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I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

How to Get into a Sold Out Disney Race

on September 12, 2013

runDisney races have become so popular that they often sell out the first day registration opens. 



Since registration can open up to 8 months before the event, you have to be an uber planner to get in lately.  I love to plan, just not always that far in advance.  With the exception of the Inaugural Tower of Terror 10 Miler, all 4 of the other runDisney races I’ve registered for have been more of an afterthought, months after registration opened.  Lucky for me at the time, the races weren’t selling out in a day and I was able to get into the ones I wanted.

My luck ran out when I decided I wanted to run in the Inaugural Minnie 10k being held during Marathon Weekend next year.  

2014 will be the Inaugural Minnie 10k

2014 will be the Inaugural Minnie 10k

I had not initially intended to participate in Marathon Weekend at all.  With a half marathon planned in October, November, and December, my mind and body could not handle January, too.  That all changed when some of my runner friends suggested volunteering.  We could split the room 4 ways and I could fly virtually free on miles, making it a fairly inexpensive trip.  I have to admit, the thought of enjoying a runDisney weekend without any pressure was appealing, as was the different perspective.  I was in!

Of course it wasn’t long until my thoughts turned to running again.  I still was not willing to take on another half, but the Minnie 10k started looking better and better. 

Bling makes everything better.

Bling makes everything better.

Even though it was already sold out, I knew that closer to the event, people would back out, and I’d likely be able to buy a spot from someone else.  The thought totally crossed my mind to do this, but it’s not ideal for several reasons.

  1. It’s against the rules!  runDisney has a policy against bib transfers from one runner to another.  Rumor has it that anyone caught buying or selling a bib in this manner can be banned from runDisney events for life.  I don’t believe I’ve ever actually read this in black and white, and I know I’ve never heard of anyone who actually got banned for this reason.  However, rules are rules, and that’s the rule.  No bib transfers!
  2. Lack of recourse.  These “illegal” bib sales can happen months before the event.  Even if you use PayPal, often the time to file a claim has expired before you would ever know there was a problem.  Unless you happen to be lucky enough to know the person you are buying from, you are trusting a complete stranger to be honest and deliver on their part when it’s time for the expo and bib pick-up.
  3. Wrong name on your bib.  Ok, this may not be a big deal to some, but I bet if you are a guy named John, you don’t want to run wearing a bib with the name Heather on it. 
  4. runDisney can choose to crack down on the rules at any time.  They could easily say only the registrant picks up the packet, meaning you could have paid someone for a bib you can’t even pick up.  Do I think they will do this without warning?  No.  With Disney’s track record for changing things with little or no notice, I don’t think I’d want to chance it, though.  Edit:  runDisney has, in fact, changed the rules, and starting with Avengers weekend at Disneyland in November 2014, they no longer allow packets to be picked up by anyone other than the person registered. 

So, what to do?  The answer is right on the runDisney website.  You can register through various charities and/or travel groups.  Yes, a lot of the charities ask you to raise thousands of dollars, often in exchange for race entry fees, accommodations, even air fare and other amenities.  There are some, though, that just ask you to raise a few hundred dollars in exchange for race fees only.  Then there are the travel groups.  Many require you to book your entire trip with them in order to buy the race entry.  However, there are some that will just let you register for the race, hoping you will book something with them at some point.  At any rate, you do have to dig through the lists to figure out what the requirements are for each one.  I found one travel group that didn’t list what they had available or what the requirements were.  I just had to fill out an interest form online telling them what I wanted.  Within a couple of hours, I got an email back saying they had a Minnie 10k registration available, and for me to call them to get it set up.  I called, still thinking they might at least want me to buy park tickets from them in order to get the registration.  Nope!  I gave them my information, paid only the race entry fee, and got my Active confirmation the next day.  I could hardly believe that I had just successfully, legally, and in my name, obtained an entry for a race that had been sold out for months.  Two of my other friends also registered for other sold out runDisney races using these methods. 

The moral of the story is that you do not have to buy a bib under the table and run in someone else’s name.  Just do a little digging and research and you can either book through a travel group or find a great charity to help support.

Course map for 2014 10k

Course map for 2014 10k

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12 responses to “How to Get into a Sold Out Disney Race

  1. Michelle says:

    Hey!! I had signed up for the half because the others were sold out. I would really like to sign up for the 10K or 5K instead. What organization did you get in touch with?

    • Hi Michelle!
      Acclaim Travel is who I registered with. Go to the Marathon Weekend Events page on the runDisney website, click registration. Then scroll to the bottom and you’ll see the list of travel providers. They are the first one. Click their link and it will take you to their page. I didn’t mention them specifically in my post because others may have some great deals on things like accommodations and park tickets, too. I didn’t need that for me trip. Good luck!

      • Michelle says:

        Thank you for all your information!!! I had been searching online for a few weeks for something like your post. I emailed the company-and I am waiting to hear. Even if it doesn’t work out I am happy that I stumbled upon your blog. 🙂

      • Yay! I hope it works out for you! Let me know how it goes!

      • Michelle says:

        After several days of phone tag I was able to secure a spot!! Im just awaiting the email confirmation. Jim told me he had a busy afternoon but would do it by tomorrow!!! Thanks again for the info-I am looking forward to running the entire 10K. I had a lot of anxiety over running the half-but now I am just really excited!!!

      • Yay! And don’t be intimidated by a half! You could totally do it! If I can do it, anyone can. Glad you got your 10k though!

  2. Great tip!! I actually just today secured a spot for November’s Wine and Dine half through a charity. I am so excited to be able to participate!!

  3. Sadie says:

    Hi! Do you how to get a spot in a a sold out Disney kids race? Acclaim travel did not have anything, I already checked 😦

  4. Edith Hoerner says:

    Hello! I was wondering what travel agency you got a bib from. All of the ones I have tried want me to buy a travel package. Thank you!

    • Hi, Edith! The experience I wrote about was 4 years ago. All travel agencies now require room and ticket purchase to be able to purchase a bib. Disney changed the rules on everyone a few years ago. They tend to do that. However, you can often find charities that offer bibs with fundraising, sometimes low minimums. I hope you find what you are looking for.

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