The Disney Princess Run for Beginners

All the information you need to do your first Disney Princess Race

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The Disney Princess Run

You’ll get addicted, they said. You’ll want to keep doing it over and over, they said.

Nah, I thought. I’m not a runner. I just want to dress up like a princess at Disney.

Just once.

That was before I did the Disney Princess Run! Now that I’ve done it… Yeah! I want to do it again. And yeah, I’m totally a runner now!

If you too want to become a runner and do the Disney Princess Run (no worries, you can also walk the whole thing), whether once, or over and over again, I have ALL the information you need to do your first Disney Princess Race.

Check out this video of what it’s like to participate in the Disney Princess Run:

What is the Disney Princess Run?

The Disney Princess Race Weekend is one of the many events put on by RunDisney. They have different themed races all year long, but the Disney Princess Run is by far one of the most popular.

What are the Disney Princess Run Races?

The Disney Princess Run is officially called the “Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend” (do not freak out when you sign up for the 5K and it says you signed up for the half marathon weekend!).

There are several races throughout the whole Disney Princess Race weekend:

  • 5K

  • 10K

  • Half Marathon

  • Sunrise Yoga (not a race, just one more thing to spend money on!)

There is no full marathon for the Disney Princess Run, but some of the RunDisney race weekends do also have full marathons!

What is the Fairy Tale Challenge?

The Fairy Tale Challenge is when you run both the 10K and the half marathon. Each race has a different theme and a different medal, and if you complete both of them, you get ANOTHER medal!

For example, if you completed the Fairy Tale Challenge in 2023, you would get the following:

  • 10K-Belle t-shirt & medal

  • Half marathon-Moana t-shirt & medal

  • Challenge-Cinderella t-shirt & medal

If you don’t finish one of the races within the time limit, you will still get your medal for that race, but not the challenge medal.

  • Good to Know: If you are doing the challenge, you do not sign up for the 10K and half marathon separately. There is a specific sign up for the “challenge” that will include both races.

When is the Disney Princess Run?

The Disney Princess Run is usually over President’s Day Weekend. The dates for 2025 are Feb. 20-24.

The Expo opens on Thursday so you can pick up your race bib and information (and shop for gear) before the first race on Friday.

  • Friday morning-5K

  • Saturday morning-10K

  • Sunday morning-Half Marathon

What time does the race start?

5 am.

Yep, you read that right. The Disney Princess races run through the parks, so you do the races before the parks open (which also leaves you a full day to explore Disney, if you have any energy left…).

Where are the races?

Do you actually get to run through the parks?? Yes!! (Note: the entire races do not go through the parks, only part of them).

  • The 5K runs through EPCOT.

  • The 10K runs through Hollywood Studios & EPCOT.

  • The Half Marathon runs through Magic Kingdom & EPCOT (and all the roads in between!!!).

Do you meet characters on the race?

Yes, you can meet characters during the Disney Princess race! Before, after and during the race, there will be character stops for you. More info on that in the sections below.

Who can run in a Disney Princess Race?

Can men run in the Disney Princess race? Can kids?

Yes! Absolutely anyone can! We saw lots of dads wearing matching tutus and tiaras with their wife and kids (kudos, guys!). Men run, women run, grandmas run, toddlers run… or walk. Because anyone can walk in the 5K.

We only did the 5K, so the other races do get more serious, but the 5K is totally family friendly and open to anyone!

Not sure how this picture ended up in my photos, but Mr. Dude dressed up like Jasmine on the far right, you have my respect, man!

Do you have to submit proof of time?

No, you do not have to submit proof of time to participate in the Disney Princess Run.

If you are a runner, and you want to run fast and not just mosey on through EPCOT with the crowds, then go ahead and submit your proof of time, which you will probably have from another race. This will allow you to be placed in an earlier corral, before all the riff-raff (me!) who are there just for fun get set loose on the course.

If you’re me, and you don’t run other races, you won’t have a proof of time, and you won’t need one. So just skip that.

Registration for the Disney Princess Run

So excited that we got registered for the Disney Princess Run!

This is one of the most important sections of this article, because registering for the Disney Princess Run can be one of the most challenging (and nerve wracking) parts of the whole experience!

