Photos to Take With your RunDisney Medals

Maintaining your fitness, a sense of achievement, or pushing your limits; anyone might think these are the reasons to participate in a RunDisney event. Sure, there’s an aspect of this in every race, but really its all about the medal at the finish line, and I’m definitely not the only Disney runner who thinks this.

If you’ve never seen a RunDisney medal before, let me tell you they are every bit as awesome as you’d expect them to be and more. For starters, they’re huge, and weigh a fair bit, but as well as they’re they are always so detailed and well themed, and well worth however miles you just sweated for.

For many, the completion of the race might be the end of the event in your eyes, but you’re gonna want to document everything perfectly, and in the hours and days after your race, medal photos suddenly become a priority. With 5 RunDisney weekends under my belt, I have perfected the art of the medal photos, and if anyone’s about to take part in their first event, here’s the definitive list of photos that you’re gonna want to take.

1. A finish line medal selfie

A volunteer has just hung that glorious medal around your neck and you’re stumbling towards the water table but what you really need to do is document that finishing moment with a good ol’ sweaty selfie!

2. A photo with the finishing board

Once you’ve picked up your free bottles of water and Powerade and grabbed your food box, the next stop before reuniting with your friends and family at the end of the race is to get that official RunDisney board photo.

3. A photo of your weekend medal collection

If you’ve run more than one race, or completed a challenge, be sure to get a photo wearing all of those medals at the same time, even if its too heavy for you to wear them all all day!

4. A photo in front of the castle

Sometimes this shot needs a helping hand of someone to hold the medal while you get the position of the photo just right, but its a classic!

5. A photo with the character on the medal

If you’re medal is themed based on a certain character, as so many are, be sure to go and see them to show off! They absolutely love seeing medals!

6. A photo in a themed location

If you’re in a park that has an area theme that matches your medal, grab a photo there too!

7. Your medal display at home

However you hang your medals at home, take a photo after every new medal has been added!

My next RunDisney event will be Paris in September when I’ll be running the 10K and half marathon for the inaugural Bibbidi Bobbidi Challenge and also getting my second Castle to Chateau challenge medal! Who will I be seeing there?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Characters on the Course – RunDisney Tinkerbell Weekend


I might be back from Disneyland, but you’ll all know by now that that never means the Disney posts are over! And of course, yet again, the primary purpose of my trip was another RunDisney race weekend, this time, the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend.

Again, I ran the 10K and the half marathon – the Pixie Dust Challenge – so there were 19.3 miles of running magic for me to share with you! Some of you may be aware of the somewhat dramatic twist that during the 5K there were no characters available on the course, and this is something that I have a very different opinion to most, but I won’t get into that now, instead I’m going to share the characters that were out for us at the 10K and half marathon!


The 10K:

  • Lost Boys – the Lost Boys were hanging out in Toontown as we entered the park just after mile 1
  • Pirates – there were a bunch of face character pirates scattered throughout the course, and they were lots of fun!
  • Captain Hook and Mr Smee – this pair met by the Storybook Canal Boats at about mile 3
  • Pirate Donald – I couldn’t resist stopping for my favourite duck on Main Street
  • Pirate Chip and Dale – the chipmunks were up to trouble in California Adventure
  • Peter and Wendy – this was really just a photo op as they stood a few steps above the pavement, but it was nice to see them out!
  • And pirate Minnie was at the finish line!




The Half Marathon:

  • Iridessa, Silvermist and Rosetta – I can never resist the fairies, and having never met Silvermist before this was one for the character list
  • Pirate chipmunks – Chip and Dale made another mischievous appearance, this time on Main Street
  • Peter and Wendy – during the half, Peter and Wendy were on the railway bridge, so not even a photo op
  • Lost Boys – the most boys were having a ball on King Triton’s Carousel on Paradise Pier
  • Pirates – the pirates were out in force again!
  • Pirate Pluto – this lovable pup was also kitted out for pillaging and plundering on Paradise Pier
  • Tinkerbell and Fawn – well it would be rude if Tink missed her own race, right?
  • Captain Hook and Mr Smee – this dynamic duo made a second appearance, this time in California Adventure

