Congratulations! You've decided to take the exhilarating step toward completing your first (or fiftieth) half marathon at Disneyland.
You won't be disappointed. In keeping with Disney's character, the event is ultra-organized and full of magic from mile 1 to mile 13! You'll run thru California Adventure and Disneyland before sunrise and then thru the streets of Anaheim (which are lined with marching bands, cheerleaders, neighbors holding up funny signs, and water stations). It's sure to be a weekend you won't ever forget.
Now that you have your registration confirmation, you'll need to begin thinking about accommodations. Hotels in the area sell out FAST so don't wait until the last minute to book a room. Remember that most hotels offer a 24-hour or 48-hour cancellation policy so it would be better to book now and cancel later than to be left without other options.
The closest hotels to the starting line are Paradise Pier, Grand Californian, and Disneyland Hotel - followed by Best Western Plus Stovall's Inn and The Anabella. You will have absolutely no problem walking to your starting corral from these hotels.
Another even more fabulous option is to choose a vacation rental. Renting a home or condo offers several key advantages -spacious rooms, a full kitchen (with microwave, refrigerator, dishes, etc), a backyard, and a quiet retreat.
We stayed at a lovely 3-bedroom, 2-bath house on West Street during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. The quaint house with modern decor was perfectly located for the race. I woke up, ate breakfast, and got race-ready without disturbing my family - and jogged to the start in under 5 minutes. West Street turns into Disneyland Drive so there were no turns and it was quite safe.
On the first day, we picked up fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, and milk from Walmart (less than 2 miles away). We ate breakfast around the dining room table in the mornings, with coffee mugs in-hand. An affordable and relaxing way to start each day! The house even came with a highchair!
At night, our two older girls loved sleeping in the two bunk beds. The other two rooms had a comfy king bed and a queen bed.
If you're traveling with young children, note that there is a playpen and stroller available for your use - plus a selection of board games and a small backyard with an orange tree and an avocado tree.
Other perks include free wifi and a flat screen TV. If you're traveling for business, note that the Anaheim Convention Center is almost directly across the street.
At $199-$285/night (depending on the time of year), the house sleeps 12 people and is a top-notch choice for families or groups of running friends.