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Video Captures the Royal Experience of the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Recently in a kingdom not so far away, more than 24,000 Princesses and Princes made a 13.1-mile journey through Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Some runners took just over an hour to complete their journey, and for others it took a little longer. No matter their ability they all followed the same path, triumphantly ran through Cinderella Castle, celebrated at the finish line, earned the coveted Disney Princess Tiara Finisher Medal and created runDisney memories that will last a lifetime.

What was their experience like?

With the help of 6 photographers from the Disney Yellow Shoes team, 13 cameras and tens of thousands of images, we can share their journey in just over two minutes.

Once upon a time ……

A special thanks to Disney photographers David Roark, Matt Stroshane, Kent Phillips, Ryan Wendler, Chloe Rice, Todd Anderson, and editor Bryan Smoker for their creativity in bringing this story to life.

For more information on runDisney event weekends, I invite you to visit runDisney.com.

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‘Will You be My Happily Ever After?’: A runDisney Proposal at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you follow my runDisney posts on the Disney Parks Blog, you know I love being at the finish lines of our events. Watching runners celebrate one of the most memorable moments in their lives is exciting, inspirational and emotional. You see it all – screams of joy, tears of happiness, hugs and high fives. And once in awhile you witness life-changing events. You see, as one journey ends for some runners, another journey begins for others. That is exactly what happened for one couple I caught up with at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

As Thatiany Leal-Oliveira from Boca Raton, FL, ran her first half marathon and first runDisney event, she traveled the 13.1-mile course through Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, as her prince, Sal Lisboa of Deerfield Beach, FL, was in a race of his own, a race into the future. Both taking different courses, but both focused on the finish time. A finish that couldn’t come fast enough. Not only was the coveted Disney Princess Half Marathon Tiara finisher medal waiting for Thatiany to put around her neck, but so was a life changing proposal and “bling” to put on her finger.

So what did she say? Well, runDisney is all about “happily ever after” stories, so see what happens for yourself.

Congratulations Sal and Thatiany, and we wish you a “happily ever after” as you race into the future.

If you want to know more about runDisney and future event weekends, visit runDisney.com. You can also follow us on runDisney Facebook, and on Twitter and Instagram @runDisney.

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Celebrating the Ultimate Girls Weekend at the Disney Princess Half Marathon

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


It was the ultimate runDisney girls weekend as more than 49,500 registered runners participated in the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Walt Disney World Resort.

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From our princesses-in-waiting competing in the runDisney Kids Races, to more experienced princesses participating in the Disney Princess 5K, the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon, the weekend was filled celebrating the attributes of a true princess – commitment, perseverance and determination.

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The crowning moment came on Sunday when more than 24,000 runners participated in the Half Marathon. The 13.1-mile journey took runners to Magic Kingdom Park, through Cinderella Castle and finished with a royal celebration just outside Epcot. Waiting for runners was one of the most coveted rewards, the Disney Princess Half Marathon Tiara Finisher Medal. And for those special princesses registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge, completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday (19.3 total miles), an additional medal was bestowed upon them, the Glass Slipper Challenge Medal.

Fun During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Fun During the Disney Princess Half Marathon

Although every runner had something to celebrate, one runner’s journey was just a little more magical.

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After falling on ice and breaking her hip one year ago, and fearing she would never run again, 30-year-old Lauren Passell from New York City was the winner of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Dressed in a Tinker Bell-inspired outfit, Passell had a winning time of 1:22:59. She was followed by second-place finisher Heather Schulz of Orlando (1:23:28) and Mariela Ortiz of Argentina was third (1:23:45).

Congratulations to Lauren Passell and all who ran and celebrated like a princess. We hope the following video helps you relive your accomplishment. And for those who weren’t able to participate, we hope it inspires you to join us February 2016.

For more information about Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and other runDisney events, visit runDisney.com.

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Watch Princess Half Marathon Live

posted on February 22nd, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Right now you can share in the excitement of the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals by replaying a live video stream of the start and finish lines.

Your chance to track and watch runners cross the finish line and share in their celebration “live” begins by clicking on one of the two boxes below. One stream started at 5:00 a.m. and included the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The other began at 6:30 a.m. and was an interrupted stream from the finish line.

Princess Half Marathon Start Line:

To view the full size version of the Princess Half Marathon, click here.

Princess Half Marathon Finish Line:

To view the full size version of the Princess Half Marathon, click here.

You can join in the social media conversation on Twitter and Instagram by using #PrincessHalf.

After the race come back to the Disney Parks Blog and replay both feeds.

