Tips on how to get great pictures at Run Disney events

Tips on how to get great pictures at Run Disney events



Have you ever been to a Disney race hoping to get at least a couple of good pictures only to find later that none of them turned out like you hoped? Here’s a chance to learn from my mistakes and failures in getting that perfect shot. Follow these steps and you should get just what you are hoping for.

Tip 0.5

Do The Expo Pic

99% of the runners zip right past the photo booth at the expos. Each one gives you a fun interactive experience with a green screen. The one in Disney World is near the entrance to bib pickup. (It’s right by the stairs that you go down to sign the waivers.) It’s a regular exhibit at the Disneyland Expo. It’s usually near the edge that faces the DJ.  Both coasts experimented with video on the last races of 2016. The video is from Wine and Dine.




The Decision

Decide ahead of time what kind of pictures that you want and know your options.

  1. The Determined Runner
    1. Be focused, don’t look at camera
    2. Trust that they got you.
    3. You’ll look cooler than you actually are.PIN
  2. The smile (and wave)
    1. It’s the classic.
    2. Higher success rate.
    3. Makes it look like you are having fun even if you are about to die. PIN
  3. The jump
    1. Lower success rate, especially if a bunch of runners are around you.
    2. If you are in the pocket (see tip 2) you may be able to pull it off easier.PIN
  4. Funny
    1. Zero expectations
    2. If it turns out bad, it actually might be better.
    3. Great for character stops.PIN

If I’m solo, I’ll usually do the front half determined and then switch it up the smile on the back half. If I’m running with friends, it’s either smile or funny.




The Pocket

Pocketing as I like to call it, is when you find pockets with little or no runners. Picture most often get ruined because there are a ton of people on top of each other with 25% of them jumping, 25% acting crazy/holding hands, 25% trying to get a normal picture  and 25% that don’t care.  Often times you’ll see the photographer up ahead before they snap your picture.  Look ahead and behind to find that pocket if possible. Sometimes you need to speed up and sometimes you actually need to slow down to get that perfect spot.


Here is a good example of seeing the pocket and speeding up just a bit to get a better shot. PIN

Here’s one where we actually slowed down. It looks like we are running the race by ourselves. PIN


Not pocketing gets you this….


It doesn’t have to be a big pocket either. It just needs to be enough so that the photographer is taking a couple of individual shots and not just group shots of the packs of people coming through. Here is an example of how even a small pocket can work in your favor.



The Dos

  1. Adjust and have great posture.
    1. Arched back, shoulders wide. Suck that gut in.
  2. Wear a costume if that is your thing.
    1. Much more likely to get attention from Run Disney
    2. Make sure you are comfortable running in it before hand.PIN
  3. Stop for a character stop if it’s someone you’ve never seen before.
    1.  There may be a line, but that’s OK. You’ll do some pocketing later and still get great pics.
    2.  Very few people remember their race time, but all remember the experience.
    3. There are many rare characters that only come out for the races. You’ll never find some of these in the parks….ever. PIN
    4. Do the post race pic.
      1. They always will give you two pictures. One plain and one with the race logo.




The Don’ts

  1. If you are doing more than the 5k and get really sweaty, only wear black shorts. I’ve got too many pictures where it looks like I peed my pants. PIN
  2. If you are in a group, call out the cameras but don’t point them out. I cant seem to learn this lesson.  PINPIN
  3.  Don’t carry your phone.

The majority of my pics have me carrying my phone. It’s because I usually try to get every character stop and some do not have Disney photographers at them. Some come out weird too so it’s a good backup. If you are in a group, have one person take the course pics and share them with everyone.


Follow these tips (and learn from my mistakes) and you’ll get some great shots out there.  If you’ve got any other tips of dos or don’ts for Disney race pics be sure to comment below. Now excuse me while I go and verify I have enough black shorts for my upcoming races.


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  • January 22, 2017 - 12:34 am

    Steven & Millie - Hi Zack! It’s us, Steven and Millie! We saw your blog on running marathons with Disney, and they are all super great tips! Wish we could run too, but we both have bad knees; so we can only cheer you and the runners! We hope you come back in Nov 2017 for the Avengers Super Hero 1/2 Marathon again! You can also follow us on FB as Cosplay Parents too.

    It was so great to see you again, and we hope to see you again soon!!! Take care and keep running!!!!

    Steven & MillieReplyCancel

    • February 1, 2017 - 3:20 pm

      redleader79 - It was great to see you both as well! Loved your outfits! Thanks for coming out to cheer for all the runners. You were in a great spot at both of the last two series. People are usually getting tired around that point and you and your group is a great pick-me-up. Thanks again for the support!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2017 - 3:51 pm

    Planning for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend » The Disney Runner - […] Read how to get those good race pictures HERE […]ReplyCancel

  • March 8, 2017 - 5:00 pm

    Princess Half Marathon Recap 2017 » The Disney Runner - […] pause here and say I’m happy that my Post on how to get great Run Disney Pics has helped people get the pictures that they want to get. So what happens when your running buddy […]ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2017 - 9:41 pm

    Star Wars Darkside 10k Recap 2017 » The Disney Runner - […] for some pictures. Want to make sure you get some great shots at your Disney race? Check out this Proven Strategy on how to get some. I love how pocketing is becoming a thing at these races […]ReplyCancel

  • March 8, 2018 - 1:56 pm

    Dopey Recap 2018 Half & Full Marathon » The Disney Runner - […] thing that we love about Atlanta. This picture does show a new tip that I need to add into the Tips for great pics at Disney.   The lightning? Perfect. The background? Perfect. Both are uncontrollable though. The lesson is […]ReplyCancel

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