New runDisney Enhancements Coming this Race Season

Aubrey Gravante

by , Public Relations Director, Disney Parks

Our team at runDisney has been working hard to put together magical enhancements on our races based on runner’s feedback. Today I get to share some upcoming enhancements to look forward to!

Starting with the 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend all event guides will be digital. They will be easily accessible from any device – computer, tablet and a smartphone. Our event guides will be able to provide the most up to date race weekend information. Our first digital event guide will be live soon on

We have an exciting announcement for everyone participating in an upcoming runDisney 5K – you will now earn a “metal” medal for upcoming domestic races starting at Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend! To celebrate this announcement I’ll be revealing three of the upcoming 5K race medals.

I’m excited to reveal the Disneyland 5K medal – a Disney classic duo: The Country Bears to celebrate the “Disney Duo” theme of the weekend.

Country Bears On Disneyland Medal

Participants in Mickey’s Holiday 5K will earn Mickey and Minnie kicking off the holiday season:

Mickey and Minnie on Holiday Medal

And lastly, my favorite upcoming 5K medal is the Captain America 5K shield for Super Heroes Half Marathon at Disneyland:

Captain America on 5K Medal

Which #runDisney 5K medals will you add to your collection? Follow our social media accounts for the medal collection reveal in the upcoming weeks!

Twitter: @runDisney
Instagram: @runDisney
Facebook: @RunDisney
YouTube: @runDisney


  • I admit I was a little disappointed when I ran my first 5 k in February and received the rubber Ariel medal. But now that I’ve done a few 10k and half marathons, I’ve grown to appreciate the colorful and unique rubber medals… They stand apart as different from the other medals and consider them to be an important part of any medal collection… I’m am not giving up hope that they will bring back these colorful and true disneylike 5k medals…. I will probably drop the 5k if they don’t have the rubber ones anymore and save my energy for the challenges that have the enamel medals.

  • From what I remember seeing, the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in May 2017 will still have the plastic 5k medallion. Is that going to be upgraded as well or is this just for 2016?

  • Will we be able to print the event guide at the Expo? And is this true for the Disneyland Paris Half?

  • Our family was disappointed to not get “metal” medals at the Star Wars 5K last year as this was our first RunDisney event. We are very excited and will now register for this years Star Wars 5K to get our “metal” medal!!!

  • I like the metal medals. As far as the digital event guides, like a lot of people I’m a bit disappointed. The PLUS side is that you won’t see them for sale on EBAY. YEY.

  • I really can’t wait to add the Capt. America 5K medal to my collection of other running medals. It looks so sweet and I can’t wait to show my sergeants the awesome medal. I can’t wait for race day and neither can my sister. Actually the race is on my mom’s birthday and both my parents are Air Force veterans, and I’m in the Air Force myself, so it’s perfect.

  • I am super excited about the 5K metal medals! This February will be my first run ever with Disney to do the Princess Glass Slipper Challenge! When I heard about the 5K medals changing I had to sign up for the 5K! I noticed some other medals for other races have colorful enamel added to them. Will this be a possibility for the 5K medals to add a touch of color?

  • I, like many people I have been noticing, am not too thrilled about the event guide going digital. While I admit it’s exciting to glance at it ahead of the races, it doesn’t beat receiving the physical book at the expo. While it’s a minor thing, it plays a big roll in the experience. Along with my race bibs, to me it’s a cherished piece of memorabilia that I keep in a collection to look at for years to come. During race weekend it has proven to be extremely handy and resourceful for myself and my support group. I’m young with an old soul, I don’t like where technology is taking us sometimes and this is one of those things. Please keep making hard copies of the guides.

  • Another suggestion I would like to see… I have tun every race Disney has to offer on both coasts (except for Dopey, but I will get there). I was so happy to see at the Star Wars Dark Side that you had the photo opps set up for before and after the race. It was such a nice touch. There are so many runners who choose Disney races because you can have some fun and take pictures. No othet race offers this opportunity and having the ability to have some photos taken with loved ones and the characters/backdrops was so much fun. You should do this at all of the Disney races. Plus yoh will get some great social media posts out of it!

  • I received my Disney Shorts series medals yesterday. I am BEYOND happy with them. The color, detail and ribbons are some of the best medals I’ve gotten from all my races (Disney included). It ranks up there with my 20 year WDW marathon spinner and my tinker bell 5 year and all my Princess medals. I’m looking forward to next years virtual race. I’ve shown all my friends my medals and they are looking forward to participating in 2017!

  • I admit it. Yes, I am superfiscial and love the medals. The nicer the medal the better. I have driven 400+ miles, just for the medal (ok, and yes…the sense of accomplishment!). I have only done about a dozen 5K events since I only recently became involved in the activity. I am slow due to two bad knees but can stay under a 16 minute mile. After 3 failed knee surgeries over the past 2 years I just got a knee replacement last week. My rehab goal is to complete the Disneyland Captain America 5K in November. Although I was told to never run again, that won’t stop me from getting out there and challenging myself to do the best I can do while walking.

