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Walt Disney World Resort Feels the Dark Side of the Force in All New Star Wars Half Marathon Event

Faron Kelley

by , Vice President of Sports, ESPN Wide World of Sports & Water Parks at Walt Disney World Resort

The Force has awakened at Walt Disney World Resort through runDisney’s newest addition to its portfolio – Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side.

This intergalactic quest through Walt Disney World theme parks blasts off April 14-17, 2016 and channels the Dark Side of the Force. The events will include a 5K, 10K, kids races and half marathon plus a special challenge for completing the 10K and half marathon called the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge!


Runners who join the Galactic Empire will enjoy a true Star Wars experience, including Dark side-inspired medals and merchandise throughout the weekend.

After the thrilling inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort this past January, runners and Star Wars fans alike have been vocal about their desire for a similar themed race at Walt Disney World Resort.


To differentiate the two races, Disneyland Resort will embrace the Light Side of the Force with a 5K, 10K, kids races and half marathon as well as continuing its Star Wars Rebel Challenge upon completion of the 10K and half marathon.

Whether you are a runDisney veteran or Star Wars enthusiast, these races will be a journey like no other. By participating in both Star Wars Half Marathon events, runners will earn the inaugural Kessel Run Challenge medal, which Star Wars fans know is the ultimate test of skill.

As runDisney broadens its resume, it continues to bring runners uniquely inspired races while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle!

Registration for the East Coast event opens September 22, 2015 at noon ET. May the courses be with you!

Are you excited for this event? Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #StarWarsHalf!


  • All signed up on both coasts! Registration was quick and easy! Can’t wait!

  • Wow, I had a really bad time trying to do early registration. I was in immediately at 12:00 and signed up both my wife and I for the dark side challenge. I also selected the commemorative pin set. When I checked out, it only processed the pin set and didn’t register either of us for the dark side challenge. My receipt shows 12:02PM eastern time! At that point I couldn’t get back in because the challenge was “on hold”. I called rundisney at about 12:20 and was told keep trying, it wasn’t sold out. It sold out about an hour later and I was never able to get back in. They are now telling me they can’t do anything even though I have something showing I was in and tried to register at 12:02. Any suggestions?

  • Will there be early registration for DVC and annual passholders?

  • Did anyone get an answer on whether Passholders will get early registration for this event or not? I was hoping to learn that, too!

  • Pretty disappointed that this was announced after registration for the DLR Star Wars half marathon was closed. We decided to forego the Star Wars half since we are going to do the Disney World half marathon. Would love to have all the inaugural Star Wars race medals (completed the Rebel Challenge earlier this year), especially the inaugural Kessel Run Challenge medal. I would have liked better planning from Disney 🙁

  • So excited! Thank you for continuing to offer more events. Loved the first Star Wars race and am looking forward to having two Star Wars running events in 2016! Love runDisney!

  • I am excited about the race coming to Disney World. Hope to be able to get a spot

  • It doesn’t exactly seem fair to announce this after the Disneyland one has already sold out.

    Additionally, it was nice to have something that was Disneyland only without a matching event elsewhere.

  • Not happy it’s on a Sunday. Would do it any other day of the week.

  • And this is why I renewed with the Premier pass vs premium. I just knew this was light speeding into 2016. I’m glad to hear there’s a medal for doing both coasts.

    I agree, we missed rD at D23. New Balance was there, but no rD. That would have been a great place to announce.

    Can’t wait to once again ‘stay on target’.

  • I think you should award that special medal to any runners who ran the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon at DLR, too! I live here in Florida and it was so expensive to make the trip out there last year! There’s no way I would have been able to afford it again.

    That being said, I think I’m definitely going to try running this one too! It will be nice to at least have the inaugural medal from each.

  • Sad this didn’t get announced sooner! We passed on registration for DLR Star Wars race and and we already registered for Tink to get the coast to coast medal but would have registered for the Star Wars half last week when spots were still open had we known we could have gotten a special medal!

    You need to announce a full year of plans a year in advance!

    Hey, and by the way, where was runDisney at the d23 Expo? Yeah, you weren’t there – but you should have been!

  • I would also like to know if/when early registration for APs will be.

  • Is there a star wars exclusive coast to coast medal for completing the races in Anaheim and florida?

  • I’m also disappointed that this wasn’t announced before the Disneyland races filled up. I had a blast doing them this year, but it’s a tough weekend for logistics, so close to Marathon Weekend; I think that this would have been enough to convince me to do it again. I guess that means I’ll sit out both versions of the Star Wars races for 2016

  • Is there any way to transfer our registration to this race from the Jan event?

  • Agree with Stephen…wish I would have known about this in June! I got to run inaugural Rebel Challenge, and will be sure to run the inaugural Dark Side races, but wish I could’ve gone for inaugural Kessel Run Challenge!

    Long Live the Empire!

  • What will be the age limit for the half marathon and the challenge?

  • Why wasn’t this done a week earlier? I booked the April 16th Star Wars cruise on the Fantasy as soon as it was available, and now I’ll be blocked out of this race! A week earlier and you could have implemented an awesome challenge with the cruise!

  • Love that you are adding a Star Wars Half to Florida. It would have been nice if you announced this before the Disneyland Star Wars Half was already sold out. Now there is no chance to for me to get the Kessel Run medal. For those of us that can’t run every event we have to plan our coast to coast events.

  • No! The Light side is boring! Dark Side for Disneyland!!!!!

  • I’m so excited!!

  • Will pass holder get early registration for this event?

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