Disney Halloween 5k Fun Run


I decided to run the Disney Halloween 5k a few weeks ago, but then I got sick coming back from vacation. I had a bad cold going into this work trip and I felt miserable. Friday, I worked the expo from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm. I didn’t know how I would get up at 5 am for the 5k, then work the expo all day, break down the booth, then run the half, all while sick. I figured it was just one day, and while it would be hard, it was just 24 hours.

My peppiness and optimism quickly subsided when my alarm went off at 5. It was dark and cold and I didn’t want to get out of bed! I knew my running buddy Ernie would be knocking on my door soon so I had to get up and get ready. The race started at 7, and we got to the Animal Kingdom a few minutes before 6 and took some pictures.


Ernie had some seriously awesome light up Tinkerbell wings that EVERYONE went nuts over!


We stood around for almost an hour before we were ushered into the “corrals” (big signs that had suggested pace times on them.) We got toward the front and were just ready to start after standing around for so long.


people behind me ready to run…I think.


When the race started with the usual Disney fireworks, we actually headed AWAY from the Animal Kingdom. If you are familiar with this park, you may remember the giant curve that goes around the outside of the parking lot…yeah, we ran that whole thing, which was quite long, then headed back towards the park.  Still feeling sick and congested, I couldn’t breathe through my nose AT ALL, so I was wheezing and coughing trying to keep up with Ernie. We got back to the park entrance and I was ready to see and take pictures with characters!


Right at the part entrance was a character with a big line, so we decided not to stop thinking there would be many more along the way. (Do you sense the foreshadowing here people?) We ran all through the park as the sun came up, and I kept looking and looking for more characters, to no avail.




The closest thing I saw to a character was at the 2  mile marker, where there were some cast members holding some birds and such…yeah…


I was about to fall out by this point, but just kept trying to keep Ernie in my sights, when I spotted this guy!


Honestly though, we aren’t sure if he was out there for course entertainment or if he was heading to breakfast at Tusker house because his character handler seemed annoyed we wanted a picture, and other runners told me they didn’t see him. We saw the haunted mansion guys towards the end of the race, but no one else. We went around one more turn and the finish line was in sight, so we picked up the pace.




(previous two photos courtesy of Ernie)

We crossed the finish line and got our medal..er…rubber medallion and powerade/water/banana/bagel



I was glad for this to be over because I was dreading having so many things to do that day, nice to scratch something off my list! It seemed to go by so quickly, but I have a million other things on my mind so didn’t really care at that point. Ok, so now for the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good:

It’s always cool to run through the Disney parks! Fireworks at the start, lots of cheering at the finish, Minnie and Mickey at the starting line, and since it was a Halloween 5k, lots of fun costumes were all over the place. Wish I had taken more pics of some of them!

The Bad:

Getting up at 5 and having to get there by 6 to stand around for an hour in the chilly weather is never fun. Also, not having specific corrals, a bunch of walkers started in the front so there was a good bit of weaving in the beginning, but nothing major.

The Ugly:

I was VERY disappointed in the bang for your buck. This race was $53 dollars if you include the active.com fees. I assumed that there would be a bunch of characters on the course like for the half marathons, and other 5k’s I have been told about. The only characters on the course was a monkey at the beginning from Tarzan or Jungle book, Donald, and the grave digger guys from haunted mansion. That.. is.. it. For the hefty entry fee I expected a lot more than that. Also, what is up with the rubber finishers medal? As it is, you get a t-shirt instead of a technical fabric shirt. (I pay $15 bucks for local races and get a tech shirt) I KNOW Disney is making a ton of money on this race, they could have made it more worthwhile. I thought it was a HUGE waste of money and unless it’s free, I highly doubt I will be running anymore Disney 5k races. Coming from someone who loves Disney and Disney races….I just had to give it the honest review it deserved. I would hate for someone to go waste their money like I did.

