By No Vacation Required, on November 26, 2018

Get fit and give back with Disney

Time for real talk. 2019 is just around the corner, so let’s set some goals.

We already know you want to be healthier and more altruistic in 2019 because, who doesn’t. And we know that you are totally up for a Disney vacation because, well, who isn’t.

Guess what? You can do all three things at the same time. Minds. Blown.

It’s no secret that we’re maximizers—especially when it comes to travel. That’s why, a while back, we hatched a plan to roll a runDisney event into our visit to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Fast forward a couple months and—fist bump—we’ve now successfully participated in the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Although we’re thrilled that the runDisney event prompted our improved fitness (we made big gains in the time-per-mile department), we’re equally as pleased that we also got to give back and check out all of the hot new attractions (and food and drink!) across Walt Disney World’s four crazy-fun theme parks.

Here’s everything you need to know to do the same thing in 2019.

Select a runDisney event.

We decided to conquer the Disney Two Course Challenge as part of the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend (held each year in Autumn). This event combines the 10K on Saturday with the Half Marathon on Sunday for a total of 19.3 miles!

Closely tied to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, this celebratory weekend concludes with an exclusive post-race party that gives access to festival-specific food and beverage offerings, select Epcot attractions, and live entertainment. It’s a  perfect way to celebrate your accomplishment with the loved ones that you most certainly need to bring along on this adventure (hint, hint).

To kick off an incredible 2019, we recommend runDisney’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (held each year in January). It’s their signature event and the only one offering a full 26.2-mile course through all 4 Walt Disney World Theme Parks and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Other options include: Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Star Wars Rival Run Weekend, Disneyland Paris Run Weekend, and even some Virtual opportunities.

Viewfinder Tip: We recommend staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for easy access to your race and all of the fun. And the monorail runs right through this hotel – how cool is that?

Give back along the way.

Each runDisney event weekend has a corresponding Celebrated Charity, which runDisney makes an independent donation to. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the Celebrated Charity associated  with the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. By registering, you become part of a movement of runners aiming to give back while getting healthy.

Runners can also opt to race for a participating charity group by supporting one of the participating charities through runDisney’s Charity Groups Program. In addition to the satisfaction of making a difference through fundraising and running for an organization of your choice, runDisney charity runners can purchase a guaranteed race entry before the event goes on sale to the public. For more information, be sure to check out the options associated with the event you are interest in.

Finally, if volunteering is more your speed, there’s an option for you too. Event weekend volunteers serve as part of the Volunteer Ambassador Team supporting the Celebrated Charity’s presence at the event.

Enjoy Disney Parks.

In addition to a healthier you and making a difference, there are many reasons to choose runDisney:

  • The exclusive opportunity to run through Disney Parks and Resorts (without getting in trouble).
  • Disney-themed finisher medals. Think bling.
  • With 5Ks, 10Ks, kids races, and health and fitness expos, runDisney is perfect for the whole family.
  • With no required qualifying time, less pressure, and flat courses, runDisney is ideal for new runners.

Perhaps the best reason, though, is the ability to celebrate your accomplishment by enjoying all of awesome things on offer across Disney Parks. In Florida, you can check out the all new Toy Story Land, and our favorite Pandora – The World of Avatar. And things only get better in 2019. The highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will debut, as will the Skyliner Transportation System, and Riviera Resort. Oh, and have you seen the scrumptious, seasonally-inspired yummies that Disney Parks rolls out each season. I think #FoodHeaven says it all.

With so much to look forward to, now’s the time to get registered, break out your running shoes, and gather your family and friends around to make arrangements you can feel confident about right here on

Which Disney Park would you most like to run through?

*Savings is based on the price to register for select 2019 Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend races offered beginning on November 27, 2018 through and including November 30, 2018 compared to the price to register for those select races listed after November 30, 2018. Offer subject to availability and advance registration is required. This offer cannot be combined with any other single team registration offers, promotions, or discounts. This offer is not applicable to previously purchased race entries.

All photos courtesy of Disney.