The only runDisney race of the year at Disneyworld to have a full marathon is fast approaching. The race weekend begins with the Expo opening on January 4th and concludes with the Marathon on January 8th. The race is celebrating 30 years of runDisney events and has a retro 90s theming to go along with it.
For all racers the event begins at the Health and Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Expo is where you will pick up your race materials and may pick up race merchandise.
Based upon the last race weekend, Wine and Dine 2022, the official event Expo merchandise (the stuff with the Disney characters and distances) changed to having a virtual queue for the first event day. There is no standby the first day, only the virtual queue. RunDisney has decided to continue this for the marathon weekend. After the first day it returns to a traditional standby queue.
Since this is a relatively new change many may be wondering how the virtual queue works. You will join the virtual queue from your logged in Disney account on the Walt Disneyworld app. In the apps opening section scroll down to “Virtual Queues” and click “Join Virtual Queues”. At 830am ET the ability to join the queue will open for those within 45 miles of the Disneyworld resort. You can then select the number of guest in your party – and don’t worry they can be family and friends that are with you even if they aren’t race participants. (Just make sure you’re Disney account is linked with theirs beforehand.) If you snag a return group to join, it will show an estimated wait time. While the virtual queue opens at 830 am ET, the shopping experience won’t begin until 10am ET – so it may show a very long wait time to begin. Your app will alert you when your group has been called. You can then proceed to the check in at the AdventHealth Arena and get your QR code scanned by a cast member. You’ll then be allowed to proceed into the building. There is likely to be a small line once inside the building before you can enter the shop floor. You can think of it like the Genie+, you get called back and have a minimal wait but some line will exist nonetheless.
Apart from the official merchandise building, the first stop you will make will be to pick up your race bib(s) and sign the waver if you haven’t completed it digitally already. You need a valid ID to pick up your bib and you cannot pick up anyone else’s for them. There will be a different section for each race wher e you can pick up your bib. If you’re doing a challenge event(multiple races) then there is a specific section labeled ‘challenge’ where you can pick up your multi-race bib. When you get your bib it will have your corral assigment on it. The number of corrals varies each race. When you get you bib you will also be given you gEAR bag. It’s great to hold all the items you are picking upbat the Expo, and can later be used for bag check service at each of the races.
After picking up your bib you can then head on over to the building across the way to pick up your included race shirts. In the same area is also the exhibition booths. This is where you can find non-Disney race items. Some fan favorites includes vendors selling energy chews, bib fasteners, and running tutus. There are also stations where you can have KT applied, a section on the Galloway method, and more. Usually a few vendors have a few freebies to hand out so make sure to check out the exhibition booths.
After you’ve gone through it all you are now ready to show up for your race. Make sure to get a good night’s rest, stay hydrated, and remember to have fun with it. Happy running racers!