May the force be with you! The Star Wars Rival Run weekend is almost here. In just a few short weeks, runners will be heading to Walt Disney World for a weekend of fun and races. With such a large event happening, there is a lot going on. runDisney has one of the larger race set ups and things can quickly seem overwhelming to someone who is participating for the first time or to someone who hasn’t participated in years. Here is everything you need to know about the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend.
Before you arrive
You’re probably already registered for one of the races if you are reading this, or maybe you are considering registering still. If you are still considering registering, there is not a lot of time left to do so. At the time of writing this article, there are still slots available, but register quick: slots can fill up and sell out at any time.
Currently, registration still remains open for the 10k, Half Marathon, Rival Run Challenge, and Kessel Run Challenge. You can register by clicking here to visit runDisney’s official website.
Waivers/Corral Placement (Half/Challenge Only)
Before heading to the Expo, it’s not a bad idea to sit down and print out your waiver. The waiver is very important in advance, especially if you’re participating in the Half Marathon or the Rival Run Challenge. Your Bib number will actually let you know which corral you have been placed in (more on this later).
You can print your waiver by clicking here.
Once you print your waiver, you will find your bib number located at the bottom. This number will help you find your corral placement (Half/Rival Run Challenge only, no 10k or 5k) and help you figure out where to head once you arrive at the expo to get your bib.
If you’re running the Challenge or the Half Marathon, compare it to the charts below to determine your corral placement.
For example, if you are bib 1000, you would be located in C. If you are bib 22000, you are located in corral D. Those participating in the challenge will have two corral placements: the first being the 10k and the second being the Half Marathon. You will find out your 10k placement when you pick up your bib at the expo.
The first place everyone needs to start is the expo. runDisney requires runners to pick up their own bibs in advance. There is no same day bib pickup, so you will need to plan accordingly to make sure you are able to pick up your bib. Although you will need to visit the expo for your bib, there is also plenty of other things to check out while you’re there.
The Expo is located at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Hours of Operation
Thursday (April 4, 2019): 10am – 8pm
Friday (April 5, 2019): 10am – 7pm
Saturday (April 6, 2019): 9:30a – 3:30p
“A” – The Arena
The arena is a fairly busy place with a lot happening. The big draw is the merchandise. If you’re interested in any merchandise related to the race like “I did it!” shirts, mugs, pins, magnets, or more, this is where you can purchase this stuff. If you pre-purchased commemorative merchandise, you can also pick that up here. There are also usually a couple character meet and greets, and runner tracking information is available here too. If your friends or family purchased ChEAR squad packages, this is where they will pick them up.
“B” – Northwest Pavilion
The northwest pavilion is one of the first places you should probably stop at if you’re running one of the races. Runners should bring their printed out waiver as well as a valid photo ID. Don’t fret if you printed your waiver and forgot it on your printer at home. Disney has plenty of machines you can stop at and print a new copy before you go to pick up your bib.
Once you’re ready to go pick up your bib, you’ll need to locate the station for the distance(s) you’re running and then narrow down where you’re supposed to go. In the past, it has been sorted by bib number, which you can find printed on your waiver.
If you’re participanting in the Kessel Run (Half Marathon and Virtual Half Marathon), you will need to stop by here to check in. In year’s past, runDisney has issued participants wristbands that you’ll have to wear the whole weekend to get your Kessel Run medal after you complete the Half Marathon.
“C” – Visa Athletic Center
Once you’ve picked up your bib, head over the the VISA Athletic Center. This is where you will find your participants shirts as well as vendors. Participants receive a shirt for each race they registered for and Challenge participants also receive a Challenge participant shirt.
“D” – Track & Field Complex
The majority of the Kids Races will take place here except for the one mile run which will start on Field 20.
“E” – Field 20
The One Mile Kids Race will begin here.
