Disneyland Paris welcomes since 2016 those who want to discover the Disney parks and their surroundings with their running shoes. This runDisney Weekend happens every third weekend of September.
More than 26 thousand runners participated to the 2018 edition, and the 2019 edition, which will take place from 19 to 22 September, has been sold out since June. Beginners or pros, short or long-distance lovers, anyone can find its own place and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere with your favourite Disney characters and Cast Members who’ll cheer you up every step of the race.
In this article
The Disneyland Paris runDisney Races
Depending on your age and physical aptitudes, you can choose between four different races:
- The Disneyland Paris 5K on Friday 8 PM
A magical night-time run through Walt Disney Studios Park for those 5 years or older
- The Disneyland Paris 10K on Saturday 7 AM
A magical course through both Disney Parks for 14 years old or older
- The runDisney Kids Races (100m, 200m or 1K) on Saturday 11 AM and 3 PM
A magical race for the youngest runners between 1 and 12 years old
- The Disneyland Paris – Val d’Europe Half Marathon (21K) on Sunday in the early morning. This is the race of the races through both Disney Parks and the surrounding French villages for those who 18 years old and over.
Each participant receives a personalised bib, t-shirt and a magnificent finisher medal. On-course (not for the Kids Races though) and post-race refreshments are also available for all runners.
Depending on the race, the runners may need to fulfil certain conditions. For details check the official Disneyland Paris Run Weekend website.
Half-marathoners who want to go the extra mile can opt for one of the challenges:
- 31K Challenge when running the 10K and Half Marathon,
- 36K Challenge when running all the three races (5K, 10K and Half Marathon), and
- Castle to Chateau Challenge reserved for those who in 2019, besides the Disneyland Paris – Val d’Europe Half Marathon, ran also at a runDisney event in the US (minimum Half Marathon).
Each participant will receive the additional challenge specific finisher medals and, in case of the 31K and 36K challenges, also the additional t-shirts.
Important note! In order to participate in a challenge, you need to book the 31K or 36K option. Booking the single runs doesn’t make you automatically participate in the challenges. Those opting for the Castle to Chateau challenge have to inform runDisney France of their intention when finalising their registration.
For further information regarding this challenge, you can check the run weekend official website.
Side events: The Expo and the Pasta Dinner
Besides the running events, there are also two sides events that are worth mentioning. The first is the runDisney Expo, from which every runner has to pass by at least once during the weekend since it is there where you can collect your bibs, t-shirts and goodies. You will also be able to shop at the official Disneyland Paris Run Weekend boutique with exclusive products (t-shirts, caps, pins, bottles etc.) of the runDisney event.
The runDisney Expo is located in the Disney Event Arena and is opened from 3 PM to 8 PM on Thursday, 10 AM to 8 PM on Friday (with an extension until 10 PM to collect the bibs for the 10K and half marathon) and from 9 AM to 7 PM on Saturday.
If you are looking to get those carbs the eve before the half marathon, or you just want to enjoy some food in a relaxed atmosphere, then you should go for the Pasta Dinner (also called the Pasta Party in the past). Taking place on Saturday as of 6 PM at the Disney’s Newport Bay Club, the dinner offers a buffet with different dishes ranging from salads, different types of pasta with different sauces, meat, fish and vegetarian dishes and a selection of desserts and fruit. The places are limited so you be sure to book your spot in advance.
The runDisney weekend also happens to run the same time as le “Rendez-vous Gourmand“. Get ready to treat yourself to traditional French & European cuisine in the Walt Disney Studios Park.
Ready to run?
The Disneyland Paris Run Weekend offers a unique experience to enjoy the parks in a different way. If you love running and you need an excuse to visit Disneyland Paris (not that you need one!) then this is the perfect reason to plan a trip. Besides, it takes place at the end of September so the weather still offers some nice warm days and great racing conditions.
This will be my fourth half marathon (I’ve done all of them!) and after doing the 31K challenge last year, I am going for an all-in 36K challenge this year.
What I like the most of this race is definitely the atmosphere. I have done already several organised runs, but no one can beat the atmosphere of running in the “happiest place in Europe”. Having the cast members cheer for you and the Disney characters available to take photos is really something that you can only do in Disneyland Paris.
What is also nice, is that the runs are held mainly on Disney property – the 5K and 10K are entirely taking place in both parks and Disney Village, while only a third of the half marathon goes off property, into some local French villages.
Have a look at the video of the last edition of the Disneyland Paris Run Weekend
If you are running this year, good luck with the preparations and see you soon. For the others, you still have some months to decide and book your running adventure. You can be sure that you will not regret it. But be quick! Those bibs and package sales run out faster than tickets for Disney On Ice 😉