Walt Disney World Half Marathon shortened and moved to an earlier start due to severe weather forecast

Jan 06, 2024 in "Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend"

Posted: Saturday January 6, 2024 7:00pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

runDisney has announced late this evening that The Walt Disney World Half Marathon course will be shortened due to the expected severe weather on the course.

In addition to the shorter distance (see below for new course map) which now omits Magic Kingdom, the race will begin 15 minutes early at 4:45 am, with the aim of having all runners depart the course by 8:00 am. Note that spectator viewing in Magic Kingdom will no longer be available. 

Local forecasts indicate there will be sustained rainfall from 8am through to midday, with wind guests up to 19mph.

Here is the complete statement from runDisney.

As you prepare for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, Jan. 6, we want you to be aware that our teams are keeping a close eye on local weather conditions. The safety of our Guests and Cast Members is our top priority and we have made the difficult decision to modify the course due to severe weather, including expected lightning in the area after 9:00 am. Given this weather forecast, our goal is to have everyone off the course by 8:00 am.

In addition to a shortened distance, the Half Marathon will begin 15 minutes early at 4:45 am. This earlier race start time will not affect Start Group Open/Close times or pre-Race Transportation

Important Details:

Participants registered for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, the Dopey Challenge, as well as the runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge who complete the shortened course on pace will still be eligible for their challenge medals.

Updated course maps showing modifications are now available on the Digital Expo & Event Guide.

Spectator viewing in Magic Kingdom will no longer be available. Spectators wishing to cheer on participants can view updated course maps via the Digital Expo & Event Guide.

Expo hours for the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo will not be affected, and the Expo will remain open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..

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Spoonful of Sugar30 days ago

Thank you so much for this reply and information. I will def look into Whispering Canyon - have heard good things about this one...and what a good idea to try this for breakfast while "working around" the road issues! Appreciate your insights! :)

the.dreamfinder31 days ago

It would depend on where you are staying, as the road closures make things hard. If you aren’t staying at a MK resort, you should be fine on Saturday with HS as the major road closures are on World Drive and into Epcot. If you’re at a Skyliner or Crescent Lake resort, you will have no problems getting to DHS. For Sunday, that’s going to be tough. rD has a 7 hour course limit for the full marathon, so MK will be difficult to reach unless you’re on the monorail loop or WL/FW launches. However, the marathon isn’t an out and back on world drive, so world drive reopening around 8:30-9am will ease traffic. If you can get to WL or FW and take their launches, Whispering Canyon Cafe could be a breakfast option that gets you in with a Uber/Lyft at WL. The big takeaway is that Sunday will be worse than Saturday and you will need to find means of transportation that take you around the road closures and ideally on a mode of transportation to MK that isn’t a car or bus.

Spoonful of SugarApr 20, 2024

Hello! Congratulations to all who are taking on the January 2025 WDW races! I am (ashamedly) not one of you, but my DSister is - 10K!! Newbie here...so I am posting this question here, but please direct me to the "non-runner" forum if needed. Not meaning to hijack this forum with non-runner questions, but not finding where I should ask this question. Here goes. I have been given the happy task of touring the parks with my dear nieces during the mornings of the half and full - they want to do early entry both on Sat and Sun - how do the parks work for HS on Saturday during ETPE and on Sunday at MK for ETPE? Thank you for all your help.

pdude81Apr 10, 2024

Ah ok. The races themselves mentioned USATF. Thanks, that helps me avoid wasting my time on a few contenders!

RteetzApr 10, 2024

This was listed on the half and full marathon pages. I also saw it under FAQ on the question, Can runDisney races serve as POT for other runDisney races?

pdude81Apr 10, 2024

It wasn't in the race policies tab for marathon weekend, so I went to the FAQ for the whole rD site and didn't see it there either. I always remembered seeing USATF somewhere though. Which page is that from? Posting my screenshots below. I just didn't look hard enough I guess __

RteetzApr 10, 2024

You had me go check. Where are you seeing that it doesn’t need to be USATF?

pdude81Apr 10, 2024

I'm noticing the POT section of race policies no longer specifies a race needs to be USATF certified. That might be helpful given I thought I'd have through late Sept to find something and now it's got to be before the end of June. Event when I go to the FAQ it no longer mentions USATF. Not sure when that vanished but it makes it easier. I've had to hunt down race directors before to double check.

surfsupdonApr 10, 2024

Thank you @pdude81 and @Demarke for helping. I’ve never run the race when the parks were officially opened. They let guests in but rides weren’t running yet. I want to do it. I’ll check out the fbook group. I figure if I run the race, PLUS add rides, entertainment, and food that the value of my registration will increase!! I will still train, but I will celebrate while running. Who knows, tmrw I may change my mind. But I’ve got plenty of time to finalize.

Disney Dawg88Apr 10, 2024

Thanks very much!!!

RteetzApr 10, 2024


Disney Dawg88Apr 10, 2024

Thanks again. One last question, can you provide info on the tracker? I have no idea where to find that.

RteetzApr 09, 2024

Official charities are listed on the runDisney website: https://www.rundisney.com/plan-your-trip/disneyworld/travel-providers/disneyworld-marathon-weekend/ As for the spots that pop up that are non-Charity. Those just appear on the runDisney website. There are trackers and such to help with this but again you have to be quick. It is usually just one or two spots at a time and they will go in a couple minutes.

Disney Dawg88Apr 09, 2024

Thanks for the response! I assume Team in Training is one, do you know where I can find any others? Also, when you say spots pop up periodically, where does that happen?