One of my absolute favorite things about the runDisney races is the character stops. The 5k, 10k, and Half Marathons will have character stops. A lot of the stops will probably be Star Wars characters, but there is a small possibility of other characters as well. Character lines during the 5k tend to get long and stay pretty long during the race. However, it seems like character stops move much quicker during the 10k and Half Marathon. You might even find a line that only has a few people waiting. Character stops are also a great place to fuel while you wait so you are making good use of the time you spend in line. Be weary of stopping for a lot of characters during the 10k and the Half Marathon as Disney enforces a 16 minute per mile pace (more on this later) and you could be swept from the race course!
Disney also has photographers along the course (mostly in the parks). They can be found along the sides usually sitting in (or around) a little green tent. You can later download these photos as part of Photopass/Memory Maker.
Pro tip: Stick to the side if you see a photographer coming up and SMILE!
16 minute per mile pace
The 16 minute per mile pace only applies to the 10k and the Half Marathon. That time limit starts when the final runner crosses the start line. If you are in a further up corral, say corral C, you have a little bit of a time buffer if you decide to stop and take pictures or need to use the restroom. Keeping an eye on your time is important if you are slower than the 16 minute per mile pace or if you are one of the last runners to start. If you cannot maintain the pace, you could be picked up and transported to the finish line of the race.
The 5k will take place on Friday, April 5, 2019 and starts at 5:30 am.
The 5k is the first race to kick off the weekend. This race is an untimed “fun run”. This race will start in the Epcot parking lot, enter World Showcase near Mexico, travel around World Showcase into Future World, and then finish back in the Epcot parking lot.
Runners will need to head through security before they can head to their corral. Once you’re through security, consider making one last restroom stop at the port-a-potties provided and grab a cup of water before heading into the corrals. Depending on what time you arrive and how long before you are released to run, you might be waiting a while. There are only three corrals this year: A, B, and C. runDisney releases “mini waves” of runners starting with corral A until there are no runners left to start.
Along the course of the 5k, there will be a lot of character and photo opportunities. Character lines and build quickly and usually stay long during the 5k. Stopping for at least one character adds to the race experience. I have yet to find another 5k that has as many character opportunities as runDisney races, so try to at least stop for one if you can!
The 5k will have one water stop.
The 10k will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2019 and starts at 5:30 am.
Following the 5k is the 10k. Unlike the 5k, the 10k will start in the Magic Kingdom parking lot. The 10k will leave the Magic Kingdom parking lot and take runners up World Drive and over to Epcot Center Drive. From Epcot Center Drive, runners will head into Epcot and travel through Future World and then into World Showcase around Canada. Runners will take the full lap around World Showcase before heading back to Future World where they will make their way toward the finish line in the Epcot parking lot.
10k runners are required to be at the Magic Kingdom parking lot prior to 4:30 am. However, Disney is not allowing parking at Magic Kingdom and is requiring everyone (including runners being dropped off and spectators) to park at Epcot instead. Disney will have busses to transport runners from the Epcot parking lot to the start line.
Runners will need to head through security before they can head to their corral. Once you’re through security, consider making one last restroom stop at the port-a-potties provided and grab a cup of water before heading into the corrals. Depending on what time you arrive and how long before you are released to run, you might be waiting a while. There are six corrals this year: A through F. runDisney releases “mini waves” of runners starting with corral A until there are no runners left to start.
Along the course of the 10k, there will be a lot of character and photo opportunities. Stopping for at least one character adds to the race experience.
The 10k will have 2 water stops, one just past mile 2 and one just past mile 4. There will also be a medical station around the 5k mark.
The Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, April 7, 2019 and starts at 5:30 am.
Following the 10k is the Half Marathon. Like the 10k, the Half Marathon will start in the Magic Kingdom parking lot. The Half Marathon will leave the Magic Kingdom parking lot and take runners up Bear Island Road into Animal Kingdom. Runners will travel through Africa and Pandora and then pass the Tree of Life before exiting Animal Kingdom through Dinoland USA. From there, runners will head toward Osceloa Parkway and then to World Drive and then to East Buena Vista Drive. Runners will enter Hollywood Studios near Tower of Terror and run up Sunset Blvd and turn to heard toward the entrance of Hollywood Studios. After leaving Hollywood Studios, runners will make their way over to Boardwalk and then into World Showcase of Epcot. Runners will travel through World Showcase before exiting into Future World before crossing the finish line in the Epcot Parking lot.
