I’m like you. I love Disney World. I must confess that I am motivated to run Disney events. If I have a bias, it’s seeing all things Disney World with rose colored glasses. Last week I ran in the Inaugural Disney Wine Dine Half Marathon. Parts of it were great and parts of it were not.
Before the race started I met my friends Mike Scopa and Len Testa — my running gurus. I also got to meet some wonderful people that were with them. They helped the 2+ hours prior to the start pass more quickly. While I came to the event without a family member or running buddy, I did have a wonderful group of Disney friends that were cheering for me at the finish line. Thank you. You have no idea how much you meant to me!
I want every Disney running event to be awesome. I’ll confess right here, I need it for motivation. I want to run more Disney events, but I want them to truly reflect Disney’s level of excellence.
Below is my list for improvement opportunities:
- The cheering family and friends on the sidelines were truly missed. I can’t begin to tell you what a positive role they play. You have no idea how meaningful it is for another person to yell out, “You can do it. Keep going.” Sometimes the cheering crowd on the side even shouts out your name on your bib. Disney, please don’t minimize their importance. Running 13.1 miles is a long way. Sometimes all it takes is the kindness of strangers to get you to your goal. They cost you nothing and add hugely to the atmosphere.
- Where were the distractions on the side of the course? While the men on stilts were nice, there needed to be more and more often.
- If we are going to run on the highway – fine. Please give us something to look at. You did an excellent job at the Princess ½ marathon in March.
- The Bands. Where were they? Please, please bring them back. They were great in March.
- In general the course was boring. I needed inspiration. For over $100 to participate I was counting on course inspiration.
- When the race was over we were corralled like cattle off to the slaughter. We could hardly move, the air was thick, our legs were cramping up. We didn’t need to stand still. Exiting the race and entering the party was a mess.
- The After party. While great in theory, there were too many people. Standing in line again after 13.1 miles with the lactic acid buildup in my legs didn’t help. I felt bad for my friends that bought tickets to the event just to be there with me. It was hard for us to use the vouchers for food and beverage because the lines were so long. Remember those friends I meet up with before the race? I couldn’t find them afterward because it was so crowded.
Things that went well:
- I loved the “Tusks of Fire” in the Animal Kingdom. Great
- The highlight of the entire course was the Osborne lights in Hollywood Studios. A thrill. I loved it.
- The fireworks at the beginning
- Mickey and Minnie at the finish line
Will I run at night at Disney again? I don’t know? Will you? What was your take on the Inaugural Disney Wine Dine Half Marathon?
I will be on a Disney mission for the next 2 weeks. You can follow me on Twitter @Caroline251