Navigating around WDW Marathon

Greetings, fellow Disney nerds!

My friends and I will be in the World during WDW Marathon 2016 from Thursday to Saturday, and I am a bit concerned about how to navigate the parks during the event.

  1. We will have a car and are planning to be in place for rope drop on all three days. How much time should we allow driving to the parks in the morning to account for possible road blocks? Is it worth taking the buses instead, and if so, how much time should we allow for that?

  2. What difficulties might we encounter navigating within the parks (particularly Epcot)?

  3. Anything else we should take into account?

Thank you all in advance!

Which parks are you planning to do what days? Thursday is the 5K at Epcot, and that will be wrapped up in plenty of time for you to do a “normal” rope drop. Friday is the 10K, also at Epcot, which will also be wrapped up in plenty of time for a “normal” rope drop. Neither of those will really affect the main roads (the 5K only really affects the Epcot parking lot area, and the 10K doesn’t go too terribly far outside the ticket booths and on the main road–and they sweep aggressively in those areas to have the roads clear for people driving in to make rope drop).

The bigger challenges will be for the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. That’s where you’ll end up with most of the road closures, and so you may want to think about what parks you are going to on those days.

Now…if you don’t mind a painfully early morning, you can actually be in MK before rope drop for either that Saturday or Sunday if you’re willing to do a bit of cheering for the runners. I’d need to check and see what time I arrived at MK, but I believe I was in there around 5:45 AM, and so there was a great time for pictures and the like. When I’ve done it in the past, they also don’t scan admission media to get in, so while you wouldn’t be able to use FP+ selections (because you didn’t tap in your ticket at the entrance), you can theoretically be in the park that day without a ticket.

Thanks so much for responding! I was worried this might be too specific…

We haven’t hammered out which parks to visit which day, except Magic Kingdom MUST be first (or so I’m told). The other two parks will be Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Right now, the crowd levels look pretty high for both, but based on the past two years, I expect they will end up as a five or below. Is it worth avoiding Epcot on Saturday?