Even if you’re not a runner, the Walt Disney World Marathon is a thrilling event to attend if you happen to be visiting WDW the first weekend of January (after the New Year’s holidays). Although we didn’t plan it that way, Steve (DOS) and I met at EPCOT during the full marathon back in 2005; little did we know that three or four years later we would be volunteering at that same marathon!
The marathon event is HUGE – with some 20,000 runners plus their families cheering them on. The marathon is actually a trio of marathons, with the 10K on Friday, the half marathon on Saturday, and the full marathon on Sunday. And if you’re crazy enough to do all three events; you have entered the quest called the Goofy’s Challenge!
We have volunteered for the full marathon three times over the years, and always enjoy it; although you do have to be there at the crack of dawn for it. Disney rewards you with a free one day pass, but since we have annual passes already, we just give them to friends or family visiting to use; we really just enjoy the fun of the day.
The event goes thru all four theme parks and the full marathon concludes at EPCOT by 1pm. We have volunteered at the Boardwalk area, EPCOT, and even the VIP tent. We actually preferred the EPCOT area the best; one as it’s Steve (UNO’s) favorite park, and two we get some actual ‘face time’ with the characters prior to the runners coming thru.
Seeing the thousands of runners coming by us, many dressed in costume or with a ‘memory of’ shirt (the event benefits the leukemia society) it’s truly a fun and inspiring event to be witnessed. From handing out waters to runners, to simply cheering them on, it’s a fun day for all!
Here are some photos of years past at the full Disney marathon. Get ready to go!