Half Marathon runners are required to be at the Magic Kingdom parking lot prior to 4:00 am. However, Disney is not allowing parking at Magic Kingdom and is requiring everyone (including runners being dropped off and spectators) to park at Epcot instead. Disney will have busses to transport runners from the Epcot parking lot to the start line.
Runners will need to head through security before they can head to their corral. Once you’re through security, consider making one last restroom stop at the port-a-potties provided and grab a cup of water before heading into the corrals. Depending on what time you arrive and how long before you are released to run, you might be waiting a while. There are eight corrals this year: A through H. runDisney releases “mini waves” of runners starting with corral A until there are no runners left to start.
Half Marathon Map:
Along the course of the Half Marathon, there will be a lot of character and photo opportunities. Stopping for at least one character adds to the race experience.
The Half Marathon will have 8 water stops and six medical stops. There will also be a fuel stop just past mile 8.
The Challenge includes both the 10k and the Half Marathon. Runners who complete the 10k and Half Marathon (which are signed up for the Challenge) will need to head to the Bonus Medals area of the finish chute to get their challenge medal.
The Kessel Run is another type of Challenge that runners could sign up for. This Challenge includes the Half Marathon or Rival Run Challenge and the Virtual Half Marathon. The completion time frame for the virtual Half Marathon is only until March 31, 2019. If you signed up for the Virtual Half, you’ll need to get out and complete it really soon so you may submit your time.
Spectators and ChEAR squad will be located on the left right before the finish line. Once you come across the finish line, Disney feeds runners through a chute. The first thing after the finish line will be medals. It’s easy to be very tired after finishing such a accomplishment, but don’t forget to pickup your medal as you walk by. Don’t head to the first person you see passing out medals, keep walking until you see people with medals that don’t have a line. After that is liquids and food. Disney usually has water and Powerade available. Even if you have water with you, you should grab another bottle for later. Food comes in boxes and in the past has included a fruit snack, chips with cheese drip, oreos, and a banana. After that is Bonus Medals (where runners doing the challenge need to go). Finally, photos. Disney usually has prop signs and nice backdrops where you can take a photo with your medal to commemorate your accomplishment. There will be photopass photographers available to capture these photos. Runners should plan to meet back up with their party in the reunion area outside the finish chute.
While every runner will get a participation medal, runDisney will also award the top 3 males, females, and push-rim wheelchair Half Marathon participants. The award ceremony will take place at 8am on the stage in the family reunion area on Sunday, April 7, 2019.
The Kids Races will take place from 10:30am until after 1pm on Saturday, April 6th at ESPN Wide World of Sports Track & Field Complex.
100-Meter Dash for kids ages 1-4: 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
200-Meter Dash for kids ages 5-8: 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Diaper Dash for 12 months and under (diaper dash crawlers): 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM
One Mile Run for children ages 4-13: 1:00 PM or at the conclusion of the Kids Dashes
One Mile Run Map:
runDisney races can seem kind of overwhelming with so many people and so much to see, but there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you have a great time during your race or while supporting your runner.
- When running, stay to the left. When walking, stay to the right. Signal by raising your hand if you are running and are going to walk so those behind you can move around you. You should move to your right when you start walking.
- Don’t run more than 2 across. Some areas can get congested pretty easily. This will allow other runners to pass you.
- Arrive at the staging area early. This gives you the opportunity to find the restroom, water, and your corral. Disney promptly starts at 5:30am, so if you are in an earlier corral you need to be ready to go before 5:30am.
- If you can, stop for at least one character! Other races typically do not have characters, so the characters make the races a lot more fun!
- If you need motivation while you’re running, read some of the signs spectators are holding up. You’ll probably get a good laugh and it will help the time pass by.
- Drink plenty of water and Powerade when it is available.
We hope to see you on the course!