runDisney race weekends can be some of the busiest weekends at Disney World. I would argue they are also some of the most fun! There are so many ways to get involved in race weekend – as a runner, ChEAR squad member, volunteer, and more. But what about the kids?
runDisney Kids Races
Just one of the many opportunities to get the whole family involved is the runDisney Kids Races. Our family has found these to be an absolute blast. The events are held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and have historically been presented by Go Go Squeeze.
The Kids Races include events for children up to 13 years old. Participants under 9 are eligible for the dashes (crawlers 12 months and under for the Diaper Dash, toddlers 1-4 years old for the 100m dash, 5-8 year olds for the 200m dash) and kids 13 & under can participate in the one mile run. The races are quite popular and can feel a tad crowded. However, the dash race times are staggered and each age group has multiple waves. The number of people on the course is much more manageable because of this and is less overwhelming for the kids.
One of the starting waves for the 2017 Princess Half Marathon Weekend Kids Race dashes.
Are they worth the price?
Registration for the dashes is $20 and it is $30 for the one mile run. Registrants get a t-shirt and finishers will also get a medallion. There is on-site entertainment, snacks for the kids (and big kids, too), and lots of activities!
At the $20 price tag, our family has found the Kids Race dashes to be one of the best values for an activity and souvenir at Walt Disney World Resort. (The t-shirt, snacks, and medallion alone seem to be worth it to me!) Like any Disney activity, though, the best and most valuable part is the experience itself. Our family has loved the race experiences overall. However, it is important to have realistic expectations for your little one and the somewhat unpredictable responses that so much stimulation can bring.
Our little guy has always enjoyed seeing the characters on the course and the excitement of the day. Of the three races he has completed, though, we have had three very different on-course reactions. Preparing myself for the unpredictable nature of his responses has been absolutely critical for making the most of race day.
Shyly but surely crossing the finish line at his first runDisney event.
At his second event he couldn’t have been more excited for the race – until it started. He insisted on being “up” for the full dash.
After finishing his most recent Kids Race, he begged “Can we do it again?” at the end.
In the end, I would happily recommend the runDisney Kids Races to my fellow parents. It’s a good value for the experience. And while they will inevitably outgrow the race shirt, the memories and photos will absolutely last a lifetime! (Don’t forget your camera – and Memory Maker!)
Spectator view from the grand stand at the Kids Race dashes at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The fence is one of the best spots for those action photos! And Disney Photo Pass photographers are on the course.
Has your child participated in the runDisney kids races before? What was your experience? Do you think they are worth it? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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