    As a newbie to the world of races, I will say that I am very disappointed to learn that many national and local race sponsors choose to give their 5K participants a different medal from what their longer distance runners receive. Many people, like myself want to be part of an activity like this and cannot do longer distances. Metal medals or not, I vote for equalization in awards. There is no reason that the 5K finisher awards should not be as beautiful, or as big or as elaborate as those given to the long distance participants. (Especially at higher priced events. – LOL)

    Happy running/walking!

  • I love that the 5K medals will now be metal. However I don’t agree making the guide digital is an enhancement. As previous runners have stated I prefer the paper guide. Not everyone has a large smartphone. Hopefully we will be given the choice of paper or digital. Maybe even an option to purchase a paper guide for those of us who would prefer an acutal guide.

  • Very happy about the digital guide and 5k medals. The type in the printed ones is too tiny and I look forward to more clinking after all the runs 😉

  • I love that the 5K medals are going to be metal now. My husband said he might actually run with me at the Dark Side now.

    One change I would love to see is maybe having only runners able to purchase at the expo the first day. Or maybe limited the amount each person can purchase. I got to the expo two hours after it opened and a lot was already gone. I wasn’t able to get a shirt I wanted because my size was sold out already. Of course tons showed up on ebay. I’m hoping to get there at opening this year and get what I want. Fingers crossed.

  • The upcoming wdw marathon weekend will be our 10th year since we started runDisney events. I’m so excited that they are going to metal 5K metals! We like our rubber ones but excited for the change! Have they thought about changing the coast to coast metals? And I’m too disappointing in the digital program

  • I seriously doubt people were complaining about the paper program. I personally liked it because I was able to keep that along with my bib. On the other hand the metal medal is a nice touch. I had never considered the 5k because they used to look so cheap.

    One other change is that they don’t do deferrals anymore. I had a business trip come up so I won’t be able to run the Disneyland 10k, and I just lost that money because I no longer have an alternative.

  • I’m 70 years old, I love that you listened. Now you need a coast to coast for those of us that only do the 5K’s. My wife does the 10K’s, 1/2 marathon and the Disney world marathon. She is 69 years young. The virtual medals are great. Thanks again for listening.

  • LOVE that they are doing actual “metal” medals for the 5Ks! My daughter (22) and I just finished the virtual series and were BLOWN AWAY when our metals arrived. We are doing our first “real” 5K at the Princess run in Feb 2017. Absolutely can’t WAIT! Is it normal for the designs to not be revealed until ~ 30 days out? What about the shoe designs?

  • I also don’t consider an all digital event guide an”enhancement”. I like to keep the guides as souvenirs and as a reference for changes over the years. Are you planning on keeping them available on-line permanently?

  • It’s disappointing that metal medals are starting for races that are already sold out. Some of us only do the races that have metal medals and would’ve signed up for them had we known. Now there are six race weekends that are affected by this announcement of the 5K metal medals and Princess is the only 5K left with availability. These medals should have started with either the 2017 Dark Side weekend or the 2018 WDW marathon weekend in my opinion to make it fair for everyone to have a chance at getting them. Atlas, fundraising is still an option for some but not all

  • Which 5K medal do you get?

  • I never received my medals from the Running Shorts Series, thou I participated and paid monies due. What guarantee do we have for these events?

  • Will this continue past this season? With Star Wars Darkside registration coming up me signing up for the 5k is going to depend on if there is a metal medal for that as well

  • I’m glad to see they’re considering changes. The Tink course was just so congested and tight without as much entertainment that I wasn’t looking forward to the Half in September as much as I have in past years.

  • Woo Hoo! Very, very happy about the actual metal medal for the 5K. We had signed up for 10K races just so we could get the real medal! I agree with most everyone else, I would prefer a copy of the event guide! Another change I would love to see…PLEASE give us an image of the commemorative items so we can know whether or not we want to purchase them! I paid for a Tervis Tumbler and I have NO IDEA what it will look like!

  • Will these races be available for virtual runners? I am in Indiana and finances are tight and I know I won’t be able to make it to a race anytime soon, but I can save up for the virtual races.

  • I was going to make the exact same comment as Chris Shuttlesworth. The rubber medal is a buffer for the other medals! ?

  • I understand the reasoning for going digital but I don’t like going thru the program online. Not only do I keep all of mine but I know people who use them to scrapbook with.

  • I am hopeful there will also be a paper option for those of us who can’t see the teeny-tiny print on our screens. I LOVE the option to have it digital, but also enjoy paging through and seeing all the details you miss when scrolling.

    As for the medals, I’m having mixed emotions. So many of my friends are disappointed that the 5k isn’t medal, but the detail has been fantastic, and I sure don’t see that level of detail in the County Bears (although they look cool). It also looks like it will be much smaller, but hopefully in person it isn’t actually only the size of the ribbon it is on. Looks to be only about an inch and a half to 2 inches which would be sad.

