Wine & Dine Half Fallout

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon sold out yesterday in record time for this race.   NOT in record time for all races (I think Star Wars and Avengers sold out faster last year).

I watched the registration process as an observer.  I was not registering for this event and had no dog in this hunt.

You know I love my runDisney.  You also know I’m willing to say when I think things aren’t handled the best way when it comes to the races.

I get the frustration, truly.  But, guys: this is NOT runDisney’s fault.

Maybe this can refresh your memory on how to best register for a runDisney event?

Disneyland Half Registration

Contrary to “popular” belief (ie- all the running groups on Facebook) the registration process proceeded as NORMAL for a runDisney event.

This may be different from other race events you’ve registered before, but for runDisney, this is how it goes.

1- The link opens up right before noon ET and typically shunts you into a queue if you arrive by 12:05 or so.  The queue is new-ish: it’s been around for a few races now.

2- Having all the information at your finger tips is key.  As is signing into Active.com ahead of time.  It can make ALL the difference when seconds matter.  Do NOT try to register multiple people by yourself.  Everyone needs their own computer or device to register themselves.

3- Travel agents and Charities have always been given bibs.  This is NOT new information.  Rumor says they were given *more* bibs this year, but I have absolutely no proof to base this on.  Unless you are a Travel Agent or Charity Agent, I’m guessing you don’t either.

People of the running community:  I love you.

But this race and the high drama over reaction to not getting a bib is ridiculous.

Totes Magotes

Examples of the totes magotes cray cray that I witnessed yesterday:

People MAD that charities were given bibs.  Whaaaa??!! I’m not even sure what to say about this one.

People PISSED that runDisney doesn’t allow their entire family to register together since they planned the vacation around this race.  Cart before horse anyone?  Here’s an idea: register first, then plan the trip.

People demanding refunds.  Um… no.  runDisney has never allowed refunds or transfers to any races.  You probably should have registered with the understanding that it was a risk you were taking.  If you want a refund because your running partner did not get in, well, I think you should be deferring and hoping for next year. 

HOWEVER… it sounds like runDisney doesn’t agree with me on this one.  I hear (rumors again) that people are being refunded for this race if their spouse or family members were not able to register.  If you’d like one, send an email to runDisney and hope they are feeling generous.

People blaming WALKERS for taking up all the spots.  Hey there- on behalf of all the walkers and run walkers, eff you.  Our money is just as good as yours and as long as we are working within the time limits of the race your elitism is completely misplaced. 

People insisting the rules about Coast to Coast be changed to fit their situation.  Yo- if C2C is so important to you, why didn’t you snap up one of the guaranteed entries through a travel agent?  There were ways to register and ensure your C2C efforts would be honored without waiting for race day registration.  Again- a risk you take.  There’s no guarantees given by runDisney that registration will be available for you to complete the Coast to Coast Challenge.

People mad that the race sold out so fast.  Don’t you read my blog?  Haven’t I told you this time and time again?  I’m joking, but… not.  Le sigh… the days of waiting- even until you get off work!- are over for runDisney registration.  OVER.  With the possible exception of Marathon Weekend since many people are not ready for the marathon distance. 

I didn’t exaggerate: these points are STRAIGHT from Facebook.

I’m sure you can agree that some of us need to get a reality check here.

Photo Credit: Disney

Photo Credit: Disney

We are all talking about registering for an elective event that should be FOR FUN.   The very cool thing about Wine & Dine is that it’s held over the Food & Wine Festival.  Even if you aren’t running- you can still have the most MAGICAL vacation ever.  I’m being serious here: that’s one of the draws to the event.  The race is great, but there’s so much more to enjoy while you are there.

If you still desperately want to run, check into the charity and travel agent options.  I’ll admit, raising funds can be daunting.  And the travel agent may not be the best fit for a local or a DVC member (you are required to book rooms this year if you use a travel agent bib).  But it’s an option.

I repeat:  you have options.

