Marathon Weekend vs. Princess

Discussion in 'runDisney' started by sandam1, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. sandam1

    sandam1 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Messages:
    317
    This year for Marathon Weekend I did the 5K with my friend and then my first half marathon. Looking towards next year (yes, Disney easily moved me off my "one and done" pre-race stance), my friend would like to add the 10K. I have NO desire to do the full marathon, hence no Dopey for me.

    Then I got to thinking - in the past I had a schedule conflict which prevented me from doing the Princess weekend, but that conflict won't be an issue in 2020. Looking at the course maps, the Princess races appear to be basically the same courses as the marathon weekend. So other than the theme and the ability for me to complete the glass slipper challenge (a HUGE pro in my book), is there anything else that is substantively different between the two weekends?
     
    Neon Cactus and Professor_Cookie like this.
  2. jmasgat

    jmasgat DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,354
    A couple of things off the top of my head....

    --Hotel costs are more expensive during Princess. January (at least for now) is definitely cheaper.
    --Weather.....February is warmer, and if you are not a warmer weather runner, it can make a difference. Of course, Marathon weekend weather has been very variable, and weather in general is a crap shoot.
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    67,929
    There’s always the Goofy.

    Princess is a slower field compared to marathon weekend.

    The last line is everything.

    2015 the January 5k was SO cold. Below freezing before the start; I was volunteering and my son and then husband were participating. The participants were huddled together to keep warm. No space heaters or mylar blankets were used.

    The next month for princess 5k it was colder. Like 28.

    Thankfully they brought out the blankets and heaters for princess like they should have done for marathon weekend.
     
  5. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    11,842
    Princess is a different crowd, more first-timers will participate in that weekend. Like you said, the theme is a big one...you get short-sleeve shirts for the races instead of long-sleeve like the half.

    I last did Princess weekend in 2017 and I think it was the same weekend as the Daytona 500 (?), so the airport was crazy crowded - be prepared for that possibility. Flower & Garden stuff started to go up at the parks, which is nice.

    The other big thing is that without a marathon at the end of it, the scheduled of the weekend shifts. The half is on Sunday, 10K is Saturday and 5K is Friday.
     
    VAfamily1998 and Princess_Nikki like this.
  6. Bree

    Bree Runs on Coffee

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,276
    The runner demographics and merchandise. The merchandise tends to be bling bling girly girl. This weekend brings in the most women (obviously) with lots and lots of first time race participants and many people thinking pixie dust instead of training is all they need to cross the finish line. It’s a very unique race weekend. I have a love/hate relationship with the weekend. I love it because the Princess 10K was my first RunDisney race. I hate it for the estrogen levels and sheer snark I’ve received from other runners for taking my race too seriously. I know this post is so negative, but I don’t get involved with catty girl drama in real life so it gets annoying on race weekend. There are a lot of positive back stories from runners for this weekend too so don’t let the drama you read about on the internet scare you away. 2019 will be my 4th Princess Weekend so it’s not like I’m letting the negativity keep me away. I’m running just the half this year and driving in race morning (I’m local) instead of staying on site and decided to wear a costume. My experience will probably be very different because of this! I’m looking forward to my castle photo and sprinting up those highway ramps. I’m probably the only one who enjoys that part of the course.
     
  7. Grumpy_42K

    Grumpy_42K Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Messages:
    98
    I used to live close enough to the Magic Kingdom that I heard the WDW Train whistle when it passed through the North side.
    Therefore, I ran every Disney World race available.

    The INAUGURAL Princess rolled around and I debated about running it, thinking it was for women ONLY.
    I asked women on another Disney running blog at the time what they thought about guys running it. They were all positive and told me to run.
    I believe I signed up two days before the race.
    I wasn't allowed to select my Princess or have my name printed on the bib.
    I was given a Cinderella. Of course I wanted a Snow White. (I actually have a Grumpy tattoo)
    I added a Snow White sticker to my bib and wrote my name, which I always do if races don't print my name.

