The Tinkerbell half marathon will be held at Disneyland on January 29, 2013. There’s also a Never Land Family Fun 5k Friday night at 10:30pm(!) and different kids races of different lengths on Saturday January 28th.
2012 was the inaugural race and it cost $140 to do the half marathon and it sold out. Note: the registration does not include entry into the park.
I went early Saturday morning to avoid the rush and although there were a lot of people there already, it wasn’t too crowded.
The magic of the whole event was that everything was “Disneyfied” – from Tinkerbell cutout stickers on the walls leading into the expo to the multiple backdrops to take pictures, everything was done up, themed and really cute.
If you hate Tinkerbell, this is not your race: the bibs to the medals to the race booklets, everything was Tinkerbell.
The expo wasn’t that big compared to some, but it was full of girly sparkly things, plenty of Luna bar samples, and it was efficiently laid out. Even with a lot of traffic, it wasn’t that crowded… at least when I was there.
A word to the wise: this race starts early. 5:45am early. I think it starts so early so the park can still open on time, but it’s also nice because it doesn’t get too hot out and you’re done early too.
Monica and I arrived at Disneyland around 4:25am and there was plenty of parking; we didn’t have to wait. The great thing about having the race at Disneyland is that it’s set up for a massive amount of people. (There were 11,000 women runners and 900 men – pretty dang good odds for the single dudes) Also, the parking was free.
Because we were there early, we never really waited in long of lines for the restrooms, but we did hang out in our corral for awhile.
I’d recommend getting there early and wearing a throwaway sweatshirt – Monica bought hers the night before from Goodwill. It’s not supercold but it was definitely chilly at 5am.
In true Disney fashion, the race started with fireworks and right on time.
I loved running through the park even though when we started it was pretty dark out. We started and ran in the park, through the Castle (loved), out in Anaheim and then finished at California Adventure.
You can see the Hollywood Tower of Terror ride behind us.
There were a lot of characters out on the course that you could stop and take pictures with; we didn’t stop at any but I tried to get a few pics on the fly.
There were also a few bands and cheerleading teams. It’s a very flat course and probably is very fast, but with this race I’d recommend just taking your time and enjoying it.
It was a lot of fun running through California Adventure (the newer other half of Disneyland) and before we knew it, we were at the finish.
The finish area was the only thing that I thought was a little weak sauce. Maybe because we finished before the mad rush of people, but it just seemed a little empty, like not a whole lot was going on. I guess I just expected a lot more.
But they did have tons of food out (bars, bananas, waters, bagels I believe and energy drinks) as well as space blankets. And the medals are really cute:
Look how many bars I scored from the finish and expo:
This is a really fun race and I thought for an inaugural event, Disney knocked it out of the park. I didn’t experience any negative race issues at all. There was plenty of support on the course, it was fun and exciting, just an all around great event.
I think it’d be a great family event to bring the kids and then go to the park afterwards.
It is expensive – it’s actually REALLY expensive for a half marathon. But it’s an event of itself. It’s NOT a race I would take seriously; I think it’s a fabulous one to dress up for (tons and tons of people dressed up) and to run with girlfriends, your mom, etc.
Overall, I’d rank it a 9.24 out of 10.
Sign up early, plan to do the race with others, take your time and dress up like your favorite character!
What’s the most FUN race you’ve done?
*Enter the CLICK giveaway; winner’s picked manana.