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Partiicipating in a RunDisney Race While You Cruise: the Castaway Cay 5kThere’s exactly one official runDisney event that is easy to enter, totally laid back, and absolutely FREE: the Castaway Cay 5k on Disney Cruise Line’s private island, Castaway Cay. My daughter and I recently had a chance to participate in this event when we took a three-day cruise on the Dream.

A crew member gives a safety briefing right before the race.

Now, I never thought I would ever participate in any kind of runDisney race. Running is definitely not my thing. Neither is getting up at 3 or 4 am to show up at the start point. But when my 13-year-old daughter begged me to do this race with her, I agreed, albeit reluctantly.

Tip: If you’re interested in participating, sign up soon after boarding the ship – spaces are limited.

Fortunately, I found out that I didn’t have to jump through many hoops at all to enter: you simply go to Guest Services when you board the ship and put your name on the list. And there was no getting up at the crack of dawn for this race: they gave us a report time of 8 am on the day of the race.

Diva Tip: Make sure you bring a valid picture ID with you to the briefing. You can’t just take your key card since you will go through Bahamian Customs right as you disembark the ship (I found this out the hard way!)

On the day of the race, a crew member will go over the route and give you a safety briefing. The race course is an old runway on the island. You have to loop through twice and run to the end of the runway and back, so you pass the same water spot Partiicipating in a RunDisney Race While You Cruise: the Castaway Cay 5kmultiple times. The tram runs along part of the route, so you must make sure you stay to the side of the road. This is also the same path that rental bikes use.

Partiicipating in a RunDisney Race While You Cruise: the Castaway Cay 5k

You can store belongings in a box near the starting line.


Everyone participating in the race will disembark the ship together and walk to the start point, which is on the far side of the family beaches, near the bike rental area.

Tip: If you participate in the race, you’ll be one of the first people off the ship. You can use this opportunity to snag a prime spot on the beach by placing your gear there as you pass by on the way to the start point.

Parents who have small children can drop them off at Scuttle’s Cove, the on-island kids club, on the way to the start point. There’s an unsecured box near the start point where you can store items while you run the race.

You’ll want to make sure that you have a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Although our cruise was in November, it was still very hot and humid, even at that hour of the morning. Take advantage of the water station because it’s easy to get dehydrated.

Diva Tip: You might want to bring some cereal or other snacks with you for after the race. The food venues on Castaway Cay don’t open until ­­­­­11:30.

The wide, paved race course is also the trail for bikes.

The start of the race was quite low key, with a gaggle of folks simply taking off. There is a timer at the finish line, but there are no “official” times for this race.

My daughter wanted to run the race, but I decided to speed walk. Crew members are stationed along the way to cheer you on. My goal was to not be the last one over the finish line, and I definitely succeeded.Partiicipating in a RunDisney Race While You Cruise: the Castaway Cay 5k

Diva Tip: Buy your Castaway Cay 5k gear on the island – they don’t sell it anywhere else.

When I crossed the line, I felt a definite sense of accomplishment. My first runDisney race was in the books, and I had a medal to prove it. And I also didn’t feel quite so guilty about choosing two different desserts from the menu that evening at dinner.

If you want FREE help booking your Disney cruise or planning your Disney resort vacation, contact Patricia at All For Dreams Travel.

***Disclaimer – We at Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos hope you enjoy reading our articles, and encourage you to share any you feel may be of interest to someone else. We do ask, however, if you choose to share the photographs attached to our articles, you give credit to the photographer. Thank you for your cooperation and sharing our love of Disney!

A military spouse and an Army veteran, Passholder Diva has traveled all over the world but is always happiest when she lives in driving distance to a Disney park. An Accredited Financial Counselor by trade, she loves to find ways to save money so that she can take her family on more Disney cruises and trips. She is ecstatic that she is now once again living in Florida and a Walt Disney World annual passholder.