With the Expedition Everest 5K starting at 10:00 pm on Thursday, March 31 in the Animal Kingdom parking lot, Disney has announced the Animal Kingdom will close at 7:30 pm that day.
This makes sense as the previously set 8:30 pm closure would make it harder to clear out the park for the runDisney event. It also makes sense given transportation from Disney Resorts to the race is starting that night 8:30 pm. The more Disney can clear out the park and the parking lot before the event, the better.
runDisney has posted the course maps for the upcoming Springtime Surprise race weekend, taking place March 31 to April 3, 2022 at Disney World. This will be the first runDisney event Elyssa and I have run since 2019, and we are super looking forward to it.
NOTE: At the time of posting, the full Weekend Event Guide has NOT been posted
Expedition Everest 5K
The 5K course takes place all at the Animal Kingdom. It starts in the parking lot, and you appear to run through the entrance about three-quarters of a mile into the race. Mile 3 has a long out and back along the water, so it will be interesting what Disney has for entertainment there. The 5K is also part “scavenger hunt”, so that could also help us get through that last mile, too.
Race for the Taste 10K
This 10K seems to cover the same ground as a lot of Disney 10Ks, but in a slightly reversed order. In the past, we’ve run into Epcot around Norway to finish with the run around World Showcase Lagoon and Crescent Lake. Here, we seem to get into Epcot about mile 3 (after looping the backside of the Land Pavilion) and the head to Crescent Lake before finishing with a run around World Showcase Lagoon and back to the front of the park. I figure the construction in the middle of the park forced this change.
Tower of Terror 10-Miler
This course has been getting the most coverage because it is the first runDisney course to go through Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land. Even setting that aside, I really like this course. You start pretty early in Epcot at just over mile 1, before going around World Showcase and then along Crescent Lake. The super narrow walkway between the Boardwalk and Studios takes place between miles 2 and 3 (instead of near the end of the race), so—hopefully—people can move through that more quickly while they still have early race adrenaline. Miles 4.5 to 8.5 will be the roughest part (similar to those miles after leaving the Magic Kingdom during Princess Race Weekend), so that is where Disney will need to step up the entertainment. Hopefully, having Spaceship Earth in view as you make the turn just about at mile 8 will be a good motivation for those last 2 miles.
NOTE: If you like this course, there were still registration spots available for the 10 miler at the time of posting.