For more information on the Disney Princess Half Marathon and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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#DisneySide Sports Style: Disney Frozen 5K Style

posted on February 21st, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


In my last Disney Sports Style blog post, I shared some “Chilly runDisney Inspiration” for the Disney Frozen 5K at Walt Disney World Resort. Leslie Kay of “DisneyBound” put together looks based on our two favorite sisters of Arendelle, Elsa and Anna.

Fellow Disney Parks Blog author, Jennifer Fickley-Baker, and I decided to test these DisneyBound looks thanks to Champion and New Balance.

Disney 'Frozen' 5K Style Disney 'Frozen' 5K Style

From DisneyBound outfits to costumes head to toe, check out some of my favorite “Frozen”-inspired looks from the Disney Frozen 5K!

I can’t wait to see the creativity at the upcoming Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on Sunday. Share your outfits with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #PrincessHalf.

Check out some of the great outfits from the Disney Princess Half Marathon by replaying the live stream here.

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Cross the Finish Line & Race to the ‘Happily Ever After Party’ at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 19th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, is almost here and at Downtown Disney, we’re already prepping for the post-race fun of the “Happily Ever After Party” taking place this Sunday, February 22 from 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Downtown Disney Marketplace. Whether runDisney athletes complete a 5K, 10K or 13.1 magical miles, this is the way to celebrate a race well run!

Having participated in several runDisney events, I know how much hard work and training it takes to get to the finish line. I totally believe in rewarding yourself for a great accomplishment, so here’s my advice to runners: don’t miss this party!

Indulge in Great Food at the Downtown Disney Food Trucks Grab runDisney Merchandise at D-Tech on Demand at Marketplace Co-Op Grab runDisney Merchandise at Downtown Disney

Here, you’ll have the chance to:

  • Indulge in Great Food – We’ll have one of the Disney Food Trucks on hand; show your finisher’s medal to receive a complimentary themed cupcake with entrée purchased during event hours. Additionally, several Downtown Disney restaurants from the West Side to the Marketplace will offer special discounts* for runners all weekend long.
  • Get the Goods – Need to get your finisher’s medal engraved with your race time? Stop by Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories. Want to make your own celebratory T-shirt? Do it at Disney Design-a-Tee presented by Hanes. Seeking a commemorative sketch? Find it at Art of Disney. Love the idea of a personalized phone case featuring runDisney art? Check out D-Tech on Demand at Marketplace Co-Op. Wish you had picked up more merchandise at the Expo? See what’s stocked on the Disney Merchandise truck. Plus, many retail locations are offering special discounts* for runners all weekend long. (And let’s be honest – Downtown Disney is THE place to let your inner princess shine. Tiaras from Arribas Brothers, anyone?)
  • Let Loose – Take part in the DJ Dance Party to get your post-race groove on. (I know, dancing may sound like the last thing you want to do after running a half-marathon, but it’s a great way to keep your muscles loosened up!)

Admission to the Happily Ever After Party is free and is open to race participants, their guests and the public. The best way for Disney Resort guests to join the fun is via complimentary Disney Resort transportation. If you’re driving, follow signs to available parking which may be located across the street in nearby lots or in the recently opened garage.

Have a great race this weekend and enjoy your happily ever after!

*Participating locations are listed in the Official Event Guide distributed at Packet Pick-Up. All offers subject to change and are at the discretion of individual locations. Runner must present race bib (if prior to race) or medal (post-race) to receive offer. Offer for race participant only unless otherwise noted. Offer valid February 20-22, 2015 unless otherwise noted. While supplies last.

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You Will Fly for These Tinker Bell Half Marathon Finisher Medals

posted on February 19th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


You set a goal, you started your training and now you get to see what waits for you in May at the finish line of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry at the Disneyland Resort.

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Today I am excited to show you all the finisher medals for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, including the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge medal for those running the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday.

Disney is all about storytelling and these runDisney medals are no exception. To help get the story behind the “bling”, I went straight to the man behind the medals, Disney Art Director Scott Auerbach. He designed this year’s finisher medals.

The Never Land 5K medallion features the Lost Boys. These boys have always been popular with our guests, and Auerbach feels their playful and adventurous attitude is a perfect fit for the family fun run.

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Auerbach says his goal for the Tinker Bell 10K was to create a medal that included Tinker Bell’s friends from Pixie Hollow. He decided to go with five fairies, and when combined you get a total of 10 wings, one for each kilometer of your journey. The medal is enhanced with a pearlescent texture on the wings. This gives a light shifting reflection and depth that really makes the wings come to life.

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The Tinker Bell Half Marathon finisher medal again features Tink herself. Surrounded by wings, Tink spins in the center of the medal, and it is sprinkled with a little pixie dust color to help you fly.

