June 27, 2017

runDisney: How to Make it a Family Affair

rundisneyAs a parent it seems to me that every night there is another news story on childhood obesity. The same thing keeps being said – children are more sedentary, spending more time watching TV, playing video games, sitting on the couch. The question becomes how do we motivate children to get moving, and have fun while doing it?

Walt Disney World has come up with a great way to not only get children, but the whole family, moving with runDisney. Throughout the year (minus the summer months because it is just too hot) Walt Disney World has runDisney weekends where there are activities for even the youngest members of your family.

runDisney Kids Races

runDisney Kids Races are for children ages 13 and under, including a Diaper Dash for infants up to 12 months and a one-mile fun run for kids up to age 13. There are even specific races grouped by age: 100M (1-3), 200M (4-6) and 400M (7-8).

Everyone is a winner, too. All children who participate get a medal. Parents can also crawl, toddle or run with their little ones. The idea is to get kids excited about participating in a running event. This is Disney, so feel free to let your little ones sprint as Cinderella or Mickey Mouse. There are also characters on hand at the events to add to the fun and excitement.

5K Races

During runDisney weekends there is usually a 5K option for adults and children, if they wish to run a longer distance. While many participants run the race, there are many others who like to stroll as a family. It’s very common to see an entire family walking and/or running together during these events.

The 5K is a great way to get even the most reluctant child off the couch and busy moving their bodies. Look out for different themes depending on the race weekend. For The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend in October, for example, there is also a 5K race called the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run. Expect Disney-style haunted fun as you walk or race together as a family.

Interested in the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November? Then look for Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K, which takes families on an unforgettable course through Animal Kingdom with fun surprises throughout the course.

Every runDisney weekend offers at least one 10 Miler, 1/2 Marathon or Marathon. Participants must be 14 years or older to participate in these races. If someone in your group is running in one of these races, the younger family members will have a blast cheering them on and holding up signs.

Once you introduce your children to the fun of a runDisney weekend they will be hooked. You can keep up that enthusiasm once back in your everyday life. My 5 year old is already signed up for the 200M race at both The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Since we live nearby, we go out to the park on the weekends and “train” together. runDisney keeps families moving-whether in the Happiest Place on Earth or wherever they might be.

Beth Barbara is a contributing writer who shares tips and tricks that make it easy to plan a trip to Walt Disney World on her blog, Disney with Children

Photo Credit: Destinations in Florida

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