Racing Disney: Running in Non-Disney Theme Parks

September 28, 2015 ,

12045481_10156168019605106_5216212458624209260_oRacing Disney: Running in Non-Disney Theme Parks by Tali McPike and Addie Clark

Hey Main Streeters! We are taking a break from our current series on Running Gear, but worry not that will be back soon! A while back, Addie wrote an excellent article about what to do when running at Disney isn’t an option. While they are certainly some of the most magical miles you will ever run, it by no means is the only place worth running. While some races can be a bit more “boring” especially when compared to Disney, Addie and I have discovered that one of the best ways to approximate the experience of running a Disney race is to run at other theme parks.

While, obviously, the runDisney races are some of the most popular and well known theme park running events, they are by no means the only theme parks to host races on their properties. Addie and I both love theme park races, and jump at the opportunity to participate in them whenever possible.

The easiest way to find Theme Park races is do a google search for the name of the theme park you want to run at and “5k” or “race.” I recommend using “5k” as that is the distance the majority of parks host, and even if there are longer races, searching for a 5k will typically bring up the relevant results. For example, I searched “Busch Gardens Williamsburg 5k” and found the Christmastown Dash. In fact a search of “Sea World 5k” or “Busch Gardens 5k” without a location pulled up lot of results for all their theme parks across the country.

Six Flags parks also tend to have a lot of races. Depending on the individual park, I’ve seen everything from inflatable fun runs, to Biggest Loser races, to holiday themed events. For a slightly different take on theme park races check out The Roller Coaster Race series. The Roller Coaster Race has partnered with Six Flags parks across the country to provide a unique running experience. Most locations offer runners the option of a 5K or 10K, often through the park for part of the race. Participants receive a medal for finishing this race and a free ticket to Six Flags as part of their entry fee. In addition to this, runners can sign up for the Ride, which is riding the equivalent of a 5K on roller coasters. Riders are given a wristband and “cheat sheet” of coaster distances and then simply have to ride each coaster and get their wristband punched. Addie actually did this a last weekend at Six Flags Over Texas and had a lot of fun! And I’m not going to lie, even though I’m not a fan of roller coasters, I was SUPER jealous of her when she told me about this race, because it sounded every bit as cool as Addie says it was.

However, Addie is now getting her turn to be jealous of me, as I will be doing a 5k next month through Universal Orlando. This is an inaugural race for Universal Studios, and it takes place on November 21. The event is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Florida. In fact, unlike most races, which you register for then set up a fundraiser page, you register for the race through Firstgiving, the fundraising site used for the race. All money raised goes to Special Olympics Florida. They have even created some really neat incentives for raising money, including annual passes to Universal Studios. They also created a virtual run option (where you run the race at home but still get all the race swag and fundraising incentives of those who run at Universal Studios) for people who want to support the cause but can’t make it to Orlando.

If you would like to donate to my race fundraiser you can do so here. I’ve set a modest fundraising goal, but I would love to raise as much money as possible for Special Olympics Florida. Thank you in advance for your generosity and Happy Running!

RacingDisneyTMSM 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 and

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

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