Disneyland cancels its 2018 runDisney schedule, future events

October 18, 2017, 1:57 PM · The Disneyland Resort has cancelled its planned runDisney events in 2018 and beyond, the company confirmed today. That means that the Super Heroes Half Marathon, scheduled for November 9-12, will be the final runDisney event at the Disneyland Resort for the foreseeable future.

Disney has promised refunds to runners who registered for the Disneyland runs in 2018. Running events at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris resorts will continue as scheduled and are not affected by the pull-out in Anaheim.

So why is Disney cancelling these wildly popular events in Anaheim? The runDisney events — including the Disneyland Half-Marathon and other long-distance runs themed to Star Wars, Marvel, and other Disney franchises — typically draw tens of thousands of runners (and their families) to the resort, filling the parks and hotels on weekends that had been much less crowded before runDisney.

Disney cited construction projects at the resort — including Star Wars Land, the Eastern Gateway parking garage and new resort entrance, and the planned fourth on-site hotel — as impairing runDisney's ability to support a route through and around the resort.

“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,” George Savvas, a Disneyland spokesman, told the Orange County Register.

But runDisney race routes didn't go through the former backstage areas on which Disney is building Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Construction hasn't started on the fourth hotel, and there's no sign of it starting anytime soon. And the Eastern Gateway project is stalled, in part due to opposition from Harbor Boulevard neighbors who fear losing business as Disney builds a pedestrian bypass over the busy street.

A revamped Anaheim City Council has been more open to hearing community complaints about Disney in recent months and that might be in play here, too. The runDisney events generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for Anaheim, thanks to permits to close streets and police overtime to secure the route, not to mention increased spending and tax revenue in the city. Unlike at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris, the Disneyland Resort is not large enough for runDisney to plot a course that remains entirely on Disney property, so the events extend onto Anaheim streets.

That Disney cited construction that hasn't started as preventing runDisney events from going forward is the tell. By cancelling the events, Disney is costing Anaheim a lot of money — money that Disney is telling the city it will not get back until Disney's construction projects move to completion. The longer that Anaheim delays in letting Disney proceed, the longer that Anaheim loses out on that runDisney event cash.

The backstory on the Anaheim/Disneyland dispute:

Replies (6)

October 18, 2017 at 2:54 PM · The article says "An Anaheim spokesman said typically Disney gives the city three to four months advance notice before a race weekend. Disney needs permission from the city to arrange the closing of some freeway off ramps, streets and provide additional police. City staff said Disney had not filed for any permits".

Hmmm. Has communication with the city broke down that Disney is no longer able to advise them of future plans? Those Anaheim folks have a perpetual sour face.

October 18, 2017 at 5:18 PM · I think that just shows that Disney made its decision to bail on runDisney in Anaheim months ago, but is just now getting around to announcing that to the public.
October 18, 2017 at 6:16 PM · If Project Cleo gets started that impacts some traffic near the current parking area. And that has to start sooner rather than later.
October 18, 2017 at 9:45 PM · As an Anaheim resident and homeowner, many appreciate what Tourism does for the city. It is amazing how many Tourism locations the city of Anaheim owns...

he Convention Center and Arena is owned by the city, and has set up an agency that runs it. The agreement that allowed the city to build it stated it has to be non-profit, so all profits are used to improve/enlarge the complex.

The city owns the Anaheim Resort Transportation, another non-profit agency, which hires a company (currently Transdev) to run the day to day operation. Since the Toy Story Shuttles run on city streets, it is actually an ART Route, in which Disney picks up the fares as a courtesy to its guests.

ARTIC, the overpriced Train Station is owned and operated by the city, but runs at a massive deficit. Interesting to note, much of the funding to pay the deficit came from the 2 percent assessment from the resort area hotel guests collected by the Anaheim Tourism Improvement District. The Tourism board is independent from the city, and when the current council started it anti-Disney, anti-business stance, the board said it had better uses for the funds and told the city it would not allocate any funds for ARTIC, since it didn't bring in any tourists.

Angel Stadium, the city owns the facility and the parking lot, and leases the day to day operations to the Baseball team, who gives some of the revenue for the baseball teams use of the stadium, parking fees, and concerts and motorsports events and other uses.

Honda Center, once again, the city owns the property, and leases it to the Hockey Team. The team also runs the arena's other events, which the city gets some of the revenue. Interesting to note, the city just entered into an agreement with the team to try and find sponsorship (naming rights) for ARTIC. The team would get a finder's fee if they find a deal that the city would approve.

The City National Grove of Anaheim, once again, owned by the city, day to day operations are handled by Nederlander Concerts.

The American Sports Center, home of the USA Volleyball and Badminton teams. Owned by the city, operated by Sports Anaheim, part of the Tourism Board. This is a main reason that Anaheim is part of the 2028 Summer Olympics being run by Los Angeles. Which should help hotel bookings, and Honda Center revenue.

So it goes to a few city leaders, especially Mayor Tait and Dr. Moreno. Check out the link in the OP Post discussing the LA Times articles.

And also the response from another newspaper, the Orange County Register.


So we (the city of Anaheim) has a screwed up City Council...

A very telling video showing what is happening with our city council.

Here is a link to last night's City Council meeting.


Item 5, the Anaheim GardenWalk Status Report, starts at 2:49 into the full meeting (you can find the time bar at the bottom of the video). and ends at 4:08.

So basically a hour and 20 minutes, to just approve a staff report that was placed on the consent calendar.

Amazing stuff and shows the interaction between the city staff and the council. (I truly feel for the city staff on a daily basis, and trying to get their jobs done).

So the short answer is yes, Disney feels it can't work with the current council. But city elections are a year away. The Mayor is termed out, and 3 seats are also up for grabs. Disney will be opening up its pocketbook and work with the Chamber of Commerce (another group Mayor Tait hates) to support candidates that will be pro-Tourism business in General. And I truly hope they succeed.(Alas I am in District 2, and can't vote to get Dr. Moreno out of office).

October 18, 2017 at 11:18 PM · I remember going through construction zones the last time I went last year for the marvel race. It might just be that construction will not allow for a safe race. I will find out more when I do the marvel race this year.
October 24, 2017 at 5:57 PM · Disney is just flexing its considerable financial muscle.

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