DLP Half Marathon Weekend

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris' started by u k fan, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. u k fan

    u k fan Active Member

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    I guess this is a question for Ferret, but anyone can chime in. It looks like the dates I'm planning to be at DLP coincide with the half marathon weekend. Other than the resort being busier than usual is there anything I need to know about to help get the best out of my stay?

    I'm visiting for the 25th anniversary of my first ever trip so my dates are fixed, but I'm staying until the Tuesday. Should I avoid doing too much park stuff until the Monday/Tuesday or just go with the flow? I won't be taking part in the runs (for it would probably finish me off), but will there be extra entertainment etc. on over the weekend?

    Any advice will be gratefully received.
     
  2. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    They added a 10K this year, so the event is a day longer than last year (races Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, with the expo opening on Thursday). Things will be a little different because of this, but I expect them to follow the same general format. In general, the event should have a minimal impact on the parks themselves, but you could encounter backups in Disney Village and around the hotels

    The races are early in the morning (though not nearly as early as their US counterparts), so you may experience some delays upon arrival, especially on Sunday. If you need to get across the course in congested areas (like Disney Village), there will be designated crossing points (which were only marginally effective last year; hopefully they'll import the US strategy). Driving in shouldn't be an issue unless you're coming from one of the villages immediately north or east of the resort; train service will not be impacted at all

    The courses haven't been released yet and may not be until days before the event, but last year the half marathon went through the DLP hotels, with some minor detours for non-race pedestrian traffic. Due to the course through the Santa Fe, all car/bus access was blocked for several hours and many people's reservations were automatically moved to the Cheyenne; I wouldn't be surprised if they changed the course this year to avoid this problem. You'll still be able to move around to/from the parks from any of the hotels, but expect it to take 5-10 minutes longer than usual. Driving in/out of the hotels could potentially be problematic on Sunday morning until around 11 or 11:30 (and possibly Saturday morning until around 9:00, depending on the 10K course)

    If you're trying to avoid crowds in the parks, go early and stay late, possibly taking a break midday. Because the races are in the mornings, runners won't be in the parks for the first few hours of the day. Additionally, they'll leave earlier than typical guests in order to rest for the next day's race. Both Saturday and Sunday last year had big crowds midday (hour-long waits for most E-tickets), but the parks were very quiet by early evening, with nearly every attraction posting 5-10 minute waits before sundown. If you're willing to take it easy during the worst part of the day, you should still be able to get a lot done

    I don't remember any special entertainment in the parks, but you're free to stop by the finish line area and expo to check things out. Other than the announcers, I don't think there was any entertainment at the finish line, but it's fun to watch people finish their run (though if you're a non-runner, it's probably easier and just as enjoyable to watch people in Disney Village and the plaza between the parks)

    Here's my recap from last year's event. It focuses more on the races than any real park-visiting strategy, but it may have some helpful information:
    runDisney Goes French: A Recap of the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend - LaughingPlace.com

    If it works with your travel dates (remembering that you have to pick up your bib the day before), and you have even the slightest interest, I'd recommend considering doing the 5K yourself. It's a very non-competitive untimed event that's very welcoming to walkers and beginning runners. It was almost entirely in the parks, and it's really fun and festive to see them in a new way
     
  3. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    Actually, it looks like the 5K is Friday night, not Friday morning. This means that potential runners could pick up their bibs earlier in the day and still do it

    It also means that the Studios park will close early for it. The race starts at 8pm, so the park will probably close no later than 7. The course will be different from last year's, so it's tough to say what sort of traffic impacts there might be

    There is also a party in the Studios after the 5K until midnight, if you want some extra park time with a festive atmosphere. People who did last year's party (also Friday night at the Studios, the evening before the 5K) said it was fun, with a little extra entertainment but nothing crazy, and walk-ons for every attraction
     
  4. u k fan

    u k fan Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. I don't know if I'd complete the 5M race let alone the 5K if I ran, but I'd be well up for walking it (with a jog over the finishing line for pride's sake). However, I'm travelling with two seniors in ECVs so I'd be going it alone. I might do a little research on the Disney Run website. It sounds like being part of the community would be fun!
     
  5. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    We did the 5K in 53 minutes, which was mostly walking with a couple short portions of jogging thrown in, and we were nowhere near the end of the crowd. You probably wouldn't have enough time to stop for character photos (the lines were crazy long!), but finishing shouldn't be a problem

    At least for the 5Ks in the US, they have some golf carts that follow the last runners, and pick up people who need some assistance getting to the finish line. The timed events are a little more strict about the cut-offs (partly because they require shutting down public roads), but the 5Ks are very encouraging events

    If you end up doing it, make sure to wear your medal in the parks after! It's always fun to see everybody congratulating one another! :)
     
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  6. u k fan

    u k fan Active Member

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    I flit between thinking it sounds really cool and laughing hysterically at the idea of doing anything remotely active! :D
     
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  7. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    If you do decide to go for it, be aware that registration fills quickly, likely filling in a couple days or even a few hours. Unfortunately (unlike the US races), DLP doesn't seem to be great about letting people know in advance when registration will open. Right now they're doing registration through travel agents that will also book hotel rooms and park tickets as part of your stay, but they will also have race-only registration too. I would expect it to be sometime in the next month or so, but beyond that the date/time is anybody's guess

    I'll try to keep you posted if I hear anything more about it!
     
  8. u k fan

    u k fan Active Member

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    Thanks, I'm seriously thinking about it, but my main reservation now is the date as going by current plans I'm supposed to be arriving at DLP on the day of the race. I'm not sure I can wangle another day to get there on the Thursday. I'll have to see...
     
  9. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    As long as you arrive by mid-afternoon, I would think you'll be okay. The expo was never very crowded last year, so picking up your stuff should be a quick and painless process. The only real danger with that approach is potential travel problems along the way that could cause a late arrival, but that seems like a fairly low risk, especially if you have some extra time to spare
     
  10. u k fan

    u k fan Active Member

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    The way i read it, I thought I had to be there the day before to pick my stuff up. Hmmmmm....
     
  11. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    That's how it normally works for a morning race, but this year the 5K will be Friday evening. Given that the expo will remain open until 8pm (with bib pick-up until 10pm) on Friday for 10K and half marathon participants, I would assume that 5K people could also get their stuff the same day (though it will probably stop an hour or so before the race)

    When the Wine & Dine Half Marathon was an evening race, they had same-day packet pick-up available. I think the expo closed around 4pm with a 10pm race start (and additional transportation hurdles because of WDW's sprawling nature), closing early because it was the final race of the weekend; I suspect that DLP would do something similar, but they plan to stay open later for people running the weekends other races.

    This might be worth emailing them. I have no idea how responsive they'll be (at least publically they were very cagey about releasing information last year), but it's worth a shot. I think most people doing the 5K would want to arrive some time on Friday, so you wouldn't be the only person who's trying to do that
     

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