And yes, sometimes you don’t get in. Because everybody wants to run at Disney (but whyyyy?).

When do you register for the Disney Princess Run?

Earlier than you ever imagined! This race is super popular, and registration for the February race opens in the summer.

Registration for the Disney Princess Run could be on a different day every year, so be sure to check the RunDisney website for when future dates will be announced. The 2025 Disney Princess Run registration is July 30, 2024.

Registration opens at 10 am Eastern time.

Does the Disney Princess Run sell out?

Yes, the Disney Princess Run can (and probably will) sell out within an hour of opening registration.

Some races fill up faster than others. When I got in to sign up, the 10K was already sold out, and by the time I had finished signing up at 11:10 am, only the half marathon was left open.

  • Good to Know: Your spots are not actually reserved until you finish registration and check out.

Can I register more than one person at once?

Yes, you can sign up multiple people at the same time for the Disney Princess Race. So if you are running with a friend, or some family members, or even a big group, you can sign them all up together. That way you won’t have one person get in and one person not get in.

However, the more people you have to sign up, the longer it will take to finish the registration process and reserve your spot. Remember that your spots are not guaranteed until you finish checking out.

What to do before registration opens:

Before the Disney Princess Run registration opens, create a RunDisney account. If you already have an account on the MyDisney page or app, this will be the same account. You can use your log in information from the MyDisney app for your RunDisney account.

You will need the phone number, email, birth date, address and shirt size of everyone you register, so if you are going to sign up several people at once, make sure you have all the information readily available. I think that you will also need an emergency contact number for each participant.

If you have a RunDisney account, a lot of that personal information for yourself should already be filled in automatically.

How registration works:

Registration opens at 10 am, but you can start trying to get into the virtual waiting room around 9:30.

Around 9:30, log into your RunDisney account and go to the Princess Run registration page. Start refreshing the page every minute or so. Our page opened up at 9:40.

Once the page opens and you get in, you are now in the “waiting room.” What that means is that everyone who is trying to register is all in a virtual “limbo” until the official open at 10 am.

  • DO NOT refresh the page now! Just leave it open until registration opens.

It doesn’t actually matter what order you entered the waiting room. Once 10:00 hits, everyone is the waiting room is randomly put in a line to get into the race registration.

My friend and I were both waiting to sign up, so that whoever got in first could register both of us. She got into the waiting room slightly ahead of me, and was actually told she had less of a wait than I did, but I actually got into the registration first.

At 10, when registration opens, you will get an approximate wait time until you can get in and register. My wait time said it would be about an hour, but it ended up being 45 minutes.

  • Again, DO NOT refresh the page. Just wait for your time to be up and it will let you into the registration.

  • Even after my wait time was up and it said it was my turn, it took a few minutes to actually show up. DO NOT refresh!

Things to pay attention to:

Make sure that you select the correct race you want to run. Nobody wants to accidentally sign up for the Disney Princess half marathon when they only meant to be in the 5K…

That being said, when you first get into registration (and you’re in a hurry, because you don’t want it to sell out!) if you accidentally clicked the wrong race it doesn’t really matter. That will just bring you into the general registration, and you can double check at the end that you signed up for the correct one.

After registration:

The whole registration process to sign up two people only took about 10 minutes total, and then we were in! And could breathe again!

But as I said, by the time I got through everything and checked back on the website at 11:10, everything except the half-marathon was sold out.

You will have a virtual waiver to sign. If you signed up more than one person, all of the waivers will be in your account, and you will have to email them to your friends/family (there is a link to email them in your RunDisney account).

You cannot run the race without signing the waiver. However, they did have a spot to sign the waiver in person at the expo. But just go ahead and do it ahead of time, to be safe.

What if I don’t get in?

There’s still a chance you can snag a spot in the Disney Princess Run weekend. A lot of charities have spots available, if you also raise money for them.

I don’t know a lot about this option, but basically, as I understand it, these charities have a certain number of “bibs” allocated to them for the race. If you didn’t get a spot during registration, you can sign up with these charities, but you have to raise a certain amount of money for the charity in order to get it.