*Or you DID have options.  I hear most of these avenues are on wait lists at this point.

calendar rd 2015

Why did this race sell so fast?  I’m sure it had a lot to do with Tower of Terror 10-Miler no longer running.  When you take that race off the table it meant people only had one east coast runDisney option in the fall.

Fewer races = more demand for the one left standing.  It’s simple supply and demand, right?

This reminds me of the registration for Disneyland Half Marathon weekend in 2013.  That weekend sold out wicked fast (oh- and people didn’t whine about it either, for what it’s worth!) This was the norm on the west coast before Avengers and Star Wars gave more choices to runners.

So now that I’ve vented my frustration with your frustration, lets talk about what we would like to see change.

I think this could be a great discussion to have as long as we are reasonable.

Oh hey- the person who suggested runDisney hold multiple half marathons based on “real runners vs the circus in the back”… you are NOT invited to chime in.

Because:  eff you.

As for me- I do NOT want to see a lottery.  Ever.  Conceivably I could enter every event via lottery and NEVER be chosen.

Think about it.  That could really harsh your Disney mellow if you, like me, find the Disney races to be the best things ever.

However, I would love the idea of offering a family or group lottery before registration opens.

0044

Many people attend these events with their family.  Registering 10 people at once is next to impossible these days.  How about we put our family in as a lottery (all or nothing) that occurs 1 week before regular registration.  Limit 10 people in your family or group.

If your group/family isn’t chosen, then you can decide to take your chances on regular registration day.   Limit this lottery field to say 2,000 half marathon slots.

Since runDisney loves to see families run together, this feels like a good way to encourage this and try to limit some frustrations.  The details would have to be worked out, but this is similar to how Nike Women’s events are run.  The difference being both the group lottery AND open registration would be available.

This is just one idea.  I’m sure there’s others.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on improving the runDisney registration system.  Shout them out!   

Comments

  • Megan says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. People have gotten SO entitled. Yeah, it sucks when you don’t get into a race. But stop blaming everyone else. The hate and vitriol being spewed is horrible. These races are supposed to be FUN. So who cares if you’re a top ten finisher or you’re part of the party in the back? Every runner (/walker/wogger/whatever) is welcome.

    People say that the fast sell out ruins Disney races. I disagree. I think people like this ruin Disney races.

  • Pam says:

    I did not read what I heard was a sh*t show on a couple FB pages yesterday. Unfortunately, this only feeds runDisney’s ability to increase prices and add race registrations to some of their events that are already filled to capacity and beyond. I totally agree that all runners should have equal opportunity to register and whether it takes you the course time limit or you are first, that should not matter. I would hate to see a lottery too. Not sure how lucky I would be, but I guarantee if they have a lottery, there will be people trying to access as many bibs as possible for black market resale. At some point, these races will die down in popularity, but that does not seem to be happening any time soon.

  • Great post, Friend. And lets not forget PEOPLE ARE STARVING AND CHILDREN ARE BEING ABUSED AND YOUNG GIRLS ARE BEING SOLD INTO SLAVERY Sorry, clearly not yelling at you, but seriously, Run Disney Friends, get some PERSPECTIVE!!!!!! Especially for those of us that have done this many times, this is a blessing and a privilege. Not to get too ridiculous, but I promise, the people of (insert pretty much the name of any other country here) would give a limb for our “problems”.

  • Hope says:

