Saturday, January 6, 2024 • Lake Buena Vista, FL • Course Map
There are few races quite as magical as the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, which spreads out its marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K races across Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday — the 5K on Thursday, the 10K on Friday, while the half marathon is run early Saturday and the full marathon runs early on Sunday morning.
The race has grown in popularity every year since its first running back in 1994, when 8,000 runners took to the “streets” of Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The half marathon was added for the first time in 1998, and the rest is history — more than 19,000 runners finished the full marathon at its 2016 running, while just over 21,000 runners crossed the finish line in the half marathon.
This year’s race is presented by State Farm and unfolds along a course that starts and finishes in Epcot — the home of rides like Spaceship Earth, Soaring, Mission to Mars and Michael Jackson’s late 1980s epic “Captain Eo,” a 3-D movie with in-theater special effects — and then takes runners into the Magic Kingdom park, the home of the original Walt Disney World park and resort.
As they head through the park, runners will make their way past Cinderella’s castle, the Tomorrowland Speedway, the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Disney Golf Course and much more, during what is usually Orlando’s best weather for running at any time of the year.
Runners who want to run this race need to think ahead, however — registration usually sells out months in advance of the race day, so be sure to sign up as early as possible.
Run entirely on paved surfaces, this half-marathon follows an out-and-back course through the park that starts early — half marathon participants are asked to be at the starting line by 4:00 AM for the 5:30 AM start. The next day, half participants are invited to join the full marathon participants for the awards ceremony at the park’s Downtown Disney Pleasure Island.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in central Florida, about 20 miles southwest of downtown Orlando, Lake Buena Vista typically sees January temperatures that average between 49°F and 72°F, while rainfall totals average just under 2.4 inches, making January one of its driest months of the year.
On the day of the race (Jan. 6), the average low is 54°F and the average high is 69°F.
Walt Disney World Half Marathon Course Map
See the Walt Disney World Half Marathon course map here.
Walt Disney World Half Marathon Registration
To claim your spot in the Half Marathon, register online at the event website here.
Walt Disney World Half MarathonOfficial Race Website
Ever run in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.
Walt Disney World does not have a Downtown Disney Pleasure Island anymore. It’s Disney Springs.
Paradise Pier is in Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, not Walt Disney World, which is in Orlando, FL. That aside, all of the Disney races are among the most expensive because you get an incredible experience with running them! The Walt Disney World Marathon was my most incredible running experience by far. The FULL marathon does take you in all 4 parks in Walt Disney World, all while being cheered on by characters and bystanders, and there are an abundance of photo opportunities during the run with the many Disney characters. The fireworks and entertainment at the beginning of the races, and the parties afterward are an incredible experience as well. I’d recommend any of the Disney races to anyone wanting the experience of a lifetime!
This is one of the worst courses I’ve ever run, and also the most expensive. They claim the route goes through all 4 parks…if you consider parking lots as being in the park, then I guess that’s accurate. In reality, it’s 12miles of highway and parking lots, and 1mi around Magic Kingdom. Furthermore, start time is 5:30 so the first 7-8 miles are in the pitch darkness. Disney doesn’t care about giving the runners a decent experience. This is clearly just a money maker for them. Don’t waste your time or money.
Just so you are aware – the picture that is shown of Paradise Pier is not from Walt Disney World in Orlando. It is from California Adventure which is part of Disney Land in Anaheim, CA.