Earlier in the week it was announced that Disney was cancelling all RunDisney races on the west coast for the foreseeable future. This was kind of known since none of the races for 2018 had gone on sale yet, and the first one of the year was in January.
So as of today, the Super Hero Half Marathon in November may be the last race on the west coast for some time.
Written by Gregg Condon
The reasons for this are as extensive as the excuses flying around. Everything from Star Wars Land construction to Disney trying to "stick it" to the Anaheim City Council for them dragging their feet approving the Eastern Gateway and Harbor Bridge.
Never mind that Disney dragged their feet for more than a decade while they had a very favorable city council in Anaheim.
So what does this mean for you, the consumer? Because the ramifications of this go FAR beyond race weekends.
First off, if you think the Eastern Gateway and Harbor Bridge is going to be completed by the time Star Wars Land opens, I've got some bad news for you.
And it's going to make traffic around the resort during the 24 hour Disney parties look pale in comparison. There simply aren't enough roads, parking spaces, access points, freeway exits and ways to get people to the park. The Eastern Gateway wasn't going to fully address this problem, but it's better than them adding 400 parking spots in the Toy Story Lot.
And who is going to feel the brunt of all this? The Disneyland front-line Cast Members and park visitors. Disney is still going to get their money, the city of Anaheim is still going to get their tax revenue.
People are still going to descend on the parks to be "first" to visit Star Wars Land. They are still going to complain on Twitter on how big of a nightmare it is, how Star Wars doesn't fit at Disneyland and how everything is now ruined ... all while waiting 10 hours to get into the new land.
So with all of this, WHY did Disney cancel RunDisney races?
Is it because of Star Wars Land construction? Possibly. But as you can see, we got pretty close to it last year during the Super Hero Half.
It also can't be because it wouldn't allow enough distance running through the park, because during the Super Hero race in 2014 there was just over 2 miles of running through the parks and backstage ... during a 13.1 mile race.
It can't be because Anaheim doesn't like the revenue they get for the police, traffic officers, permits and other things.
This is about 2 sides wanting different things, one side (Disney) dragging their feet and one side (Anaheim) not wanting to bow down to the mighty mouse.
Sure, them cancelling these races may not impact you right now, in fact, many of you will probably enjoy not having runners descend on "your" park 3-4 times per year.
What makes you think the relationship between Disney and Anaheim will somehow improve by them doing this? If anything, it's going to make it worse. And the next time Disney wants to expand their parks or resort or build a hotel ... good luck.
Today we're back in Florida with another great update from Walt Disney World.
Today we're joining Renée as she runs 19.3 miles through the parks of Walt Disney World with some Storm Troopers, Droids and even Matt.
Written by Renée Girard
The Star Wars half marathon weekend kicked off at WDW today! Tomorrow and Sunday we'll be journeying to the Dark Side.
While at the Star Wars Half expo, be sure to stop by the Cantina. You can get a Dole Whip in a Chewbacca stein!
I don't think I've ever seen this much as far as snacks and drinks at a RunDisney expo.
think this is my favorite shirt at the Star Wars Half expo.
We'll be up early the next 2 days for the Dark Side Challenge. Good luck to all running, and stay hydrated!
In a corral far, far away... awaiting the start of the Star Wars 10k. Looking forward to the new course!
Star Wars themed costumes are always popular among the runners. I've already spotted a few Matts this morning.
See you in 6.2 miles!
Storm troopers and Spaceship Earth!
This is the race you're looking for.
The Star Wars 10k runners approaching the finish line at Epcot.
Finished! One race down, one more to go.
I don't think I've ever seen wait times posted for the characters. Great to see this addition!
We're back for another early morning run. It's time for the Star Wars Half Marathon!
The first runners are on their way! May The Force be with us all to conquer the Dark Side Challenge
I always look forward to seeing the creative Star Wars costumes and shirts along the course.
Editors Note: For some reason this picture and tweet blew up on Twitter on Sunday and we have no idea why. It's certainly clever, and we always love a good Pun. Guess sometimes you never know what people are going to enjoy.
Running through Disney's Hollywood Studios. What's up DCA? =)
Finish line and medals at Epcot!
Wait times if you wanted to meet a character after the race.
Celebrating finishing the Dark Side Challenge with a cold beer. Congrats to all who participated. Cheers!
Today we have an update from another great RunDisney event in Florida, this time Renée takes us on a run with her at the Star Wars Half Marathon: The Dark Side and the Dark Side Challenge.
Be sure to check out all the fun through the parks in the early morning hours and of course the awesome bling!!
Written by Renée Girard
Getting ready for another RunDisney weekend! Thousands ran in the Star Wars 5k already, and we stopped by the expo.
All set with my race bib, might as well begin carb loading with a beer.
Storm Troopers patrolled the crowd at the expo. The theming all around the event has been great so far Star Wars Half
The designs for these medals might be my favorite of all the RunDisney races!
Congrats to those who ran the Star Wars 5k and good luck at the Star Wars 10k, Star Wars Half and Dark Side Challenge!
Early start to the day at Epcot for the Star Wars 10k
The Star Wars 10k has begun! Starting at Epcot, it goes through the Epcot resort area, DHS & the finish at ESPN
Final stretch of the Star Wars 10k towards ESPN. A good warmup for the Dark Side Challenge tomorrow.
Character lines before, during & after Star Wars 10k were looong. Didn't stop for photos but still enjoyed SW theming
Liked the Star Wars 10k course but not the fact that the start/finish locations were different. Traffic was a mess.
As always, RunDisney doesn't disappoint with the finisher medals for the Star Wars 10k.
Another early morning at Epcot for the Star Wars Half. Photo ops still going on even after the race started!
Packed into the corrals once again, fireworks, and we're off!
The Star Wars Half began through some backstage areas at Epcot and under Test Track.
Mile markers throughout the Star Wars Half course were very cool.
R2-D2 was the first character we encountered in the Star Wars Half, but as usual, the line was super long.
With a 5am start, it was nice to see the World Showcase at Epcot all lit up.
After Epcot, we were on our way to Hollywood Studios, through a tunnel of fog.
Kylo Ren was out on the stage in the center of Hollywood Studios.
With limited space due to construction, we didn't spend much time running in Hollywood Studios
Some members of the 501st Legion were cheering us on by Fantasmic. They always look awesome!
Sunrise was starting by the time we got over to Disney's Animal Kingdom
After a long loop through the parking lot, Storm Troopers greeted us as we entered Animal Kingdom
At Animal Kingdom, we trekked through Asia and Discovery Island.
The folks at Disney's PhotoPass, who took over the photography for RunDisney events, did a great job!
More of the 501st Legion sent us on our way as we exited Animal Kingdom for the final stretch of the Star Wars Half
After the finish at ESPN, we noticed a much better transportation system than yesterday.
This guy pretty much sums up how I felt after running 19.3 miles over the past 2 days.
Trio of medals for completing the Dark Side Challenge. There were a few flaws, but overall a great RunDisney event!
And am I the only one who sees "WTF" instead of "THE" next to Dark Side? ;)
Thanks again to Renée for braving the early mornings and crowds to bring us another great RunDisney update. It's sure going to be interesting what they do with the Star Wars races once Star Wars Land opens. Looking forward to it!!
If you ran over the weekend be sure to share your celebratory pictures in the comments below or on our social media.