Here is a list of the charities that participated in the 2023 Run Disney Princess Weekend.

Disney Princess Run Costumes

This beauty runs like a beast!

So you got registered for the Disney Princess Run… Time to pick out a costume (or in my case, buy a costume 2 years ahead of time…)!!

Costumes are absolutely the best part of doing a Disney Princess race weekend!

Can I wear a costume in the Disney Princess Run?

Absolutely, you can wear a costume for the Disney Princess Run! This was the entire reason I signed up! And seeing everyone else’s awesome costumes was so much fun!

With that being said, keep in mind that you are going to be running (or walking) in this outfit, so it does have to be practical (and comfortable). Also keep in mind that your costume cannot be a hindrance to the other runners. So maybe an exact replica of the live-action Cinderella ball gown is not the best choice.

What kind of costume should I wear?

We did see some girls running in full-length princess dresses, and lots of people in full-body costumes! I applaud them, as they must have been very hot! You can never know for sure what the weather at 5 am in February will be like, but our race was mostly in the 70 degree (Fahrenheit) range.

You will see lots of tutus, sparkly hats and Minnie ears. I was a little worried about my Minnie ears falling off or being a hindrance during the race, but I wore these amazing ears, and they were not a problem at all!

Some people even had 4 customized pins that matched their costumes to attach their race bibs with.

  • Good to know: One thing to consider when buying a Disney Princess Run costume is that you have to attach your bib somewhere. My skirt was too poofy to attach the bib to (plus I didn’t want to cover it up!), but I also didn’t want to cover up the words on my shirt!

  • Fun fact: I had to pack a bigger suitcase because my poofy tutu took up too much room!

Check out all these costumes!

Do I have to wear a costume in the Disney Princess Race?

No, you do not have to wear a costume for the Disney Princess race! If for some reason you are that strange person who just likes running (and Disney!), and you just want to run through the parks before they open without having to put on a giant tutu… go for it!

A lot of people wear their race T-shirt, or just regular running clothes. So don’t feel bad if you want to do the princess run, but don’t want to go overboard in the costume department.

Where do I get a costume for the Disney Princess Run?

The best place to look for costumes is on Etsy. Just start off by searching for “princess running costumes” or something like that. After you get a feel for what’s out there, you can search more specifically. If you have a favorite character you want to dress as, try searching “[character’s name] running costumes.”

You will find tutus, Minnie ears, hats, tank tops, t-shirts, leggings, or even “running aprons” you can just tie on over your regular running clothes. There are absolutely so many options!

You can also find costumes other places online, like on Amazon, but I prefer Etsy. Or, if you’re uber talented, you can make your own princess run costume!

There will also be accessories to buy at the Expo (more on that below), if you want to get something there. You will find bedazzled hats, tiaras, tutus and such available for purchase at the Expo. The only problem with that is you can’t really plan ahead what you’re going to get.

The Disney Princess Run Expo

Where is the Disney Princess Run Expo?

The Expo for the Disney Princess Run is at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

You can take bus transportation from your Disney resort to the Expo, or you can drive yourself. There is free parking at the Expo.

Just… make sure you remember where you park, so that you don’t trek through three different parking lots in the dark trying to retrace your steps from a few hours ago.

WHAT is the Disney Princess Run Expo?

The Disney Princess Run Expo is where you have to go to pick up your race bib (the numbers you pin on your shirt) and runner information packet, and where you can buy ALL sorts of RunDisney themed gear.

There are actually three different buildings you can go in at the Expo:

  • The RunDisney Expo: This was the first building, and had all the (expensive!) official Disney Princess Run merch.

  • Registration: This building is where we went to pick up our race bib.

    • You have to stop here to register for the race before 7 pm the night before your race!

  • Disney Princess Run Expo: Our final stop, where we picked up our race T-shirts, browsed the booths selling all sorts of princessy things from many different vendors, and got a few free goodies. They also have maps of all the running routes, and the medals on display, if you want to check those out ahead of time.

The RunDisney Expo-pick up official Disney Princess Run merch here.

Registration-come here to pick up your race bib (by 7 pm the night before your race!).

Disney Princess Run Expo-various vendors, free give aways, lots of fun stuff to look at, AND your race shirt!

