We have planned our next trip for January 5th-11th and I realize now that it’s during marathon weekend. Has anyone visited during this time while not being a runner? I’m curious to hear about how crowd and wait times look during that time. I’ve heard mixed reviews.
Yes we were there marathon weekend in 2020. It was packed. Definitely the busiest time we’ve been. There were 45-60 minute waits for things that are normally a walk on, like Small World and Imagination. The walkways were shoulder to shoulder, shuffling about. We had a tough time but we also had a stroller and two small kids.
Lots of guests who check in with their families for the marathons do the runs while the rest of the family enjoy the parks, then they meet up after. Lots of locals who run, finish the marathon then enjoy the parks or dine. So the crowd level increases, which was what Disney was intending to happen when they came up with the idea for the various marathon events. Its been successful enough to consistently draw huge numbers. Many runners do schedule their Disney visits along the marathon schedules, trying to get as many in as they can.
I've never been to disney during the actual marathons. But, one year, realizing the Marathon was the weekend and part of the week before we visited, we specifically made our reservations for the next week. We thought the Marathon guests would use the split week before the race to visit WDW, not the week after.
However, were we ever wrong, LOL. Our post race week was very busy due to the marathon guests staying over.
Does this happen every time? I don't know but it was a surprise for us.