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NEWS: Disney Announces CHANGES Ahead of Half Marathon Due to Severe Weather

by Staff

If you were planning to attend the Disney World Half Marathon on January 6th, 2024, you might want to listen up. Disney announced that the start time and race course were modified ahead of the race.


A cold front is predicted to hit Central Florida over the weekend, and severe thunderstorms are forecast to reach Disney World shortly after 8AM on Saturday and continue for several hours.

Disney released a statement noting that the Half Marathon will now begin at 4:45AM; a 15-minute change from the original start time of 5AM. Disney hopes to have everyone off the course by 8AM. Due to the impending weather, the course has also been shortened. According to runDisney, the race will no longer be 13.1 miles.


The updated schedule reads:

  • Duration: 4:45AM – 8AM
  • Race Start/Finish: EPCOT Parking Lot
  • Official race start: 4:45AM

Disney shared that those registered for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, the Dopey Challenge, and the runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge who complete the shortened course on pace will still be eligible for their challenge medals.

EPCOT Parking Lot

Note that spectator viewing in Magic Kingdom will no longer be available due to the course modifications. The updated viewpoints direct spectators to the EPCOT Rocket Parking Lot and the EPCOT Eve Parking Lot.


Expo hours for the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo will not be impacted, and the Expo will be open from 11:00AM to 3:00PM.


Meteorologists are predicting the possibility of strong storms and frequent lightning (70-80%) in Central Florida, according to ClickOrlando.






Below, you can see the modified course map. Be sure to check the runDisney Digital Expo & Event Guide and runDisney’s Facebook, Threads, and Instagram accounts for live updates throughout the weekend.


In a statement to participants, Disney said, “As you prepare for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, Jan. 6th, we want you to be aware that our teams are keeping a close eye on local weather conditions. The safety of our Guests and Cast Members is our top priority and we have made the difficult decision to modify the course due to severe weather, including expected lightning in the area after 9AM.






This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more information.

Are you planning to attend the race weekend? Let us know in the comments!

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