At noon ET tomorrow, general registration for the Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon opens! Addie and I predict it will sell out quickly, so we figured this was a good time to dust off the registration “how to” post we did earlier this year. Active and runDisney have made a lot of changes to the registration process since we first wrote about it back in April, so even if you’ve read our other post it would be a good idea to read through this one and learn what’s new!
Registration for the Inaugural Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend opens Tuesday September 22, 2015 at 12pm ET. For more information on the Inaugural runDisney Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon weekend visit runDisney’s website and select the registration tab.
Tali: Well, I’m going to use two words: Surprisingly Painless. Having now registered for six runDisney events, I’m pretty comfortable with what to expect. I still get nervous that I won’t get into the events I want, but I now know that most of that is unfounded worry. Despite the horror stories I’ve heard, I have had very little problems getting into the vents I want.
While Dopey was not the first time I’ve registered for a runDisney event, it was my first time to register during general registration. Since I am a WDW Annual Passholder, I like to take advantage of the ability to register 2 weeks before registration is open to the general public (along with DL APs and DVC members-information on this will appear in your portals). However, I did not have the money to pay for Dopey (as well as a handful of other races) when AP registration opened and Dopey sold out in about 2 hours of AP registration opening. So I had prepared myself for general registration to be an utter mad house, and that wasn’t the case.
Addie: Yeah, if memory serves, there was a bit of panic in there, but when we went through it all, it was so easy. VERY UNUSUAL FOR rUNDISNEY REGISTRATIONS. It was even easier than my Princess weekend registration. It seemed to me that this new “queue” system I keep hearing about kept the registration site from crashing as much. Though, like I said, I’ve yet to experience that queue myself.
Tali: Yeah, if there was a queue for WDW Marathon Weekend registration, I never saw it. I was honestly really surprised that it took over 24 hours for the Dopey and Goofy challenges to sell out, which might have been why we didn’t see the queue. Perhaps people who registered for the 5k or the 10k (which did sell out in the first few hours) had more experience with the queue.
Addie: I even went back a couple times to try and get in it for this article! But that’s neither here, nor there, let’s give the people what they clicked for.
Tali: In fact the only registration in which I ended up in the queue for was Princess. THAT was a stressful registration. The runDisney and Active pages were crashing constantly, so I couldn’t even access the link to the registration the way we outline it here. However that has been the ONLY race in which that was the case. I can’t promise that a similar thing won’t happen during registration tomorrow, because it is an inaugural event, but that is why we are sharing this information, so you can be prepared and know what to do no matter what happens.
Addie: So this is what the runDisney page looked like for the Marathon weekend prior to registration opening. This was about 11 am EST on April 28. Notice that all the text is GREY. I would suggest anyone trying to register to have that page open at least an hour early and start refreshing it periodically leading up to Noon EST and wait to see those blue links appear.
Tali: Like Addie said, it is highly recommended to have the runDisney event page open a good hour or so before registration opens. High traffic makes the page go a little wonky. At one point the whole “registration” tab disappeared, and when you refreshed from that page you ended up on any number of random parts of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend page. And once the link to Active is live, follow the link, even though you won’t be able to register, because things will only get worse once registration gets closer, because even Disney’s servers can struggle under the sheer amount of traffic that hits that site on registration day.
Addie: Oh yeah. That runDisney site went all sorts of crazy leading up to Noon. At one point it was all text too. No graphics, no links. Very panic inducing if you aren’t expecting it. The whole point of this article is to help reduce panic about registration because it can be a very stressful experience.
Tali: And if the page does it really wonky to the point where registration has opened and you still can’t get a link, like I experienced for Princess, you should open Facebook and find the event runDisney created for the race weekend. If you RSVP for the event before registration opens, and you leave the notifications on, you will be notified as soon as runDisney posts the link. They also post it on Twitter. However, be warned that it can be up to 5 minutes after registration opens before they post the link to social media. It is likely that most events won’t be sold out by then, but you will likely be in the queue, and you may find that the event you want to register for is on hold (this is especially true of the challenges).
Tali: The links went live about 5-10 minutes before registration opened. You could click on the link, which would direct you to the Active page, but it won’t allow you to actually register for the events until Noon EST when registration officially opens.
Addie: Once they appear blue, you can go ahead and click on the event you want and you will be taken to Active, the registration platform for runDisney events. In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter which link you click on the runDisney page, because they all lead to this Active page where you will be able to pick your event.
Tali: This is the point where you may end up in the queue. If you do DO NOT PANIC and DO NOT REFRESH THE PAGE
Once you get through the queue (if you end up in the queue) you will end up on a page that looks like this:Tali: As you can see in the above images if an even is sold out, it will display a “sold out” message where the price usually is. It may also say “on hold.” If that is the case…don’t panic! Run Disney gives you 15 minutes to complete your registration. When those 15 minutes are up any registration that was not fully completed, whether it is because of connectivity issues, or a declined credit card, or just a person changed their mind, will open back up. So if you find the event you want is “on hold” just being patient and keep refreshing. Eventually it will open back up…or change to “sold out.” When I registered during AP registration last week, I got the “on hold” message for the Dark Side Challenge. By 12:20 all the ones that were on hold had been released and I was able to register for it. However, by 1pm all the AP bibs for that event had sold out. (Also, please remember that these screen shots of the Dark Side registration were taken during the AP early registration window, the 5k is not completely sold out, and there will be plenty of bibs up for grabs tomorrow)
Addie: Now you can choose the event you want. In the case of the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon, if you want to run all the races, you have to register for the Dark Side Challenge (which is the 10K and Half) separately from the 5K. So, I would suggest registering for the Challenge first because in MOST instances, it will sell out before the 5K. I have a feeling part of the slow sell of Dopey and Goofy had to do with the commitment to the Full Marathon distance.
Tali: Absolutely. runDisney Challenges are recommended for EXPERIENCED runners, and this goes double for the Goofy and Dopey, because a full marathon is a serious training commitment, and the 48.6 miles run during Dopey is really brutal on your body.
As a note for those considering the Goofy: that race is ONLY the Marathon and the Half, if you wanted to do the 5k or the 10k without doing the Dopey, or you wanted to run the 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon, but skip the Full Marathon, you would have to register for each of those events individually.
Also a quick note on the Kids races: Those are a lot of fun, especially if you are making the race weekend a family affair, but do your research before you register. Only certain age groups are eligible for the various distances (the longer the distance the older the age group), but Active doesn’t make that clear during the registration process. However the Kids Races section of the Race Weekend page has all the information about which ages do which distances.
Addie: Side Note- runDisney People in Charge…if you read this, may I suggest a challenge of the 5K, 10K and Half? It’s the only combo that weekend is missing and I would eat that up. Registering individually for those events is fine, but it’s all about the bling! I fear the Full distance (even though I know I will do it one day just for the Dopey bling).
Tali: Ooooohh. That would be a great addition! You could call it the Chip & Dale challenge!
Addie: I like it. We expect credit for that runDisney ;). Ugh, we should probably get back to what the people came here for though…
Tali: This is true. So back to registration!
Addie: When you select your event click the “continue” button on the above screen, you will be taken to a log-in screen.
Tali: It used to not matter if you had an Active account or not but now it is completely necessary. If you create an account before registration opens, it will automatically fill in your personal information, saving you some time. If not, you can create an account at the end of the registration process. But as I will explain in a moment, it is absolutely necessary that you have an Active account.
Addie: Time to fill out your info! Again, standard, name, address, phone and whatnot. It isn’t out of the ordinary, but knowing the information you need to have readily available should help ease your stress on registration day!
A note on the anticipated finish time: This is a guesstimate. And will mean absolutely nothing unless you submit a Proof of Time by the deadline to back it up. Tali and I have both written about Proof of Times, if you are wondering what in the world I’m talking about.
Tali: This is brand new for registration for the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend, but you now have the opportunity (although it is not required to complete the registration) to submit an official proof of time when you register. And from this event going forward, you will submit your proof of time through Active at the following linkhttps://myevents.active.com/rundisney if you do not submit it during the registration process. This is to reduce the amount of Proof of Time fraud. The previous system (which is still what you will use if you are submitting proof of time for the WDW Marathon weekend, Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon Weekend, Princess Half Marathon Weekend, or Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend), allowed for anyone who knew a participant’s personal information to submit a proof of time, with no notification that it has been changed. Apparently a bunch of upper level athletes that are usually in the A coral ended up assigned to the last coral during the Disneyland Half earlier this month, because someone went in and changed their finish times to be over twice what they actually were. Under this new system, the only way to access a participant’s proof of time is by logging in to their Active account.