I give Disney a LOT of business by raving about their races. I loved the half in January, as well as the full and would recommend them to anyone (and I will be running Princess in February). The full this past January was my favorite race ever. Tons of characters! Great crowd support! Well organized! I just can’t in good conscience recommend the Halloween 5k to anyone, which saddens me greatly as a HUGE lover of Disney and of running. I understand Disney is a business and they are trying to make money…but with I *think* 3200 runners at $53 dollars each…that’s around $170k. Most of the people there were volunteers anyway, so I assume there was a lot of profit in this race. How much more could it have cost to add in a few more characters, and less running through parking lots? I truly hope Disney has a change of heart with this one for next year, I would love to be proven wrong!

QOTD: Ever been disappointed by a race? tell me about it!

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  1. Oh wow. I guess the hefty price tag of the half and full are worth it since you get so much more- especially more organization! I guess there won’t be any Disney 5ks in my future. You did great though! I cannot imagine what going through that day must have felt like sick- ugh 🙁

  2. I just started reading your blog last week! We were just a bit behind you at the start…I remember Ernie and his amazing wings! I was also very disappointed with this particular 5k! I ran the Princess 5k in February (haven’t gotten the nerve to try running a Disney half marathon yet…the Princess was my first 5k!) Anyway, the Princess 5k was at Epcot…you spent way more time running in the actual park, there were tons of characters out…all the Disney princesses were there! I thought the princess 5k was a much better run. I really hated the first mile or so through the parking lot! There are never any specific corrals it is all basically an honor system for the 5k’s and there is always alot of weaving to get by people…although my husband and daughter ran their first half at the food and wine and complained about the same thing at the start…lots of weaving around other runners for about the first half mile or so.

  3. Well, you sure looked cute! I don’t know how you did it. I can’t wait to read more about your EXPO day and then the half. I can’t imagine how exhausted you must still be. Rest up so you don’t get sick again. I shall not covet all of your running skirts!

  4. Wow, I can’t imagine paying that much for a 5K and not getting any more out of it than that. Thanks for the heads up on what to expect!

  5. haha…yes, Disney 5k’s are RIDICULOUSLY priced. I’ve only done one, and it was because I REALLY loved the theme and didn’t care that it was a rubber medal (Fabulous 5k at DL 2010…fab 5 themed!). When you consider that I have signed up for a half with a women’s tech shirt for $30 that also gets a cool medal, it gives you pause…stick with the halfs and fulls for Disney! Although they are RIDONKULOUSLY pricey too, at least you get characters and more parks and stuff… 😉

  6. I ran this, too. You and I pretty much had the same opinion about the cost of it. I said almost the same thing on my recap! I know it was a small race, but I felt like they could have done a few more things with it. It’s Disney; people have high expectations. I was really bummed there were only two characters on the course (and I didn’t even spot Donald – boo). It reminded me of running the 5k at Universal, with a few employees who probably had to be at work early substituting for actual course support. Kinda felt short-changed.

  7. Jennifer (The Vintage Chain) says

    Well, that’s a bummer. I would have definitely expected more being that it’s Disney.

  8. I’d wondered about doing one of the Disney 5Ks – but maybe I’ll pass. You looked super cute though! And at least you got a pic with Donald. I can’t imagine working the expo, doing the 5K and the Half – seriously impressed!!

  9. I’ve decided that I won’t be running Disney anymore due to the over pricing, it just didn’t seem to be a value. It’s a shame too as I have family in the area and would not even have a hotel bill. I skipped the Wine and Dine and chose the JAX USMC Half instead and will run the Gasperilla in Tampa instead of the Disney Princess. The price for the these are much lower even with an inexpensive hotel cost, and the goodies are better. Actual medals and tech shirts along with extras and great river/gulf coast scenery with bands/crowds instead of parking lots and deserted roads.

  10. I have never gotten a technical shirt at any 5k, local or not. I have paid $30 for a 5k, cotton shirt, and no medal so I would be fine with what Disney gives.

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