runDisney Sticker Shock

Early registration for runDisney’s banner events opens this week to Runner’s World Challengers, Annual Passholders and DVC Members. One discussion that usually springs from signing up for a runDisney event is the price point. In line with much of what Disney offers, it does not come cheap. That being said, I think you get a lot of bang for your buck. In case you haven’t investigated race pricing, here is a chart with the 1st tier pricing (available until June 18th) for the 2014 Marathon Weekend along with some other races I looked up.

Race (Distance in Miles)

Cost

Cost Per Mile

WDW 5K Family Fun Run (3.1)

$60

$19.35

WDW 10K (6.2)

$95

$15.32

WDW Half Marathon (13.1)

$160

$12.21

WDW Full Marathon (26.2)

$160

$6.11

WDW Goofy Challenge (39.3)

$340

$8.65

WDW Dopey Challenge (48.6)

$495

$10.12

Rock n Roll Cleveland Half (13.1)

$85

$6.49

Rock n Roll Nashville Half (13.1)

$90

$6.87

Rock n Roll Nashville Full (26.2)

$95

$3.63

Rock n Roll 2013 Tour Pass

$399

Entry into up to 30 races.

Detroit’s International Full (26.2)

$110

$4.20

Detroit’s International Half (13.1)

$95

$7.25

Detroit Free Press 5K (3.1)

$35

$11.29

As you can see, runDisney events are more expensive than other events held around the country.  But do you get your money’s worth?  Let me give you some examples of why I feel the cost is so much higher and then you may be better able to answer that question for your situation.

Restrooms. I have to tinkle.  (Yes, now as I am writing this. And again while you are reading it. And again once you are done reading it.)  I can usually make it on a 4-5 mile outing without finding facilities.  A half marathon is near impossible for me.  It’s how my body works.  RunDisney provides a copious amount of port-a-pots.  Yes, there may be some lines pre-race.  Fifteen thousand people trying to take care of business in 400 units in a short amount of time will cause lines.  Once the course, there are frequent facilities.  And when running through a park, the brick and mortar restrooms are available. Here is a course map of a half marathon I did a couple years back.  This is my nightmare course.  Note the two boxes halfway on the long out and back.  Those are not banks of port-a-pots.  There were two–one on either side of the 6’ wide course.  There were a whopping ten at the start/finish area.  Twelve bathrooms for 5,000 racers (not including spectators).

Health and Fitness Exposition.  This is one of the things that a lot of people gloss over for runDisney events.  I too am guilty of doing it.  You’re at Disney World (or Disneyland).  Why do you want to sit and listen to lectures?  The expo has far more to offer than just that.  The vendors that set up are genuinely dedicated to your experience and helping you make the most of it.  The sponsors usually have giveaways and freebie swag.  You can sign up friends and family for runner tracking (wouldn’t dear Aunt Sally love to get a text after you crossed the first timing mat of your ½ marathon, well before dawn?).  Sit down for a minute or two and listen to one of the guest speakers.  You don’t need to invest the whole day in listening to all of them, but a couple minutes could give you an epiphany.

Runner safety.  With all things Disney, safety is paramount.  There are multiple first aid stations along the course.  There are cycling paramedics riding on the course, alongside racers.  Road hazards are minimized due to Disney’s infrastructure and where they cannot be, they are highlighted and racers given notice on course (i.e. speed bumps, terrain changes).

Pre-race, Post-race and On Course Entertainment.  There are no other races that can offer what runDisney can in this arena.  Photo ops with characters, running through a castle, racing through the magic; after all it is Disney.  There also seems to be much less ‘quiet’ run time.  There is almost always music of some sort along a course.

Disney branding.  Like it or not, items that carry the Disney name cost more; staying at a Disney resort, dining at a Disney eatery, cruising aboard the Disney Cruise Line, or taking an Adventure by Disney.

Would I say that every event that someone wants to do be a runDisney event?  No.  Would I suggest that a novice runner give a runDisney event a try if they were a Disney fan?  Absolutely.

What are your thoughts?  Can you justify the price difference to do a runDisney event?  Is it something you would make a trip out of or just participate if you were already planning on being there at that time?

2 responses to this post.

  1. I’m flying from the UK to do Dumbo. It’s eye wateringly expensive but so much fun. Am attempting to make it seem less pricey by attempting to raise all the cash ‘free’. Ie selling stuff on ebay, sales of my ebook etc. So far I’ve covered entry and flight! Am running out of things to sell now….may need to write another book!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Scott on April 5, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    And yet who doubts hat theses events will sell out and people will complain tha the course is too crowded. If anything, Disney should raise the price to drive down participation.

    Reply

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