Downward trend in runDisney?

PrincessV

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Do people really care that much about Goofy by itself anymore? With Dopey in the picture now, it seems like the majority of the people who were attracted to Goofy have moved over to Dopey. I can see how people with limited funds and vacation time would opt for Goofy over Dopey, but they're in the minority these days. I'll be impressed if Goofy sells out for 2020 in a short amount of time.
I've been wondering if a Goofy anniversary might drive a Dopey sellout for exactly that reason.

Related to cost, but something I haven't seen mentioned on the thread yet (apologies if it was, I'm reading at work with my boss sitting 2 feet away), is the lack of a deferral option.
Great point! Living so near WDW, it's not a big issue for me: I know I can always at least get my bib, barring anything truly awful, in which case I doubt I'd be thinking about it at all. But if I had a ton of travel and associated expenses on the line? That could be a big turnoff for me.
 

IamTrike

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
The ironic thing is I've been trying to show that maybe the dip hasn't been so bad for RD so far, but this will be the first time missing marathon weekend since 2011. I'm still thinking about signing up, but I haven't been able to justify it.
 
  • lahobbs4

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 20, 2013
    I am one that only started running because of a runDisney ad I saw in one of my husband's 'Runner's World' magazines. I've been to MW and W&D and headed back for MW again this year. I am doing Dopey because of serious FOMO from some people on a park bus with 'Dopey' shirts on. I know that I am 100% a marketing department's dream client. I brought a friend for W&D, and we are bringing 2 more friends for MW this year.

    Now that I am more of a serious runner, I am becoming more interested in tougher races but will always want to do rD races. It is easy for me to talk friends into joining me because they are intimidated by running and I feel these are great gateway races ;)

    I do wish they would mix up the race themes. W&D was fine, but I felt the theme was boring. We love Star Wars, but SW fans kinda overwhelm me sometimes. And Princess is something I have ZERO desire to do because of the horror stories and I honestly don't love the idea of being around that many women in one place.
     

    ErinBoBerin

    Never grow up
    Joined
    Aug 13, 2018
    Canadian west coaster here - Running in Jan because I always wanted my first marathon to be at Disney. But after Jan, I don't anticipate us coming back for a while. This is our first trip in 10 years, so maybe in another 10 years I'll do Dopey if it still exists. It's just too expensive and it takes too much time off work. And it's also been a lot of stress to plan.

    However, I've run the Star Wars HMs at Disneyland and if they bring the races back there we will definitely pop down. It's a relatively easy and affordable trip, and we can either fly out Friday evening or just take the one day off work. It's also easier to book a cheap hotel in Anaheim and still be able to walk to the race start. Not really looking forward to the bus situation...

    So I guess for us it comes down to cost and time (which is also money). I am so excited for marathon weekend though! But it might be a once in a lifetime thing.
     

    Neon Cactus

    Old Run Disney Addict
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2016
    I love running the RunDisney races, but I'm not really a runner. I look for races that are fun or in places that interest me. The race cost hasn't been an issue, it's more than other races, but it's Disney, so I'm willing to pay more. Getting to Orlando can be expensive from Dallas. Airfare to LA for Disneyland races is pretty cheap, but Orlando is usually considerably more. Also, having kids who want to take my race money for dance, college and other things has been an issue. I loved the Disneyland races and I'm hoping Universal Hollywood starting up races will spark Disney to bring them back. I thought the 10k at Disneyland was the best course ever. When those come back, I'm there. I'd love to do Wine and Dine and am considering that in 2019. I just wish it was still a nighttime race. I wasn't even going to do this until I went with my daughters in July and it was my first trip to WDW since the 2016 marathon and I started thinking about how much fun the experience was. I decided I needed a challenge, so I'm back into it.

    But when I ran the 2016 marathon, it was supposed to be a one and done for me. I met some great people and then someone told me about the Coast to Coast challenge, so I was in for the Disneyland half and then saw the 10k course and decided to do the Dumbo Double Dare. And then a friend wanted to run a marathon and one of our friends died from cancer that year, so we ran the LA Marathon in his honor. There are races I'd like to do like Chicago Marathon, there's one by Mount Rushmore and a few others, but most of the ones on my radar are RunDisney.
     
  • Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    Star Wars weekend 2019 won't have an open SWGE though so not sure what you mean by that. They obviously aren't selling that weekend all that well either.
    Since Galaxy's Edge will not be open for Rival Run weekend 2019, I can easily see WDW guests that are also runDisney participants and Star Wars fans who do not visit every single year waiting for Star Wars Galaxy's Edge to open. If a visit every few years is their most realistic option, then I can see waiting until it's open. Without races, I visit WDW every 3-5 years. So if I'm looking on the horizon, I would easily delay a bucket list Disney race into a year when certain things I want to see (ie Galaxy's Edge) will be open.

