I am not anywhere near the expert on this topic. There are many, many people who have done more Disney runs than I have, and who can possibly steer you in better directions. That said, I can promise that I’m not getting paid for anything I say, so my opinions are 100% my own.
For the Princess: My best advice is to stay at Pop Century if you’re looking for an easy, cheap, no frills way to ensure the least amount of stress on race day. I will be staying at Pop again for the Dark Side half. The ONLY problem with Pop was the fact there wasn’t a coffee maker in the room. There was a fridge (?) but no coffee maker. I just drank my Nuun with caffeine instead. No big deal. Florida water tastes really strange to normal mortals, so bottled is your friend.
For the Avengers: Disneyland is a whole other clusterf**k. We stayed off property at a hotel that, while very nice, was totally not worth the walk to and from the starting line. Or the various and sundry issues we experienced with the check in desk, but that came down to our travel company being stupid. GET sports is fine if you just want the bibs, or if you have a very simple room setup, but if you’ve got a half dozen people to wrangle, only 2 of whom are running, and you need to coordinate a bunch of other shit going on? GO WITH SOME OTHER TRAVEL AGENT. I might get my Dopey bib through them and then book my hotels through some other means, but I’m not sure on that yet. I know the free for all to get Dopey bibs through Disney is kind of a nightmare. OH WELL WE SHALL SEE.
I wish we had stayed on property for the Avengers. CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS talked me out of it and I wish I’d ignored them and stayed at one of the 3 Disney hotels. The buses are a mess for the off property hotels and it just isn’t worth the hassle, so we ended up walking, which was painful and not at all fun. Long story short, don’t bother trying to save the money unless you’re willing to deal with the associated pain.
If people ask, I’ll be happy to give food and park tips as well. Most of my park tips for Disney World are going to center around taking advantage of fastpasses as soon as you humanly can. THEY ARE SO HELPFUL.