As many of my regular readers may know I like to combine traveling and running races. My favorite races to travel to are runDisney races. There is just something so magical about these races and who wouldn’t enjoy running thru their favorite place in the world?
I’ve always stayed onsite at one of the Walt Disney World Hotels which offer free transportation not only to the theme parks but also to all the races. I’ve been running runDisney races off and on since 2003 with more recently running at least two race weekends a year since 2017 and have always had good experiences with the buses. Over the years I would hear horror stories of other runners who waited forever for buses or buses that got lost but this never happened to me, until November 2022 at Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend.
I was at the bus stop at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort for the 10K around 3:20am (yes, your day starts early for these races, first bus is usually 3am and you need to be on the bus by 4am for the 5am race). There were already quite a few people that had been there waiting already including some who had been there since a few minutes after 3am. The bus did not show up until 4am and then instead of going to the start at Epcot it drove all the way to Magic Kingdom before we told them they were going the wrong way. I could go on, but long story short, I experienced ALL of the bus horror stories I had heard about, and the race had already started by the time I arrived (thank god I’m slow and start in the last corral).
This got me thinking of the special Marathon Weekend packages I had heard about at the Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, so I decided to look into it.
Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Before I go into the special package details for runDisney weekends, lets talk a bit about the hotel itself.
Located on Walt Disney World Property, but not part of Walt Disney World, is Bonnet Creek. This area has many different hotels including Signia by Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, JW Marriott and Wyndham. These hotels are all Walt Disney World Good Neighbor hotels that include some of the same benefits as Walt Disney World owned resorts including early theme park entry and theme park transportation.
One of the great advantages to staying at Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is that it’s part of the Hilton Hotel chain so if you are a member, you can earn and use points and get all of your same benefits just as you would at other Hilton hotels. In these times of inflation and skyrocketing hotel prices, the ability to use or earn points has become quite valuable.
The following hotel room types are available at the Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek:
- King or 2 Queen Beds
- Pool Views
- Disney Views – these are perfect if you want to catch a glimpse of the fireworks from your room before your early bedtime the night before your runDisney race.
- Peloton Wellness rooms – these are perfect for people who like to keep in shape while they are traveling as they include a Peloton bike, Theragun and Wave Roller in the room.
There are many dining options available at Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek:
- Muse – 24-hour coffee bar featuring coffee, salads, sandwiches, pastries and snacks.
- Beech – casual, outdoor dining next to the pool, open for lunch and dinner (weather dependent).
- Myth Bar – Lobby bar featuring drinks and food, open for dinner.
- Harvest Bistro – Casual Restaurant open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner that also offers grab and go items for a quick meal on the go or back in your hotel room.
- Zeta Asia – Open for dinner, this restaurant offers sushi and other popular Asian dishes. Open for dinner nightly.
- La Luce – This signature restaurant features homemade Italian dishes inspired by Napa Valley chef, Donna Scala. It’s open for dinner Thursday thru Tuesday nights.
Spending a lot of time in the theme parks can get tiring and expensive, so you may find yourself just wanting to spend a day at the resort. Well, there are plenty of ways to keep the entire family busy at the resort:
- 24-hour Fitness Center featuring 4,000 square feet of exercise machines and free weights with beautiful views of the pool area.
- Funzone Family Arcade will keep your kids busy for hours
- Pool Area – The pool area at the Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek has been rated #1 in TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Fantastic Hotel Pools and I most definitely agree with this rating. It’s definitely a top reason to stay here. The pool area is open from 7am to 10pm daily and features a zero-entry pool, waterslide and the highlight for me a lazy river. Who wouldn’t love just floating around the lazy river on a sunny Florida day, nothing more relaxing than that! It’s definitely a great spot to relax after your runDisney race. There are also poolside cabanas that can accommodate up to eight people available for rent. The cabanas come with welcome refreshments (water, soda and snack backset) as well as Wi-Fi and a flat screen tv.
The great thing about staying at the Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is that guests can also use the facilities at its sister property next door, Waldorf Astoria Orlando. The Waldorf Astoria features multiple restaurants, a pool area, kids club, spa and golf course.
