I was trying to add up how many Run Disney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekends I’ve participated in and I THINK it’s 6. I’ve missed the last two and have felt serious FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). So much so, that just today I pulled the trigger on my early entry option through Disney Vacation Club and signed up for next year’s race!
With regular registration next week, and Disney hotels getting booked earlier then ever for this kind of thing, I thought I might discuss where I like to stay for Marathon Weekend and WHY! Keep in mind, you’ll want to make sure your hotel is a “host” hotel (Disney will have a list) although for marathon weekend I’m fairly sure they all are. That means you’ll have guaranteed free transportation to the Expo and to all the race weekend events right from your hotel!
I have 3 faves and I’ll start with my 3rd favorite and work down from there.
3. Old Key West
Transportation here is not the best UNLESS you’re in a “Near Hospitality House” villa which is what we always get (it’s an actual DVC category – doesn’t cost more points but you do specify if that’s what you want). The villas are HUGE and there are always tons of runners staying there. Also love that I have a kitchen (1 bedroom or larger) or at least a kitchenette (studio) because I like to have some of my own food for marathon weekend. The down side? It can take FREAKING FOREVER to get back there after the race. Although that can be true for all locations (except my Number 1)
Small, happy, economical (by Disney standard;) and BEIGNETS. I stayed here a couple years ago and fell in love with it. The grounds are awesome, the food court is VERY good, and the small size means you’re not putting 2 – 3 EXTRA miles on your already marathon (see what I did there) day just getting to your room. Love. If I’m not staying on points, this is where you’ll find me.
If you’re cheering for the full (which I will be doing this year) this place is THE BOMB as you can literally walk out the door to your room and find a perfect place to cheer (the full goes right along the canal that borders BW). Also, when running the half or the full, you can walk back to your room from the finish line at Epcot (assuming you have park admission) so no waiting forever for a bus. I actually like taking a recovery walk after running so this doesn’t bother me (be prepared for the walk to be leisurely as the race will most likely still be going on). I also love it here because Epcot is my FAVORITE place to recover and to visit so the short walk there is DREAMY.
I’ve never stayed off property for marathon weekend and I don’t think I would want to. There are just so many people and crowds and traffic stress me out. I want my stress to be about my race, NOT about getting to and from everything.
I hope I’ll see you there! It really is my FAVORITE Run Disney weekend!