Listen up, runDisney fans! 2016 has been a great year for runDisney! runDisney Enhancements Made to Improve Your Experience will clue you in on all the fun and exciting changes this year that will add to the overall experience for us runners.

runDisney Enhancements Made to Improve Your Experience

runDisney Spotify Training Playlists

One of the coolest new additions to the runDisney experience is when they teamed up with Walt Disney Records. What they have done is create run specific training lists on Spotify. Training for the up and coming Wine and Dine Half marathon? There is a playlist for that!!!  How about the Disneyland Super Hero Half Marathon? There is a specific Spotify list for that run too! There is nothing better than listening to Disney music while running. Just remember to be safe out there on the roads if you do.

New Races and Challenges

One of the biggest changes was the Wine and Dine Half Marathon moving from an evening run to a morning run. It certainly doesn’t have the same zing as trying to do an evening run, but should still be just as fun.  Here is a list of new runs and challenges for this year in case you missed it:

  • Star Wars Half Marathon: The Dark Side  (Located in Disney World)
  • Disneyland Paris Half Marathon
  • Kessel Run Challenge (Star Wars Light Side and Dark Side Half Marathons)
  • Castle to Chateau Medal (Any half marathon state side and Disneyland Paris half marathon in same year)
  • Wine and Dine 10k
  • Lumiere’s 2 Course Challenge (Wine and Dine 10k and Half Marathon)

I don’t know about you all, but on my list of runs is trying to do the Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs.

5k MedalsrunDisney Enhancements Made to Improve Your Experience

5K medals are now…metal.  Previously the 5k medal was a rubber-like material.  They were super cute, but not very exciting in the world of medals.  Seeing how runDisney puts out some of the most unusual, but unique and exciting medals, it was just a matter of time before the 5k medal changed.  The kid races still have the rubber medals, but that choice makes more sense. The rubber material will likely keep your kiddos comfy after their races, instead of a heavier medal. 5k races aren’t really my thing, but it is a great beginners distance. If you are getting started or love a 5k, what better way to commemorate the accomplishment than with a cool medal from runDisney?!

10492210_10152722618053429_6755606305354155812_n-1Costume Rules

While dressing up is completely acceptable, it is also welcomed while running. However, costumes were getting out of control.  Like full-sized Death Stars and large E-Tickets. I completely commend this creativity, because I am not one of those creative people. However, large obstructive costumes just aren’t safe for the runner or the other runners around you. This year they adapted the costume rules to fit closer with those of Disney Parks. If you are interested in the details, there is a section you can read when you register or you can click HERE.

I think the main point is that if it interferes with your or other runners safety its a NO NO. So leave your Jedi robes, your full length princess dresses, and self surrounding X-Wing fighters at home.  Do pack your themed t-shirts, your tutus, and tiaras. Disney-bound away!!!   NOTE: if you do dress up for the run and are over 14 years of age, you will not be admitted into the park until you change.

Race Photos and Photopass

A few select races this year have been chosen to integrate the race photos on course and My Disney Experience Photopass.  While I believe it is still in a trial period this would be HUGE and EXCITING, especially if it becomes standard at all races.  Out of all the races I personally have run, I’ve only looked at my photos one time.  This will not only help increase the sale of the photos but will help with the lines. The lines for characters have gotten out of control as most people will run with a camera/phone.  With this implementation of Photopass options, you no longer have to run with a camera. I wouldn’t be surprised if they only let their specific photographers take the photos at each character. This would speed up the wait for them while on the run.

Virtual Running Shorts Series

This summer runDisney added a unique opportunity to runDisney without traveling to the parks to do so.  With the addition of the virtual running shorts series, participants can register for THREE different virtual runs.  So instead of traveling to Disney parks to compete, you can complete your  3.1 miles when you can, where you can.  Each medal is unique. There are Mickey shoes, red pants, or his white gloves, Do all three and get a 4th medal that features the main man himself: Mickey Mouse.  It’s a great way to bring the runDisney magic to you, even if you can’t make it to Disney World or Disneyland that year.  I hope it sticks around into 2017.

2016 Changes for runDisney: A Review

All these changes are always to enhance the guest’s experience and I really think they do that. Overall I think each of the changes made every year really come from a ton of research and much discussion on runDisney’s part.  Consider doing the survey’s runDisney because they gather so much information this way.  What would you like to see runDisney add or change in 2017?

Join the Disney Express Lane Facebook Group to discuss this and other Disney related topics.

photo credit: runDisney Star Wars Dark Side Medals 2016 HDR via photopin (license)

photo credit: My Disneyland Half Marathon Finish via photopin (license)


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Mandi is a wife, Mom of 3, writer, creator of WaltExpress.com, and self-proclaimed Disney nerd. She loves to travel to Disney Destinations and blog about her magical experiences so she can share all the tips, tricks and tidbits she picks up during her travel. She and her family visit Disney World several times a year and she is always in the know when something new is happening and she shares it here first! Mandi also works as an online consultant by empowering women to be all they can be in all aspects of their life. You can find her at www.AmandaMiddleton.me

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