Disneyland runDisney Tips

Once I ran my first runDisney race, I was hooked. I wanted and tried to run every race I could. There were a few things though that surprised me. Any running event at Disneyland will be amazing. Yet know there are misconceptions about Disneyland races.

Now if you’re considering a Disneyland race, no one will tell you these things. The course has hills; if someone says the course is flat, they are a liar. Parts of the course will be ugly; you do not run through Disneyland the entire time. Bottlenecks will happen on the course. Many people will be weaving. Lots of runners are raising their hands to signal they will walk.

Be prepared and run hills as part of your training. Do a 10k at home that sells out so you can get practice passing. If you do the Half in September, the weather can be humid. Two out of three Disneyland half marathons I did were boiling.


Keep reading for Disneyland race tips. You should pin this for when runDisney announces Disneyland events later next year. Since Disneyland is so much smaller than Disney World, these are tips you must read.

Click here if you are here because you are afraid of being swept at Disneyland or WDW by Balloon Ladies.

Expo Tips: 

  • Be sure you carry your ID and cash.

  • There are lines at the expo so wait til mid afternoon to go. People line up and wait for the expo to open.

  • Attend opening day of the expo this is the least crowded day.

  • eBay sellers line up to snatch up merchandise. If you want something, get it. Do not wait the merchandise may sell out. Most merchandise does not sell out. It happens, though.

  • Parking is $20. If you spend $20 at any Downtown Disney merchant, kiosks, or restaurant parking is free for 3 hours.

  • Carb load at Naples or any table service restaurant and you get 5 hours of parking.

  • Mickey and Friends parking is $20. No matter what park here if you are spending the day at the resort.

  • Most hotels have shuttles to the Resort. Or you could take the bus to save money on parking. Most buses drop you off at the opposite side of Downtown Disney it's about a ten-minute walk.

  • You can swap your shirt for another size at the expo. There is a booth for that.

The course is not flat. Saying this course is flat is a lie.

The course is not flat. Saying this course is flat is a lie.

Race Day: 

  • You can drive if you live in LA just leave early.

  • Arrive at Mickey and friends before 4 am. Parking is not free (I had to present my pass at Tinkerbell.) so bring cash.

  • If staying at a local hotel take the shuttles. You can also take the bus check at the expo at the Transportation booth you may need a shuttle pass.

  • Everyone has to be screened at a security checkpoint to get into the race area. The line gets long so arrive early.

  • Some Downtown Disney restaurants will be open. You can get Coffee.

  • Get into your chute early the chutes fill up fast and it is hard to push forward.

  • It can get cold in the morning but warm up after sunrise. You could bring an old mylar race blanket to stay warm in the early morning.

  • All the bathrooms in parks are available during a race. Go to the bathroom before you leave Disneyland if possible. Most the restrooms after Disneyland are portable toilets. • The course is narrow and bottlenecked at points. We are a lot Smaller than WDW.

  • The Santa Ana River Trail leading to Angel Stadium can suck. That part of the course is uphill at some points and ugly.

  • Clif Bar gives shots and gels at Angel stadium.

  • The Powerade is always blue. Bring your own if you dislike blue Powerade.

Post Race:

• Traffic can get bad leaving from Mickey and Friends. I recommend you relax in Downtown Disney or the Parks if you can to avoid traffic.
• There are restrooms in Downtown Disney where you can freshen up and change.
•  Plenty of runners go to Disneyland post race without showering.I do not judge. Do not feel bad if you have nowhere to shower.
• Tangaroa Terrace is quick and has a minimal wait time for a fast and hearty breakfast.
• The coffee shop at the Disneyland Hotel is also a good place to grab a quick bite to eat. 
• White Water Snacks in the Grand Californian is also a good place to eat and usually, there are no lines.
• Flo’s Café also serves an excellent breakfast.

I hope I left nothing out other Disney bloggers will give you the usual details about costumes and whatnot. My intent was to touch upon things that happen that most people do not mention. I hope that this information is helpful. Please ask if you have questions.

runDisney tips for Disneyland. #Disneyland #runDisney