    Maybe I'm completely wrong, but I think the Kessel Run virtual component goes away as soon as they decide on the future of west coast runDisney whatever decision they make.

    I could see SW weekend having a bigger draw next year, especially if the course goes through SWGE.
    I can't believe a Star Wars race won't go through Galaxy's Edge. Maybe an entirely new 5K course to boot. Disneyland moved their Darth Vader race tunnel from between DCA and Disneyland to near where Galaxy's Edge will be once the location was announced.

    I think one thing that would help is switching the themes up. I love Star Wars and Marvel, but there’s only so much you can do with that before it starts getting stale. Same thing with Princess. I’d love to see a villains themed race and a race weekend that’s just generic Disney. They could use any of the Disney classic movies for medals and I’d be pumped.
    I really think this is a major reason why they started changing up the medals for all races every single year.

    Of course as soon as we thought that, they went and announced the Star Wars Rival Run. Just a slight change in theming and being able to get the Kessel medal pulled us right back in.
    I think if runDisney races come back to the west coast, then the Star Wars races one each coast will revert to Light Side vs Dark Side.

    One would argue WDW weekend is generic Disney with the Fab 5 and Dopey.
    Absolutely. And I think it will stay that way for years to come. Maybe they'll alternate 5K character themes, but otherwise I don't see them changing 10K and Half themes. Goofy and Dopey are self explanatory for their challenges, and Mickey is not going anywhere for the marathon theme. That leaves Minnie and Donald who are likely too popular to remove them from that theme in favor of some random Disney movie. For the most part, all the other race weekends (including on hiatus Disneyland races) more or less encompass the most popular Disney or Disney owned films on the whole.

    I think, gross generalization here, that social media drove exposure to the idea of rD races, got lots of folks who otherwise had no interest in running to try it out, and some of them loved it and have carried on, while plenty of others found out they hate running/don't have time in their lives for training/moved on to some other pursuit/etc. and have left the rD participant pool.
    Absolutely. I know people who ran a 5K and decided never again. My first half ever was at Disneyland. It was not a fun experience, but rather a learning one. I came back for the next year mostly because I knew that Coast to Coast would work with my schedule so I concluded that I could tolerate two more races to earn that medal and get a trip to WDW out of it. After that point, I could stop running. But then I actually had fun in those 2 races. I can easily see where people who tried it once and didn't have the fun experience would move on to other pursuits.

    I think because of the time and expense for a runDisney Race, and the amount of training for a full marathon, a lot of people look at it an think. We'll if I'm gonna do Goofy I might as well do Dopey and get all bling.
    That's me.

    I think it depends on what the individuals want from their experience. As a one and done or destination type race, I think Dopey carries the day. I think it can change if you are looking at making the weekend a routine thing.
    See above. If runDisney Star Wars returns to Disneyland in January, then I'm choosing it as my number one race priority for the year every single year. As 2019 may be my only marathon weekend visit, I came to believe that if I can complete the marathon, I can complete Dopey so I may as well go for the whole thing.

    That stupid spectator package is one. I also remember the absolutely ridiculous "Welcome Party" they had for the 2015 W&D which was probably a worse way to spend money than just wiping yourself with it and dropping it in the porta potty. I feel like I'm missing some from over the years but I would have to go back and do some Googling.
    They used to have a pasta party at Disneyland, but it was really expensive for what you received I felt. They also did a night before the Star Wars 5K at Disneyland Star Wars party, but I think it wound up being a one and done.

    Are you talking about the one at Disneyland Half for the Anniversary? I went to that one and felt it was way worth the money because all the big rides were open and you got a no-crowds viewing of Paint the Night. For $79 it was a steal.
    I seem to think that particular one was actually a good price.

    I've been wondering if a Goofy anniversary might drive a Dopey sellout for exactly that reason.
    I think it could especially if the runner begins to perceive it as a bucket list item. My little sister currently believes that she's only going to run one marathon in her life. Namely at Disney World next month. So she registered for Dopey out of "go big or go home." She's not sure that she'll ever run a race at Disney World again because of the travel challenges.

    I love running the RunDisney races, but I'm not really a runner.
    I'm the same way. I've only run one non Disney race yet because it finished on the field at AT&T Park in San Francisco, that's why I chose to run it.

    but most of the ones on my radar are RunDisney.
    Same here. Unless I get substantially faster as a runner, then I easily see myself sticking to runDisney. Thus far, my efforts to substantially increase speed have met with pain, more pain, injury (which rest healed), soreness, and more soreness. I know that I can tolerate the current levels of soreness and still be fast enough for runDisney. But I'm not sure that I really want to push that speed if this as fast as I can get without feeling continual pain and soreness. RunDisney offers a great way for me to challenge myself physically without destroying myself because I can handle the slower pace it offers.
     