Also, in the past this would be the time you would select that you were participating in the Coast-to-Coast challenge. However they have removed that from registration. runDisney now automatically tracks whether or not you are eligible for a Coast-to-Coast medal. If you are registered for both the Light Side and Dark Side Star Wars races, you will receive the Kessel Run Coast-to-Coast medal. If you are registered for the Dark Side and a different Disneyland race, you will receive the regular Coast-to-Coast medal. If you are running Princess and Tinkerbell, you will get the Pink Coast-to-Coast. So don’t freak out that there isn’t a Coast-to-Coast option when you register, as that is normal.
Addie: This is also the opportunity to purchase any commemorative items. If you’re saving for those, you do not have to buy them at the time of registration. Some will sell out before the weekend arrives, like commemorative jackets (which are a blind pre-order…you won’t know what they look like before you buy), but pins and other items do not sell out as fast. I do suggest pre-ordering them if you want them though, to ensure you get them in case the expo sells out!
Tali: I have not yet pre-ordered my commemorative items, but I plan to do so in the very near future. The Expo has a tendency to sell out, especially of the very popular items. As I mentioned in my post on weekend items tend to be pretty picked through by the end of the first day or the beginning of the second day of the Expo. So, if you have your heart set on particular items, I would suggest pre-ordering them if at all possible.
Addie: That was also true for the Princess Expo. If you don’t want the stress or you won’t be getting in the first day the expo is open, PRE-ORDER, but know you can’t pre-order everything. Some things you can only buy at the expo.
Tail: For clarification: YOU DO NOT NEED TO PRINT A COPY OF THIS WAIVER. I know some people are confused by the wavers, because if you’ve read other articles about race weekends, you will see that we have to bring a signed waiver to pick up our packets at the Expo. That waiver, while saying pretty much all the same things, is different. That waiver has your assigned bib number on it and will be available on the runDisney website about a month before the event and requires your physical signature on it (instead of being digitally signed, like the waiver at registration)
Addie: Now it’s time to pay. Note: The prices listed on the runDisney website DO NOT include the Active processing fees. Notice here that it’s about 7-8% of the cost. If you’re saving for registration, don’t forget these in your calculations!
Tali: The Dopey Challenge was listed at $550 on the runDisney website. I saved $600 to pay for the event. Including the tax and fees I paid $586.25. You will receive an email from Active that acts as your receipt and will have the amount paid as well as a confirmation number for the payment (which is the same confirmation number you will receive on your registration confirmation email). Be aware, that despite having a confirmation number, you will not be able to use this to add the race to your Active account (if you have one). Both Addie and I have accounts (because we register for a lot of races, including non-Disney races) and we have been unsuccessful at adding ANY of our runDisney races to our accounts. However, with all the changes that have been made to the registration process, if you do have an Active account, the races are now automatically added. The only race that does not show up in the “my events” section of Active is Dopey, and I am still unable to add it using my confirmation number.
Addie: Once you pay, you’ll get the above confirmation email from Active. I suggest saving ALL these emails until after your events. You can never be too careful. Note that clicking that “View your complete registration details” link doesn’t always work; for my Princess weekend, every time I clicked it; I would get an error message. But after a few days, you can check your registration on the runDisney website if you need to have reassurance that you’re registered. If you have any questions about your registration you can also call runDisney.
Tali: Also, be sure that you have runDisney and Active saved in your email address book, because between registration and the actual event they send lots of useful information about training, nutrition, and the races themselves, which you don’t want accidentally being buried in your spam folder.
That’s it for this week folks! We hope we’ve managed to ease some of your stress for registering for runDisney races. Or at least entertained you! The most important thing you can do is to be at your computer on the day registration opens before the time it opens. Let us know what you thought of this style of article in the comments and leave us questions or things you’d like us to talk about in the future!
Until then, keep running! And May the Force Be With You during registration tomorrow!
TMSM is very excited to publish the “Racing Disney” runDisney series by Addie Clark 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 www.themainstreetmouse.com/tag/addie/ and www.themainstreetmouse.com/tag/tali/
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 http://goo.gl/RLB5ka
www.rundisney.com/travel/disneyland ; www.rundisney.com/travel/disneyworld
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