As you may remember, we participated in our first runDisney event last year at Disneyland. We had such a great time that we decided to sign up for another race. Since I wasn’t quite ready for a 10K yet we decided to sign up for the Cinderella Royal Family 5k at Walt Disney World. We were both really excited since the course went through Epcot.
We weren’t quite as excited when the alarm went off at 2:30 am. The only real negative of a runDisney race is the early start. We got dressed, ate our breakfast, and headed out to the bus stop at Pop Century. There was a little bit of confusion when we arrived. There was a sign up at the bus stop let us know where we would be picked up but there were some Cast Members cleaning the area so they pointed us to the Magical Express pick up stop. Turns out we were in the right spot to begin with so we headed back to the main bus pick up area. Disney uses Mears to shuttle runners to the race. When the buses showed up none of them had a wheelchair lift so I panicked for a moment. Luckily there was no need for that. There were several Cast Members around to help out and they just radioed in that we needed an accessible shuttle. Five minutes later a van showed up to take us and we had our own private shuttle.
We arrived to the Epcot parking lot and headed off to the main area since we didn’t have bags to check. There was a DJ entertaining the crowd so we found a spot in the back to hang out and wait. When I registered for this race the process was a little different. I was told there would be an announcement for wheelchair racers before the start but if there was I missed it. We headed toward our corral unsure if we were heading to the right place but no one told us to head any where else. I tried to stay off to the side since it was pretty crowded and people kept running into my chair. We decided to just hang in the back and head out last so we weren’t in any hurry.
Once the race started everything went smoothly. It started through the parking lot and the back stage area around Epcot. The first character we saw was Princess Atta from A Bug’s Life. We hadn’t met her before so we had to stop. The line was already pretty long but this race wasn’t about time.
We continued through the back stage area and it was cool seeing Test Track from a different angle. We entered the World Showcase in Mexico near the spot where Donald has his normal meet and great and headed toward Norway. They had the torches from IllumiNations lit up around the lagoon. As we headed through China we weren’t going to stop because we only saw Mulan at first. Then Andrew saw Mushu and we knew we HAD to stop since it’s so rare to see him. It was another really long line but it was fun seeing the runners go by in their costumes.
After this meet and greet we didn’t stop again. Dopey was in Germany and Beast was in France but since we had met both of them before we decided to just keep swimming. After we got through the France Pavilion we headed toward the International Gateway and back into the back stage area. The concrete wasn’t the best so I had to really watch where I was going. We reentered Epcot near the Canada Pavilion and headed toward Future World.
We went around the front of Spaceship Earth and then back out to the parking lots to the finish line. And just like that the race was over! We picked up our medals and snack boxes and headed back to the parking lot. We thought we might have to wait a while for our shuttle but he was there waiting for us. It looked like it was about to rain so we were really glad to see him.
We had a great time and I can’t wait to participate in another runDisney event. I am however going to make sure I communicate with them better this time around so I know exactly where I need to be and what I need to do. I am an over planner after all. I also think that I am finally ready to up the distance and try a 10K. I am nervous at just the thought of it but I know I can do it. If you’ve raced in at wheelchair at Disney I would love to hear about your experience!