    ScooterScott44

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2018
    I don't know that RD is really at a point where they could get many more people on the course during certain races. For the data up through 2018 I would guess that they wouldn't look at anything as material decline. Most if not all races in this time period sold out. A slower sell out is still a sell out. From a finance perspective I don't know that they have a lot of incentive to do things to sell out faster.

    I think the real decline will show up in Marathon weekend 2019. Demand for this weekend has fallen below where all races sell out. It will be interesting to see if this continues into 2020. 2019 Princess is sold out through Disney, so while it didn't sell out as fast I don't think they would count a sold out race as a decline in runners. (yes I know there are still bibs available through TA's )
    Agree that the finishers data is not really impacted with sold out races. But the items you cannot put on the graph is that the races are not selling out this year, the sell out date has been getting later and later and that is with an overall decrease in runDisney races (since DL races are essetially gone at this point).
     

    ScooterScott44

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2018
    I have alternated years between Goofy and Dopey. The extra wake-ups for Dopey are my turn-off. I still like them both and am glad that Goofy is still an option.
    I have done many years of the marathon and all of the goofy events but this year will be my first (and only) official Dopey for this very reason. The cost was the other factor. It is just a waste of my vacation time to do that every morning for four mornings.
     

    1lilspark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2016
    Another factor with Rivals Run is that Star Wars Celebration is a week or two before the run and my friend who ran with me last year really wanted to run but couldn’t budget the time off for both (and in turn I couldn’t justify the cost of a solo trip)
     
  • rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    Another factor with Rivals Run is that Star Wars Celebration is a week or two before the run and my friend who ran with me last year really wanted to run but couldn’t budget the time off for both (and in turn I couldn’t justify the cost of a solo trip)
    Celebration was the week before last time but was in Orlando then so easier to stay longer in one place. This time it is in Chicago (I am going!). I don't think thats a big impact though.
     

    derekleigh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2014
    For me, it boils down to a few factors:

    1. Cost

    As many have already pointed out, the actual cost of registration is very high. Aside from maybe the marathon, I can do better races (5Ks, - Half's) for significantly less. I would NEVER fly to WDW just to do a race. I just happen to do one (or two) while on vacation. I also hate how rD has become a la carte simply for being a money grab. I still like running at WDW and I will suggest everyone should run at least one rD race in their life.

    2. No Variety
    I signed up for my first rD (and half) in 2011 for the 2012 Marathon Weekend. At that time, rD had many different weekends with a variety of different races, lengths and time frames. Everest Challenge, TOT 10-miler, Marathon Relay, in addition to 5Ks and Half's. I loved that they added a 10K, which I think caused a big spike in sell outs. However, since then, every weekend has become a cookie-cutter and all races have moved to the morning. 5K, 10K and half are found at every rD weekend.

    3. Alterative Options
    I think the running bloom has gone down. About 4-5 years ago, running became a popular activity, but has decline in popularity since. One of the biggest competitors is OCR, to which I felt has taken a large chunk of recreational runners/athletes and given them something new and fresh.

    Do people really care that much about Goofy by itself anymore? With Dopey in the picture now, it seems like the majority of the people who were attracted to Goofy have moved over to Dopey. I can see how people with limited funds and vacation time would opt for Goofy over Dopey, but they're in the minority these days. I'll be impressed if Goofy sells out for 2020 in a short amount of time.
    I know I'm in the minority when I say this but Goofy to me is a bigger challenge than Dopey. Hear me out:

    At marathon level training, a 5K is nothing and a 10K is basically a nice warm-up. The challenge when adding those two distances to the Goofy, is waking up early 4 days in a row, not the distances themselves. Goofy is really the meat and potatoes of Dopey. The 5K is your beverage and the 10K is your salad. Naturally, 99% of people will take these races easy and more or less walk/ or run/walk them to converse for....Goofy. 13.1 miles followed up the next day with 26.2 is where the true test comes.

    This is merely my option of why I would actually choose Goofy over Dopey if I had my choice. I'd be putting more effort into both the 13.1 and 26.2 miles than if I were to spread my effort out over two warm-up races.
     
    Last edited:

    cavepig

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2001
    Do people really care that much about Goofy by itself anymore? With Dopey in the picture now, it seems like the majority of the people who were attracted to Goofy have moved over to Dopey. I can see how people with limited funds and vacation time would opt for Goofy over Dopey, but they're in the minority these days. I'll be impressed if Goofy sells out for 2020 in a short amount of time.
    I Do! I signed up for Goofy this time because I've Dopey'd and don't need to do it again for while and I didn't buy any Goofy merch then so now is the time to do that. I'm thrilled to get a Goofy bib for something new to me. I find it entertaining seeing all the Dopey training talk in FB groups, but never read any Goofy talk. It will be interesting to see the bib totals & finishers come January for the challenges.
     

