Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Quick Reference

by Stephanie Wien, staff writer

The 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is this weekend. There's so much going on that we've put together a handy reference guide for you to get all of the information you need in one place.

Friday & Saturday: Health & Fitness Expo

The 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon weekend kicks off on Friday with the opening of the Health & Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel.

  • Where – Disneyland Hotel
  • When – Friday, August 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, August 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • What – Pick up racing bibs, purchase official gear, shop and visit with other vendors, listen to talks from experts


Before you leave your home, don't forget to print out your waiver, sign it, and bring it with you. If you forget, there are terminals at the expo where you can print it out.

Expo Parking

  • Annual passholders with parking passes – you can park in the Mickey & Friends structure and walk over to the Disneyland Hotel.
  • Downtown Disney – you can park for three hours for free at Downtown Disney, and get two additional hours with validation at select dining locations or the AMC theater.
  • Disneyland Hotel – you can park at the hotel itself, but it's $15 for the first hour for non-hotel guests, plus $9 for each additional hour.  

When you get to the expo, proceed downstairs to the lower exhibit hall to pick up your packet. Half marathon participants can pick up their race packets and shirt from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Family Fun Run 5K and Disneyland 10K participants should pick up their information on Friday since the stated policy is that there is no same-day packet pick-up. However, although runDisney doesn't advertise it, there is limited same-day pick-up available if you cannot make the it to the Expo on Friday before it closes.

Official Disneyland Half Marathon merchandise can go quickly, so if you have your heart set on something special, get there as early as you can. Photo by Stephanie Wien.

Consult the Official Race Program for all of the information on speakers and exhibitors. The Disney Parks Blog has posted a preview of some of the official runDisney items that will be for sale.

Friday: Team MousePlanet Meetup

  • Where – Tortilla Jo's in Downtown Disney
  • When – Friday, August 30 from 1:00 p.m.
  • What – Pick up pre-ordered Team MousePlanet shirts, hats, and visors; create signs for the half-marathon cheer station; nosh on free soft drinks and chips/salsa
  • Important – RSVPs are required!

Pre-order racing shirts with our Team MousePlanet logo and look stylish for the weekend.

Team MousePlanet is hosting a meet at Tortilla Jo's Cantina (the outdoor seating area) in Downtown Disney on Friday, August 30 at 1:00 p.m. If you think you might want to attend (even if it's just stopping by for a quick visit on your way to the expo), please let us know on either Facebook or in our MousePad thread. We need an accurate count since we are reserving a table for our group. There's no reason not to visit—MousePlanet is covering the cost of soft drinks and chips and salsa! (Sorry; you will need to pay for any other food or drinks—bring some cash if you do; the restaurant has a "one check" policy for large groups.)

You can also pre-order Team MousePlanet gear for pick-up at our meetup. We will be spending the time making signs for those who have requested personalized signs at our cheer stop and getting to know one another while swapping training stories.

A running hat and visor are two of the items available for pre-order. You can also order a tech shirt in mens or womens style. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The Night Before the Race(s)

Course map and instructions

Familiarize yourself with the course maps (5K and 10K course; half marathon course). Make a note of the water stops, and where you might take fuel if you will need water with it, like when consuming gels. Review the Final Race Instructions to make sure you know all of the important details for race day.


Eat your big meal about 12 hours before your race start time, making sure to eat the same types of foods you've been familiar with during your training. Now is not the time to try new things. Stay away from anything overly spicy unless you are sure you will tolerate it. Also stay away from anything with a lot of fiber or fat, since those can result in digestive issues on race morning. Lorree Tachell has a few suggestions for places you can find runner-friendly foods in her article from January 2013

Gear prep

Lay out your race outfit and pin your number to your bib after you write down your emergency information on the back of the bib. Set out your race morning food and get the coffee maker ready to go. You'll be getting up early, and having everything right where you set it will make things go much more smoothly. Also put together your post-race bag if you plan to check a change of clothes. Read Stephanie Wien's article for suggested items to pack for post-race recovery.

A change of clothes and sandals are some of the helpful items to include in your checked bag. Photo by Stephanie Wien.


Be sure to set multiple alarms and/or wake-up calls, especially if you have a habit of sleeping through alarms. You don't want to oversleep on race morning!


Make sure to get to your room and try to go to bed early, but don't worry too much if you don't sleep well; chances are, you will be too excited, anyway. You will be getting up very early, so it's important to get as much rest as possible, even if it just means lying in bed and trying to relax.

