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Lee Hoedl
6155 16th St. South, Fargo, ND 58104
Cell: 701.306.1266
Email: leehoedl@yahoo.com
 

DISNEY STAGING AREA AND STARTING CORRALS

Below is a sample map of the 2014 Disney Half Marathon and Marathon Staging Area in the EPCOT parking lot. This staging area has transitioned over the years, but has remained relatively the same in its structure and purpose.

Disney bus shuttles tend to run from most Disney hotels to the staging area from 3:00 - 4:30 am on race day. Check with your hotel's front desk / Concierge to see the exact route and time of your hotel's marathon weekend shuttle service.

DISNEY RACE STAGING AREA

After you have found out what time the shuttle runs from your hotel to the runners' staging area, be sure to call desk service on the night before the race and leave a wake-up call.

Shuttles have typically started picking up racers at 3:00 am and stop their service at around 4:30 am. A wake-up call for 2:00 am should leave enough time for a carbo-load breakfast, prep and out to the shuttle pick-up location at your Disney hotel's entrance.

BRING A BLANKET/TOWEL, WARM GRUBBIES AND CASH

When you arrive to the EPCOT parking lot (just to the left of the Amaze Lot on the map), there will be a short walk to the runners' staging area. If it holds true to the 2088-2013 races, the staging area will be a large compound where you can (1) listen to outdoor music, (2) purchase limited marathon clothing and souvenirs, (3) purchase some food items (i.e. energy bars, coffee, water, juice, etc.), and (4) store your personal belongings in the Disney bag drop-off/pick-up tent area.

TOWEL AND/OR WATER MATTRESS - The runners' staging area is a very large parking lot area that is completely bordered by tenting areas (i.e. Race Retreat, concessions, etc.) and porta-potties (enough for everyone). It's import to know that there are NO benches, chairs, bleachers or stands to sit in - there is only the graveled parking lot. Having said that, it is highly recommended that you bring an oversized towel to sit on and to have space to stretch out and rest. It is also highly recommended to bring a blow-up disposable water mattress (the $1.99 version) that you can blow up and rest on. The water mattress you can throw away (or deflate) and the oversized towel will fit in the the bag provided to you by Disney World at the Expo, which you will drop off prior to the beginning of your race. Plus you can use the towel after your race with which to fully dry off.

TEMPERATURES AND GRUBBIES - The average temperature when arriving to the runners' staging area has been in the upper 40s (with the exception of the 2010 bitter cold temps), with the race time temperatures ranging in the 60s and low 70s. Again, it is important to remember that this is only an average. In 2007 and 2008, it was 65 degrees when arriving in the staging area and it reached temperatures in the high 70s/mid 80s of the marathon, with humidity over 50%. 2013 proved to be even warmer temperatures and higher humidity.

If temperatures are in the annual average range, it is always helpful to bring a pair of grubbies/old sweats that you can discard at the start of your race. Don't worry - Disney staff collects all these clothes and donates them to local thrift stores/shelters. Keep in mind that you will be in the staging area from at least 3:30 - 5:00 am, until you walk about a quarter of a mile to the start line. You will then wait in your race corral until the 5:40 am staggered starts, so it can get chilly when you are waiting.

Around 4:30 am, announcements will be made over the loud speakers so as to move runners toward the starting corrals (see map above or below). The walk will take some time so be sure to give yourself time to the starting corrals and use the porta potties in that general area BEFORE heading to the race corrals at the starting line. The porta potties at the race corrals, outside of EPCOT, will be very crowded. And it is not surprising to see both male and female runners to use the area bushes and trees as an outdoor bathroom - as strange as this may look to first-time marathoners, this is typical race behavior.

DO NOT rush or push while in line to the starting line - if you leave between 4:30 - 5:00 am, you will have plenty of time to get to your race corral before your start. The higher your corral lettering (i.e. Corrals A, B, and C), the closer to 4:30 am you will need to leave the staging area.

DO NOT remove your outer garments (if you bring them) before you are in your starting corral, as there will still be quite a bit of time that you will wait until your particular corral will leave on its race.

And if looks like the forecast is calling for rain, an oversized garbage bag can also be a nice layer before you begin your Disney race.

DISNEY STARTING CORRALS

Please refer to the map on the right. As runners walk to the starting corrals, the walkway (service road) will merge with EPCOT Center Drive. At this merging, there will be several rows of porta potties - get in line early or you will need to use the side of the road a mile or two into your race!

Starting corrals are based on your bib lettering (i.e. Corral A, B, C...). Corral A will line up closest to the starting line and Corral B will be directly behind. This corral numbering will continue away from the starting line and continue down EPCOT Center Drive. Double check the assignment of starting corrals as your corral might be to the left of the porta potties, further down EPCOT Center Drive.

If you are assigned to a higher lettered corral (i.e. A is higher than B), you are able to be in any corral behind your designated corral. For example, if you are assigned to Corral B and have a friend you would like to run with in Corral D, you are able to be in Corral D. However, your friend is not allowed to move up to Corral B.

Starting corrals, if they follow with past formats, will be released on a staggered basis - approximately 7-10 minutes after the corral in front of them. This allows for a greater dispersement of runners and less congestion in the early miles of the Disney World Half Marathon and Marathon. Be mindful of this staggered start, as you may be standing for awhile before it's time for you to take off on your run. For example, if you are in Corral H (7 corrals behind Corral A), you may not start your race until 45 minutes (or longer) from the time that Corral A takes off on their run.

WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR DISNEY RACE?

Please refer to one of the following links to explore what you might want to consider following your Disney race:

Disney Post-Race Details

Post-Race, What Should I Do/Eat?