runDisney's Princess Half Marathon: Everything you need to know!
runDisney runDisney Tips

runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon: Everything you need to know!

Well, maybe not everything. 😉

But after doing runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon for eight years, (nine counting 2021’s virtual races,) I have shared lots of tips here on the Joyful Miles blog, YouTube channel and podcast! So in today’s post, I’m linking past content by category as well as offering new tips and answering FAQs. Hope you enjoy and have an AMAZING time at the Princess Half Marathon Weekend!

runDisney's Princess Half Marathon: Everything You Need to Know!

Updated August 18, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is registration for the 2022 Princess Half Marathon?

General registration opens on August 24, 2021, at 10:00 am EST and a week earlier for Club runDisney members. There is no early registration anymore for Disney World Annual Passholders and DVC Members.

Q: How do I register?

If this is your first time registering, you need to create an account at rundisney.com. (It can be the same as your My Disney Experience account.)

To register, go to the Princess Half Marathon event page on rundisney.com. Under the Weekend Overview tab, you’ll see each race listed with the words Registration Opening Soon. Once registration begins, (either at 10:00 am or a few minutes before,) those words will turn into Register Now. Click on the event you want to register for and it will lead you to a queue.

Whatever you do … DON’T REFRESH! After your wait time is over, you will be redirected to a Disney log-in page. Log in and you’re good to register!

Go here for more registration tips. And for ways to save money, visit my Budgeting post.

Q: Will the 2020 races sell out right away?

Honey, you just never know.

For the 2021 Wine & Dine Half Marathon and 2022 WDW Marathon Weekend, the shorter 5k and 10k races were the first to sell out with the half, full, and challenges slowly following suit or not selling out at all. As of August 18th, there’s also more available thanks to runDisney opening more spots.

As for Princess Half … it’s anybody’s guess. Now that Covid is progressing, they could limit the field even smaller, leaving less bibs available. The shorter races could go fast or just the opposite, and there’s no telling how popular the new Sunrise Yoga will be.

Here are my thoughts: If you really want to do this race, register right away so your bases are covered!

Q: Is proof of time required for the 5k and 10k?

No, just the half marathon and those doing the Fairy Tale Challenge.

Q: Is Proof of Time important for the half marathon?

Let’s start off with what runDisney says on their website:

If you believe you will finish the Half Marathon in 2 hours (2:00) or less, proof of time is required for start placement. If you believe you will finish the Half Marathon in over 2 hours, proof of time is not required. Start placement is based on your anticipated finish time and corral capacities. Disney Fairy Tale Challenge participants should adhere to Half Marathon proof of time requirements. Proof of time is not required for the 5K and 10K races. Please note that if you submit a proof of time from a race distance of 10K, 10 Mile, or Marathon, an industry-standard calculation will be applied to equate your finish time.

Proof of time must be provided from an officially timed race on a USATF certified course reflecting results between January 1, 2019 and October 30, 2021, and must be one of the below listed distances.

Participants will be placed in the last start group if appropriate race distance is not submitted for proof of time or if the data provided is incomplete or cannot be verified.

New this year, each runner will be assigned to one of 4 start groups which will have designated arrival times.

Half Marathon Proof of Time – Results for a 10K, 10 Mile, Half Marathon or Marathon. Please note: We cannot accept relays, trail runs, self-timed, training or Virtual Runs as proof of time.

So if you have proof of time that shows you’ll finish in less than two hours, then definitely enter this as POT to get a higher corral placement. Proof of time is not required for those with an expected finish time longer than two hours.

Q: When are the event guides, course maps, bib numbers, waivers, corral placements, medals, and race shirts available?

On average, the event guide with course maps is released about a month prior, followed by waivers and corral placement charts. Dates also vary for when runDisney releases photos of race medals. For example, we were able to see the gorgeous medals for the November 2021 Wine & Dine in mid-August!

You can get a feel for themes, colors, and what to expect by this blog post on the official runDisney blog!

