Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K Race Recap

After a terrific dinner with the New Balance team on Friday night, I didn’t arrive back to my hotel room until after 11 p.m. Ryan met me there and the two of us ended up talking until close to 1 a.m.

Our decision to stay up until 1 a.m. wasn’t the smartest because when our alarm started blaring at 5 a.m., I wanted to chuck it across the hotel room and listen to it shatter into a million little pieces. Thankfully my disdain for our early morning wake up call didn’t last long. Though it was hard to feel motivated to get out of bed, once we got moving, the anticipation of a fun race ahead helped me feel excited and energetic in no time!


(The race is Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K, so that was my koala pose. Such a goober!)

Ryan and I headed down to the lobby of our hotel to meet up with the other 5K runners from our New Balance group at 5:20 a.m. It was a groggy bus ride to the start line of the race, but everyone was much chattier once we walked over to our corral.

photo 5

Our group: Ryan, me, Tina, Jen (Women’s Health Fitness Editor), Dana and Melissa (awesome PR women for New Balance)

Unfortunately, our entire group was in corral D, the very last corral, which meant hundreds of runners and walkers started before us.

photo 4

Since it was already a crowded race to begin with, we had a feeling this particular 5K would be more of a run/walk race than an all-out run. My blogging buddy and runDisney announcer, Carissa, warned me that the race was definitely not the race to try to run for a PR (personal record) and I was glad I knew to anticipate congestion otherwise I might have felt a little frustrated.

Our group arrived about an hour before the start which may seem excessive, but I didn’t feel like we were waiting around for all that long. By the time we used the bathrooms and complimented some fellow racers on their awesome costumes, it was time to run!


(Please notice the amazing Tinker Bell costume behind us. And yes, I am 5,000 feet tall.)

Since Tina and I attended the 5K thanks to the awesome folks at New Balance, we came to the race decked out in New Balance gear. I initially wore the Heidi Klum Moto Pullover, but ended up tying it around my waist once I started running. (This is the same pullover I wore to the expo, but in gray instead of coral. I saw it pop up on sale on HauteLook today for $30 cheaper if you are in the market for an extra long, comfortable and lightweight pullover!) I also wore the Impact 3-inch run short in black and raved to the New Balance team about the fabric and the fit of the shorts. I adore the wide waistband (it doesn’t dig into your sides) and the material is soft and doesn’t bunch up between your legs when you run. An all-around winner for me!

My shoes may look familiar because they are the same glow-in-the-dark 1400 running shoes I wore to the Meet Up & Tweet Up event on Thursday night. (These are also the shoes Jenny Barringer Simpson raved about! They are incredibly comfortable and I am super picky when it comes to running shoes.)

Back to the race!


The race began promptly at 7 a.m. and our group started out together, but it was impossible to run side-by-side.


Eventually Ryan took the lead and I told him to just run and I’d try to follow the top of his head as best I could! Tina and I stuck together and ran mostly single-file behind Ryan as we tried to make our way around some of the participants who planned to walk the 5K. If I could change one thing about this race, I would have a corral created just for people who wanted to walk the race. Walking a 5K is perfectly fine, but I could tell there were more than a few frustrated runners and I think the walkers would prefer not to have runners weave in and out around them. (I also think that by registering earlier, we could’ve found our way into an earlier corral which may have completely alleviated this issue.)


The race is called Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K because it’s a holiday-themed race that takes participants through Animal Kingdom. We reached the park after running for about a mile and I was so excited to see that holiday decorations were already in place.


Since the park is not open to the public during the race, there are no spectators cheering you on as you run, but that didn’t matter at all because there were Disney characters there to pump you up! Many runners and walkers stopped to have their picture taken with a Disney character along the race and Tina, Ryan and I made sure to say hello to Donald Duck who was dressed in his holiday finest.


Lookin’ good, Donald!

I was incredibly impressed with the efficiency of the photo opps along the course. If you wanted your picture taken with a character, you had to wait in line, but the lines moved very, very fast and they had a Disney cast member there to take your photo for you, which was so helpful and made everything run seamlessly. Plus, if you’re running with someone, it’s a great way to make sure you’re both in the picture!

We ran along and had fun waving to the different Disney characters (I saw Rafiki, Baloo, Pluto, Chip and Dale and King Louie) and I loved it when I could hear holiday music blasting at various points along the course.