Race Morning(s)

If you are staying close enough to the start area of the races, walking to the start is a great way to warm up your legs before the start. If you are walking through the Downtown Disney area, take advantage of the bathrooms along the way. There are plenty of portable toilets at the start, but a regular bathroom is much more comfortable.

Bag Check

Saturday for the 5K and 10K:

  • Check bags: 3:30 to 5:30 a.m.
  • Retrieve bags: 5:45 to 8:30 a.m.

Sunday for the half-marathon:

  • Check bags: 3:30 to 5:00 a.m.
  • Retrieve bags: 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Race Times

  • 5K – Race starts Saturday 5:30 a.m. Arrive by 4:30 a.m., be in corral no later than 5:00 a.m.
  • 10K – Race starts Saturday 6:15 a.m. Arrive by 5:15 a.m., be in corral no later than 5:45 a.m.
  • Half-marathon – Race starts Sunday 5:30 a.m. Arrive by 4:30 a.m., be in corral no later than 5:00 a.m.

Participants for the 5K and half-marathon should arrive by 4:30 a.m. and be in their corrals by 5 a.m.; 10K participants should arrive by 5:15 and be in their corrals by 5:45 a.m. Don't wait until the bitter end to head to your corral; bottlenecks can develop as runners head to their corrals, and as they fill it can be difficult to get to a corral that is farther forward. You might consider bringing along a water bottle and something to snack on while you wait for the start. Finding water at the start can be a chore. 

To get an idea of the race experience, read two race recaps from last year's edition: Stephanie Wien's "Disneyland Half Marathon Recap" and Lorree Tachell's "A Fool's View."

Views of an early-morning Cars Land are a highlight of Disneyland races. Photo by Stephanie Wien.

Half Marathon Team MousePlanet Cheer Station

Our Team MousePlanet cheer squad will be located at the halfway point of the half marathon, outside of Ganahl Lumber on Ball Road. The station will have a lot of crazy people making noise among a sea of personalized signs. You can request a sign on our Team MousePlanet discussion thread, or come to the meetup and help make some! The station will have orange wedges, pretzels, licorice, and cool cloths or sponges as well as an abundance of cheer to give out to walkers and runners. 

The Team MousePlanet cheer station set up in downtown Anaheim provided refreshments and cheeful signage for runners during the 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon this past January. Expect just as much energy this weekend. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix. 

If you'd like to come join our cheer squad, check out the instructions on the best ways to get there in our cheer squad discussion thread.

Spectating Tips

5K and 10K courses

Spectating options for the 5K and 10K races are fairly limited, since both races take place largely inside the theme parks where spectators are not allowed on Saturday. RunDisney suggests the start area (from Disneyland Drive to Katella Avenue), the finish area (from the ESPN Zone to the Disneyland Hotel), or along the route through Downtown Disney. Some viewing may also be available over by the Lion King tram loading area for the 10K, although it's not on the official list.


Not joining our Team MousePlanet cheer station? Additional options for the half-marathon include:

  • View the runners at mile 2.6 as they pass through the Esplanade between the parks
  • Head to Anaheim Stadium and join the Scout troops in the stands there at mile 9.5
  • There are miles of race course passing through Anaheim that are accessible to a point, although road closures require you to park and walk.

Only those who have purchased gold or platinum ChEAR Squad packages will be allowed inside Disneyland; a limited number of these will be for sale at the Expo.


Know where your runner is at a given time, either based on pace, or by tracking them by text or social media through the runner tracking tool. Make sure they know where you will be so they can keep an eye out at specific locations. Be sure to cheer for other participants as well; hearing your name, or a "good job" can really give a struggling participant a boost.

Further reading

Whatever you choose, the general spectating tips at the end of our "Spectating at Walt Disney World Weekend" article are applicable to any runDisney race. We also have some additional information on parking and access in our Disneyland Park Update from this past Monday.

Important Dates and Times

Event Friday, Aug 30 Saturday, Aug 31 Sunday, Sep 1
Health & Fitness Expo 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed
Team MousePlanet Meetup 1 p.m.    
Family Fun Run 5K   5:30 a.m.  
Disneyland 10K   6:15 a.m.  
Kids Races   10 a.m.  
Pasta in the Park Party   6 p.m. – 8 p.m.  
Disneyland Half Marathon     5:30 a.m.

Important runDisney Links

Additional Helpful Team MousePlanet Articles