Help with Marathon spectating...

Discussion in 'runDisney' started by g-dub, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. rgaimari

    rgaimari Earning My Ears

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    Do the buses that take people to the corral area return to the resorts? If my wife comes with me to watch me start, can she get a bus back to the hotel after? Or would she have to wait until regular Disney transportation starts?

    - Bob
     
  2. cavepig

    cavepig DIS Veteran

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    Yes, they go back, below are the hours from the event guide.
    Sunday, January 7, 2018
    • 3:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. from Host Resorts to the Start Staging Area at Epcot®
    • 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. from Finish Staging Area at Epcot® to Host Resorts
     
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  4. rgaimari

    rgaimari Earning My Ears

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    Oops, should have checked the event guide! Thanks very much.
     
  5. FFigawi

    FFigawi DIS Veteran

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    Honestly, you probably don't want her to come see the start. It's very hard to fund individual runners or spectators given the darkness and the large number of runners starting at the same time. The best places for her to find you early in the race are the TTC, Main Street in MK, and outside the Grand Floridian.
     
  6. jeanigor

    jeanigor DIS Veteran

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    I have a question about spectating for my crew during the 10K for Marathon Weekend.
    The Boardwalk area is the only viable area (outside the start/finish zone) I can suggest for them to get to.
    We are not staying at any of the five resorts or DVC surrounding the boardwalk, but are at the All Stars.
    Can they just drive up to the booth and tell them they are here to cheer for the race and as long as they are quiet and civilized (could be tough knowing my people) make their way to the course's edge and cheer with other folks?
     
  7. GreatLakes

    GreatLakes DIS Veteran

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    The booth at the Boardwalk resort or somewhere else? That used to be possible but I thought a few years back the Boardwalk changed to valet only if you aren't staying there. That early it woudn't hurt to ask but I've have them prepare to pay to valet if the answer is no. I've never tried to park at the Swan/Dolphin but I would assume the Dolphin has some sort of lot for non-hotel guests seeing as it is a convention hotel and some locals would usually come for conventions.
     
  8. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    BW’s parking lot is generally very full and unless you have an ADR there it can be hard to park there unless you’re staying there. Doesn’t matter how civilized or not you will be.

    I’m trying to figure out how my family (cousins family to be super specific) are going to spectate for her first Half, and BW is a great idea but I would tell tell them to get a cab or minnievan there. And then there’s the question of getting to the finish.
     
  9. jeanigor

    jeanigor DIS Veteran

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    The January Half doesn't go near the Boardwalk area....it is out and back on World Drive with the Magic Kingdom at the turn. The races during Marathon Weekend that encompass the Boardwalk area are the 10K on Friday and the Full on Sunday.
     
  10. jmasgat

    jmasgat DIS Veteran

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    Parking at BW, YC,BC is iffy. I have been there when they have let me in to cheer (marathon weekend full) and other times been turned away saying parking that weekend is for guests only. Parking at Swolphin will cost, no matter what. Another remote possibility is parking at Fantasia Gardens mini-golf. I say remote because Disney Security patrols and may prohibit (too many people want to avoid Disney parking fees for trips to HS or E). Given that it's so early, they may not be out.
     
  11. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I’m thinking of princess for myself. Doesn’t the half go through there for Princess?

    Or wait, I think my cousin was with me for that one this year, which means it’s the 10k...I did all three runs so it’s a blur anyway, and I have a blindness when it comes to remembering race courses. :)

    Still gotta figure out how to get a high-stress family to one spot to spectate for her somewhere where we won’t be absolutely dying (my aunt/her mom is anti-running) lol.
     
  12. welovedisney7778

    welovedisney7778 Mouseketeer

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    My husband is running his first full (ran the half 4 years ago and we just went to the finish line) This time around kids are older and we are going to try to see him either at MK or the TTC/Poly area before heading to the finish line. We are staying at the Wilderness Lodge....do we really need to take a bus to EPCOT just to take the monorail back to the TTC or might Disney provide a direct way to get there based on the close proximity to the MK area? Just trying to plan with the best info possible before we are there next week to ask someone at the resort..Thanks!
     
