Some information has been updated on 7/12/2016 to reflect current RunDisney policies.
So you're interested in running around Walt Disney World or Disneyland and you need some help getting through the registration process... Well, you've come to the right place! I have been participating in RunDisney for a few years and have gotten into every race I've wanted since registering for my first race in 2013. I'm fast and efficient when it comes to registration and I have some tips to ensure YOU will get into the race you want. Before you know it, you'll be training for your dream race!
I tell my friends all the time that registering for a runDisney event is no joke. It takes strategy because these races sell out very quickly, sometimes in just minutes. If you're a little late to the party, you can plan on being placed in a queue between 5-30 minutes before beginning registration. If you're too late to the party, you can count on these races selling out! Also, expect the website to run slower than usual (Lilly girls crashing the internet during the Endless Summer Sale kinda slow). I typically have the RunDisney website pulled up on my computer at least 15 minutes prior to the start time so I can avoid any queue line and register without interruption. I also have an account with active.com, so logging in beforehand and having all your information ready will speed up this process. Once the website allows you onto the registration page, you will have 15 minutes to complete your registration.
During registration, runners will be given the opportunity to submit a Proof of Time for corral placement if they believe they will complete a Half Marathon in 2:45 or less. Proof of Time is no longer required for runners who believe they will require more than 2:45 to finish the Half Marathon. Since you only have 15 minutes to complete registration, I recommend waiting to submit your POT. This can be done up to approximately three months before the race. A POT for a Half Marathon must be a distance of 10k or longer and a POT for the Marathon must be a Half Marathon distance or longer. Failing to submit a POT can result in placement in the last corral so it is very important you return to the website during the time frame to submit this information. Simply select the event you are submitting a POT for, select the registration tab, and scroll down to Proof of Time for the link. Deadlines vary for all races, so be aware of the POT deadline for the race which you are registering.
During registration, the runDisney Twitter page will post updates on the status of its races.
Although the runDisney website does not update immediately, the 10k is usually the first race distance to sell out. The challenges and 5k's are also very popular. I have seen the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon take 24+ hours to sell out while the 2015 Wine & Dine Half Marathon sold out in approximately 30 minutes. Princess Half Marathon and Glass Slipper Challenge has taken approximately two hours to sell out since I began running it. There really is no way to tell how quickly an event will sell out, so it's important to register sooner rather than later.
Since registration can be a little overwhelming, I have a few other options to get you running the most magical miles on Earth:
1) Early registration is available for annual passholders. This registration opens up one week early and is also available for Disney Vacation Club members. From my experience, there are not crazy queue lines or errors loading the website. If you're going to run more than one runDisney event per year, it's well worth it to invest in the annual pass. I have one and it's already saved me money on my trips.
2) Run through a charity. I ran the 2016 Dopey Challenge for St. Jude. I bypassed all the craziness of registration by going directly to the St. Jude website. I searched for WDW Marathon Weekend and was able to register for The Dopey Challenge within minutes. At the time of my registration, only 5 spots were remaining for The Dopey Challenge. There were also limited spots available for all other races and challenges so these do tend to sell out quickly, as well. A full list of charities participating during each individual race weekend are listed on the event page under Registration. The links will provide you with information regarding fundraising minimums and benefits. For your reference, The 2016 Dopey Challenge required a minimum $2,500 donation and includes registration for all four races, a pre-race pasta party ticket and post-race hospitality tent. If you would like to donate to St. Jude on my behalf, you can do so at www.heroes.stjude.org/AmandaRunsChicago
I also have tips for fundraising as well as more information on running for charity here.
3) Lastly, you can run through a travel provider. Participating travel providers are listed under the Registration tab on the event page and the links will provide you with the requirements for each one. They typically require a minimum hotel stay or the purchase of park tickets. These will cost no more money than if you purchased them yourself and you get the added benefit of a Disney vacation planning specialist to guide you in booking your vacation. Requirements will be listed on their website.
Now, you should be all set to register for a runDisney event! What events are you running in the upcoming year? Do you have your costumes planned out yet? What about a training plan? Share your experiences registerring for your first RunDisney event below!