From runDisney.com

Q: Where can I find the digital event guide?

When available, you can find the event guide on the runDisney website under the Princess Half Marathon Event, Runner Info page. Here’s where you can find course maps, transportation details, race times, and much more! Read it cover to cover and screenshot information you might want later.

Q: How do I find out what my bib number and corral placement is?

Seeing as how there are going to be major changes for the 2022’s race, I can’t answer this question yet. I will be able to offer more information after running the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in November.

Q: What are waves and how many are in each corral?

Here’s all we know now based on what’s said on the runDisney website:

New this year, each runner will be assigned to one of 4 start groups which will have designated arrival times.

There’s lots of speculation that the first group could be for elite runners, the second for Club runDisney members, and then the third and fourth according to estimated starting time, but we won’t know for sure until that day. We also don’t know if there will be mini-waves within each group, but I imagine so.

Q: Do I have to keep the minimum 16mm pace if I’m not in the last corral?

The minimum 16mm pace tracking doesn’t start until the last runner crosses the starting line, always the wonderful Balloon Ladies. So if you’re in earlier corrals, you do have some bumper room to stop for character photos, (whatever form they may be,) take bathroom breaks, etc. Just don’t get carried away! If runDisney staff on bikes pass you, (they will be after the Balloon Ladies,) you will be swept.

Q: Oh boy, those Balloon Ladies. Are they mean? And is it okay to track them?

The Balloon Ladies are ABSOLUTELY LOVELY and offer such a wonderful service by warning those who are getting behind! And guess what … we taped a podcast episode with Sue that was amazing. Jackey and I asked if they mind being tracked and since they do understand how this can be helpful for runners so they do not mind. However, take note that runDisney does occasionally block access to their bib number on the tracking site.

Also, note that whether or not you’ll have the ability to track another runner isn’t certain yet.

Q: If I can’t maintain the 16mm pace minimum, when am I safe from being swept?

In the past, I’ve often said you’re pretty much safe once you enter Epcot since there are no “parade buses,” aka, a bus for non-finishers, within the parks. But Sue offered this advice: “You are not safe until you cross the finish line.” And she’s right … if you dilly-dally too long in the parks, there is a chance you can be picked up in a golf cart.

Q: Where are the best bathrooms?

LOL, as an older woman with a bladder the size of a walnut, of course, I have to include this!

*UPDATE: The following information may change. I’ll be sure to keep this updated once I have more information!

Pre-Race: For the 5k and 10k when the corrals are to the left of the main stage, use the port-o-pots on the opposite side of gEar bag check where there are practically no lines! For the half, if you see a short line, hop in it. Or wait until you’re at the corrals … at the 2019 half and full marathon, there were a TON of port-o-pots there!

During the 5k and 10k: There will be real bathrooms once you make it to Epcot’s World Showcase! There’s a bathroom in each country … if you can skip the first one as it tends to be more crowded.

During the Half: There are usually port-o-pots near each water station but if you can make it to Magic Kingdom, (around 5.25 miles,) there are real bathrooms. Just skip the one at Tomorrowland Terrace/Noodle Station as it will most likely be crowded. Try either the bathrooms near Space Mountain or to the left before the teacups. I also hit the bathrooms in Epcot before finishing. The best way to find any bathroom in the parks is to ask a CM!

If there a FAQ that I missed? If so, please share it in the comments below!

Q: Will there be a Joyful Miles Meet-Up?

Unfortunately, that will have to be determined due to the rising Covid case. So please … if you’re not vaccinated yet, please do so!

And now, on with the…

General Tips

*Please note that I am still in the process of updating older posts to reflect changed policies due to Covid. I will also be shooting new videos in the fall with updated tips!

100 Tips for runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon!

Oh yes. 100 tips. So refill your coffee cup before visiting this big momma of a post!

LIVE SHOW: runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon Tips!