If you caught the Princess Weekend edition of Characters on the Course, you may be noticing there’s considerably less this weekend. This is primarily due to the fact that in WDW, Disney own all the land between the parks, so even when you’re not in the park, they can still put the characters out on the roadsides along the course. However in Disneyland, the majority of the half marathon course is on the streets of Anaheim, so there can’t be any characters along those 8 miles of the course. There were, however, some bands, DJs, and also a whole tonne of super supportive locals making that length of the course magical for us!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

My Thoughts on the Response to the Tinkerbell 5K

For those who don’t know, during the Neverland 5K at the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend, there were no character stops available on the course for runners. There are a few different rumours flying around as to the reason behind this last minute change, but the backlash was fairly substantial. Here are my thoughts on the matter..

The Tinkerbell weekend was my 5th RunDisney event, and race #9 and #10. I’ve been doing RunDisney for two years now, and while the characters are certainly a perk, the reason I participate is just to run.

During my first year of events, I didn’t actually stop for any of the character opportunities, and I still had a great time taking part in amazing events in incredible locations. Characters aside, you get exclusive access to almost empty parks, as well as a lot of backstage areas, which are pretty damn cool. Also, while the character ‘meet’s are cool, they are incredibly rushed. You’re pretty lucky if you get a few words out of the characters in the process of in-photo-out-go, for which you’ve probably queued 10-15 mins for, if not longer.

When I heard there were no characters out for the 5K, and may not be any for the 10K, I was a tiny bit disappointed, but having run this particular course before it didn’t bother me because I know its my favourite out of all the RunDisney courses that I’ve run, and to be honest, the little runner voice inside my head was actually pretty excited by the thought of running a better time, as stopping for 3-4 characters generally bumps up my finishing time by about 20-30 mins.

I can appreciate that Disney races do come at quite a premium compared to other races, and that participants have high expectations for the on course entertainment, but I consider the characters to be a perk and not a requirement, and in the same way that events can be cancelled with little to no notice due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, other changes can be made with no notice.

This is all just my opinion on the matter, and the fact is, I’m just happy to be in Disney, and grateful for the fact that I’m able to run.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Disneyland Day 5 and Tinkerbell Half Marathon

And another challenge weekend is over! The Tinkerbell half this morning was probably one of the most comfortable ones I’ve run, which is incredible considering how much my feet ached yesterday!I stopped for a few photos with various fairies, and also pirate Pluto, but aside from those few stops I kept a really consistent pace and completed the race in just over 3 hours, with about 25 mins being waiting for characters. I also walked away with not one but FOUR medals: one for the half, the Pixie Dust Challenge medal for doing the 10K yesterday as well, a regular blue 10th anniversary Coast to Coast medal, and also a pink Coast to Coast for having run the Princess and Tinkerbell races in the same calendar year!

After dragging myself back to the hotel, I soaked my legs in the pool then showered and had a nap, while Sarah headed into the parks, and I met up with her at about 1:45 at Fantasyland Theater for another Mickey and the Magical Map performance, before I got my long awaited burger from Galactic Grill. We then swung by the castle for me to take some medal photos, then went across to Frontierland and met Dr Facilier on the Mark Twain Riverboat.

On the hunt for more characters, we headed back to Town Square to no avail, so instead went to take some photos by the Small World wall (Disney basic) and went into Toontown for a bit. Being passed 4pm, Tinkerbell’s meeting spot in Pixie Hollow was now empty, meaning I could go in and take some more medal photos, then we hid out at my favourite sneaky parade watching spot for Soundsational.

After the parade, we went into one of the stores on Main Street so I could buy a jumper, having forgotten to bring my jacket in with me, and knowing it would cool down before the fireworks tonight, then took a few final photos by the castle before going into Fantasyland and doing the Storybook Canal Boats, only to realise while we were in the line that the last Mickey and the Magical Map show was due to start soon, so we ended up cutting out early to go see that one more time instead!

