Disneyland Gives Runners the Finger

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The Orange County Register is reporting that all RunDisney races at the Disneyland resort have been canceled beginning in 2018 and the return of the races is uncertain.

Let me be clear, I LOVE Disney. One of my childhood dreams was to become an animator for Disney. However, Disney’s statement on the cancellation of the Disneyland runDisney races just seems hollow. You can read a portion of their press release below…

“While construction for the next several years will impact our ability to deliver the runDisney experience our guests love, we are excited about our future as the Disneyland Resort continues one of its largest multi-year expansions, which includes a new 14-acre land—Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. For fans who love to be part of runDisney events, we will continue to offer races at our other properties around the world in 2018.”

Did you catch the subtext? The headlines I have read have called the cancellation of the 2018 runDisney races a “hiatus”. However, if you read the end of Disney’s official statement closely, it is clear that they have no intent of bringing these races back to Disneyland after the referenced construction is completed. Although these races bring in 20-30 million dollars to the Orange County economy each year, Disney has decided to give it’s new brand cash cow Star Wars the keys to Disneland’s kingdom. Disney’s statement might as well have read…

“Disney wishes to say sorry, not sorry to the runDisney community. Money talks, and we feel that promoting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and our new 5-star Downtown Disney resort will increase our bottom line more than supporting our hugely popular runDisney race series. Honestly, you should have expected this, we are a business and if canceling your races at our park yields us one-dollar more over the course of 12 months then we are going to do it.”

What do all of you out there in the running community think of this decision? Is it another example of a major cooperation thinking of their bottom line over their customers? Or, is it just a good business decision?

As Don Corleone was fond of saying, “It’s not personal. It’s business.” And in Disneyland’s case, business is good.