5 Ways Your Resort Failed You During Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

You shelled out the big bucks to come to Orlando and run your face off during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and what did you get in return? The largest expense was likely your accommodations.

So how did your hotel treat you once you were checked in for race weekend?

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek at Walt Disney World

1. No Runner’s Concierge

Oh, your resort didn’t have a runner’s concierge on staff dedicated to making your race weekend run smoothly? There wasn’t a person at the ready to give you detailed race info, transportation schedules, runDisney Expo info and a welcome amenity? Your hotel didn’t have a dedicated social media hashtag for you to use when posting your pictures online and then display them on a huge flat screen TV in the lobby? Pity.

Carb Load Pasta Dinner at La Luce in the Hilton Bonnet Creek

2. Limited Carb Load Dinners Options

You made it through packet pick up and the runDisney race expo and now you need a carb rich dinner to fuel you up for the big race. But your options are limited…to one restaurant…the dreaded food court filled with screaming children and lots of fried options.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort at Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends

3. Food Court Closed for Breakfast

You flew in to the Orlando International Airport and took Magical Express to your resort. You didn’t have a rental car to stop by the grocery store so you had to make due with what you could scrounge up the night before for breakfast at 3 a.m. because the resort’s overpriced food court wasn’t open yet…they don’t care about the needs of the thousands of runners staying at their establishment during race weekend after all.

Runner Concierge at the Hilton Bonnet Creek

4. You Waited in Line…Forever

You got up at an ungodly hour on race morning. Brushed your teeth. Pulled on your race gear. May or may not have eaten that power bar they gave you in your bag at the race expo and made the hike to the bus stop outside where you froze your tookus off waiting to board a bus at the back of a very long line you hadn’t anticipated. You may have even gotten a little wet while you stood there in the freezing cold mist.

5. Once you Left the Finish Line, Race Day Excitement was Over

You finished! HOORAY! Look at that shiny new hardware! You board your resort bus and head back to shower and change. Once you arrive at the hotel the run fun is done.

But hey…maybe you had a better experience than the one described above. I know I did…

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek at Walt Disney World


If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know that my runDisney race weekends include a stay at the Hilton Bonnet Creek. Here’s how a race experience at my resort shakes down.

  • I check in and am immediately greeted by the Runner Concierge. I’m given the option of signing up for a departure time on race morning.
  • I make a reservation at La Luce for a beautiful pasta dinner special prepared just for me…the runner.
  • I eat supper and tuck into my pillow topped bed and set my alarm.
  • In the morning I get my gear on and head down a little early to grab a solid (and complementary) breakfast. I eat my bagel and banana in the warmth and comfort of my hotel lobby on a big cushy couch while awaiting my set charter bus departure time. All the while I get to jam out to tunes and hear the cheers from all of the Hilton Bonnet Creek employees who have gotten up at 2 a.m. to pump me up and send me off properly for my race I’ve trained so hard for.
  • I don’t have to wait in line outside in the freezing cold and oh hey, by the way, it’s drizzling. Here’s a complementary poncho to keep you dry.
  • Before I board my bus I drop my “Runners Challenge” entry form into the collection box. If I guess my finish time correctly and am the closest out of all resort runners I may win a free return stay!

I run…and run…and run…and finish!

Hilton Bonnet Creek Rum Runner at Marathon Weekends

When I get back to the Hilton I make my way down to the “Runner’s Reception” where I show my bib and receive a complementary “Rum Runner” (I see what you did there Hilton) cocktail. What a way to wrap up an epic runDisney race weekend!

Think you might want to stay at the Hilton Bonnet Creek for your next runDisney race weekend? You can book directly here (affiliate link) Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Rates start at $142 per night for the upcoming Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and $199 per night for the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge Weekend.

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Hilton Bonnet Creek during marathon weekends.


  • Leslie Tanner Howard says:

    Great article. And it is true whether staying in Disney resorts or other hotels for other races around Florida. It is nice to at least have a little ‘to go’ bag for the bus or car ride the wee early morning ride to the race. Many hotels do not do this for their running guests, guests they know who are running! Just a little bit goes a long way, hence your return to the Hilton Bonnet Creek. I need to try that one some time.

  • NOW THIS IS HOW YOU TREAT RUNNERS! Not surprised Hilton Bonnet Creek goes all out. They are a top notch resort. Congrats on another great Disney Running experience. Great post!

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