After drying our eyes and practically being forcibly removed from the theatre, the strangest thing happened: Sarah actually wanted to go to the Enchanted Tiki Room! I took her for her first time in WDW back in February and now she clearly loves it.. From there, we wandered around New Orleans Square for a little while, then decided to go to Troubadour Tavern for dinner, only to find it had already closed, so instead ended up at Refreshment Corner, although I ended up getting my food from Jolly Holiday, and we sat on the tables outside while Main Street Electrical went by. 

Once the parade was over, we headed into the centre of Main Street USA to watch the fireworks for my first and last time of the trip. They actually started with the same music as Wishes from WDW, but the majority of the show was a cute little dedication to each of the iconic Disneyland attractions – Enchanted Tiki Room, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain etc – which I thought was different and actually really cool! Once they were done, it was then time to say goodbye to Disneyland and drag ourselves back to the hotel. Once again this has been the most magical and I’m so sad to be leaving my happy place, but I guess it’s not goodbye, it’s see ya real soon..

Disneyland Day 4 and Tinkerbell 10K

The wondrous thing about races in California is that I only have to wake up at 4am, not 3:30 like in Florida, yay!

This morning I ran the Tinkerbell 10K, and I was pretty excited because having run a 10K here before, I know it’s a great course to run. After the drama yesterday about no characters at the 5K, I’m pleased to say there were quite a few out this morning, including Peter, Wendy, Hook and Smee, and also some Disney favourites dressed in their finest pirate wear. I ran it in a comfortable time of an hour and a half, which included a fair few photo stops so I was pretty happy.

After a quick shower and rest break, we headed back into the parks, and straight to Fantasy Faire to meet Rapunzel and Flynn, then dashed over to Tomorrowland to grab fastpasses for Hyperspace Mountain, which in itself was a bit of a queue, and then went across to the first showing of Mickey and the Magical Map.

Another trip with Mickey done, we walked over to Frontierland to grab some chicken nuggets from Stage Door Cafe, then battled our way through the crazy Saturday crowds to meet the Winnie the Pooh characters over in Critter Country: Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. With the sun beating down on us, the only logical next step was so get ice-cream, and then take shelter in the Royal Theater for the Tangled show. From there, we decided to go into Fantasyland to do a few of the smaller rides we hadn’t done yet, starting with Casey Jr, but it broke down while we were in the line so that went out the window.. Instead, we opted for the cool air-con of Star Wars Launch Bay, where we met Darth Vader, before using our Hyperspace Mountain fastpasses.

As the Disneyland park was so packed, and I had planned another carb-load dinner in California Adventure, we hopped parks just after Soundsational, and explored Animation Academy for a bit before grabbing a spot for the Pixar Play parade. I’d felt pretty smug saying that we were at the start of the parade route so we wouldn’t have to wait too long, but it turns out I was wrong and we ended up sitting for a little longer than we’d bargained for, but hey!

After the parade we ended up back in Animation Academy, and learned how to draw Chip from Beauty and the Beast, before going to Pacific Wharf Cafe for me to carb load on bread and soup. Sarah and I then parted ways as I headed back to the hotel for another pre-race early night, and she stayed in the park a little while longer – or until at least it became too cold to be out without a jacket on!

Tomorrow I’ll be up at 4am again, this time taking on the Tinkerbell half marathon, completing the Pixie Dust Challenge and also earning my second Coast to Coast challenge medal, eek!

Disneyland Day 3

Another day in the California sun! Today we were up and into California Adventure for opening at 9am, and after joining the crash of people getting fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers, stopped at Flo’s V8 Cafe for the sweetest breakfast of brioche French toast and a milkshake, then went back to get in line for Soarin’, which we only waited about 25 mins for.

Once we’d landed, our fastpass time had already come round, so we had another race around Ornament Valley, then went on a bit of a character hunt and met Nick Wilde before leaving the park to hit the RunDisney expo, via Sephora at Downtown Disney.

After all the classic expo moments – bib pickup, tshirt pickup, expo browsing – we went back to the hotel to dump my bits before going back into Disneyland, where we were greeted by Belle in the entrance area. We then headed towards Fantasyland, via Snow White’s wishing well and the teacups to take some photos, then grabbed some snacks and sat in front of the castle for a bit to eat and enjoy the sunshine.