    The comments from some of those that didn’t get in were downright hateful. I saw the posts saying the “fun runners” shouldn’t be allowed. I’m sorry, I was under the impression Disney was a FUN race?! I also saw people say those that have done Run Disney before should have to wait to register after the newbies get their spots? Um what?! I do feel for those that didn’t make it in or they got in and their partner/group members didn’t. I am SO THANKFUL that I was able to get both myself and husband in. I think had it been a second later he may have been left out. I see pros and cons to letting people register in pairs or groups because then you would probably see people register huge groups. The lottery option would work for that. I do agree a lottery option overall wouldn’t be magical because then what if you never got picked?! That would suck. We went in to registration yesterday knowing we wanted to vacation that week regardless, but I did see comments from people that didn’t get in who claimed to have already purchased airfare even! Wow. My main complaint of the whole process would rest with active more than anything. I know the site even crashed for me despite being prepared and ready at the computer in plenty of time (I actually arranged my lunch break specifically to register). I had my laptop and desktop going as well. I also have seen comments that active was allowing people to register again this morning? I know other non-Disney races have had issues with active too. I have to say I’m a bit worried now for princess registration this summer lol but it guess that’s just something we have to accept as Run Disney fans. The registration process is more nerve racking then the actual running! I def agree about ToT being gone as a major reason for this race weekend selling so fast, but I don’t see how people are so shocked at how quick these events are going. Gone are the days of waiting a couple months after registration opens (I registered in August for the 2013 WDW Half!).

  • Katie says:

    Fabulous – very well said. The fact that people are getting their knickers in this much of a twist both amuses and appalls me. Truly, first world problems.

  • Jen Bucher says:

    I love your post. I couldn’t believe some of the things that were being said on social media yesterday. It is unfortunate that not everyone gets in, but it is a very popular race and that is what happens. Like you said people need to plan ahead and get with a travel provider or even join up with a charity group. I couldn’t get on the site at first and my husband was on and registering. I had already decided I would probably have to look into a charity group, but somehow my husband got me registered as well! In all reality it is just a race and there will always be another one!

  • Victoria says:

    Hear hear! Thanks for taking the time to tackle this one, Patty.

  • Lauren M. says:

    I guess I lean toward the lottery because it allows people with less flexible jobs (teachers, bus drivers etc.) to have a chance to register. I also think rundisney could better publicize that the races are extremely popular. A casual runner from my local run club was surprised to learn the race was sold out when she tried to register at 230. She thought by doing it the day of she was being on top of the ball. Sure, some quick Internet research could have told her otherwise but it probably never crossed her mind. Right now the ads in Runner’s World say that races sell out quickly, not that the races may sell out in under an hour.

  • Patricia says:

    I think you have some excellent ideas!! Personally, I would hate the lottery idea, too. I like the group lottery though, if it was capped at 8-10 people and 2000 spots total. I usually run alone, occasionally with my husband, so it really would have no effect on me, either way. A couple of friends and I are hoping to do GSC together next year. Sure, it will be disappointing if we don’t all get in, but we’ll still cheer each other on. As for the runners vs walkers vs run/walkers… totally agree with you on that! How rude. One year ago I couldn’t run to the kitchen for the Girl Scout cookies. Now I’ve done 13 5Ks and one 10K, and preparing for my first half in November. Isn’t it all supposed to be about competing against yourself – your doubts and limitations – and overcoming them? Yeah, eff the people who think we turtles don’t belong. We’re here, we’re slow, get used to it!! 😉

  • Jamie says:

    I also agree and I am relatively new to runDisney. But I had seen the comments about registering immediately. Luckily I took my laptop with me to the library. Otherwise I wouldn’t be one of the lucky golden ticket winners!

  • Erin / Hanscarlet says:

    LOL only in America would people temper tantrum over not being able to run at the greatest place on earth #entitledmuch

    oh and FTW on the slam against walkers… running snobs are so annoying

  • Anne says:

    Ugh. 🙂

    Well said Patty! Hearing about the ‘fallout’ from other people makes me happy to not be that involved in the Disney running groups in social media.
    On social media? Whatever 🙂

  • “That weekend sold out WICKED fast” and an “eff you” (or two) and suddenly we’ve got a Bostonian on our hands over here living that Guilt Free life!

    I’ve never been prouder.

    PS: Slow clap to everything you said.

