I had the privilege to stay somewhere new the night before the runDisney half marathon, somewhere I honestly never thought I would stay. I am a Disney loving “stay at a Disney hotel” kind of girl, so I was a little reluctant to try out Hilton Bonnet Creek, but I am So glad I did!
I hope to have more info for you on the actual hotel and all the activities and food and things there at the end of February, but for now I want to specifically talk to you about Marathon Weekends.
Hilton Bonnet Creek has put together a special rate for those staying for runDisney race weekends, and it comes with some great extras that are not offered at Disney owned hotels. There was also a runner’s concierge in the lobby, and they could answer questions for us, get us signed up for the bus the morning of the race, and they also had a goodie bag for us. (Note that to ride the bus to the races you have to sign up ahead of time and are given a wristband as a “ticket” for the bus to and from the race.)
Hilton Bonnet Creek is actually inside the gates of Walt Disney World, so it is super close to the parks and other Disney activities. Check out the balloon at Disney Springs you could see out my room’s window!
Those staying with the special marathon weekend rate are also given a card that saves you 10% on hotel food and beverages during your stay. They have so many restaurant options, and even special carb loading menu items for runners.
The real magic however came on race morning, where we were greeted in the lobby with signs and our own personal cheerleaders! The music was loud, the DJ was getting everyone pumped up, and it really helped to wake me up since it was, you know, 2:45 in the morning.
They also provided a continental breakfast for the runners. It was nice to hang out in the warmth of the lobby, chatting with other runners (and using real bathrooms!) before heading to the race start.
I ate a protein bar, a banana, and grabbed some water. (I had brought some food with me also since I wasn’t sure what I was going to feel like eating). I was told that the reasoning behind the certain food items was that they wanted to provide things that would be easy to eat in the corrals or walking to the corrals. Smart thinking!
We took some photos out in front of the bus and were cheered on as we boarded. It was EARLY, yall, so it was such a nice touch!
Oh, something else I didn’t mention, all runners staying for Marathon Weekends get a late 2:00 pm checkout, how cool is that?
Please note that at this time, there is no official transportation to the 5k and 10k races or expo which was a bummer, but the runner’s concierge can help you set something up if you would like. We grabbed a cab to come back from the expo and it was quick and easy. There is also Mears shuttle you can take to and from the airport that cost approx. $21 each way when booked online.
They also had a runners reception at the pool with rum runners at noon after the half marathon, but sadly we had a boat to catch and were not able to stay. Next time!
I give Hilton Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends a thumbs up, and would definitely stay here again for a race weekend!
The enthusiasm, the little touches, the breakfast, and the proximity to other Disney activities really swayed me. I think they have a good thing going here, and I sadly just learned about it last year! If you have any questions about marathon weekends, let me know and I can get the answer for you.
QOTD: Did you know this existed? What do you think about the early morning cheerleaders? Who wants to stay here now?!?
Disclosure: I was provided a free stay to check out marathon weekends for myself, however all opinions are my own.