At the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon something exciting happened. Many runners claimed on social media the VP of runDisney made an announcement. He said running events would return to the Disneyland Resort. Many saw this on social media and shared it hoping this was true. I wish the rumor included was when this would happen. We know little about runDisney or how they operate.
They postponed Disneyland’s running events because of construction of Star Wars Land. The failed construction of a new hotel in Downtown Disney also played a role. Since runDisney is tight-lipped, it is hard to know. In this post runDisney says construction is why they cancelled all Disneyland races. Which was a great excuse then? But not now.
Many thought Disneyland lost money because of runDisney. That is not true. The races even when they did not sell out raised attendance and helped book hotel rooms. Construction and politics are the reason for the cancellation. Disneyland and Anaheim have been at odds for years now. That is why there is no new hotel or runDisney.
Many runDisney fans thought Disneyland had control over runDisney at Disneyland. The truth is runDisney is a company in Florida. Disneyland is a theme park in California. Disney owns both, but runs each separately. Here is a surprising fact runDisney rents Disneyland for races. Disneyland has little to do with actual runDisney events. Have you ever rented a venue for a party or wedding? You are paying for the venue but you do not run it. The concept applies here. Disneyland lets runDisney use their theme park and will even have their staff work the event. But they are not in charge. Disneyland as a host has to apply for permits from the city to host races like a half marathon that is run on city streets. Disneyland’s soured relationship with Anaheim is the problem. Not the fact some races do not sell out. You cannot host a half marathon without the right permits.
Even if the Anaheim races did not sell out that does not mean runDisney events lose Disneyland money. RunDisney will never give us the details. The info I share comes from research and from talking with Disney. I will even call runDisney to ask questions. My family works at the resort so I hear a lot. The bottom line is runDisney races help keep Disneyland busy.
Some believe not enough tourists travel for the races. Local pass holders are most of the runners signing up for the races. That is how most road races work. Even if runDisney events at Disneyland cater to locals that is a moot point. Remember that runDisney and Disneyland are not the same company. Heck, Star Wars took place around the slower time in January. These races help keep Disneyland busy. Super Heroes took place before the Christmas season, right when attendance dips.
Star Wars Land opens May 31,2019. Honestly, runDisney could have brought back the half marathon weekend in September 2019. Since Star Wars Land opens in the summer. I do not see that happening though. As many runDisney fans search for permits that Disneyland files for. These permits may show that Disneyland is planning a running event. So far I have heard nothing promising.
Star Wars Land will make Disneyland very busy this summer. Perhaps too busy and they may not want to stage a race that soon after Galaxy’s Edge opens. Once the newness wears off its possible, a race could bring in more tourists. Like runDisney fans who would not make the trip only for Star Wars Land.
During the hiatus runDisney could have made many positive changes. They pushed Tinker Bell back to May on Mother’s day weekend. Many runners stopped signing up. Many runners preferred running Tinker Bell in January. They should have moved Tinker Bell back to January and Star Wars Half Marathon moved to May.
With, Pixar Pier being popular runDisney would be smart to add a Pixar themed race. Perhaps runDisney should replace the struggling Super Heroes with Pixar. That is my two cents though. I also wish they would add a holiday themed 5k.
I thought the races would return in late 2019. But they never did. It’s too late now. After Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disneyland, runDisney would have been remiss not to return. With the 2020 runDisney schedule out and no Disneyland on it is a bad sign.
I am certain Disneylands issues with the City of Anaheim are the reason we have heard nothing. Disneyland could stage shorter races on Disney property only. They would sell out. runDisney may not have the desire or it may cause further issues with the city of Anaheim.
The odds are low that Disneyland races could come back. And runDisney is being very secretive. So that when they announce the races returning, it is a surprise. I doubt that though. As it is hard to keep employees not under your control quiet. Remember runDisney and Disneyland run separately. Odds are someone who works at Disneyland would overhear. And they would leak the info. Sometimes people hear things when events are in the planning stages. City permits are also easy to find online so if runDisney applies for one we will hear about it.
Who knows for sure? We have no news and runDisney has not updated this post. Right now runDisney returning in 2020 is not likely.
Here are some helpful posts to help prepare for your visit to Disneyland.
Click here for my runDisney at Disneyland Tips.