    I digress...
    I remember that morning seeing a sea of wonderful women runners. :) :) :)
    There were several guys who accompanied their spouses but didn't run that gave me the side-eye since I had a bib number and they knew I was A GUY running.
    "How dare he!" These days I could just identif...never mind. :)
    One guy in particular was very distressed that I was running in a "Women's Race."
    Don't worry though, I put the moron in his place.
    Anyway, I believe there were 194 men that ran that inaugural race.
    I am very proud to have run it and remember it fondly.
    The point is, if you can run either one or both, run them. I ran both that year and can't put one above the other.
    The weather was great for both that year, unlike lately when it has been whacko!

    PS, since the race shirt was a pink woman's cut I ended up selling all the race items on ebay years later.
     
    BuckeyeBama and VAfamily1998 like this.
  8. sandam1

    sandam1 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Messages:
    317
    Based on all of the comments, I think that I am leaning more heavily towards a repeat of the marathon weekend. Yes, there will be no extra bling - no Goofy or Dopey with no marathon - but I'm all about saving some money (I'm also thinking about a DL trip in 2020) and lower crowds. Of course, there's two months to registration day so who knows where I'll be then.
     
  9. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    11,842
    Crowds for January will greatly depend on how far removed the weekend is from New Year's. It was pretty crowded in 2017 (I think Marathon Weekend was pretty early, that year, January 4 or something?). So keep that in mind.
     
  10. IamTrike

    IamTrike DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,360
    I'll chime in after this weekend as it will be my second princess weekend. I've done a bunch of different race weekends and personally feel like the vibe around the resort is most runner friendly and most encouraging during MW. My guess is that this partly because its got by far the highest number of runners. As a result the whole resort is very runner friendly and encouraging. I am not sure about crowds for 2020 with Star Wars land opening late in the fall I would guess that neither weekend will be uncrowded this year. With MW closer to the opening it may be worse.
     
  11. sandam1

    sandam1 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Messages:
    317
    What I neglected to mention originally is that we will likely be staying at/primarily visiting Universal during this trip. They will be in the midst of their Mardi Gras celebration in February which is a pro and a con - I'd love to do this, but it brings in LOTS of people on the weekends. I found Universal more crowded than I expected this year over Marathon Weekend, but probably not what Princess weekend will be.

    IF (and I know that this is a big if) Disney offered a reasonable up-charge event for Star Wars Land during either race weekend, I might be inclined to add it to our schedule. But I highly doubt that my definition of reasonable is going to be anywhere near Disney's, particularly that close to its opening.
     
  12. IamTrike

    IamTrike DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,360
    Where in Jan MW weekend falls can definitely have an impact on this. However, I believe you are comparing MW 2019 and 2020, in which case they basically fall in the same timeframe, so I would expect Universal Crowding to be the same both years. (there might be a slight dip in 2020 for universal if Star Wars is a massive success). It sounds like either trip will be fun.
     
  13. Princess_Nikki

    Princess_Nikki DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,353
    I so heart you and this post! Lol, but I totally agree.

    I had a wayyyyy better time and a better run during WDW Marathon weekend then I ever had during Princess weekend.
     
  14. trickiwoo

    trickiwoo Talk Disney To Me!

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,164
    I've done Princess Weekend 3 times and Marathon Weekend once. I personally prefer Princess. One thing to note, is that this year the Epcot Festival of the Arts was going on during Princess Weekend. Marathon Weekend took place in between Epcot festivals. I'm personally a big fan of Epcot festivals, so I enjoyed Food and Wine during Wine and Dine weekend, Festival of the Arts during Princess, and Flower and Garden during Star Wars. I missed having an Epcot festival during Marathon Weekend. Of course, they're always extending the Epcot festival dates, so you never know what festivals will be going on next year during the race weekends.

    You did mention going to Universal. I've also stayed at Universal during Princess Weekend to do Mardi Gras. I did feel like the Universal crowds were lower than the Disney crowds. That was a few years ago though, and I feel like crowds are higher overall these days, so you never know. However, doing Universal will keep you away from those Galaxy's Edge crowds!
     

Share This Page