Disney World Hit With Accusation of Disability Discrimination

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Left: A woman with short red hair using a cane and wearing a white tee shirt. She looks angry. Right: Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Chip, and Dale in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom.

Sometimes while on vacation, it can feel like you’re running through EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But did you know you can really race through the Disney Parks?

runDisney operates multiple sold-out race weekends per year. Each typically includes a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon themed after Disney Princesses, villains, and other beloved Disney/Pixar characters. Some Guests even complete all four races in one weekend, sometimes called the Dopey Challenge.

runners dressed for pixar 10K
Credit: runDisney

As inclusive towards disabilities as Walt Disney World Resort is, some Guests say runDisney needs to catch up. One hopeful runner who registered for next month’s Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend publicly shamed the Central Florida Disney Park for refusing to accommodate her injury.

@alex.boe.balex

@disneyparks @disneyworldoffical @disney #rundisney #disneyprincesshalfmarathon help me understand why this is the policy.

♬ original sound – Alex K

“I’m really p*ssed at Disney World,” Alex K (@alex.boe.balex) said in her TikTok video. “I’m supposed to run the Disney half marathon in February, one month from a couple days ago. But, I pretty much broke my leg.”

Alex further explained that she now requires a cane and might not be able even to walk the runDisney half marathon. Her family reached out to Walt Disney World Resort and asked not for a refund but to defer the race until next year when Alex was healed.

walt disney world marathon dopey challenge finisher in a green dress
Credit: runDisney

To their shock, runDisney refused. They offered for her to “scrub the race,” where she would get carted to the finish line and receive a different medal than the finishers or lose her money altogether. “It’s a waste of… $200,” she said.

“I don’t understand how Disney World… a disability-friendly Park, the all-inclusive Park, cannot accept a doctor’s note and then help us redo it so I can actually run the race,” Alex concluded. “How?! … I’m so angry. I’m just angry and hurting.”

rundisney pixar race participants
Credit: runDisney

Commenters said they’ve also experienced issues with runDisney. “That is the number one complaint about run Disney is the lack of grace when it comes to injury,” wrote @swimbyfly716. “I don’t know why they are so strict about it.”

“They told me I could not do the race in my wheelchair!!!” @chronically.micah alleged. “They said its a running race and it was an unfair advantage.”

rundisney photo with tiana
Credit: runDisney

“runDisney is notoriously the worst,” @totallyrealbecky said. But she also offered a word of advice. “If you’re doing the half (not challenge), you’ll get the medal as long as you cross the start.”

Have you experienced issues with Walt Disney World marathon events? 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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