUT you have to pay to purchase those photos. I ran with my camera in my hand and Disney had extra people at each character stop willing to take a photo of me with my own camera! I highly recommend running with your own camera!

  17. I am hoping to run this in 2013 and your blog post is definitely pushing me there! Did you get park tickets as part of running the race? I heard somewhere that they do Marathon Monday or something if you are running, or is that only for the January race?
    Just curious! Thanks!!

  18. Amy

    Can’t wait to do this race in February! I have a question about visiting the parks – Do you recommend fitting that into the trip? If so, when would visit the parks Saturday before the race? Sunday after the race? Or not at all?

    • Tough question! Depends on what your goals for the weekend might be. We went to the parks on Saturday, but I know that all that walking made the race itself a bit tougher. I wouldn’t recommend that if you’re trying to PR. Depending on how many half marathons you’ve done, you’ll have to gauge how tired you’ll be after the race. I really think it’s a matter of personal preference. Sorry I don’t have better advice to give!

  19. Amanda

    Thanks for the tips!! This is my first half and I am BEYOND excited but at the same time, PETRIFIED. My sister and I are going all out–you only live once. Just tell me that this is a good half for my first time.

  20. carol

    Do you have to run or can you walk I am thinking of doing it in 2014 but not much of a runner more of a fast walker. I will also be almost 58 by then thanks

  21. Megan

    Thanks for the tips! I am running the 2013 Princess Half (OMG that’s in 4 weeks!!!). I’m excited and terrified all at once! It will be my first half and I’ll be using the run/walk method.

  22. Bucket List Mom

    My daughter & I are running the Princess 2015. Excited and scared! I’m afraid of being picked up for being too slow! I’ve not yet started training but building endurance and losing weight. I’m running 6.6 mi in 84 min now on a treadmill.

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