I love Disneyland. Always have, always will. I have such a nostalgia for the park and all of it’s facets, that now that I live in Southern California, I haven’t gone a year without a Disneyland Annual pass. I probably attend the park 7-10 times a year on average. Yes, it has something to do with the crunch of the churros. Yes, it has something to do with Thunder Mountain Railroad. No, it has nothing to do with the giant turkey legs.
Since I’ve gotten the bite to start running more races, The Disneyland Half Marathon came up and I knew I would have to run it this year. So let me start off this review by repeating the exact words I spoke when I first researched this race:
HOLY FUCKING PRICE!
You have got to be kidding me? Listen, I know the cost of Disneyland park entry is staggering (I think it’s up to $100/person 1 day park-hopper), but you do realize you’re charging me for a race where 90% is run on city streets, right? RIGHT?! The price of entry to the race (ranges from $125-145 depending on when you sign up) gets you the standard race fare of an athletic T (which looks like ass and I’ll never wear), a medal (the best thing about this race), goody bag (scarcely full), an official program guide (YES! FUCK YES! *can you sense the sarcasm on that one?), and a personalized bib (I like this feature, but cheaper races have it too).
The main selling point with the race is that part of the course runs through Disneyland and California Adventures parks. This was by far a highlight from the race, but you have to realize you run through at 7:30am before any staff is really there and it lasts scarcely a mile. I was in and out of both parks before I knew it and back onto random empty Anaheim streets. After I started thinking, I realized that Disney runs all the participants through the parks the first few miles so that they can open and operate regular business hours during the half marathon. Of course. They want to be able to sell regular patrons tickets and fill the parks that day regardless of the 30,000 race participants who HAVE TO PAY AN ADDITIONAL $90 JUST TO GET BACK INTO THE PARKS THEY RAN THROUGH. In addition, we had to pay $15 for parking twice. Once to pick up race packets and once for the race day. Let’s do the math, shall we?
$145 + $15 + $15 + $90 = $265/person to run the half-marathon. Fuck that.
I recommend skipping the park entrance, and carpool to bib pick-up and race day. The race itself was nice in that they had the traditional water stations fairly often, plenty of road space to run (I never felt cramped for space other than at the beginning), and seeing the characters and music in the parks was a delight. Other than that, I would skip this race, buy an annual pass and visit the park on your own. Hell, by the end of a typical park visit, you’ve probably ran the equivalent of a FULL marathon!
Here’s an added gripe: for those who aren’t able to qualify for Corral A (the half-marathon places participants in corrals at the start-line based on previous and expected finishing times), you could be stuck in Corral G which crossed the start line over 40 MINUTES after the gun went off. Imagine standing in a sea of people waiting for the race to start for up to an hour (they recommended you arrive at least an hour before the race start), only to wait an ADDITIONAL 40 minutes to even cross the start line. Almost as big a fail as TRON: Legacy, Disney. Am I right?
- running through the parks
- running the infield of anaheim stadium
- wide roads/paths
- What the price included (or lack thereof)
- Waiting forever at the startline/over-capacity
- Disorganized finishline goodies
RACE SUPPORT: 8/10
RACE ORGANIZATION: 7/10
BONUS: 8/10 (Big Medal! Disneyland! Anaheim Angels Stadium!)
PLACE OVERALL: 1,079/12,372
Tags: barefoot, disney, disney half-marathon, disneyland, ethan newberry, forefoot, half marathon, mickey mouse, organization, price, review, running, space mountain, splash mountain, thunder mountain, tron legacy, volunteer, walt