There are many reasons I runDisney. High on my list: costumes! While it’s not required, it sure ups the fun factor when you dress up. My philosophy is simple: since I’m probably not going to win, I might as well look cute. And it’s easier than you might think. Here are some tips to make a runDisney costume great.

How to Run Away With a Great runDisney Costume

Running as the Evil Stepsisters was a highlight of the 2013 Princess Half Marathon. Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Over the years my costumes have evolved, and I’ve learned some simple rules to racing in costume. Here are my thoughts as you plan out your costumes for the upcoming runDisney race season.

Follow the runDisney Costume Rules

Be sure you stay in line with these or you may find yourself turned away before you can hit the corrals. Security has sent people back to their cars or the trashcans if items were not acceptable.

  • Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
  • Guests who dress like Characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
  • Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
  • Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another Guest.

For runDisney participants ages 13 and under:

  • Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.

For runDisney participants ages 14 and older:

  • Layered costumes, that could conceal prohibited items, are not permitted (e.g. Jedi robes).
  • Costume props, including those that surround the entire body (e.g. Death Star, UP House) are not permitted.
  • Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground. (e.g. full-length Princess dresses)
  • Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.
  • Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts, and hats are acceptable.
  • Acceptable accessories include transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords, and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.
  • Guests may not wear masks of any kind.

Edna Mode and runDisney say NO CAPES!

How to Run Away With a Great runDisney Costume

Short capes above the waist are ok. Yes, Edna, they ARE. Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Make sure you love it

Cause if you don’t, you won’t be happy for 13.1 miles. And at least for me, that means being unhappy for a reallllllyyy long time (cause I’m slow, savvy?).

You don’t want to hate your race picture either, especially now that your Memory Maker and PhotoPass purchase includes race photos.

Comfort Matters

I’ve seen some great costumes pieced together from traditional Halloween costumes. They look FABULOUS, but as Inquisitive TravelingMom Amy learned at the Wine and Dine, they aren’t all that awesome to run in.

She started out in full Wonder Woman gear and had to make some adjustments before she ran.

How to Run Away With a Great runDisney Costume

Don’t be afraid to make costume changes. If it doesn’t work when you run, do what you gotta do! Photo: Amy Albers, Inquisitive TravelingMom

My suggestion is to make whatever you usually run in the base for a costume.

Layer, sew, iron-on, glue, etc. whatever you wish to add to become someone else, but start with “standard” running gear. Especially in Florida with the humidity ripe to cause significant chaffing issues.

Stand out

Sometimes I try to go against the “theme” of the race. If it’s the Princess Half, I might run as a villain. If it’s Tinker Bell, I run as anything that DOESN’T require wings.

Face it, after a few miles aren’t you tired of all those tutus and wings?

You don’t have to say it: I will.


How to Run Away With a Great runDisney Costume

While everyone else was a princess, we were the Poppins Posse. Chimney sweeps, a couple of Marys and the Suffragettes covered 6.2 miles together. Votes for women! Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Dress With Friends

Group costumes are the best. I cannot tell you how much fun this is!

Check out the picture my crew got for the Wine and Dine race in 2013.

We represented the countries of Epcot.

How to Run Away With a Great runDisney Costume

We had a great group costume for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Ask Latina TravelingMom Tania about running 13.1 miles in a sombrero! Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Mexico included the Three Caballeros. We also had a gondolier from Italy, a Merida inspired runner from the UK, Wonder Woman representing America, and a traditional German beer wench.

Mickey loved us!

We had a blast planning and executing these costumes together.

Don’t forget the back

Protip: More folks will notice the back of your costume than the front.

Think about it.

I try to put some witty saying or added aspect to the back of my shirts for those that pass me. And many, many, many pass me.

How to Run Away With a Great runDisney Costume

Inspired by Ant-Man for the Avengers Half Marathon last year: Baskin Robbins always finds out! Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Reuse Costumes for Halloween or other events

Don’t be afraid to reuse an outfit you love! The great thing about a running costume is that it’s been tested on the road. You know it will hold up to a night of trick or treating or a Halloween party at school or work.

I’ve worn quite a few running costumes during the Halloween season. I answered the door as Princess Leia one year and walked the neighborhood as Captain America. I even spent 24-hours at Walt Disney World as Sorcerer Mickey during the Rock Your Disney Side event!

And don’t forget the time I showed up at school wearing my Fireside Girl costume from Phineas and Ferb. My oldest son sure won’t forget it.

Hey, man, everyone else thought I was cool.

Running costumes are perfect for the Disney Halloween parties as well.

Here are a few more ideas for running costumes that might help inspire you this running season.

  • Inquisitive TravelingMom Amy is a whiz at putting costumes together on the cheap Thrift Shop Costumes.  She also knows about accessories!
  • When Latina TravelingMom Tania commits to a costume, she’s all in. Check these out.
  • Star Wars is so hot right now. There are tons of costumes that can come from this universe. And I DO recommend running as Jar Jar Binks. You’ll probably be the only one!
  • Whos’ your friend who likes to play? Bing Bong also likes to runDisney!