Runners lace up for Disney’s inaugural Springtime Surprise Weekend

5K race steps off Thursday evening

Springtime Surprise Weekend at Walt Disney World (Landon McReynolds, McReynolds)

BAY LAKE, Fla. – Thousands of runners have arrived at Walt Disney World for the inaugural runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend.

The event began early Thursday morning at Magic Kingdom with a sunrise yoga session in front of Cinderella Castle.

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“This inaugural event borrows from some all-time favorite runDisney events and combines them with exciting new twists and turns for a totally unique experience,” Disney Sports Social Community Manager Sarah Harris said on Disney’s blog.

Springtime Surprise Weekend at Walt Disney World (McReynolds)

Hundreds of racers lined up Thursday at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports to get their race bibs, merchandise and photos before the events began.

Springtime Surprise Weekend at Walt Disney World (McReynolds)

The event will officially step off Thursday night with the “Expedition Everest 5K.” The event, which also plays as a scavenger hunt, will have runners racing around Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night.

“Animal kingdom is a very pretty park, and we’re never there at night,” 5K runner Dan Lajoie said.”I typically volunteer on the medical team for runDisney, and this is my first Disney run. I’m super excited to see Pandora at night!”

The Remy-inspired “Race for the Taste 10K” at EPCOT is scheduled to begin Saturday followed by the Goofy-themed Tower of Terror 10-Miler on Sunday.

runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend (runDisney)

Runners who signed up for the Springtime Surprise Challenge, can test their endurance by participating in all three events, a total of 19.3 miles.

Drivers should be aware that some of the races may have roads around the theme parks closed as runners race to the finish line.

Earlier this week, runDisney announced a new virtual series that pays tribute to the record-breaking films “Frozen.” In the fall, runDisney will host its annual Wine and Dine event.

Click here to learn more about runDisney.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.