Fresh off of participating in the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, I’m already dreaming of the next one.  I loved everything about doing the half marathon from running through Magic Kingdom to seeing the characters and just soaking in the excitement and energy of being there.  It’s so much fun and so approachable, even if you don’t consider yourself a runner.  If you are thinking of joining the next one that takes place on January 4-8, 2023, here are my picks for the best DVC resorts for Marathon Weekend based on different priorities.

You’ve Got Spectators Joining

With road closures, it can be tricky to get around Walt Disney World during races, so it can be more convenient for spectators to find you near their resort.  If you have friends and family coming to cheer for you at the 10k or marathon, one of the best places to be is the BoardWalk.  They may even be able to see you run by from their balcony.  The monorail resorts, including the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Bay Lake Tower, also make it a little easier for spectators to find you during certain parts of the half marathon and marathon.  For example, mile 6.7 of the half marathon and mile 12 of the marathon were accessible to guests staying at the Grand Floridian, mile 4.4 of the half marathon and mile 9.8 of the marathon were accessible to guests staying at the Contemporary, and mile 7.1 of the half marathon and mile 12.5 were accessible to guests staying at the Polynesian.  It’s best to check the spectator guide to get the full details on locations and times. 

You Need Some R&R

Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club

After running, you deserve a little rest and relaxation, especially if you successfully complete all 48.6 miles in 4 days for the Dopey Challenge!  Maybe this is the perfect time to pamper yourself with a massage over at the newly reopened Grand Floridian Spa.  If some pool time is your preferred way of relaxing, the Beach Club may be the best place to stay for access to Stormalong Bay.  The lazy river there sounds like a perfect way to chill. 

You Would Rather Skip the Buses

All of the Disney resorts provide transportation to the expo and each race.  However, if you are running the half or full marathon and prefer to take the monorail over a bus to and from the race, stay at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, or Bay Lake Tower.  Just note that there is no monorail transportation for the 5k and 10k.  There are buses instead for those races.

If your timing is right, and you finish your race after Epcot opens (and you still have the energy to trek back), you could possibly skip the bus ride back to your resort if you stay at the Beach Club or BoardWalk and choose to walk back.  Just be sure to have your park ticket and a park reservation for Epcot to do this.

You Want to Be Far Away from All the Commotion  

Maybe you just happen to have a trip during Marathon Weekend but don’t plan to take part.  While the road closures impact many of the routes to and from the parks, there are some resorts that are further away from the action.  If you’re staying at Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Boulder Ridge, Copper Creek, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or Riviera, you are much less likely to hear any of the fanfare from your villa.  

I’d love to know: what are your favorite DVC resorts for Marathon Weekend?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

One thought on “Best DVC Resorts for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

  • Stay at Old Key West during a race weekend, especially marathon weekend. You get to listen to them test the music and fireworks at 2 am on top of having to listen to the music until 5 am until the race starts. Not sure if the author has every stayed there during a race or not. Also goes for the Port Orleans resorts but this is a DVC page so that is why they wouldn’t be included.

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