Do you have to go to the Disney Princess Run Expo?

Yes, you do have to go to the Disney Princess Run Expo by 7 pm the night before your first race to pick up your race bib.

You do not have to go the the RunDisney part of the Expo if you don’t want to. The only thing you have to do is pick up your race registration information.

Bib pick up:

You will get an email beforehand with a link to your virtual check-in pass. This will tell you your bib number, so when you get to registration at the Expo, go to the booth with your bib number.

You present your check in pass and your ID to get your race packet with your bib and four safety pins to attach it to your outfit. Some people did have their own customized pins to attach their bib instead of the safety pins.

It is important that your number is clear and visible for the photographers, because that is how they link your photos to you.

  • Good to Know: Keep your bib after the race. There are instructions on the back for how to access your princess run photos. You will also need to enter your bib number to link the photos to your MyDisney account.

What if I ordered the wrong size shirt?

There is an exchange booth at the Expo where you can change your Disney Princess Run T-shirt if you accidentally ordered the wrong size or for whatever reason. But, exchanges are based on availability, so if they don’t have the size you want, you won’t be able to exchange it (unless you maybe find someone in line who wants to switch with you!).

Is there food at the Expo?

Yes, there is some food available at the Expo. There was a sports bar restaurant open, as well as several food trucks/food stands, selling things like Mickey shaped pretzels. But I would suggest heading elsewhere for dinner.

What can you get at the Disney Princess Expo?

RunDisney Expo:

At the official RunDisney Expo, you can get all sorts of things with the official Disney Princess Run designs. They have mugs, pins, hoodies, tank tops, ears, etc. There is some overall race weekend merch, and also things geared toward each specific race.

The mugs were about $20, and one of the cheapest things there. The clothing was all really expensive!

They had really cool pins for each race saying “I did it!” but by the time we got into the Expo around 5 pm on Thursday, the 5K pins were all sold out.

If you are determined to buy something before it sells out, make sure to get to the Expo early. I think you can also pre-order any merch that you absolutely have to have.

You can join a virtual queue to get into the RunDisney Expo. What that means is you go to the virtual queue section on the MyDisney app and hit join virtual queue for the Princess Run Expo. It will give you a time slot to arrive, and then you can get into the Expo during that time slot. However, when we arrived around 5 on Thursday night, there was no line, and people who did not get in the virtual queue could also just walk in.

Princess Run Expo:

The second Expo was much more like what I expected. Different vendors had booths selling all sorts of things: Disney phone cases, sparkly princess hats, funky tutus, fancy boards to display all your princess run medals.

This is also where you will get free stuff like stickers and luggage tags (woot!). It is much more laid back and varied than the official RunDisney Expo.

You can also find displays of all the medals and the running paths for each race here, if you want to check those out before your Disney Princess race.

Disney Princess Run: Race Day!

What time do you have to get up for the Disney Princess Run?

The race officially starts at 5 am. So even though you will most likely be in one of the later corrals, all runners have to be lined up at 4:30.

If you are staying at a Disney resort, buses start running for the 5K at 3 am (check the sign posted in the lobby for all the times. Some of the races have different bus times).

We woke up at 3 (when I say “woke up,” I mean that my alarm went off at 3, and my friend jumped out of bed and said, “Time to go! I already did my make-up! I haven’t slept all night!”), and we went down to the bus stop at 3:30.

This seemed like the perfect time for us at our resort, because the bus was pretty empty when we got on it, but then we waited a few minutes and the rush came in and filled up the bus.

Is there free transportation to the race from the resorts?

Yes, if you are staying at a Disney resort, you will get free bus transportation to and from the Disney Princess race. As I mentioned above, look for the sign posted in the lobby to check when the buses will be running.

The bus met us right out front of our resort. If you are staying at a larger resort that has several bus stops within the resort (eg: Saratoga Springs or Key West), be aware that the bus might already be filled up by the time it comes to your stop!

Where to go to the bathroom?

This is probably the question I ask most when traveling: Where do I go to the bathroom???