This live show might have ended in disaster from my husband’s phone conversation linking in, but before that, I go over my 100 tips plus answer questions left by those in the chat room!

How to Make the Most of your runDisney Race Experience!

Jackey and I chat about ways you can truly enjoy your runDisney trip in this video and I’ve also listed them in this blog post.

Our runDisney Must Do List

Here’s a run podcast Jackey and I did about our runDisney must-do’s, things we do to make our race weekends even more magical!

Budgeting Tips

Budgeting Tips: How to Save money for runDisney

Let’s face it. runDisney trips are expensive, especially if you’re like me, someone who does multiple race weekends a year! So I wrote a blog post about Budgeting Tips: How to Save Money for runDisney Races plus we discussed this topic in greater detail in this Joyful Miles podcast episode.

Running Costumes

Costumes! Wow, we’ve discussed this many times and it’s not too late to put one together for this year’s Princess Half Marathon! You can still make one super quick using these tips:

Blog Posts:

Costume Tutorials:

(I plan on doing more tutorials in 2019, so if there’s a costume you’d love to see, let me know in the comments below!)

Videos and Podcasts:

How to Make Minnie Ears

We love wearing Minnie Ears in races but purchasing new ones from Disney or Etsy sellers can be expensive! (Plus we wouldn’t want to sweat in them.) So I make our own and shared how in the following tutorials:

DIY Medal Holder

I also like to make inexpensive, no-sew medal holders out of fleece as well! (If you can sew and would like to make something fancier, be sure to check out Heather Jergensen’s video!)

Packing

Oh boy. Seeing as how I’m quite obsessive with how I pack, I’ve done a lot of packing-related posts! My biggest tips? Start a packing list week prior to your race, (or print out mine,) so you can add items when you think of them and pack EARLY! Don’t wait until the day prior!

General Tips

How to Organize your room:

As someone who often shares a room with other gals with minimum storage space, staying organized is a must! I’ve shared tips in this
Organizing your Hotel Room for a runDisney Race blog post as well as in the following video which includes tools that make packing easier!

Running Belts and more

I’ve pretty much stopped wearing running belts for runDisney races, except for the full marathon. Instead, I wear Happy Puppy Athleticwear 5″ Penny shorts that have the most delicious pockets, (Jackey loves the Mandy shorts,) and a FitKicks Wrist Wallet, (affiliate link.)

But if you’re interested in what we use for training and non-Disney races, go to my Favorite Running Belts blog post or watch my video!

Weather!

runDisney Weather Tips

As far as weather goes for runDisney races, the only thing you can count on is the unexpected! So I’ve written a monster-long blog post recently that covers tips for cold weather, hot weather, rain, wind, and everything in between.

And seeing as how Jackey and I do not like cold weather, Christopher Savio joined us in Podcast Episode 78 to discuss cold weather running:

We have also discussed tips for the rain in this runDisney in the Rain podcast episode, blog post, and video!

I’ve also chatted about training in the heat in a Summer Running Tips Blog Post and this Summer Running Tips video!

Character and Photopass Photos

*UPDATE: While runDisney promises online entertainment, there will most likely be character selfie stations, (where characters are placed on a stage, etc., at a distance and you take your own photos,) instead of face-to-face interactions. Hopefully, there will still be Photopass photographers on the course to take running photos, so I’m leaving the following tip links for now.

If you’ve watched any of our video recaps, then you know we LOVE stopping for character photos and getting great Photopass pics! So of course I had to chat about it in the following two blog posts and video:

Cheering & Spectator Tips

*Update: Again, there’s no confirmation on what to expect for spectators. I’m leaving this for now, but please check back closer to your race.

