Racing Disney: Dopey Day 1 – Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K

Racing Disney: Dopey Day 1 - Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K 1


Hey there Main Streeters! I thought it might be fun to hear about the marathon weekend from the perspective of a repeat runner, so I asked my friend Catie to recap her experiences! Hope you enjoy!!

Mom and I set the alarm clocks for 4:00 AM – the latest wake up time you will see this weekend. Mom and I are creatures of habit so all of our clothes were set out the night before and pictures were snapped of our pulled together ensembles.


After the alarm rings and mom and I exclaim our excitement over day 1 starting, we turn on our pump up jams. My mother is in love with Lady Gaga and OneRepublic – so sorry to our neighbors who were treated to an impromptu concert throughout the weekend at random times in the early morning!

Once we were dressed, we snapped a quick selfie, grabbed a PickyBar for breakfast, and hopped in the rental and drove ourselves to the 5K start. We only drive ourselves to the 5K and 10K starts, we rely on runDisney transportation for all of the larger races. Once we were parked, we forgot to check out which row we were in! (Oops!) We highly recommend making sure to document that somewhere once you are parked so you don’t spend a lot of time searching for your car following the race.

After walking through the quick security check point – we don’t carry runner belts or take a check bag for the 5K so this day was a breeze for us – we started making our way to the corrals. Once you cross over into the corral area you are in a strictly “runners only” area and there is a magnitude of port-a-potties, water, and the corrals to hop in to. The corrals are lined up with A being the first you encounter down through corral F, which is closest to the start line.

Mom and I chose to run this race together. We always love sharing the magic of Disney races and enjoy making memories on the course together. Since we chose to run it together I had to drop back to Mom’s corral. My usual running pace is a quite a few minutes faster per mile than my mom so she can’t come up to my corral, but I can always drop back to hers. We made a quick bathroom break – pro tip: use the bathroom and rearrange your costume outside the port-a-potty. This allows the lines to flow more quickly. Then we grabbed a cup of water to wash down our PickyBars and then headed to the corral.

Mom and I FaceTime’d my Dad from the corral – it’s tradition. Typically, when talking to Dad we only get a black screen as he is usually still asleep but he always likes to check out the costumes and wish us luck! Mom and I then found local friends in the corral next to ours and attempted to have a conversation over the crowd and DJ – it failed horribly! Then Mom and I settled into the corral and made friends with some people in the corral to pass the time until it was our turn to start.
IMG_8736We finally started making our way up to the starting area. They had a pretty slick video screen this year as the start line that had Pluto, the host of the race, do a little dance and then “Runners, Set, Go” appeared and with a flash of fireworks we were off!

The first mile takes you on a lovely tour of the parking lot and EPCOT backstage area. They had a character stop out, but mom and I chose to forgo this one and keep on trucking. In reality, my mom likes to keep her running mojo up through the first mile! We cross through the backstage entrance of EPCOT to the cheers of Disney security guards, cast members, and awesome volunteers and make our way into World Showcase. This is where you find water stop #1.

This race is always so much fun because the Christmas/Holiday decorations are still out in full force. We stopped to take pictures with the adorable snowflakes outside the Norway Pavilion and with another set of topiaries in the Germany Pavilion. We also stopped for a Spaceship Earth selfie across World Showcase Lagoon. We then stopped for a picture with Bolt in the American Pavilion.


Then we exited World Showcase and headed back toward the Boardwalk. The course then turns before you enter the boardwalk to have you re-enter EPCOT in England and head towards Future World. We stopped for yet another obligatory picture with Spaceship Earth then we headed through Innovations to loop around in front of Imagination, the Land, the “Mine!” seagulls in front of the Sea, and headed back toward Spaceship Earth to head out the side of the park. Here you encounter mile 3 and you round the corner and see the fabulous finish line!

We received our sweet first piece of bling for the weekend and headed to the family reunion area to get in line for a picture with Dopey. It had started to get quite chilly at the point and Mom and I started to get quite cold while waiting the hour plus for our picture with Dopey. (We learned the hard way we may not get another chance to snap a picture with the guy himself so we seized the opportunity!)


After snagging our victory shot, we headed on back to our hotel to go out and celebrate in the parks and fuel up for our 10K the next day. We also like to rehash the race and discuss pros and cons. We both liked the new video screen start line, the number of port-a-potties at the start was very adequate and the DJ and race announcers were fabulous per usual. We were slightly disappointed in the lack of characters on this course and how congested it got when they had us run through Innovations. However, we still had a magical race and enjoyed ourselves!

Thanks for that great recap Catie, can’t wait to hear about the 10K!!!!!



TMSM is very excited to publish the “Racing Disney” runDisney series by Addie Clark, Catie Neal and Tali McPike. Please keep an eye out for more of their amazing and informative articles! If you missed of the articles in this series make sure you check them at
If you are planning on running in a runDisney event and have questions, or have participated and want to talk about your experiences make sure you visit our runDisney Forum at

Racing Disney: Dopey Day 1 - Walt Disney World Family Fun Run 5K 2

Author: Addie Clark

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