Tina, Ryan and I ended up crossing the finish line in 36 minutes and were immediately handed snack boxes full of goodies!


Feed me!

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K was a blast and I would love to do it again! I’d definitely register earlier and put a lot more effort into coming up with a fun costume. We saw so many creative outfits along the course. I loved Cruella de Vil, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty, the Incredibles, Sebastian and more. I will definitely be registering for another Disney race in the future because I already have way too many costume ideas that I need to debut!

StyleMint Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to…

  • Jessica Z: “I am signed up! I love the Opal Tunic in blue/black!”

Please email me at pbfingers@gmail.com with your mailing address and your size preference and we’ll get you the opal tunic ASAP!

Question of the Afternoon

  • Have you ever dressed up to run in a race?
  • If you were going to dress up as one Disney character for a race, which character would you be?


  1. Tiffany says

    I’m curious as to what size is your long sleeve HKNB top? Do you think it is true to size in comparison to other clothes? Just trying to get a reference to order for myself.


  2. says

    So fun! I am doing a Christmas race with my hubby in December and there is a huge fake snow area at the end for tubing and snow ball fights. I’m pumped!! Mostly because we do NOT get snow where I live in Texas.


  3. says

    What a fun race! It’s always so hard when races are super packed like that. I did the hot chocolate 5k last weekend and there were just WAY too many people for my liking. I wasn’t looking for a PR or anything but my friend and I kept elbowing each other because it seemed a better option that elbowing the stranger next to you…


  4. says

    Looks like such a fun and festive race! I love that the characters were there to cheer you all on. And you ladies are looking fabulous in your New Balance gear! I adore the long-sleeve pullover!
    If I were to dress up as a Disney character for a race, I’d probably dress up as Simba…mostly because when I was little I wore a Simba costume for a figure skating competition. Haha!


  5. Krysten says

    I dressed up as a minion from Despicable Me during a Halloween 10k last year. I found some jean-shorts overalls, a yellow long sleeved turtleneck and tossed my black running leggings on underneath for warmth and comfort. And had the goggles of course! The overalls got a litttleee bit heavy during the run, but not too bad and it was a blast (:


  6. Amy @ Run with Perseverance says

    I did the Disney Princess Half last February and have signed up for it again. I’m working on my costume right now to fit in with the theme, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun 🙂

    Their races are really crowded, so when you register, make sure to include proof of timing of a previous race. That will put you in a corral with people that run your same pace. The later corrals are normally people who didn’t submit a time or those who planned on walking the race.


  7. says

    I tried to dress up for the Turkey Trot 5K last year. I wore a turkey on my head! Unfortunately, it fell off about .1miles into the race- HA!- so I ended up just holding it while running. 🙂

    It looks like you guys had a great time at the race!


  8. says

    The little mermaid maybe? Though I’m not sure how I’d pull it off! They definitely should have seperated out the runners from the walkers but you did well getting your photo taken and through the crowds. Such a fun idea. What sorta temp was it that hour of the morning? Out of interest…what height are you? 🙂


  9. april says

    sounds like a REALLY fun 5k! i dressed up as a fairy, complete with fairy wings and a tutu, for the LA rock ‘n roll half marathon last year. it was fun, although the tutu got pretty itchy after a few miles.

    the pic of you doing the koala pose with ryan is adorable. you guys are the cutest! glad you had a fun weekend 🙂


  10. says

    Congrats! That is so fun to race with your husband! Brent and I have only done a santa run together and it was so fun cause our dog got to run too!
    I wish I could’ve been there! I would make you feel short..;)
    Looks like a fun race!!


  11. Kari Broer says

    A group of friends and I dressed up as the Jersey Shore cast, fake orange tans and all. It was a blast but oh so much make-up, haha!


  12. says

    My dream race is the princess half marathon! I think I could make an entire marathon if I had so much stuff to look at and mascots cheering me on! You can’t get much better than that in my opinion!


  13. says

    I did the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k on Saturday, too, and loved the costumes that people came up with. I just went simple with a Minnie Mouse inspired outfit (not really a costume), but I loved the group that was dressed up as the 101 Dalmatians and Cruella de Ville. There was also a group dressed as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum that did a great job with their costumes. This was such a fun race, I’d definitley do it again (with a better costume, of course 🙂 )!


