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.
Over the weekend it was time for the 3rd Annual Avengers Half Marathon, a race I hadn't planned on running until a few days ago. But I'm glad that I did, not only was the race MUCH better than the first Avengers Half Marathon in 2014 (click for that review from 2 years ago) but it also allowed us to get some backstage pics of Tower of Terror AND Star Wars Land.
We also have some Star Wars Land pictures taken from the parking structure after the race down at the bottom.
Written by Gregg Condon
So as I mentioned above, I hadn't actually planned on running Avengers until Thursday. Without getting too political, I found myself in a funk after Tuesday night, not just with the results but by it's aftermath that still continues. So I was happy I was still able to register at the last minute and join the race, because it was EXACTLY what I needed.
Considering how busy Disneyland (and other theme parks in Southern California) were over the weekend it seems I wasn't the only one in need of some escapism.
Keep in mind, some of the race pics were taken on my old point and shoot camera so the quality may not be up to our usual standards. But the Star Wars Land Pics taken from the Parking Structure were from the DSLR.
I had run a 1/2 Marathon 2 weeks ago and while my time for Avengers was essentially the same as that one I didn't really push myself for this one as much as I probably could have, I was just having too much fun on the course. (I need to remember this for when I run the LA Marathon in March, but also still wanting to have a good time for that one)
Of course, because much of the race goes backstage I was able to get some pics of Tower of Terror. It really IS tacky in person.
Having not actually been to Disneyland in 2 years I wish there were some rides open. I mean, if they can have character stops, why not ride stops. ;)
Of course, having heard from some friends who have been AP's since 1992 that this was the busiest weekend they've EVER seen at DL (Holidays included) made me rethink visiting soon.
Have heard that the new Holiday World of Color is nothing short of breathtaking.
I will admit, I got a bit emotional entering the gates of Disneyland for the first time in 2 years.
I was shocked we got this close to Star Wars Land construction ... definitely just dirt on this side.
Throughout the race it was awesome to see all of the amazing volunteers, the spectators and fellow runners. All races, religions, orientations, just together to have an amazing time. I wasn't in the race for a new Personal Record, I just wanted to have fun.
More Tower of Terror. You know, in theory I'm really not opposed to the makeover of the ride (and YAY for random drop sequences) but this is just REALLY bad show. They should have just closed it already.
Towards the end, two different schools playing together ... what it's all about.
Had such an amazing morning running through the parks and Anaheim. The course was SO much more improved than the inaugural race 2 years ago (I didn't do last years race) and again it was just the RunDisney therapy I needed.
Ok, you've waited long enough, here are some pics of Star Wars Land for you to enjoy. It helped that they parked the runners on Minnie, so I didn't even have to go that far from my car to get these. ;)
This was my first time seeing it in person and I have to admit, pictures really don't give the scope of this justice.
At least it's not all just dirt anymore. ;)
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed the update and a rare Disneyland update from us. I guess in the future when we're in the area we'll have to take a detour to track Star Wars Land construction, even if it's just from outside the park.