Next up, we headed to Fantasy Faire, where we met Aladdin and then waited for Rapunzel, before picking a spot to watch Soundsational, but as the start seemed delayed, and because we wanted good seats for Mickey and the Magical Map, we abandoned the parade and instead hung out at Fantasyland Theater until they let us in, which was worth it for the seats we got. If you know me well, you’ll know this is my all time favourite Disney park show, and I’ve missed it so much so of course I cried through the whole thing. It was also Sarah’s first ever time seeing it and she did the same..

After recovering from the show, we had fastpasses for the Matterhorn, then went into Tomorrowland and did Star Tours then grabbed dinner at Red Rocket’s Pizza Port – hello pasta load – and then called it a night as I’ll be up at 4am tomorrow for the Tinkerbell 10K! Stay tuned folks!

Characters on the Course – RunDisney Princess Weekend

As I began another year packed with RunDisney races, I decided that much more time this year would be spent stopping for some of the amazing character opportunities on the race routes, and this kicked off with the Princess Half Marathon weekend back in February.

I took part in the Glass Slipper Challenge; 10K on the Saturday and half marathon on the Sunday, and kept note of everyone who I saw for you nosey bunch to see who was out! (I joke, you being nosey makes my blog what it is)

The Enchanted 10K:

  • Moana – Disney’s newest girl boss wasn’t available to meet, but she cheered on runners from a bridge over the road
  • Elena of Avalor – as I’m not a fan, this meet didn’t warrant stopping for, but Elena was the first photo opportunity of the race
  • The Fairies – a mini Pixie Hollow appeared on the roadside, featuring Tinkerbell, Terrence, Rosetta and Iridessa and pixie dust was everywhere! I was so excited to meet them all!
  • The Evil Queen as the old hag – complete with bubbling cauldron, but don’t take the apple!
  • Dopey – while this lovable dwarf might feature more in the January Dopey Challenge, it was lovely to see him along the World Showcase
  • Geppeto – this puppeteer took over the Italy Pavilion to make runners into real boys!
  • Marie – as I ran as Nala, it was pretty cool to see another cat on the course in the France Pavilion
  • Genie on vacation – Hawaiian shirt and Goofy hat? Check!
  • Princess Minnie – Minnie got into the full swing of the Princess Weekend in a beautiful pink princess number towards the end of the course

The Princess Half Marathon:

  • Pirates – Captain Jack and Barbossa seemed to be abandoned on the side of the road, and were available for runners to meet both on the way towards the Magic Kingdom and on the way back out
  • Princes – Flynn Rider, Prince Eric, John Smith and Phoebus were the hit of the course, and the line was full of giggling girls, myself included
  • Mrs Incredible – in case there wasn’t enough girl power going on during the race!
  • Evil Queen and Maleficent – double villain trouble
  • Buzz Lightyear – Buzz was meeting and greeting in Tomorrowland
  • Queen of Hearts – off with their heads, if you can catch them!
  • Gaston – now personally, I’d be running away from him fast, but he had quite the queue..
  • Beast – Chip (me) just had to go and see the master of the castle
  • Frozen – Anna, Elsa and Kristoff cheered on runners from the side of the castle, so no photo ops
  • Woody – the cowboy of Frontierland!
  • Royal couples – backstage, you could meet Cinderella and Prince Charming, and Snow White and her prince
  • Penguins! – I love these little guys way more than Mary Poppins or Bert, so I was so chuffed for them to be out playing on the course
  • Sarge – in case runners started losing their motivation, this green army man was prepared to give press-ups to anyone who wasn’t smiling on the final stretch!
  • Genie on vacation – Genie was only duplicate from the races, but in that outfit, who cares?
  • Mushu – a nice surprise for the last mile, this lovable dragon greeted runners as they entered Epcot for the final stretch!
  • Oh, and Goofy and Donald cheered us in at the finish line!

It was so much more fun stopping to meet characters during these races, it really does make every mile more magical!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram