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runDisney orchestrates uncommon magic for the Happiest Races on Earth

runDisney magic
runDisney magic
C. Schmidt

The Disney Experience is synonymous with pleasure. Walt's famously stated ambition was for people to come to his happy place and have fun. Mellifluous music, the irresistible scent of caramel apples, brightly lit Mickey-balloon bouquets, the clopping hooves of draft Clydesdales; every immaculate detail of the parks emphasizes this indelible spirit. That the forces comprising runDisney have molded a difficult, sometimes unpleasant activity into something so loyally wonderful is a testament to clear brilliance, and pays honor to Walt Disney's legacy and endearing dream.

Running is hard, even if you're good at it. Millions of the maniacally ambitious engage in it intentionally, compelled by their own dubious motivation. Some runners even enjoy themselves. Bolstered in part by this bizarre enthusiasm, what was once a single marathon traversing the streets of Anaheim and a section of the Disneyland Resort, has blossomed into a bi-coastal, eight-event series of ever-expanding excitement. runDisney owes it's success, not to the questionable pursuit which it promotes, but to the manner in which it is delivered.

When wrapped in Disney-fashioned packaging your product will be easy to sell. Runners sign up by the tens of thousands for each runDisney event, all within about 24-hours of the opening of registration. Several of the Rock and Roll races witness similar success, and the New York and Boston marathons are in their own category, though runDisney is distinct in the impression it leaves. Participants in many national races do it to fulfill some item on their bucket list. Once completed most look forward to never having to endure any such misery again. Meanwhile, runDisney attracts droves of first-time racers, and practically all of them, upon completion, become Disney runners for life.

To overcome such un-pleasantries as having to wake up at four in the morning and spend several plodding hours on your feet, Disney offers the most profound distraction this side of their own fireworks display. The main draw, and what brings people from all over the planet, is how each race spends significant miles inside the parks. The original Disneyland Half Marathon courses through Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure and the Downtown District. The Walt Disney races carry the particular advantage of never leaving Disney property. WDW races flow from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom, past water parks and themed resorts; the interim miles positively disappear as you make your way to the next glorious venue.

In addition to the allure of running through Disney Parks, which, let's face it, is all you really need, runDisney heaps on the extras. A delightful theme makes up the foundation for every race, catering to and capturing every diverse interest. Courses are lined with photo ops, cast members, live entertainment, a character-loaded monorail train or two and throngs of supporters. An element that is so inherently Disney: that unmistakable, indelibly-Disney voice that regularly sings through the parks' PA system, introducing parades, ceremonies and other daily happenings, greets runners on the course to serve notice of turns, inclines and points of particular significance. There is so much to witness and enjoy, you don't have time to get truly tired.

If you love running, there is something odd about you, but you will still benefit greatly from the runDisney experience. If you don't like running, any single Disney event will positively change your impression. If you hate running, there may not be much even the world's premiere entertainment company can do for you, but give it a chance anyway. True to everything Walt Disney believed in and built, runDisney has mastered the rare art of deliverable magic.

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