You will get dropped off for the 5K just outside of the entrance to EPCOT. We got there just in time to use the bathrooms outside the entrance to EPCOT before a huge crowd lined up.

There are also bathrooms on the other side of the entrance that you can use before you make your way to the event area.

In the event area, there are TONS of porta-potties. They have some in the actual event area, where the character photo ops are, and they also have more in the corral area where the runners go to line up.

During the race, you can go to the bathroom in EPCOT, but not all of the bathrooms are open. There was a water station halfway through the race, and the bathrooms there were open.

What is race day like?

When you get dropped off at the front of EPCOT, you will have to walk all the way around the entrance to a parking lot far, far away. My friend joked that we had to walk a 5K just to get to the 5K.

You won’t get lost; just follow the hoards of people.

It is of course pitch black out, because it is 4 in the morning in February. But the EPCOT ball is lit up, which is so fun to watch!

When you reach the event area, there is so much going on. There is a food tent where you can buy food. There is a merch tent where you get a second chance to spend money on everything you were strong enough to resist at the RunDisney Expo. These are open before and after the race.

There is a bag check where you can leave your purse, if you brought one. You cannot run with a purse or backpack, but you can run with a belt, such as a runner’s belt or a utility belt (which, let’s be honest, are really just cool names for a fanny pack). I ran with my utility belt under my tutu.

I also saw a child care tent, so I assume if you have small children who aren’t running in the race (many do run the race though), you can leave them there. But, not having any kids of my own, I didn’t personally check that out.

All this time they also have a pre show going on at the stage by the starting line, which they project on screens all around the area. There is loud music, lots of energy, and so much going on.

They also have character photo ops available here, but I would suggest to take advantage of this after the race. Your time is limited before the race (unless you get there right when it opens), plus it will be dark out. The pictures will be better after the race, and the photo op won’t have to shut down for race line-up to begin (although they do shut down when the park opens, but we had time for photo ops after the race, and left before anything started shutting down).

Is it dark during the Disney Princess Run?

It is dark when you start the Disney Princess Run. It starts at 5 am, so yes, it is dark! If you simply run the race and don’t stop for anything fun, or take some time to just walk and enjoy it, it will still be dark when you finish.

But if you stop for photos, and don’t hurry through the course, you will get to watch the sun come up in the park (if it’s not foggy…), and it will be light at the end of the race. Also consider that if you take your time, your photos at the end of the race will be so much better, because it is now light out!

Is it cold during the Disney Princess Run?

It can be… It is February after all, and it is 5 in the morning! We got lucky and had the perfect weather on our Disney Princess race day. It was in the 60’s (F) when we lined up, and I was a little chilly in my tank top, but not unbearably so.

By the time we finished the race, we were hot and sweaty, and the cool morning air (in the 70’s) felt great!

If it is too cold in the morning, you can wear a “throw-away” sweater as you’re waiting for the race to start. Then you can discard it as you (finally!) cross the start line, and a cast member will pick it up and donate it to charity.

This is very common if it’s an especially cold morning (like the 47F it is in 2024!).

Are there a lot of people at the Disney Princess Run?

Um… yeah. Thousands. Masses. It sells out, remember?

I have no idea how many people they allow in before they decide the race is “sold out,” but it’s a lot. Be prepared for crowds, both off and on the course!

Heading to the runners only area to line up by corral.

The corrals:

Ah, the mysterious “corrals.”

If this is your first RunDisney race, you probably are a bit confused by all this. Allow me to explain.

Remember those people who actually like to run, and had to submit a proof of time, to prove that they could run fast and finish the race in a certain amount of time? These are the runners who are going to be in the first corral, and are going to get let onto the course first. Most of them will probably finish before you even get to start your race.

Our Disney Princess 5K had four corrals, A, B, C & D. We were in Corral D. So when they announced at 4:30 that all runners had to go get lined up, we lined up in the gated area for Corral D.

Line up by your corral letter. Here is Corral B.

How long do you have to wait for the race to start?

I had read to be prepared to wait. I had also read to bring a garbage bag to sit on. I find this unnecessary, as we only sat for a few minutes, before everyone began moving every 5 minutes or so.

