While we are of course so sad to lose the RunDisney Star Wars races, we are so thrilled with the new RunDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend! We were nervous at first, but quickly learned that a changing race theme could mean new courses, new entertainment, and new costume ideas! This year’s race weekend included the Expedition Everest 5K, the Race for the Taste 10K and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler!
Expedition Everest 5K
We have to first clarify that due to impending weather, this race course was shortened by roughly half a mile by removing a there and back section of the course. This was the best call, as shortly after the race ended a large thunderstorm did pass through. Also, due to the nature of the weather, race officials removed the digital scavenger hunt element of the course. We did have the ability to do it later in the weekend, and the questions were challenging and the ending was weird – so no loss there.
We have previously run 5K races through Animal Kingdom, and we honestly love the variety. The course is so fun, since Animal Kingdom is gorgeous in the dark. Since this race was in the evening, there was no sunrise – so just gorgeous views of the evening lights in the park! The short course, even with the full 3.1 miles, meant less character stops, meaning longer character lines. We opted not to stop for any with the impending weather, but still had a nice time.
Race for the Taste 10K
The Race for the Taste 10K was the race we were least excited for, since the theme reminds us of Wine and Dine weekend. We ended up having a great time! This race course circled through EPCOT and the EPCOT resort area (of course with some parking lot time). Like the 5K course, it was fun to have a race so centered on one theme park.
The character stops along the course left a little to be desired. It was each of the standard characters in their chef costumes (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, etc). We did stop for Joy and Sadness (who have remained in the same space for a few races now) and Remy with Emile since they were the featured race characters! While this race might not have had completely new elements or an extremely exciting course, it was still a solid option with some nice entertainment.
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler
The absolute highlight of the weekend has to be the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler! We were so excited for an old theme to return, and quite frankly for a fun 10 mile race! The course was beyond amazing, with runners finally visiting Batuu, the themed Star Wars area in Hollywood Studios, and the Toy Story Land area as well! We have missed running through Hollywood Studios, and we were so excited for the return of more park time!
The theming for the race was really great, with the exception being that it appeared RunDisney didn’t have full rights to use the theming all over the course. The race announcers were not in costume or themed attire, the course used a weird audio that repeated “1939” instead of actual themed audio, and Goofy was not available for photos in his Bellhop outfit. They were able to have photos with bellhops wearing the cast member costumes, and some entertainment similar to the ghost family. So despite the obvious set backs, they did well with what they could.
Overall, we had an amazing time! We loved the evening 5K, we were thrilled with a new race distance, and absolutely overjoyed to finally run through the majority of Hollywood Studios again. While the race themes may change each year, it is likely that we will continue to return to the RunDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend year after year!
If you want more information on each of the individual races from the RunDisney Springtime Surprise weekend, check out our YouTube videos below: