It’s that time of the year again where the craziness starts with registering for those runDisney races that we’ve all been waiting for. While registration for the last Expedition Everest Challenge occurred in December, it’s only now – with the pending release of the Disneyland Half – that things start to get crazy. The Disneyland Half Weekend Challenge, the Dumbo Double Dare, sold out in under an hour last year, and other races have been known to go quick, what’s the best way to increase your chances in running at either WDW or Disneyland?
- Know what race you want to run..
With different themes for different race weekends, find the event that’s right for you rather than deciding on the day or shortly after. There really is something for everyone in between the classic race weekends, the action themed ones at Disneyland and the women’s focused events – all races are listed on runDisney. This year I’m going after three different registrations even though I’m only planning on one runDisney race this year. It is crazy to think about registering for a January 2016 race in April, but I can’t stress enough – by commit to an event, it will make preparing for registration even easier.Mark on your calendar the registration days for the selected races. AP and DVC registrations are now open two weeks prior to the general population registration and they must be activated APs. There’s no buying a voucher online in hope that you can jump in on the pre-sale (if there is, I’d totally be into that – hoping for a WDW/DL pass this year!!). Also to note: Where in the past AP members could sign up others, this isn’t the case this year. It was reported from the Tink registration that non-AP entries were being refunded from the pre-sale. Apparently you are only able to register those who have their own AP or live in the same household. If unsure, contact runDisney.
It’s also important to remember that each person has to individually register, you can’t do it in a group. If you want to run multiple events, such as a challenge and then the 5K – register to what has sold out quicker in the past. I was able to register for both the Dumbo Double Dare and 5K as I recognised that the DDD would sell out a whole lot quicker and registered for this one first.
- Create an Active account pre-registration day
runDisney uses Active for their race registrations. In the crazy rush to sign up, there’s nothing worse than having to tick all the right boxes, and read all the required information. Signing up to an Active account prior to registration day will not only allow your information to be pre-filled on the form – but you can also do it in your own time. There’s different membership levels with Active, with some that require a yearly payment (value if you do other races that utilise the Active network) however be aware that runDisney races don’t qualify for the rebate as part of the ongoing paid membership.It has also been reported that Active does change your birthdate by 1 day – looking up my runDisney waiver in 2014 didn’t work unless I changed my birthday to the day before. I have since gone back and changed it again in however it will be interesting to see if it happens again.
- Bookmark the Active registration page
In 2014 the runDisney page crashed with the amount of traffic going it at the release of registration spots. I did get in during the first couple of minutes as I completely by-passed the runDisney page and went straight to Active. I’m sure that the backend technical issues have been beefed up since but it’s alway better to be on the safe side. Prior preparation prevents runDisney sadness.
- Save the date!!
Unfortunately if you have your heart set on a race, you will have to clear your schedule to ensure that it’s the only thing that your doing when it goes on sale. If you can’t make it, bribe or beg someone else to sign up for you. Registrations open at 12 noon EST, 9am Pacific. For me, it was 4am registration. I woke up at 3:45am to register for a race! If that’s not determination to get in, I don’t know what is.
- Travel Advisor and Charity options
If you’re looking for another way to get into the race, there’s always the Travel Advisor and Charity options. These are detailed on the runDisney page for the applicable race.Running with a Charity does require you to fundraise on their behalf, and they have different fundraising levels for different races. There are different levels of fundraising for the different events (with and without accommodation) – there’d be a smaller level for something like a 10K than there would be for a challenge race. Each charity has different fundraising requirements. Obviously there are many benefits to running for a charity, you get to run for another and there’s also that sense of community, with many charities hosting events on the runDisney weekends and also having their own coaches available for assistance training for the run.
TA’s on the other hand provide packages wrapped up with the bib sale, such as pins, park tickets and even accommodation minimums. These are a great option if you are travelling for the event.
Just remember, registering is the most stressful part of the event. The training will be a breeze compared to what you experience in those 20mins as you feverishly tap the keyboard to ensure your spot in the corral come race day.
Hope to see you all out on the course!
What runDisney events are you hoping to sign up to? Have you any tips on easy registration?