The wait really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be (so prepare yourself for a terribly long wait, so you won’t be disappointed!). About every 5 minutes they do a countdown and send off another group of runners. The whole time in between they have the pre-race show going on as well, to keep you distracted from the wait.

Although there was a HUGE amount of people, we all kept moving slightly forward every time a group of runners took off (Disney is pro at their line management!), so there was no point to sit down. That also helped it feel like we weren’t waiting as long as we actually did.

All in all, we waited about 45 minutes before our group of Corral D got to take off. There were 4 corrals, but each corral was broken up into smaller groups. I kept thinking, “this will be our turn,” the closer we got to the starting line. But the groups were fairly small, and it took several “this will be our turns” till it actually was our turn. There was still a good amount of Corral D runners waiting behind us when we got our turn to start.

The race started with the first group at 5 am, and we started our race about 5:45.

Almost to the starting line! This will be our turn!

How serious is the Disney Princess Run?

If you are doing one of the longer Disney Princess Runs (the 10K or the half marathon), the race will be more serious. But the 5K is just for fun!

It is so leisurely, and just so much fun! Everyone is there to have a good time. You are not there to set a record, and it will kind of be impossible to anyway, with all the people around, plus all the character stops!

Is there a time limit on the race?

There is no time limit on the 5K Princess Run. There is a 16-minute mile pace for the 10K and the half marathon, but not for the 5K.

Even if you do the longer races, remember that the “balloon ladies” (ladies with balloons tied to their waist who keep the 16-minute pace) will not take off until the end of the last corral, so you will have a little extra time.

We only did the 5K, but after doing that, we thought we could totally handle the 10K. However, I met some people who did the 10K, who mentioned that we will not have time for character stops on the longer races, or we won’t be able to keep the pace.

For example, we waited in line 25 minutes to meet Cinderella, which means if you were doing the 10K, you would have to be more than 25 minutes ahead of the balloon ladies. It’s best to just meet the characters before and after the race during the 10K and half marathon.

Do you still get your medal if you don’t finish the race?

If you don’t finish the race… in otherwords, if you got “swept.”

Again, in the 5K, there is no time limit. It is just for fun, and you will have no problem finishing it. So many people just walk the whole thing, and don’t even run at all.

But in the longer races, if you get passed by the balloon ladies, you will get swept. They will take you off the course and drop you back off at the finish line. The reason for this is that the Disney Princess races take place in the morning before the parks open, and they need to get everyone out in time to open the parks. The 5K is short enough that they don’t have to time it.

And yes, you do still get your medal for the race, even if you get swept. However, if you signed up for a “challenge” to do multiple races, you will not get your challenge medal, because you did not complete all of the races.

Is the race course crowded?

Um… yeah, the course for the Disney Princess race is definitely crowded! When we first started the race after the rockets went off, we didn’t even start moving right away, because there were so many people! There was just a giant crowd of people slowly walking past the start line. It was honestly the most anti-climactic race start ever!

It took us a while to get around the bend in the road to where we had some room to start running around people. Even so, it was hard to find room to run around everyone.

I’ve heard that the longer races, even with the serious runners, can get crowded, because there are just so many runners, and sometimes the areas through the parks are narrow. Animal Kingdom is the worst park for a Disney race, because it has the most narrow walkways.

What is the Princess Run race route?

For the 5K we ran for the first mile along the road that goes from the parking lot to the back entrance of EPCOT. After we passed the first mile marker, we still ran in the parking lot for a little bit, but then quickly came up to a cast member entrance to EPCOT (be aware this is one of those tight spots that can get congested).

We entered in Mexico, and ran (moseyed) through the World Showcase until France, where we ran out around the Skyliners and then popped back in the park on the other side of England.

The final stretch of the race headed through the front of EPCOT back to the parking lot where we started.

For the 10K and the half marathon races, you will get to run through multiple parks (Hollywood & EPCOT for the 10K, Magic Kingdom & EPCOT for the half), but remember you will also have to run on the roads to get in between parks.

RunDisney will send you maps of the routes, along with maps of the pre-race area ahead of time. You can also see the route map for all of the races at the Disney Princess Run Expo.

Just moseying through EPCOT.

Are there character stops in the race?

