As we continue the countdown of the top 5 stories of 2017 (the first can be found here), this story was something that built up over time…
RunDisney has had half marathons, and even a marathon for over two decades now. Where it started with one weekend of races, it’s grown to having quarterly half marathon weekends at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and even expanding overseas to a couple of other Disney parks.
The races range in popularity. It prompts many to be online and ready to register the very minute they go online. The race dates and registration dates are announced in advance far enough for people to plan accordingly.
The Star Wars Oddity
For Disneyland, the first half marathon of the year has been Star Wars: The Light Side races for a few years now. It’s been one of the more popular sets at the Resort. 2017 saw another round of 5k, 10k, and half marathon races. RunDisney announced the dates for the next round a little after that, and even when runners could register.
The date came, March 14, for registration, but runners found that the site had an apology instead of a link for the registration site. It was saying that registration would open at a later time.
As the year went on there was no new information. And rumors started circulating…
Racing to the End
It was Fall before there were any inklings of what was happening with the Disneyland half marathons. The annual Disneyland half marathon took place in September, but still no sign of any races in 2018. At the D23 Expo, there were announcements of several projects around the Disneyland Resort. Then, in October the Resort also announced the concept for a new hotel and parking structure. Construction around the Resort was scheduled throughout 2018.
After the announcements of the construction projects, runDisney finally gave out information for the future of half marathon weekends.
Reactions didn’t really start with the announcement (which I’ll get to in a minute). Throughout the year the runDisney facebook page constantly had many posts asking about when registration would open for the Light Side half marathon. People were trying to plan, some were even wanting to have this be their first half marathon.
When the announcement came that there would be no Disneyland half marathons in 2018, and they’d be on hold indefinitely, there were even more reactions. Many were saying they asked for time off already. Some were not too happy with the announcement, and it floored them to know they wouldn’t be running at the Disneyland Resort for a while. Even volunteers/workers were saddened tho hear.
None of it means the end of Disneyland races forever. And there are still many around the world. Though some other rumors have gone around about the reasons for the hiatus, a lot of it has to do with construction. The staging areas, start, and finish lines are going to be under construction for almost all of 2018. Other refurbishments and changes in the parks means that those race routes would be greatly altered to not have as much in the parks. With the races being Disneyland themed, it wouldn’t make sense to have the least amount of the miles in the parks and more in Anaheim.
With the number of reactions and the big change to the Resort this next year, it was very much a big story of this year.
Below is some of our coverage of the hiatus news. What do you think of the story and events as they unfolded? Let us know in comments below!