runDisney Announces 2021 Marathons Are Going Virtual, Issues Refunds



runDisney Marathons

In these unprecedented times, race events were placed on hold in an attempt to reduce large gatherings. Disney has announced that they will also follow suit. Disney regularly hosts race events through runDisney, but this year they are trying something new. RunDisney will not be scheduling any new races at this time. However, the ones that were already on the books, 2021 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and the 2021 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, will be reconstructed to be virtual events. The Castaway Cay Challenge will also be changed to a virtual run.

Disney has already done this with the 2020 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend just a week ago. Although it is saddening that the runs cannot take place in the parks this year, after the success of this last half marathon, Disney promises that participants will still have a great experience, given these current circumstances. 

Virtual Races

Those who have registered for the races through runDisney.com will be able to receive a full refund for the race if they wish. If participants registered with a U.S. mailing address, they will be able to change it to race in the virtual event. The virtual event participants may choose any setting to participate in from a treadmill at home to a scenic outdoor pathway.

Those who do switch to the virtual race will still receive prizes. Some of these prizes include:

  • Race shirt
  • Medal for each distance completed
  • Virtual goody bag
  • Digital certificate of completion
  • Gift card (digital – for select races)

Those who were already registered will have received an email informing them of their options for refund or to convert to the virtual race option. Registration is still open for some of the events for the race weekends. 

runDisney Marathon Refunds

For the runners who chose to receive a refund opposed to registering for the virtual race, there are a couple of options. 

  • Receive their money back to the original payment method
  • Check from Disney 
  • Disney digital gift card

Participants would have needed to request their refund in October, however, refunds are still processing and those previously registered can expect them to be finished processing by the middle of November. Gift cards are also expected to be processed by mid-November. Those who have a shipping address outside of the U.S. will be automatically granted a refund to the original payment method. 

Guests who purchased a Club runDisney membership will receive another year of membership at no additional cost.

Charity Organizations

Those who registered for a race through a charity will need to reach out to that organization directly. It is also worth noting that any donations made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals will not be eligible for a refund and will go to the designated organizations.

All upcoming races in the next few months will be virtual to keep all involved healthy. There are no updates about how future events will be held at this time.

What are your thoughts on the recent changes to the runDisney marathons? Were you planning to participate this year? Leave us a comment below to let us know your thoughts!

rachel van normanWritten by

Rachel Van Norman

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