Yes! In the 5K there were 5 different character stops. These were all in EPCOT, after the first mile of the race.

There are more character stops in the other races, but remember that with the time limit it is hard to stop for photos without getting swept.

We waited in line for 2 photos during our Disney Princess 5K. The first line we waited in was for Cinderella, and was probably the longest line there was. This set us back about 25 minutes.

We also stopped at the last character stop, which was Donald Duck. We got here about 6:50 am, and were told Donald would only be there until 7:30. It was a 10 minute wait for Donald, so we had plenty of time.

All of the characters I heard were leaving at 7:30, so there is a bit of a time limit during the 5K, as they do have to get the park ready to open. You probably won’t have time to wait for all 5 of the characters unless you are in one of the earlier corrals.

  • Pro Tip: If you want a good spot in the race, but are in the last corral, leave for the race early and head straight to the corral line up spot. You may be in the last corral, but you can line up at the front of that corral, and trust me, there will be TONS of groups going after you. So that will give you a good head start.

Other fun things during the race:

There is one water break in the 5K, right at the halfway point.

In addition to the character stops, there is lots of other “Disney magic” sprinkled throughout the course. High school bands come to play. Cast members and characters cheer you on. Inflatable screens play bits of Disney movies (because it’s not like we’re racing or anything…) We even had a gospel choir serenading us as we headed toward the finish line!

It seriously is magical.

Inflatable screens playing Disney clips during the Disney Princess Run 5K.

After the race:

As you cross the finish line, someone will be there to hand you your medal. Then you get a box of healthy snack food and drinks, which you can sit down on the ground or go over to one of the standing tables to enjoy.

You can meet the characters again at the staging area after the race. Be aware that they switch out some of the characters every 30 min. So you might be in line for Belle, and have her switch with Ariel before you get through the line.

There’s also music and the food and shopping available after the race as well.

Early access to the parks starts at 8:30, so I think everything starts shutting down around then. We left around 8, after getting another character photo with Belle. We had plenty of time to do everything we wanted, and didn’t feel rushed.

The buses back to the resorts are at the opposite end of the parking lot to where you came in. They line up where you ran the first part of the 5K. They have giant balloons to show you where the buses are, which you could probably see if it’s not foggy… (we got lost and had to get pointed to the balloons, 30 feet in front of us).

  • Good to Know: If you are in an early corral and finish the race quickly, you will still have to wait for the bus back to your resort because they cannot line up until after ALL the runners take off.

Free Stuff You Get at the Disney Princess Run

You do get a lot of free stuff (and cool perks!) for doing the Disney Princess Run! Although my husband would add air quotes around the word “free,” since we did pay over $100 for one 5K race… #worthit.

Before the race:

You can get free stuff at the Disney Princess Run Expo. Nothing overly impressive, but I love all things free!

We got stickers, temporary tattoos and luggage tags at the Expo. You also pick up your “free” race shirt at the Expo.

After the race:

You get so much free food after the race, so do not bother to waste time and money buying the food they have for sale!

As we crossed the finish line, we got a box with all sorts of healthy snacks, like pretzels and dried fruit. We also got a banana, a bottle of water, AND a bottle of Powerade!

Plus of course we got our medals!

Free box of snacks we got after the run.

Bonus perks:

There’s one more special perk that we did not know about until a couple days before the race! Race participants can score 50% off a ticket to Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park!

And it’s not just for you! You can bring up to three friends/family members with you, all at 50% off!

And it’s not just that day! You could go anytime within a week of the Expo starting.

You do not need a park reservation for the water park, so you can just decide at the last minute if you want to go to the park or not. Just bring your race bib or some sort of proof that you participated with you, and you can purchase your discounted tickets right at the park.

Or if you like to plan ahead of time, purchase tickets for this at the Expo.

Photo Pass Photos

Where are the photo ops?

There are so many photo ops at the Disney Princess Run weekend!

  • At the Expo

  • Before the race

  • During the race

  • After the race

They have character meet and greets at the Expo and at the parking lot where you line up for the race. You can meet them before and/or after the race.

