Thursday, March 10, 2016

runDisney Princess Weekend 2016: Summary

Overall summary of the
Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend:

No, I would NOT do it again. 

I know, I know.. 
You're saying, "But you're a Disney fiend.. 
ANDD you lurve running! 
Let me explain.
Not because I didn't have an awesome experience but it was expensive and from my understanding, it's pretty much the same route each year.  Yes, the characters change, but for me it wouldn't be worth the money.  Also 22.4 miles is TOUGH.  I was running at Teh MD-AR's pace so we could stay together so it wasn't as hard on me as any of my other runs, but I still hurt.

You get up at 3am and hang out with strangers and run for a while and take photos in parks that aren't even open yet and you don't really get to do any of the cool stuff in the parks except see it when it's not even daylight yet and still closed and then you're done and you get an AWESOME medal and you have the rest of the day to fill.  Yes we could have went to the parks, that would have been even more money and ever sore-er pieces.  The walking we did from shopping alone almost killed us me.

That said, I'm willing to do the Dumbo Dare at Disneyland to get the Coast-to-Coast medal and then I'm done with the Disney runs unless it was something fun like Wine and Dine.. and/or if someone else was paying for it. 

We stayed on Disney property because we'd heard horror stories about parking nightmares and traffic and running to corrals (which we actually saw some people doing at the start of the 1/2 because their corrals were already released before they were able to get there) from those who had stayed off-property.  Additionally, the money saved wasn't worth the hassle of dealing with driving/parking for us. 

Yes, we went the expensive route, but we don't plan on doing Disney runs regularly, so to splurge once was ok with us.  Also, magic bands are cool as fuck.  Period, ever.  Magical is an understatement.

Nothing about Disney was cheap.  I also knew I'd be doing some shopping so I budgeted for these things (it didn't hurt that I knew a year in advance I would be running these races).  We didn't eat cheaply either, since we had agreed to have some awesome meals, no matter the cost, before hand.  There are definitely ways to do Disney cheaper than we did. 

Things that DID help make it cheaper-ish:
-We shared a room.
-We left on Sunday after the half instead of Monday.
-We drove instead of flew (gas is under $2/gal #thanksObama).
-We brought snacks.
-We didn't really eat breakfast.
-We brought our own water.
-We planned 6 months in advance.  We knew we wanted to do the run in Feb 2015.  When we got tickets in July, we started planning.  We had time to save and weigh our options.  We knew where we wanted to spend money (resort and food) and where we didn't (park passes).

Things that cost money and some (rounded) estimates:

Essentials (~$735)

  • Gas 
    • We actually took Teh MD-AR's car and I paid for gas on the way back since she had paid all the other times.  I paid $40 that once, and she paid more than that since she came from southern MD, to Charleston, to Orlando, back to Charleston, then back to SoMD.
  • Disney All-Star Movie Resort 
    • $605/2 = $300
    • we checked in Thurs and checked out on Sunday
    • Because we decided to checkout a day earlier than we originally intended (to save money and PTO), we ended up having to pay some fees for cancelling on the extra day, which was $60-80, I can't remember exactly.  Still slightly cheaper than having to pay for another night.
  • Race tickets 
    • Glass Slipper Challenge $325
    • 5k $70

Semi-Essentials (~$210)

  • Food
    • Wendy's $5
    • Cowfish $30
    • Which Wich $10
    • Pasta in the Park $55
    • The Boathouse $60
    • All-Star Movie Resort $15
    • Seasons 52 $20 (we split everything, dessert was comped, and Teh MD-AR had a gift cert)
    • Sesame $15


  • Stuff (~$606)
    • Pin set $65
    • Turvis $26
    • Mugs $80
    • Ariel heel ornament $20
    • Mickey earrings $40
    • Candy for Teh Sister and Teh German $15
    • Stuff for other people and a pin and my purse hook and other souvenir type stuff $100
    • More stuff at another Disney store $50
    • Fossil $180*
    • HomeGoods $30
Total cost:  ~$1550

Obviously there are a lot of costs that could have been cut under non-essentials and food options.  Yes, we could have brought bread and made sandwiches for all our meals (there was, surprisingly enough, a fridge in our room), but we were Princesses and we were going to celebrate as such.  I could have NOT bought any souvenirs, but there were items that I'd been eyeing for a while (looking at you mugs and the ornament.

Disney counted as my 30th birthday celebration and I didn't do anything otherwise to celebrate so I didn't feel bad treating myself.  Some of these things (my wallet from Fossil) were items that I'd been on the hunt for anyways.  Maybe that shouldn't have counted in the final budget, but I'm being honest about what I spent total so other can plan their own Princess weekend.

Also, note that these prices may not be the same for future races as I'm sure they aren't the same for races prior to 2016.  There are ways to get discounts for bibs if you want to raise money for charity, but I'm horrible at asking people for money, so I didn't even consider that an option.  You can also get a discount if you're an annual passholder (or maybe it's just early access to tickets?) and probably as a cast member.

In my opinion, Disney runs are one and done, medals be damned, unless you live local or have someone to split costs with.


*Please blogger gods, never let Teh German see what I spent at Fossil for my wallet and perfume..

To read about the actual races and what we did while in Orlando check out these posts:

Disney Princess Weekend 2016!!!

Thursday - Arrival, Expo, City Walk
Friday - 5k, shopping, Pasta in the Park @ Epcot
Saturday - 10k, Disney Springs, Disney All-Star Movie Resort
Sunday - Half Marathon, 52 Seasons
RunDisney Princess Weekend Summary - opinions, cost


  1. Still seems like a lot of fun! Just to clarify- sounds like you had fun and are glad you did it, just wouldn't do it again? Because that's totally reasonable.

  2. I could never do that. I hate running and even my intense love for Disney couldn't make me do it!

    I loved your costumes though! The Stitch one in particular was awesome!

    I also get why you wouldn't want to do it again, that is a lot of mileage and if it isn't going to change much year to year not really worth the money to spend on it. Especially if you have a whole list of runs you are wanting to do!


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