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How much does the Princess Half Marathon affect EPCOT?

Hula Baloo

Member
Original Poster
A few months ago I booked a weekend birthday trip to WDW for February 20-23, 2020. I just now realized the Princess Half Marathon are those exact dates :eek:. I see the race starts and ends in EPCOT, which is one of the two parks we are visiting. Our visit to Animal Kingdom thankfully won't be affected. Does anyone have any information for non-runners who want nothing to do with the races, such as how much our visit will be affected? What day do you suggest we go to EPCOT when we have park days on Friday (February 21) and Saturday (February 22) only. Thanks so much for any suggestions and advice!
 

nickys

Premium Member
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A few months ago I booked a weekend birthday trip to WDW for February 20-23, 2020. I just now realized the Princess Half Marathon are those exact dates :eek:. I see the race starts and ends in EPCOT, which is one of the two parks we are visiting. Our visit to Animal Kingdom thankfully won't be affected. Does anyone have any information for non-runners who want nothing to do with the races, such as how much our visit will be affected? What day do you suggest we go to EPCOT when we have park days on Friday (February 21) and Saturday (February 22) only. Thanks so much for any suggestions and advice!
I’m paging @LAKid53 here, as she is an avid Disney race competitor and can almost certainly tell you more. :)
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
@Hula Baloo,

All races start at 5:30 AM, but runDisney starts runners in corral waves, so the last runners may not start until after 6:00 AM.

Friday will be the Princess 5K, which runs only through Epcot. Runners should clear the park by 8:00 AM at the very latest. One of the Epcot parking lots is used as both the staging area and finish line. You MAY experience some traffic delays first thing that morning as buses to take runners back to their resorts will be in full swing. I would suggest Epcot on Friday, February 21st. If Epcot opens at 8:00AM that morning, there will be some issues with traffic and parking.

Saturday, February 22nd will be the 10K, which also starts and ends in Epcot. The course will leave Epcot, go out to the roads around Epcot, enter Epcot through WS, run over to the Boardwalk area then finish at the same place in the Epcot parking lot as the 5K. The park will be open as the last runners come through. I was in the middle corral and don't start until after 6:00 AM. There will be traffic delays around Epcot that morning. Avoid Epcot in the morning. Any of the other parks will be fine.

If you plan on visiting any other parks Sunday morning, avoid MK at rope drop and Epcot until at least noon. The Half course runs from Epcot to MK and back. World Drive will have lane closures and will be closed early in the morning from 5:30 AM to 8:30 AM, if I remember correctly.

Of course, all this is subject to change as the redevelopment of Future World make impact the final legs of the race...we run past Mousegear to the finish line.

Princess Weekend is either the largest or 2nd largest race weekend, about 30,000 - 35,000 extra guests that weekend with runners, families & friends and volunteers. If you've not made a reservation to stay on property, I'd suggest you do it soon. Parks will be crowded in the afternoons when runners and their friends and family visit. But will start to clear of runners in the early evening as race morning means an early bedtime the night before.
 

Hula Baloo

Member
Original Poster
Thank you so much @LAKid53 !!

I will definitely mark Epcot for Friday, February 21 and Animal Kingdom for Saturday, February 22. We are staying at CBR, so we will be taking the Skyliner to the park and entering through the International Gateway. Hopefully that helps with avoiding the traffic and parking issues you mentioned. I reserved our hotel back in June thankfully because I'm not seeing much availability at that particular resort anymore.

Glad we are not going to the parks on Sunday because that sounds like the most impacted day.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
Thank you so much @LAKid53 !!

I will definitely mark Epcot for Friday, February 21 and Animal Kingdom for Saturday, February 22. We are staying at CBR, so we will be taking the Skyliner to the park and entering through the International Gateway. Hopefully that helps with avoiding the traffic and parking issues you mentioned. I reserved our hotel back in June thankfully because I'm not seeing much availability at that particular resort anymore.

Glad we are not going to the parks on Sunday because that sounds like the most impacted day.
Busy race weekend combined with Galaxy's Edge being opened 6 months, with Rise of the Resistance opening in December, so I think the SW crowd will increase dramatically after that. Skyliner is the best way to get to Epcot in the AM race morning.

Park attendence will increase Sunday afternoon, once runners complete their post race routine - eat, clean up, nap. And as it's Princess, the go to park will be MK. I haven't notice a packed MK in the afternoon on Sunday previous races years. But that was before GE opened and crowds in general will be higher, once RoTR opens in December.
 

Hula Baloo

Member
Original Poster
Busy race weekend combined with Galaxy's Edge being opened 6 months, with Rise of the Resistance opening in December, so I think the SW crowd will increase dramatically after that. Skyliner is the best way to get to Epcot in the AM race morning.

Park attendence will increase Sunday afternoon, once runners complete their post race routine - eat, clean up, nap. And as it's Princess, the go to park will be MK. I haven't notice a packed MK in the afternoon on Sunday previous races years. But that was before GE opened and crowds in general will be higher, once RoTR opens in December.
My friends are coming with me since it's for my birthday. I told them they could pick the parks since I've been many times and they haven't. One friend asked for Epcot and another asked for Animal Kingdom. I agree with you about the SW:GE crowds and MK crowds. I think out of all 4 Disney parks, the two we are going to are the best options for that weekend.

Good luck in your race that weekend!
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
My friends are coming with me since it's for my birthday. I told them they could pick the parks since I've been many times and they haven't. One friend asked for Epcot and another asked for Animal Kingdom. I agree with you about the SW:GE crowds and MK crowds. I think out of all 4 Disney parks, the two we are going to are the best options for that weekend.

Good luck in your race that weekend!
Thanks!

And happy birthday...in advance!
 
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