    ScooterScott44

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2018
    Absolutely. And I think it will stay that way for years to come. Maybe they'll alternate 5K character themes, but otherwise I don't see them changing 10K and Half themes. Goofy and Dopey are self explanatory for their challenges, and Mickey is not going anywhere for the marathon theme. That leaves Minnie and Donald who are likely too popular to remove them from that theme in favor of some random Disney movie. For the most part, all the other race weekends (including on hiatus Disneyland races) more or less encompass the most popular Disney or Disney owned films on the whole.
    Not sure if anyone remembers but back in the day, Disney themed the 5k based on a recent film. Below are the t shirts from 2003, Lilo and Stich year, and 2004, Brother Bear year, and the Chicken Little medal from 2006. (Have the 2006 t shirt also but can’t find that right now.). So Disney has done different themes in the past. Maybe they can do that again.
    upload_2018-12-14_14-23-6.jpeg
     

    Sleepless Knight

    Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
    Joined
    May 15, 2008
    Not sure if anyone remembers but back in the day, Disney themed the 5k based on a recent film.
    Disneyland also did something similar with their 5K except it was themed to attractions. 2011 was Star Tours and 2012 was Carsland. Honestly, I think it's a great idea.
     

    JClimacus

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 9, 2014
    I haven't contributed to this forum for a long time but thought I'd chime in. Arthritis finally caught up with me after a marathon in the fall of '17 and I've been managing it ever since. For a time I thought my running career was over, but since then I've been able to implement some arthritis management strategies and now I'm running 25 miles/week and have been able to run some 10k's. I doubt very much another marathon is my future but I'm hoping some half's might be possible.

    I've always preferred Goofy to Dopey because getting up that early for a 5k doesn't seem worth it, but even more so because I want to enjoy eating what I want, and I can't do that until the marathon is complete.

    My son is running the half this year with some friends, and if I was capable, I might have signed up for it. I suspect a big part of the drop off in runDisney is that it is on the bucket list for many runners, but they are one-and-done with rD. I know a lot of runners who have one Disney race under their belts and have no desire for more. It's taken a number of years for the bulk of runners to get their one rD race but it seems like there is no longer a big backlog of runners who haven't done it yet who want to. So now it's just people new to running and rD that are providing the new entrants.
     

    IamTrike

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2010
    Not sure if anyone remembers but back in the day, Disney themed the 5k based on a recent film. Below are the t shirts from 2003, Lilo and Stich year, and 2004, Brother Bear year, and the Chicken Little medal from 2006. (Have the 2006 t shirt also but can’t find that right now.). So Disney has done different themes in the past. Maybe they can do that again.
    View attachment 369898
    Wow those are incredibly cool. I would total sign up for an Ohana run.
     

    LdyStormy76

    Looking for the Hundred Acre Woods
    Joined
    Dec 20, 2017
    Based on reading all of this I went back to look at information for the 3 runDisney races I have registered for. The price differences are amazing.

    2018 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: $3,340.95 for 2 races, 5 nights at Beach Club, 4 day Park hoppers and dining plan.
    2018 Disneyland Paris: $2,343.34 for 3 races, 6 nights at a second price tier hotel, 6 day park hoppers and 2 meals a day.
    2019 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend: $4,861.21 for 2 races, 5 nights at Animal Kingdom 4 day Park hoppers and dining plan.

    Admittedly I found a wonderful deal for Paris, but even so the amounts are eye opening. While I would like to be back in 2020 (considering Dopey if I survive the marathon) it might not be in the cards from a financially standpoint as there is an extended family trip to WDW planned in March 2020.

    Paris just did Villains and it looked awesome.
    Yes, it was. 5k was Marval with Thanos on the medal. 10k was villain sidekicks with Pain and Panic from Hercules on the medal. Marathon was villains with Mickey and the Sleeping Beauty castle on the medal; the villain theme tied in with the challenge medals with the 31k having Maleficent as herself and the 36k being Maleficent the dragon (design inspired by the parade float which was a photo stop!).
     

    *DisneyDreamer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2007
    I definitely agree with all the already mentioned reasons for the decline in sellouts for the races (same themes, cost, decline in running in general) but I personally am so grateful for it. I signed up for the Princess half for next year at the beginning of November, something I never would have been able to do as recently as last year or the year before (and I can’t believe it’s still open now!). RunDisney has pushed people away by taking away unique race experiences, raising costs, and eliminating deferrals, but it makes it easier for people who need time to think about planning a weekend and can’t commit the minute registration opens.

    And to whoever mentioned a weekend with classic Disney movie themes, I totally agree! Marathon Weekend will likely never change from the Fab 5, but I love the idea of races themed around movies like 101 Dalmatians, Lion King, Tarzan, Bambi, etc. I also love the idea of Villains, and would add Pirates of the Caribbean.
     

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