I know it’s crazy to be talking about entering a race that’s a year away. Honestly I do. Yet I’ve just spent the evening being giddy because I’ve managed to secure entry for the 2018 Dopey Challenge.
General entry opens on the 14th February, Valentines day, and Runner’s World VIP will be a few weeks before but RunDisney have allowed their authorised travel agents a small number of presale entries until the 15th January (or if you where lucky enough to be at Dopey 2017 it could be bought at the expo). I went through Acclaim Travel as I’ve heard good stuff about them. Basically race entry cost is the same but we have to also book a two night stay and two day Park tickets for each person. Room and ticket prices are pretty similar in cost as they would be through Disney (Pop Century around $165 per night and a two day ticket is $257). Upfront you need to pay the $560 for the Dopey registration and a $200 deposit towards the rest with the balance due in November. There is of course other marathon weekend races available, not just Dopey.
Dopey took a while to sell out this year but now that the 2017 half marathon was sadly cancelled, 2018 is going to be a quadruple anniversary year for the marathon weekend. The half will (hopefully this time) turn 20, it’s the 5th year of Dopey and the 10k and 25th anniversary of the marathon. RunDisney is known for making a big deal of these things with special medals and fanfares so four at once should be quite an event.
The anniversaries are not the reason why I’m going to run Dopey in 2018 (I have a Dopey problem, I need to go back and can’t wait any longer) but it is the reason I’m so happy to secure early entry. Expectations and talk around the forums (Facebook groups) is that Dopey 2018 will sell out fast. Maybe back to a few years ago where entries where gone in a day. It could be just talk but to me it’s not worth the risk especially as I’m not losing anything, I’d need the hotel and park tickets anyway. There’s already talk of the presale entries being sold out.
As of now (2:45 GMT on 12/01/17) Acclaim Travel have 23 places left. I’m not sure where the other travel providers stand but if you do want to secure early entry I wouldn’t spend too long thinking about it.
**Update 11/01/2017 13:50**
For the lovely nitpickers out there, yes I have heard rumours that you could get the presale by phoning runDisney direct but as I have no direct knowledge and as it’s pretty impractical for me because I’m outside of the UK, I didn’t mention it. I can only write about my own experiences. Also, Acclaim has 20 places left at this time.
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