  • I was excited to see what enhancements I would see at the princess half in 2017. This is a dissapointment –printed guides are a requirement for me! A few days ago I just pulled out my guide from the 2015 princess half and started crying from the memories as I paged through it. Please reconsider going all digital. It seems like a cost cutting move not an enhancement 🙁

  • I also have had hard time reading guides from my phone in past. I’m fine with digital but make it phone/printer friendly please. Also great job on bringing 5k medals to Medal land. Now Tech shirts would be nice even if I pay upgrade fee for it.

  • What about the Castaway Cay 5k? Is that one getting a metal medal too?

    • Hi Carolyn! No, only domestic 5K medals will be “metal” as of now.

  • Will the Kid’s Races medals still be rubber?

    • Yes, they will!

  • I’ll certainly miss the paper event guides, but I’ll miss the rubber 5k medallions more. They give so much detail. I hope they won’t make the Belle 5k metal. I’ve framed all my Princess 5k medallions. I only added the 5k to my Glass Slipper Challenge to receive a colorful Belle for framing.

  • I do like that the 5K’s have real medals now the 20th anniversary marathon weekend in 2013 was our first race, and first 5K and we were disappointed that it was a piece of plastic. However, I am VERY DISAPPOINTED that the event guide is going digital, while I have a smart phone and use it to refer to event details many times, I have many more times used the paper copy, which is easy to physically flip through and view information, rather than waiting for the sometimes slow internet (and sometimes DOWN internet) to work. I have been running RunDisney since 2013, and seen MANY cost cutting measures, fewer characters, jammed courses (in the middle corrals), higher prices, fewer or changed for the worse races. (TOT 10 miler, F&W no longer being a night event). Because of these changes I am running fewer RunDisney races. I don’t think I am the only one either judging from the fact that races do not sell out as fast as they once did.

    I think RunDisney needs to stop looking for cost-cutting measures, because runners aren’t stupid we can tell the quality of service we get. Instead, they need to look at how they ran these events 4-5+ years ago and return to that.

  • Not impressed that it’s the race guide will be digital…I don’t have a cell phone or tablet…so I will be coming to the race weekend with nothing, unless I print the guide before I come. Not user friendly for me!

  • So excited about the mickeys holiday 5k! The medal is amazing and I love that it’s metal now. It is more befitting the big accomplishment that it is for many people including me. Can’t wait to run it for my first race!

    • Good luck on your first race! That’s so exciting!

  • My son is very excited to see medal for the 5k. He wanted to run a 10k just for a metal medal.
    He’s only done a kid race. He was jumping the gun to 10k to get a metal one.
    Now he can relax and focus on 5k before a 10k.

    • Great news! Thanks for sharing.

  • Please let us know how this is being paid for. Are we trading paper guides for metal medals or is there more to it. Such radical changes have costs, I for one would like to know what they are

  • I wish you were not getting rid of the event manuals. I loved and collected them for years.

  • Yay for metal medals! My 10 year old will be so excited! Good call Run Disney!

  • I loved the rubber medallions. They were colorful and so Disney like. I’m more disappointed that there will no longer be paper event guides. I don’t always want to look at my screen to read information and the booklet was great. Not everyone wants to stare at a screen all the time. I’m looking forward to seeing what other enhancements are coming maybe tech shirts for the 5k as well! See you in September.

  • It’s awesome that you’re giving the real medals for the 5ks now. I have to admit that I was disappointed in the rubber one and constantly worry about the rubber starting to degrade, potentially damaging my other memorabilia and the surfaces that it touches.

    (And a timed 5k would be great, too. Another disappointment for an expensive race that I traveled over 3000 miles to run.)

    Don’t get me wrong… the whole experience is amazing, but a 5k *is* a real race for many people and we like to celebrate the achievement!

    • I love the 5K event!

  • Now we just need tech shirts!

  • What is the mickeys holiday 5k? Is that going to be a virtual run or part of a run series, if so which one?! ??

  • Please tell me/or consider that the Princess 5K in February will be a metal medal too….this will be my first actual 5K onsite and it would be a wonderful surprise.

  • I am admittedly skeptical that a digital event guide will be an “enhancement”. Call me old fashioned, but the paper ones are much easier to read through and refer to for schedules throughout the weekend. As long as this enhancement doesn’t mean it’s just going to be a pdf that we’re left to print off for ourselves–or worse–attempt to scroll through on our phones–I’m looking forward to checking it out. Hopefully, it’s instead a more functional smartphone-friendly thing (e.g., an event-specific app maybe? I’ve seen these done for conferences I’ve attended). Whatever it is, I think the most valuable thing will be easily accessible and legible schedules. I’ll withhold final judgment for the moment, but I’m intrigued.

    I tend to stick to the longer distances for Disney races, but the 5k metal medals look kinda neat!

  • How is getting rid of race guides an enhancement? Its a “here, print the thing yourself” cost cutting move.

  • Awesome! But my only concern is when I have four medals at the end of a race weekend (5K, 10K, half and challenge), I use the rubber 5K medal as a buffer to keep the others from getting scratched when I’m clanking around the parks afterward 😉

  • Since the 5ks are giving out medals now, does that mean that the races will now be timed or increase in price?

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