Disney announces changes.

It’s been about 3 weeks since I posted my blog post about what I thought of the addition of a 10K and four race Dopey challenge to marathon weekend.  You can read about it here, where Disney Jumped the Shark.

Yesterday, Disney announced on their blog (check it out here) some changes to the upcoming Marathon Weekend in 2014 (Whose registration opened today).  I guess enough people grumbled and complained and proclaimed, like me, “I’ll never do a runDisney event again!”.  I like the changes and I really hope this is from listening to runner feedback and not something they just stumbled upon.

Less Runners: This is a biggie.  The races keep getting bigger and bigger and the course doesn’t change.  The roads around and through the Magic Kingdom are very narrow.  Of course it doesn’t say how many it will cut off at and Disney always keeps it’s numbers close to the vest.  The reported max the last couple of years of 27,000 runners is “unofficial”.  They could be only dropping it down to say 25,000. Who knows. But smaller in this case is better.

More corrals: This is another big improvement, which ties in hand in hand with the first one.  They say they will add more corrals with fewer people to even people out along the course.  I mentioned in my race recap the difference between Rock and Roll New Orleans (26 corrals of 1000 people) vs Disney (7 corrals of ~4000 people) and how that affected the race.  Even though both had the same number of people, the New Orleans race was never crowded.  Being back in Corral 23, it felt like “Oh it’s gonna take 3 hours to get to the start” but they sent the corrals off every 2 minutes and it moved quickly and in less than 45 minutes I was starting my race.  At Disney I was in Corral 5(E) and they went off every 7 minutes and it took me almost 40 minutes to get to the start.  Same amount of time, but rather than constantly moving, first we didn’t move for the first three corrals at all, so that was 21 minutes of nothing.  Then we moved forward with D and E, then D went off and we had the whole 7 minute wait for us to go and then it was elbow to elbow the whole time.  New Orleans was MUCH better at the start.

Nearly All runners must submit times for corral seeding: OK, this one is a little half and half.  As far as getting people in the right corrals it’s a good thing, because I can’t stand someone faster than me (happened in New Orleans) screaming “ON YOUR LEFT” and shoving people out of the way, when he really had no business starting BEHIND me.. I was in one of the last corrals, he could have (and should have) started way up front.  I heard some Goofy runners got stuff all kinds of funky being in Corral A for the marathon but then back in Corral G with the slow pokes for the half.  So this may help with that.  However, when it says “most” runners submit a time… I know a lot of people dive into a disney race as their first race of that distance.  So they won’t have a “seeding” time at either a half or full marathon distance.  Are all the first timers gonna be in the back? Will there be 1000 people in Corral A but then 5000 in Corral H (or however many they add)? We’ll see how this works out, but it’s a “mostly” good change.

The other two changes listed don’t affect me much since it’s about women’s cuts for the shirts and also keeping this years 20th anniversary Marathon course the same for the upcoming Fulls.  Those are nice for those that it apply to.

I think I will still probably steer away from the main Marathon Weekend, and go for smaller events like the Wine and Dine and the Tinkerbell, but I’m very glad to see Disney listening to us, the runners.  We are their money makers for that weekend.  I know if 25,000 decide not to go, there’s another 25,000 waiting in line, but sooner or later if you tick enough of us off, you’ll have an empty race that makes no money.

1 Comment

  1. i swore they wouldnt. but they got me. blog post coming soon.

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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.