One Disney Cruise Line on board activity that is not widely known about is the Castaway Cay 5k. If you are a runner, jogger, or walker you definitely do not want to miss out on this event! Ask yourself, when will I ever be able to say I ran a race in another country?!
Did I mention it’s FREE? Yes, you read that correctly. A Run Disney race (with a medal) that is no extra charge to you! There are no entry fees, excursion fee add-ons; it is 100% free of charge to cruising guests.
Here I am going to share with you the ins-and-outs of this very tropical, 3.1 miles of island fun.
How do I register? Once you get on the ship head straight to Guest Services. Let the Cast Member know that you’d like to sign up for the Castaway Cay 5k and they’ll handle your registration! This is not something you have to sign up before you arrive on board. The race is open to adults and kids. If you have little ones not running, you WILL be able to check them in to Scuttle’s Cove*, on Castaway Cay, before you start the race.
*Scuttle’s Cove is the youth services program on the island for children ages 3-12.
What happens on race day? An envelope with your excursion tickets will be left in your stateroom the night before you arrive to Castaway Cay. In this envelope you’ll find tickets detailing where and when to meet, on board, for your race. On my last cruise we met around 8:30 am in The District. You will need to bring your Key to the World and photo ID so be sure to plan on a place to keep these while you run (they will offer a box to hold things for you). An Entertainment Cast Member will give you safety pins and your bib once you arrive. At your meeting spot you’ll be given race instructions, go over the course map, and get in some final stretch time. Once it is time to get started, the CM will escort you off the boat and to the race start. There is a bit of a walk (8-10 minutes) from the boat to the start – be prepared.
What do I need to know about the actual run? Know that it is going to be HOT and very HUMID. There will be water four different times on the course. Be sure to drink plenty each time and stay hydrated. You will start and end your race at the same location near bike rentals. During the “loop” there will be a little shade, but on the airstrip you’ll be full faced in the sun. I would highly suggest wearing some sun block and shades. When you finish there will be a brown box to your left. Be sure to look at it to see your time!
Another important fact, HAVE FUN! This race is NOT timed and you can run at any pace.
Congratulations! Now it’s time to get your fancy Run Disney medal. The same Cast Members will be at the finish to put your medal around your neck. As with any Disney race, the finish will be loud with cheers and motivation as you cross that finish line. Be sure have a camera ready in case you have a character at the finish line…it’s been known to happen!
Once you’ve finished you’ll be (surprise) by a shop that sells Castaway Cay 5k merchandise. They’ll have tees, commemorative pins, and more. This will be the only time you can find these items so snag them now if you want.
On our walk back to the boat, for breakfast and showers, we caught Minnie Mouse taking photos. We decided to stop for a photo op with our medals and bibs. This ended up being an awesome souvenir from our cruise! You could also pack a bag with your bathing suit and a change of clothes to head straight to the beaches when you finish.
Have you ever ran the Castaway Cay 5k? Do you have any tips I missed that could help us all improve our 5k experience? We’d all love to hear them in the comments!