Seriously? Disney doesn't need some stupid gimmick to make people come to the park. It could be called "A Year of Stealing Your Money" and people would still come.
You'd think by now I would have learned that when Disney goes out of there way to tell you how great something is going to be that it's probably going to be awful. (Just wait till "Tangeled" comes out)
So what did we learn today?
1. Tom Burgeron should not be allowed to host anything while he's still tipsy.
2. There's a new show called World Of Color, and a Little Mermaid Ride going to DCA (Who would have guessed?)
3. Disney has 2 new cruise ships (who cares!?)
4. They are building a resort in Hawaii (because there aren't enough hotels there?)
5. Disney is going to use your home videos in their commercials
6. They're going to project your home videos on Cinderella Castle in WDW and Small World in DL.
I guess that even more important than the course itself is the weather.
I have been to WDW during marathon weekend (early January) twice times now. Both times it was unseasonably cold. This year it was below freezing and sleeting for almost the entire run. I saw reports about lizards freezing and falling out of trees. Not the best weather to run it. Especially after you've finished and you are suddenly hit by this bitter cold as your body temperature dropped.
California on the other hand was beautiful. It was overcast for almost the entire run, nothing to complain about there.
The Expo was my biggest complaint about the Disneyland run. In WDW the Expo is held at the Wide World of Sports. Getting there is a breeze from any Disney resort and there is more than enough room (not to mention parking). There are 2 rooms, one for picking up your number and another for Disney Marathon Merchandise and Third Party Vendors.
Disneyland in my opinion was a nightmare. I did not receive the email saying that the Expo would be held at the Disneyland Hotel. I asked a Cast Member who told me it was at the Anaheim Convention Center. So I walked the mile there to find out that it was in fact not being held there. I called other people who were running it and they and no clue either. I walked past the convention center on the back side of California Adventure towards The Disneyland Hotel. There were no signs about the expo!!! Finally we found out it was at the Disneyland Hotel. So we went to the convention center area and were told we had to pick up our numbers before we could go in the convention area. And where were the numbers you ask? On the bottom floor of the parking garage obviously. They only had signs on one side of the hotel (which was not the side I came in). Picking up your number on an astro-turfed parking garage is not all that great but I guess it's all they have to work with. The convention area was nice but probably half the size of WDW so walking around was kind of a nightmare.
We have an obvious winner here: WDW
Next time I'll show you the medals, these change every years though so don't pick your run based on them.
I noticed that Disney has not made an announcement about a Disney Treasure set coming out this year. For the past few years it's felt like the most recent set was going to be the last. So I emailed my old friend (and I use that term very loosely) Leonard Maltin and asked him abut it. Here's what he wrote back:
Yes, Disney will not do anymore Treasures. We had a good run and I'm honored to have been a part of these projects. That said, I'm sorry we cannot continue digging into the wonderful vault.
In January I ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and last week I ran the Disneyland. I've decided to discuss the pro's and con's of both in case anyone is trying to decide between the two.
I decided the most important factor is probably the course itself. So lets talk about WDW first.
The Walt Disney World course starts (basically) in the EPCOT Parking lot. You meet in the parking lot then walk about a mile to the starting line. The course itself is very close to the route you take when riding the monorail from EPCOT to the Magic Kingdom. You run from EPCOT through the Magic Kingdom parking lot then veer right and go past the Contemporary and past the Magic Kingdom entrance. Then you make a U-turn and head into the Magic Kingdom through a cast parking entrance then onto Main Street for a trip around the park. Next you run down the Grand Floridian side of the lagoon then head back to EPCOT. Run towards the World Showcase, make a u-turn and back to the parking lot for the finish.
Running through the parks is obviously the best part but Disney does a good job of having characters all over the place to cheer you on. If you feel like stopping you can wait in line to take a picture with them too. Plus through almost the whole 13.1 miles there are people cheering you on. So the non park stretches are not too bad.
Now for Disneyland:
I'm sure the first thing you'll notice here is "Wow, that map does not look nearly as fun..." Do not get discouraged yet though because the Disneyland Half Marathon has it's perks too. You start off by waiting in a cast member lot then walking to the starting line. When the race starts you run down Disney Way and hang a left on Katella, then a left on Harbor and into backstage DCA. Running through DCA is fun and leads you into Disneyland which is even better. By the time you reach the carousel you've already done over 3 miles. After leaving Disneyland though the course loses it's charm. You run through a warehouse district of Anaheim, luckily some business owners (and rehab facility workers) were outside to cheer us on. Then you head into a rock quarry type area where passing people is not really an option unless you want to fall 20 feet into a ditch. After that danger you get to run through Angel Stadium! Once again though after that the last few miles are nothing to brag about, and since this is through the city there are no characters cheering you on outside the park. The home stretch leads you back behind DCA and to the finish.
The course is better and you have support from characters and spectators for almost the entire run.
Next time we'll look at The Expo, Medals, and Weather.