Hmm, this is a topic we’re lacking on since neither Jackey nor myself have ever cheered for a PHM race. We have cheered for the 2018 Wine & Dine 10k, though, plus our friend, Stephen, wrote an amazing post about Tips for Cheering at runDisney’s WDW Marathon that offers some generic suggestions. Some things I would add are:

  • If you plan on staying at one spot, get there early enough to see the fastest runners leading the pack. They’re just amazing!
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you hydrated and fed.
  • Note that if you’re cheering on the Boardwalk, you’re not allowed to hand out snacks to runners. (You can, however, give something to those you know personally.)
  • Stay for the final runners because this is when you’re going to see some true grit and determination, plus they can really use your motivation!

Recovery Tips

I must confess that due to post-race excitement … and my desire to make a beeline for the beer line, I don’t do as well with recovery as I should. Big mistake! After all, your day isn’t over yet and you need the energy to hit the parks afterward! So here’s some tips:

  • Pack flip flops or other recovery sandals in your gEar bag to wear after the race! Your swollen tootsies will thank you. My favorite are Oofos Flip Flops … pure heaven! (I love these Black/Latte Oofos for in the park, both affiliate links. For more of recovery flip flop and sandal options, visit this post.)
  • After your race, make sure to get in some protein within thirty minutes. I always pack a protein bar in my gEar check back because there’s rarely a source of protein in the runDisney snack boxes!
  • Yes, it’s tempting to just hit the beer stand, (for me, at least,) but be sure to stretch! I will also pack my Addaday Pro Massager (affiliate link) in my suitcase to use later.
  • DANCE! The best thing to do if you feel your legs stiffening up is to hit the DJ area and dance! Not only is it fun, but you’ll also shake out the lactic acid in your legs.
  • Once I’m back in our room, I always take an ice bath using ice I’ve stored in the freezer the day before. A cold water bath also works wonders on tired, inflammed legs!
  • If your resort has a hot tub, pay that a visit as well!
  • Feeling super tired? A short nap will do wonders as well and give you the energy to hit those parks. Oh, and while you’re there….
  • WEAR YOUR BLING! You earned that bad boy. Don’t hesitate to show it off!

Podcast Episodes and Recaps

We have several to choose from plus an interview with Kristin aka Bama Girl RUNS!

Video Recaps

If you have subscribed to our YouTube channel, then you’ll notice how I’m FINALLY getting caught up with my 2018 video recaps! (It’s been tough keeping up.) You can watch all of my Princess Half Marathon video recaps by clicking on this Princess Half Marathon Weekend Playlist link!

Blog Recaps

Still behind with blog recaps as well, but links to completed ones can be found here:

Okay, so there you have it, a collection of our runDisney Princess Half Marathon tips, recaps, videos, and blog posts! I hope this helps make your race experience truly magical and that you have an amazing time. Be sure to use the hashtag #joyfulmilestones with any bling pictures so we can see them as well as #joyfuljumpshots for those awesome jumpshots!

Thanks so much for reading and please share this post with anyone who might find it helpful! Take care and have a joyful day!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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4 Comments

  1. Kerri DeLano says:

    I am running my first half princess next year, is there a place to store my gEar bag before the race? I am going solo so I won’t have anyone to hold it.

    1. Oh yes, they have a great gEar check system! It will be very easy to store your things although I do recommend not putting anything of great value in your bags.

  2. Danielle says:

    Hi! I just ran my first Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. Unfortunately I missed out on most of the expo shopping. Do you know if there’s any other way for me to still get any Disney Princess Half Marathon gear before I leave?

    1. Major congrats for finishing your first Princess Half, that’s awesome! When are you leaving? There was still some merchandise at the MCO Disney store … from what I remember, there was some half marathon tanks, 5k and 10k jackets, pins, PHM hats, runDisney visors, the Minnie figurines and some other goodies. Another option is they sometime will sell items at the Disney outlet store but it might take a couple of weeks for it to arrive there. If you know a Disney cast member by any chance, they also often sell some gear at the cast member store at a discount.

      There’s also a runDisney Market Place Facebook group where you can post some In Search Of notices, in case someone has stuff they want to sell. Worse care scenario, you can find some things on eBay! Good luck and I hope you find something nice!

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