They also share bus transportation to all four Walt Disney World theme parks as well as Disney Springs. The buses are much nicer than the Walt Disney World transportation as they are tour bus type buses, like the ones that Disney’s Magical Express used to use. These make for a very comfortable and spacious ride to and from the parks. The buses are never overcrowded like the Walt Disney World buses, and they run on a schedule that you can find on the following website: Bonnet Shuttle.
In my experience, the buses were always on time, so it was nice to know when it would arrive. The fact that the buses were on a schedule, sometimes an hour or even two hours apart was a bit of a downside though. Some other downsides to the buses were that they do stop at multiple parks making for a longer bus ride and the Magic Kingdom bus drops off and picks up at the Ticket and Transportation Center as opposed to the bus stalls right outside the park. All the negatives aside, the buses were much more reliable which was a big plus!
Marathon Weekends at Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
The resort sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, I bet you are wondering what the advantages of staying here for a runDisney weekend are. I stayed here for Princess Half Marathon Weekend in 2023 and as much as I love the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, I think this may be my go-to hotel for runDisney weekends.
With the special Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekend rate, you will get all of the following benefits:
- Special room rate exclusively for runDisney runners
- 10% off food and beverage during your stay
- Carb load specials on Friday and Saturday evening on the menus at La Luce and Harvest Bistro (separate cost).
- Guaranteed late 2pm checkout on the Sunday of race weekend
- A welcome runners gift – for Princess Half Marathon Weekend, it was a pink towel.
- Runners’ Concierge in the lobby to help answer any questions you may have. For Princess weekend, their hours were 4pm-8pm on Friday and 11am-2pm & 4pm-8pm on Saturday. As someone who visits the parks all day, I felt the hours were a bit inconvenient for me. I wish instead of the 11am-2pm time slot that it was earlier in the morning, and I could have visited them prior to leaving for the parks. For those of you who are smart and get to bed early, I’m sure it’s easy to just stop by before they leave at 8pm. Visiting the runners’ concierge was necessary as you had to register for the race transportation.
- Transportation to the Sunday race only – the marathon for Marathon Weekend, the half marathon for Princess and Wine and Dine weekends and the 10-Miler for Springtime Surprise Weekend. I felt so happy to have dependable race transportation, it really was quite the relief. And the bus drops you off in the same area as the Walt Disney World Hotel transportation. It is important to note that there is no transportation for the 5Ks, 10Ks any of the weekends nor the half marathon on Marathon Weekend.
- Send off Party – There are a few buses that leave the hotel for the race with the first one leaving at 3am. Starting at 2:45am, is the sendoff party. This party includes people cheering you on and snacks and beverages to help you fuel for the race. I’m not usually a big eater prior to a race, but I was very happy for coffee. They had not only coffee, but tea, water, bagels, fruit and snack bars.
- Transportation back to the hotel after the Sunday race was also offered. The only downside to this was the walk to the bus. The buses to the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels are all right near the finish area in the Epcot parking lot. For the bus back to Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, you had to walk to the bus parking lot outside of the Epcot entrance. It was quite the walk, but I guess it’s also a good way to stretch out the muscles a bit.
One of my favorite things about staying at this hotel was how supportive of the runners the staff was, they were all really great and made sure to wish us all good luck and say congratulations upon returning to the hotel after the race.
I would highly recommend looking into staying at Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for your next runDisney weekend. It’s really a great hotel and helps to make the race experience run smoothly.
Beyond The Miles Travel would love to help you plan your next runDisney trip to the Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, contact us today.
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6 thoughts on “Staying at Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for runDisney Weekends”
Really informative post. I had no idea about the RunDisney weekends, very cool!
Did you have any trouble getting on a bus on race day from the Signa? Did they have enough buses for all the runners ? I am doing the half in January and worried about getting to start on time 😩 it sounds like the signa would be less stressful
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The bus situation is definitely way less stressful at Signia, but for marathon weekend in January they only have buses for the morning of the full, they do not offer race transportation to the other races that weekend.
The website says half and full. I guess I will call to verify that
One more ? How about spectator buses do they have to get up early or do they have later buses? My daughter is doing the full and wants to sleep later my day
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They may have changed it from last year to include the half. They have regular buses to the parks that spectators would be able to take.
Thanks! Your post and advice have been very helpful!
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