Show Hide
'it's a small world' at Disneyland Park

Stories of Triumph Abound During Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

posted on January 10th, 2013 by Faron Kelley, Director of Non-Leisure Marketing and Sales Strategy

Twenty years ago this coming weekend, a little more than 7,000 runners toed the line for the start of the very first Walt Disney World Marathon. Fast forward to this Sunday, when more than 24,000 runners will take a 26.2-mile tour through our four theme parks; among them, 95 athletes who were at that first race in 1994, and have run every year since. All in all, more than 65,000 participants will take part in events ranging from the diaper dash to Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge during the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna.

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Presented by Cigna

Being involved with runDisney is easily one of the best parts of my job. I am a big fan of running, but I am an even bigger fan of runners. Every runner has a story behind why they do the miles that they do … and that is what runDisney is all about, a story-telling company helping runners make their running dreams come true.

At this year’s marathon, there are hundreds of remarkable stories that deserve to be told. One such collection of stories is brought to us by our race sponsor, Cigna. This year, a number of Cigna employees have volunteered to run the Family 5K event with members of Achilles Kids, which is an international organization that helps people with disabilities compete in mainstream athletic events. For kids with disabilities, physical activity can be life-changing, and it gives these young athletes a way to measure achievement, gain confidence and have fun.

Cigna is also sponsoring six runners from Students Run Philly Style. This Philadelphia-based program offers marathon training to help disadvantaged youth succeed in life. These students have trained side-by-side with their mentors three days a week from March to November. Along the way, they’ve completed eight road races, engaged in leadership and character development, and will bring it all home at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday.

These are just a few of the 65,000 stories that are to be told this coming weekend. If you are one of them, we are honored to be the setting for your amazing tale.

Keep running.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

Stars to Be Out for 20th Walt Disney World Marathon Meet-Up

posted on January 4th, 2013 by Faron Kelley, Director of Non-Leisure Marketing and Sales Strategy

UPDATE: Click here for a complete list of attendees. If you are on the list and did not receive a confirmation email, please contact us at Please note that we will not be responding to questions via this email address. If you have questions, please ask them on the Disney Parks Blog, and we will do our best to answer them.

UPDATE: We have reached capacity! Thanks for everyone’s interest in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Meet-Up and Warm-Up, and we appreciate your quick responses. At approximately 2 p.m. ET, we will send the meet-up attendees a confirmation email. If you are on the list and did not receive a confirmation email, please contact us at By 3 p.m. ET, we will post a link to the complete list of attendees. Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for additional unique opportunities in the future.

It’s a celebration of the 20th Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna and we’re planning the biggest and best runDisney meet-up yet.

The upcoming early morning event, planned for Friday, January 11, will feature several well-known former endurance stars, as well as Hollywood celebs, to help get everyone ready for the big weekend.

Plans are for our first “corral” of personalities to include Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, New York and Boston Marathon champion Bill Rodgers, Runner’s World columnist Bart Yasso and athlete/television host Dick Beardsley.

One of the celebs planning to attend is singer, dancer and actor, and now runner, Joey Fatone, who is taking on the Goofy Race and A Half Challenge. Fatone was a late addition to the weekend lineup of celebrities running Disney.

Rarely last, and most certainly not least, no marathon meet-up would be complete without runDisney’s official training consultant, Jeff Galloway, who has run all 19 previous Disney marathons. The former Olympian and developer of the Run-Walk-Run training method will share his experiences and expertise as well.

And of course, there might be a Disney personality or two there as well.

Space is limited. If you don’t want to be left out in the cold, RSVP right now to Only a limited number of qualified runners will be selected to participate, so be one of the first to apply.

In the meantime, here are a few things you should know:

  • All selected participants must be available for a 7 a.m. ET start time on Friday, January 11.
  • Qualified applicants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A valid photo ID is required. Participants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Limit to one RSVP per individual. Applicants sending RSVPs from more than one email address will be disqualified.
  • Valid RSVPs must include your name. RSVPs that include more than one person or are missing information (e.g. incomplete names) will not be accepted.
  • Admittance to the event is non-transferable and limited to the selected applicant; no additional guests please.
  • The event and individual/celebrity appearances are subject to change or cancellation without notice.
  • Because this is a running-oriented event, we require that applicants be experienced runners, able to maintain a 12-minute per mile pace (qualified).
  • Selected applicants attending the meet-up are not required to purchase admission.
  • We will send an email to selected applicants who sent their valid RSVP via email before we reached capacity to confirm their attendance for Friday. We plan to send this email at approximately 2 p.m. ET today, and we will also post a link on the Disney Parks Blog that will include a list of names of all selected applicants. If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation and your name does not appear on the list of selected applicants, your RSVP was not selected.

If you’re looking to gain tips and training advice from Galloway as well as our nutrition expert Tara Gidus, they will also be available at the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Expo. For more information, and also for additional Galloway and Gidus training details, please visit

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Celebrity Visits, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

New 10K Race Added To Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

posted on December 19th, 2012 by Faron Kelley, Director of Non-Leisure Marketing and Sales Strategy

I am excited to let you know the Happiest Race on Earth just got happier! Today runDisney announced the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is expanding with the addition of the Disneyland 10K at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Cal.

The new 10K will be a timed event and take runners through Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and on the streets of Anaheim. As with all runDisney races, participants will receive a newly designed finishers medal.

Runners looking for a bigger challenge can register for the Dumbo Double Dare. A limited number of runners will have the opportunity to take the dare and run the Disneyland 10K on Saturday and the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday – 19.3 miles total. Finishers will receive a special finisher medal to help celebrate their accomplishments, in addition to the half marathon and 10K medals.

The 10K is one of the most popular race distances for runners, next to the 5K and half marathon. With race weekends featuring kids races, 5K, 10K, 10-Miler, half marathons and a marathon, runDisney offers runners at every level a chance to experience a runDisney event, run through Disney theme parks and earn coveted Disney medals.

Registration for all Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend races opens on January 22, 2013. Last year, the popular half marathon sold out in little more than a month, so I encourage interested runners to act quickly. For more information about the race weekend and other runDisney events, go to

On behalf of myself and some special friends in the video below, I invite you to join us August 30 – September 1, 2013, at Disneyland Resort.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort