The Disney Princess Half Marathon is the biggest reason why I started training to run half marathons in the first place. A friend from high school runs every year and I was so jealous of her pictures. When my best friend, Amanda, suggested that we do it, I jumped on the chance!
Finally the day was here. Running on four hours of sleep I got up and ready with my new Disney friend Jan and we headed off to the race.
Tip: make sure EVERYTHING is set out the night before and go ahead and put your KT tape on the night before. This was a game changer trying to get ready at 2:45am.
I am so thankful for Jan. She fully documented our ride over from the Grand Floridian via monorail.
It was an easy trip over, but I was still glad I had her as my guide to make sure I didn’t follow the wrong crowd.
When we got to the race area we went straight to the Team Force charity booth. She is very active with their wonderful organization and had one of their charity bibs. This was a great meeting point for my friend Amanda and her family. I got to ditch my Eeyore ears for a fairy hat!
Race Day tip: meet your friends at the charity booths! Really easy to find!
We were given a few race tips from Jan, including where the best bathrooms are. That is a secret I will keep to myself though. Then we went our separate ways so we could take some group pictures and all head to our corrals. I think the Harry Potter Wizard pose is my favorite!
Then we started the long walk to the corrals. I heard everyone say it was a long walk from the stage area to the corrals, but I don’t think I really understood. It took us about 10-20minutes to get over there. If I had known it was THAT long we would have started walking earlier and I probably would have timed it for future reference. Oh well! We got lucky and the race was a little delayed so we did get to our corrals in time. Unfortunately, this is when our fairy trio was split up. Amanda was going for a PR and both her and Jess had faster qualifying times.
The start of the race was so magical. Fireworks!! I had seen pictures, but to be there was so special! Pictures never do fireworks justice…
Eventually it was time for us to get started!!
My plan was to run until Magic Kingdom. I knew I would pass the first few character stops when I was making my way to the finish line. It was easy to miss the Pirates and Disney Men knowing I would see them again.
I did stop for a picture at the Magic Kingdom entrance, because I remember seeing this race point in all of my friend Kerry’s pictures and videos from her past Princess races. That moment really made the disney race feel real.
I kept on running. I was slower than I had wanted to be. My legs were a little more tired from two days at the parks than I had wanted them to be. But… I was still moving forward and trying not to worry about the watch. I knew I wasn’t going to stop again for a few miles until I got in the park.
But then the next character stop happened… the Evil Queen from Snow White & Maleficent. It was a long line, but since I was dressed as one of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty I HAD to get that picture. Also, because I freakin love Villain pictures. I can’t explain it, but they make me happy.
So I stopped and talked to some of the other women in line. This ended up being my favorite photo stop of the race. I had a stand off with Maleficent and when I left the evil queen informed me that “dark magic is far more powerful.”
That photo stop gave me the energy to keep it moving. I ran under the bridge and had fun dancing and laughing when the DJ was boasting about how we were running “under water”. Check out those hands!
Finally it was time for the Magic Kingdom! I passed Mrs. Incredible who had a really short line, I just wanted to get inside!
It was so much fun! There were so many characters! I ran past the Queen of Hearts and Buzz Lightyear. I had my sights set on using a bathroom. When I stopped at the bathroom I saw the massive line for Gaston and afterwards another massive line for the Beast!
Then it was time for the most magical part of the Princess Half Marathon- running through the castle!! Before you run through Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff were waving to everyone.
With renewed energy I took off again. I stopped for a picture with Woody, because I just had to! My husband dresses a little like Woody on a daily basis and we were Woody and Jessie a few years ago for Halloween. The line was really short. I’m told that Jessie was out there too, but she must have been on a break when I stopped by.
Then I waited in a very long line to get a picture with Cinderella/Prince Charming + Snow White/Prince Ferdinand. It was my longest wait, probably 30minutes. Right as we got to the front of the line we were told that Cinderella and Charming had to take a break. The ladies around me were not happy for that announcement. I wasn’t too bothered since I already met both of them this weekend! I got my picture with Snow White and her Prince and headed out of the park.
Outside of the park I texted my friends who were waiting for me with half a banana and some extra tailwind. So thankful for them in that moment! I have never had course support like that. Even though I did pass them and went back to get my fuel and say hello to Andrew who ran ahead so I didn’t have to go all the way back. (Thank you Julie, Andrew, and Linda!!)
I skipped pics with the penguins from Mary Poppins and the groomsmen, but I couldn’t resist vacation Genie!
The last five miles were honestly really boring. My friend Amanda had already finished her race. My legs were tired from the stopping and going again. The course was mostly highway. I found energy talking to the people around me. Stopping for a little biofreeze. And just taking it all in. Being surrounded by thousands of people with the same goal is incredible.
I stopped for a few more characters. I laughed at the Army Man making people do push ups in order to take a picture with him. I stopped for a picture with the Disney Men that I missed earlier. When I got to mile 11 I found out my friends were actually still at the finish line festival waiting to see me so I picked up my speed again. I got a picture in Epcot, but skipped Princess Daisy and Mushu. I suspect that next year will be Mulan, there was a lot of Mulan happening at the race including Mushu hanging out at the end.