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In designing the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge finisher medal, Auerbach drew inspiration from the movie “The Pirate Fairy.” In the film, Tinker Bell and her friends set out to find Zarina who took the Blue Pixie Dust. On their journey each of the fairies’ “talents” are switched and this puts them in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar situation. However, in order to find Zarina and the Blue Pixie Dust, they must accept these new talents and work together. Through persistence and teamwork they were able to find the Pixie Dust and recover their friend Zarina. Aurbach says this medal represents the challenges that Tinker Bell and her friends faced and the various talents used to accomplish their goals. Each icon represents the talents of Tinker Bell (tinker talent), Silvermist (water talent), Vidia (fast-flying talent), Rosetta (garden talent), Iridessa (light talent), and Fawn (animal talent).

Auberach says, “Like the fairies, we can accept new challenges and with a little persistence, learning new talents, and working together, we can all achieve incredible goals.”

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We hope you like these medals and that they provide the motivation you need to complete your training. For those not registered for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, I hope these inspire you to join us for a future runDisney event weekend and get your “bling”.

See you at the finish line in May.

For more information about Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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Share in The Magic With ‘Live’ Stream of the Disney Princess Half Marathon

posted on February 18th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


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On Sunday more than 24,000 women will create magical memories when they participate in the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and you can share in the excitement “live” from your computer, tablet or cell phone.

runDisney is excited to offer this opportunity for friends and family, and those just wanting to checkout a runDisney event, to “click-in” and watch dreams come true. Followers will be able to track runners as they run 13.1-miles through the Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, and then join in “live” for a royal celebration at the finish line.

Guests that go to the Disney Parks Blog will have two live streams to choose from. One stream begins at 5:00 a.m. and includes the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The other begins at 6:30 a.m. and features an uninterrupted stream from the finish line.

You can join in the social media conversation on Twitter and Instagram by using #PrincessHalf.

After the race come back to the Disney Parks Blog for your chance to replay both feeds.

For more information on Disney Princess Half Marathon and other runDisney race weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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#DisneySide Sports Style: Chilly runDisney Inspiration

posted on February 11th, 2015 by Aubrey Hang, Sports Marketing Community Manager, runDisney


To celebrate the upcoming runDisney Disney Frozen 5K at Walt Disney World Resort, Leslie Kay of “DisneyBound” put together looks based on some of your favorite characters!

We hear a bit of a chill will be blowing through our upcoming race weekend with our two favorite sisters of Arendelle, Elsa and Anna, gracing our courses. Whether you want to add just a touch of Elsa or Anna to your race day outfit or wear a costume from head to toe, here are some ways to capture their distinct looks during your race.

Anna-Inspired Outfit Perfect for runDisney Disney Frozen 5K Elsa-Inspired Outfit Perfect for runDisney Disney Frozen 5K

We think this outfit is worth melting for. Paired with an Olaf hat from the Disney Store, the white shorts and shirt with orange shoes bring out Olaf’s lovable personality perfectly!

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All of the attire can be found on Champion, and the shoes are from New Balance. My next blog post will bring some of these looks to life!

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First Look at New Items for Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 10th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


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I’m looking forward to the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort that will be held February 19-22. My fiancée will be participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, so I’m excited to cheer for her and other runners throughout the weekend. She recently asked me about the merchandise that will be offered during the event, so I visited the merchandise events team to get a sneak preview.

A Variety of Apparel Items with the Princess Half Marathon Logo Will Debut During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015 A Variety of Apparel Items with the Princess Half Marathon Logo Will Debut During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2015

Like previous year’s events, we will offer a variety of apparel items with the Princess Half Marathon logo including T-shirts, jackets, tank tops and headwear. There will also be drinkware, pins and a necklace. I like the colorful new ear hat with an attached veil. There will also be an ear hat with Olaf for the Kids’ Races.

You may recall that we released a blue, runDisney-themed retail MagicBand during the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend in January. I’m happy to share that item will return along with a new pink MagicBand. Both of these items are limited release and will have a retail of $24.95 each. They can be “linked later” which makes them perfect gifts for someone training for a future runDisney race at Walt Disney World Resort.

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For those participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge, you will also find apparel and home goods. I think the taglines on the backs of both running jackets are great!

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We will also release a variety of Sweaty Bands and Bondi Bands containing event logos.

The D-Tech on Demand boutique in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace will also offer unique artwork for guests. You can create and customize a case for the following mobile phones: iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5/5S/5C, iPhone 6/6+, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

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Finally, we’ll have a few new Disney Princess-themed Dooney & Bourke handbags designed by Disney Design Group. Select bags will contain a specially designed Princess Half Marathon 2015 hangtag.

These items and more will be released at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Expo will be open during the following times:

  • Thursday, February 19 – 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 20 – 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 21 – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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