runDisney trips are unlike most Walt Disney World vacations. Whether you are running a 5K with family and friends or running the Dopey Challenge, you definitely need to take into account your accommodations.

I am an avid runDisney participant participating in over 40 runDisney races from 2015 on. I have also stayed at several different places during these weekends both on Walt Disney World property and off. There are several things to consider when considering where to stay for these action packed weekends. It can also depend on what your goals for that trip are. Over time my goals for a runDisney trip have certainly changed. Here is what I think you should take into account when choosing your accommodations.


A big aspect not only to runDisney trips but any Walt Disney World trip is location. All Walt Disney World resorts, the Swan and Dolphin resorts and Shades of Green provide race weekend transportation to and from events and the Health & Fitness Expo. Transportation can have its issues at times but overall it is a rather well oiled machine. Monorail transportation is often used for half and full marathon races for monorail resorts. Skyliner transportation is not available for any race. Location then really comes down to your priorities for park visits and amenities.

Location is a big consideration for me. My favorite spots for a runDisney weekend are in the EPCOT resort or along the Skyliner. The ease of access to multiple parks via walking or the Skyliner is a huge perk. Those perks can come at a cost though. One of my favorite budget friendly options on this front is Disney’s Pop Century. It is a value level resort so it keeps the costs down a bit but also has Skyliner access. I have stayed here more than any other resort for a runDisney weekend. If budget is less of a concern, Boardwalk Inn is a great option to consider. This resort is right outside EPCOT, has several dining options and a great pool.

Resort Amenities

What your resort has can also be a big consideration for a runDisney weekend. From pools to dining and more, these are all important factors. If you are thinking about pool options, Disney value resort have rather basic pools that can get crowded during the day. These resorts also do not have hot tubs. For athletes that want to soak in a hot tub that can be an issue. Now Disney moderate resorts do have hot tubs as well as a main feature pool typically with a slide. Deluxe resorts will feature the most theming and amenities at pools. You may have several hot tubs, pool options, or water play areas for kids.

Now for myself, I am not much of a pool person. I will sit by the pool with a beverage or order some food though. My favorite resort pool area is Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club. This is a huge pool complex with sand bottom pools and more. Another often overlooked option are the Swan and Dolphin resorts. There are three hotels are part of this complex including the Swan Reserve. The pool complex here is huge with several pools, hot tubs and more. Swan & Dolphin are deluxe level properties but are not owned by Disney. You can find world renowned dining there as well. And to help not break the bank they often offer several different discount options.

Something else to consider is the resort theming and feel. Sometimes a resort with a not stellar location can be the better option. These would include places like Animal Kingdom Lodge, Saratoga Springs, and Old Key West. These are not directly connected to any parks although you can walk to Disney Springs from Saratoga Springs. These are slower paced and quieter resorts. Animal Kingdom Lodge has the savanna view rooms to give it an extra edge. I have had nothing but great experiences at Saratoga Springs though if you are looking for a quieter resort.

Value or Budget

This is the most subjective thing to consider. Everyone perceives value differently and everyone has a different budget. Having experienced every level of Disney resort you can for a runDisney weekend, each have their pros and cons. I can certainly say if you need to stay as cheap as possible such as an All-Star Resort you won’t have a bad time.

Here are my top picks for runDisney resort stays:

Value – Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Moderate – Disney’s Coronado Springs

Deluxe – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Deluxe Villas – Disney’s Boardwalk Villas

Wild card – Walt Disney World Swan or Dolphin

These five options are all places I have stayed repeatedly and wouldn’t hesitate to stay again. You truly cannot go wrong with any of them in my opinion. From dining to pools to location, they all offer unique things to make your next runDisney trip special.

If you are looking for help in picking your next runDisney accommodations, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Crescent Lake Club agent today!

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