Marathon Dress Rehearsal Plans

When I trained for the Dumbo Double Dare challenge, I decided to do a Disneyland dress rehearsal training run for the 12.5 mile long run. You can read about that here. So, as I’ve been going about the planning of where my crazy, 20 plus mile, long runs will be completed, I thought about that 12.5 mile long run. Unlike the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, when I finish the Walt Disney World Marathon, I will be visiting a theme park. I will be visiting the Magic Kingdom the day after the Walt Disney World Marathon. So, for this to truly be a dress rehearsal, I need to visit a theme park the day after this 26 mile long run.


This year, I had this idea of going to Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Universal Studios Orlando, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom all within one month’s time. Now, my time in the Animal Kingdom will only be while I run through it at the Walt Disney World Marathon. However, I will be in the park, so it counts. Right? To do this requires a plan. Since my wife and I have already planned our Disney World trip, we already have the trips to the theme parks in Florida planned. So, we had to figure out if we could get to the theme parks in California this December to make it work. As we’ve looked at our calendar, we had to first figure out when to go to Disneyland. One of my wife’s sisters lives up in San Francisco. She’ll be down for Christmas. So, Brooke came up with the idea of going to Disneyland with both of her sisters either on the day her sister arrives (December 21st) or the next day (December 22nd). Free admission to Disneyland? Of course my sister-in-law was down with that. So, we settled on December 22nd. With that set, we decided on going to Universal Studios Hollywood on December 14th. So, the dates are now set.

  • December 14 – Universal Studios Hollywood
  • December 22 – Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
  • January 9 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT
  • January 10 – Universal Studios Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • January 12 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom (as part of the Walt Disney World Marathon)
  • January 13 – Magic Kingdom

See? All in one month’s time, we will be in all  9 theme parks. Now, some we’ll be spending more time in than others. However, I will be in all of the Disney and Universal theme parks in one month. Fun times! So, here’s where the dress rehearsal park kicks in…


On December 21st, I’ll be doing my last long run before the marathon. That day, I’m scheduled for a 26 mile run. I went to the Map My Run web page and started to plot out where I might run to finish all 26 miles. Where should I go? Disneyland of course. For my 26 mile long run on December 21st, I’ll be starting and finishing around the Disneyland Resort. Along the way, I’ll cover some of the ground we covered on the Disneyland Half Marathon. Points of interest along the route I’ve come up with will include running by the Honda Center


taking the river trail to Angels Stadium


passing by another theme park…Knott’s Berry Farm


running by Medieval Times


and finishing on Magic Way (where we lined up for the start of the races at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend).


I know that it’s not a true dress rehearsal because I won’t be running around the Walt Disney World Resort. However, it will be 26 miles with a little Disney magic along the way. What will make it a dress rehearsal is that my wife, myself, and her two sisters will spend the following day at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. So, I will get a feel for what it will be like to run 26 miles and go to a theme park the very next day. I may or may not (but probably will) bring my medals from the Disneyland Half Marathon and Disneyland 10K for a picture by the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. You know, for dress rehearsal purposes.


While I plan on catching Wishes at the Magic Kingdom to close out our stay at Walt Disney World in January, I’ll be catching the new World of Color: Winter Dreams show to close out this dress rehearsal. Here’s a video of the show for those of you who can’t make it out to California during the holidays.

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