  13. jmasgat

    jmasgat DIS Veteran

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    The only Disney-offered option is the bus to Epcot and monorail back. Simpler would be to get a cab over to the TTC. It's a straight shot over there, and the runners don't cross Seven Seas Drive, so it may not be a traffic nightmare for you (Although if I was the cab driver, I would make sure I approached WL from Vista Blvd.
     
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  14. g-dub

    g-dub Earning My Ears

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    OP here...just checking in to report on our experience and how things went - thanks to all for your advice in this thread as it was helpful!

    I confirmed with the front desk at OKW that I could take an Lyft from our resort to the TTC - bypassing the road closures and allowing us to leave quite a bit later (as buses stop running at 5am). We called our Lyft right as the marathon was starting (we could hear the fireworks from our room) - at 5:30am. My wife was in Corral C so didn’t start until about 5:45am... We had no plans to see the start but were planning on seeing here at the TTC, at Grand Floridian, and at the entrance to Epcot and the finish...

    The Lyft worked great - until the end...Plenty of Lyft available at 5:30am - called and were picked up in < 10 minutes. We were on the way - bypassed World Drive and took the route that goes from OKW up in front of Fort Wilderness and then plugs right into the TTC on World Drive...I thought everything was going great.

    We reached the entrance to TTC about 6am - plenty of time as my wife was due to reach TTC about 6:45 or so. We were turned around at the usual guest drop off area at the TTC and told to circle back and drop off in the “Zurg lot” - as this was the official spot for spectator drop off. Great! We were dropped off in a completely empty lot - no one else within hundreds of yards, except for one transportation CM who told us where to walk...

    We walked up to the course - followed it under the tunnel and up into the main TTC area - I thought everything was perfect - except we were on the wrong side of the course! We were on the right side (facing MK) - and all Monorail access was on the left side. I started to worry - and starting asking CM’s - who all told us there was a gate underneath the tunnel where we could cross the course. There was no such gate - and so were out of luck. We did stay in this area and were the only spectators on that side - so it was easy for my wife to see us - we got a chance to see her and cheer and take her extra layer from her.

    At this point two different CM’s told us there was nothing we could do and we have to wait where we were until the last runner crosssed and the course was opened. We wandered over to the bus area - which was on the right side of the course - and found an awesome CM who took pity on us - and called us a CM transportation van who gave us a private ride on the road over the course to the left side - and dropped us off right in front of security. So awesome!

    We went through security at TTC and then boarded the resort monorail - headed over to the GF - got off and walked straight to the road on the west side of the resort -and made it about 3 minutes before my wife came by! Got to see her again here..

    We then walked back to the monorail station, went through security again, boarded the resort monorail back to TTC, walked off and around and boarded the Epcot monorail and headed to Epcot. We actually were able to pick her out on the road from the monorail and have a great video of her running from the monorail en route to Epcot.

    Off the monorail walked to the right of the entrance where the runners came in - waited about 15 minutes and saw here again there!

    Then walked through Epcot bag check and security - over across the other lot where the finish line was - made it in plenty of time to see her finish!

    Overall it was a great experience - everything about the plan went perfectly - with the exception of the drop off location of the Lyft putting us on the wrong side. I can’t say I would recommend that strategy as I think we got lucky - if we hadn’t found the sympathetic CM who totally saved the day by calling the van over for us we would have only seen her at the TTC and then been stuck. I got the sense from multiple CM’s that in the past it would have been easy to cross the route somewhere from that drop off location but this year they had changed the rules so no can do. I also got the sense that things change every year so you can’t rely on previous year’s experience as a guarantee of what to expect going forward.

    I hope this is helpful for others - if I had it do over I would board a bus at 4:50am - go to Epcot - check out the starting area - monorail to TTC - watch my runner at TTC - monorail to GF - watch my runner at GF - monorail to TTC - monorail to Epcot - watch my runner enter Epcot - and then walk to finish and watch my runner finish.

    My wife’s time was roughly 2:25 if that helps anyone plan in the future...

    Thanks!
     
  15. JeffW

    JeffW Mouseketeer

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    Glad this all worked out for you! I think, if you had walked "up stream" on the course to the south (away from TTC) you would have eventually gotten to a point on the course that was only cones and not fences, and been able to cross. Not 100% sure, but a lot of the TTC parking lot is cones only
     

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