  14. says

    Thanks for posting the HauteLook info! I have been following your race adventures at Disney this weekend with a few other of my favorite bloggers that also had the AWESOME new NB gear. I’ve been having a serious crush on that sweatshirt and with the price you shared, I had to make it happen 😉


  15. says

    Congratulations on the race, it looks like so much fun! I haven’t done any costumed runs, but I would love to dress up as Mulan for a Disney race. That girl is intense!


  16. Chris says

    You write so well! I think I’d get frustrated trying to run through the crowds. I have never run in costume but I think I’d dress as the old Disney’s “Pecos Bill”.


  17. says

    Love that pic of you and Ryan, the one with you being a Koala it is too cute 🙂

    I’ve been to races before when you have to duck and weave the whole time and it can be very frustrating but lucky you were expecting it and it wasn’t a race you were planning on PRing at. Love the snacks they gave you after what a haul!

    Hands down I would dress up as Ariel from the Little Mermaid, not sure how I’d go running in a mermaid tail but I love that movie and she is my favourite Disney character by far. Or maybe I could go as Sebastian the crab from the same movie, hehe


  18. says

    I ran a Disney Half Marathon a few years ago & really loved it. It was an experience. It was crazy crowded & the race was expensive, but nobody puts on an event like Disney. Not to mention, running through the Magic Kingdom was euphoric! 🙂

    Great job on your race!


  19. Genevieve says

    Wild Garden hummus is one of my favorite snacks! I bought 100 (yes, 100) off of Amazon and keep them at home and work. Hope you like it!


  20. says

    Hello from a new reader and new fan! I love how motivated you are to work out. I am trying to make exercise a mainstay in my life as I know how much it helps me. How do you stay so motivated? Any advice is greatly appreciated! : )

    Thank you1


  21. says

    I ran the Wine and Dine Saturday night and WISH I would have dressed up! Maybe next year 🙂
    I would probably dress up in something that coordinated with my running shoes: Blue=Cinderella/Donald Duck, Purple=Rapunzel/Daisy Duck/Peter Pan, Green=Tinker Belle, Red=Mickey/Minnie, Pink=Aurora, Orange=Goofy/Pluto etc!


  22. says

    This is so much fun. Love that first pic!

    There is 5k run here in Brisbane in December called the Santa Shuffle (or something like that) and everyone gets a Santa costume with their registration fee! So, it’s just a giant wave of Santa costumes running. Pretty funny…and not going to lie, I think it would be pretty hilarious to participate.


  23. says

    I love your running outfits! Those socks rock! Chris and I run together quite a bit, but no actual races yet…. keeping in mind when we met he couldn’t run 8 city blocks! Now he passes me by!


  24. Rachael says

    The Disney races are so dang fun! I just did my second half marathon this weekend and I talked my boyfriend into it (I’m pretty sure he was just in it for the food at the end) and we went as Minnie (with a red tutu and sequined ears) and Mickey. It was so fantastic!! I did the Princess Half Marathon last year and ran as snow white, and this year my mom and I are running it together so we’re already planning out costumes!! The Disney runs are fun and creative, but there is a lot of congestion indeed (and my runkeeper app tracked my run at just under 14 miles from the dogging other people and weaving in and out). But if you’re a Disney enthusiast, you can’t get better than running through the parks and behind the scenes without the general public around!


  25. Caitlyn says

    I ran the Wine and Dine Half Marathon this weekend..I had the same problem with the volume of runners and got stuck in a bunch of traffic jams! Especially through Animal Kingdom. Hope ya’ll had fun!


  26. SanLisette says

    Love it, looks like heaps of fun! Seems running is a more serious business here in Melbourne – Australia 🙂
    Thank you for mentioning the awesome grey hoodie at hautelook, just bought myself a little early pressie.
    Keep it up, love reading it


  27. says

    I’m so glad you guys had a good time and 36 minutes it great with the stops and crowd.

    I think I actually did PR, but I don’t know for sure since it was a fun run, but MR. Garmin said I did a darn good job!

    Hope to see you guys soon!


  28. Raquel says

    I’m running the Tinkerbell 1/2 marathon at disneyland in January. I’m dressing up as Snow White for the race. It’s my first disney race and I’m super excited!



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