Disney is magical. There’s no disputing that.
Disneyland is no different, and is notorious for hiding heaps of secrets around the park for you to discover and hosting reams of events that make even the biggest kid smile from ear to ear. I mean, who could possibly argue with meeting your favourite characters (I’m a Monsters, Inc. guy, personally), enjoying some great rides and drinking in that iconic scenery?
However if you’re the kind of person who – for some strange reason – also enjoys subjecting themselves to long, gruelling runs across the late Summer months, then even you might find a surprising reason to smile during your next visit – the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.
I’m pretty sure I’d run faster and harder if I could get a hi-five from Mickey Mouse halfway round.
Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Dates
The Disney Paris Half Marathon Weekend is 23rd – 25th September 2016, and booking for places opened in October last year. There are typically places available for a while though, so it’s worth checking all year round to see if there are spaces.
The 2016 Disneyland Half Marathon is the inaugural event too, so you could take your chance now to be one of the first to enjoy the one-of-a-kind experience of dressing up as your favourite Disney character, building up a head of steam through Sleepy Beauty’s Castle and throwing a nod of appreciation towards Goofy as he waves you by. An intriguing prospect, but I can’t think of anything I’d like more.
You normally have to book your stay at Disneyland Paris alongside the purchase of a race bib – essentially your gateway to entry – but in February there were a small amount of bib-only tickets released. These are typically snapped up by locals who live nearby and come without hotel tickets and long-term stays, but are a good option if you’re booking accommodation elsewhere, or planning a stay with your family already but perhaps want to give a run a try.
How to Book the Disneyland Half Marathon
Because this is quite a unique event, the booking process is slightly different too – but you can see everything you need to know on the ‘How to Book’ page.
However, you’d be best off booking by doing the following:
- Book a half marathon stay offer direct from Disneyland Paris, via their dedicated telephone number for the event.
- Use one of the’travel partners’ for the sport friendly event, which include the likes of Greatdays, Sport Tours and DLP Groups.
- As mentioned above, you could buy a race bib on its own and book your stay separately. There may be another batch of tickets released in the August preceding the event, so keep your eyes peeled if you missed out initially – and make sure you save on your trip with Disneyland Paris discount codes.
Either way, you’ll be sure to get a pretty favourable deal and have plenty of opportunity to explore the park like the Disney-loving child-at-heart you are. However, if you’ve only got a couple of days or can only stay for the weekend, then we recommend making sure that you cover the classic Disneyland Paris basics:
- Yes, the whole place is magical – we know that. But for those of us who are thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies, the rides are pretty good too. Big Thunder Mountain is iconic, and is a fast-paced reinvention of the runaway mine car – while Space Mountain: Mission 2 is fast-paced and futuristic (even faster than its American cousin, in fact!)
- Don’t forget some of the undercover secret elements – for example, did you know that individual teacups on the teacup rides have different speeds? If you fancy a gentle ride, look for the hearts – but head for purple if you want to go faster…
- Look for the golden nametag if you haven’t brushed up on your French – these staff members will speak multiple languages, and could be handy with the English if you don’t know your way around le Francais.
runDisney is a fairly new addition to the Disneyland Paris offering, allowing dedicated runners to take on 5k, 10k and half marathon courses that guide you through some of the beautiful scenery and magical settings around the grounds of the park. It wouldn’t be Disney if it didn’t cater to the kids though, and there are even dedicated children’s races that could make for a beautiful first step into the world of running for your little ones.
The runDisney concept actually originated in the parks across America, with Disneyworld in Florida offering a variety of half and full marathons. These include some wonderful themed runs, like the Tinkerbell Half Marathon and the ominously named Dark Side Half Marathon.
… you can’t use the Force though, because that’s basically cheating.
So if you’ve ever fancied a run through Parisian streets and the late Summer sunshine, it could be worth avoiding the traditional and taking on a little bit of the magical.
You can discover all the details you’ll need via the Disneyland Paris Run page, but you can also discover some offers and deals to get you your next visit for less – and save on family and friends trips – with Disneyland Paris vouchers. You can also keep up with all your other Disney movies, souvenirs and toys with vouchers for the Disney, of course – I mean, where else is your costume going to come from?