There are also tons of photographers along the course to get pictures of your race. If you spot a photographer, try to make sure you give yourself a littler personal bubble so they can get a clean shot of you! And if you notice one too late, don’t worry, there are plenty more, and they did a fabulous job!

How much are the Photo Pass photos?

I’m sure the price will go up soon… but currently in 2023 the price for the Disney Photo Pass for one whole day is $70, and for each individual picture is $17.

So if you just want to download that one perfect photo of you running the Disney Princess Run, you can purchase each photo that you want individually, instead of paying for the whole day.

I figured I would just pay for a couple photos… but there were so many great photos that I decided just to get the whole day!!

  • Pro Tip: Go back to the Expo to get character photos the day of your race. Also find Photo Pass photo stops in the parks or at the resorts that day too. Take as many Photo Pass photos as you can that day, because if you’re going to already pay for the whole day’s worth of photos from the race, then milk that for all it’s worth! Then you can get adorable photos like this magical shot from the Grand Floridian Resort:

Get lots of photos on the day of your race, because if you pay for the whole day’s worth of photos, then it’s basically like they’re free…!

Can you take your own photos at the photo stops?

Yes, you can take your own photos instead of paying for the Disney Photo Pass. I did pay for the photos, but we also gave our phone to another cast member at each photo spot and got our own photos (for free!) as well.

How do I access my race day photos?

If you’re going to a Photo Pass stop at the Expo or a park or resort, they will just scan your magic band and the photos will automatically link to your account (if you don’t have a magic band, you can scan your bib number).

Your photos during the race do not automatically link to your account. You will have to go in and manually link your bib number to your account.

The instructions to access your photos are on the back of your race bib. Go into your MyDisney account and click on Photo Pass Photos. There is a button to link photos to your account. Click that, and then type in your bib number. Then, magically, all your race day photos will appear!

If you had more than one person in your group, you can link up to 5 bib numbers to one account. I linked all of my photos, and all of my friend’s photos. Then I was able to buy all of them for the one day price, and we could split the cost.

When you consider the amount of photos you get, and if you can split the price with someone, it’s actually not a bad deal!

Final Tips for the Disney Princess Run

There is so much information out there about doing the Disney Princess Run for the first time! Let me just leave you with these few tips, and then some great resources where you can get more information.

  • Pay attention to how many bus stops your resort has.

    • If you stay at a Disney resort, choose one with only one bus stop. Otherwise the bus might already be full on the morning of the race.

  • If you’re worried about your time, be the first in line in your corral.

    • Skip all the pre-race entertainment and just head straight to the front of your corral. This will give you a large group of people behind you, and a lot of leeway in your time.

  • Get as many photos on race day as you can.

    • You can pay one price to download photos for the whole day. If you’re going to buy the photos from your Disney Princess race, take as many other Photo Pass photos that day as possible, since they will all already be paid for.

  • Don’t worry about your time in the 5K.

    • Take your time and enjoy the experience! You paid for it, after all!

  • If you finish first, you will have to wait for the buses.

    • If you drove yourself to the race, this is irrelevant. But if you are getting Disney transportation, you will have to wait for EVERY runner to go, because the buses line up along the road where the 5K starts. So don’t hurry through, just enjoy the race and character spots.

  • A lot of resorts have special Disney Princess Run activities.

    • For example, we made a free crown at the Art of Animation Resort. Some people we met got pictures with Princess Run photo props at their resort. Be sure to ask at the desk if there are any special perks for Princess Run participants.

  • Cheer on your fellow runners!

    • The best part of a Disney Princess Run is cheering everyone on and encouraging them. And then wearing your shirt/medal the rest of the day/weekend and congratulating your fellow runners. And starting up conversations with people from England who run into you in Lakeland (an hour from Disney) because you had on your princess run shirt.

Further Reading:

If this is your first time doing the Disney Princess Run and you have A LOT of questions (I’ve been there), check out this runDisney Tips & Tricks Facebook group.

Resources I used before my Run Disney race:

Any more questions?

I know, there’s SO much information here! I think this may be the longest article I’ve ever written, and I easily could have written more.

Don’t hesitate to email me or comment below with any more questions you might have about your first Disney Princess Run

Planning to do a Disney Princess Race?

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