There is “nothing fun about 4 o’clock in the morning.” That is my big takeaway from the runDisney 2013 Disneyland Family Fun Run 5K! Nothing – especially when your family doesn’t see the fun and excitement of running around theme parks before sunrise and would much rather shoo you out of the hotel room and wait to get up until daylight breaks.
Well, their wishes weren’t going to happen – especially when we traveled across the U.S.A. to experience the magic of the Disneyland 5K together! This race was significant for me personally, because it was the first race that we were completing as a family and my first race after my breast cancer surgery. Plus, this was the first time we were actually going to “run Disney” in costume!
The race was to start at 5:30am. There were no formal corrals listed for the 5K. I knew I needed to position my family to as close to the start line as possible to make it back to the finish in time to complete the 1st leg of the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge at 6:15am. I knew we needed to get to the corrals no later than 5am.
We were staying at the Disneyland Hotel, a stone’s throw away from the starting line; I set our wake up call to 4:00am. Once I woke up my husband (who had to take a shower – BEFORE A RACE?!!!) we didn’t have a problem getting the kids up and out the door!
Since we were dressed as The Incredibles, we were easy spotted by runDisney TV! One of the highlights of the trip was we were featured in runDisney’s The 2013 Disneyland 5K, Kid Races and Expo. We love Dennis Marsico!
This was my second time running the Disneyland 5K. The 2013 Disneyland 5K’s course was a great! It began on South Disneyland Drive and then turned left and made its way into Disney California Adventure. This was my children’s first look at the backstage of Disney magic. Although it was before sunrise, they thought it pretty cool. The course then ran through Cars Land. Cars Land is spectacular when viewed in the early hours or late at night. The neon signs on Route 66 were bright lit and a joy to run through!
Next we ran through Bugs Land and made our way pass Paradise Pier and The World of Color fountains and lights. Then we turned and ran down Buena Vista Street to the front entrance and over to Disneyland!
Once in Disneyland, we found our first water stop in Town Square. The stations were small, but well stocked and crowded. We then made our way up Main Street, U.S.A. to Sleeping Beauty Castle! After a quick photo stop, we ran through Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and by the Rivers of America to the backstage behind Critter Country. There we found our second water stop! It was hot and humid and water was needed! Then it was a quick loop through Disneyland to Downtown Disney! We ran through the main area of Downtown Disney until we turned right at the Disneyland Hotel on Downtown Drive and to the finish line!
The Disneyland 5K course was different from last year, but just as fun! Although the water stations were smaller than we have seen prior (less tables), they were stocked and the volunteers were exceptional as always!
Once my family was up and succumb to the fact that they were actually racing, they all had a great time! My seven-year old son loved running through the parks. We were actually holding him back from running! This race gave my husband the confidence he needed to know that he could actually RUN a 5K! My 10-year-old daughter, well, she had a stitch in her side, probably due to dehydration, and next time we will have her carry her own water! All in all a great family experience that we can be proud of accomplishing together!
Running with your family Disneyland Fun Run 5K Tips:
- Train Together: Our family had a difficult summer, but training begins now for the WDW Family Fun Run 5K – January 2014!
- Get an Early Start on Your Costumes: The more family members, the more time you will need to purchase, fit and sew your costumes. Although The Incredibles is a simple costume, it took time for 4 different costumes to be finished. Don’t forget to run and move in them prior to the race!
- Make a Plan: My husband and my race plan was to stick together – however, that was not communicated to my son or daughter. My son raced to the finish line and left us in the dust when an announcer spotted “Dash” walking!
- Lay Out Your Race Attire the Night Prior: 4am is not the time to be looking for socks, shoes, underwear or food. Lay it your race needs – including bib, food, Glide, etc out the night prior.
- Get to the Race Early: Disneyland Hotel was an easy 5 minute walk to the start line, but at Walt Disney World it is a bus ride coupled with a 5 minute walk to the start line.