  • Jen says:

    I missed the social media posts yesterday because my internet connection was out. I guess it was a good day for that to happen. There are two things that I’ve reached my limit on when it comes to Disney races, and to be honest, they’re neck-in-neck. The first is the price tag. I’d probably do all of the DL halves if I could afford it, but that would amount to an entire year’s worth of race budget and I wouldn’t get to do anything else. The second thing is the people. I’ve absolutely had it up to here with the complaining on social media about the registration process, who buys what at the expos and what they do with those items, who is in which corral, who gets medals, etc. What all these people complaining are not understanding is that they are causing their own problems 80% of the time. They’re all whipped up into a frenzy and they get on social media and drag others into their little cyclones, which in turn enlarges the problem and on and on.

    I’m just….I just can’t with some of these people anymore.

  • Mallory says:

    My only issue with yesterday was the inconsistency of the queue system. I never saw a queue at all and got three registrations in. My best friend got the queue message and it filled up before she finished. I could have registered her with no problems while she was waiting for her place in line but we didn’t know I needed to. That isn’t exactly fair and is an issue that needs to be figured out. It isn’t fair to have some people waiting in line to register while others can just register with no line. That was the biggest problem I saw. the rest is typical and people should be prepared for it.

  • RFC says:

    Jeeeeeeze runDisney races have gotten cut throat! I had no idea! I ran my share of runDisney races back in the day (the WDW full, 2010 princess, 2011 princess, 2011 Wine and dine, and 2012 tinkerbell), and I thought it was crazy that we only had, oh, a month or two to think it over before they sold out. 5 minutes. Wow. Just…wow.

  • RFC says:

    …also I agree with everything you’ve said. First world problems, people, first world problems. Remember WHY we do this stuff…because it’s FUN. Don’t lose the fun!

  • Tracy says:

    This!!! I agree with everything right down to the multiple eff yous.

  • Dale says:

    Hello, I’ve never been to your site before, but I found the link on Twitter. I agree that these are totally first world problems. However, all of these problems are RunDisney problems. I would like to point out a few things that are off about the process.

    First, Active.com problems are RunDisney’s problems since they chose to use the system for registration. Personally, I never saw a cue and was able to register myself and then my husband. However, the whole reason we were doing this race was to be a part of a group of family members. They are the ones who suggested it. We were all online at the same time and I’m the only one that got in. Once they got to the end of the registration, it was sold out. The whole process didn’t work as it should have.

    Second, the “no refund/transfers” policy seems silly at this point and a RunDisney problem. I have a bib that I could take or leave, so why not refund me and give it to someone else that wants it. I knew what the rule was when I was registering and I almost stopped because I didn’t know if I was going to get my husband in. How can they take my money without letting know if I’m buying what I want? In any other circumstance, I would not have done it. My plan was, and perhaps still is, to go to Harry Potter World instead even if I do run.

    Third, the customer service at RunDisney was/is terrible. Their lack of response to problems during (and now after) is not at the level it should be for Disney. They should have generated a plan and communicated effectively. There were real failings in the process and you seem to be dismissing them completely because the consumer should have known better or it wasn’t RD’s fault. If they were really concerned about the process, they would have held back spots for people that ran into problems and worked through the issues openly.

    Fourth, if they have this much demand for races, then they are running their business wrong. It would be an interesting case to study to see how much money they are leaving on the table and how much ill will they are generating. Whether or not you want to call the people complaining whiners, RunDisney has generated so much excitement and desire for their races that they cannot fulfill it and that is RD’s problem.

    I don’t think it’s nice to make fun of people that are upset because they tried to use the mechanics that were put in place for registration and it didn’t work. Yes, some of the complaints seem silly to you, but each person is voicing frustration at what should have been a “magical” experience. I wonder how you would feel if all of sudden you didn’t get to run the race you had your heart set on. The post would probably have a different tone. Again, I can take or leave this whole race, but I dislike shifting the blame to the consumer when the company could have done so much better. The fact that there are so many complaints with so many different circumstances shows that RunDisney did not handle this well.

    • Katie says:

      I don’t agree with all of your assessment, Dale, but I did want to respond to the fourth point. The fact that there is this much demand means they ARE running things correctly. A dream situation for any business is an event that’s a sell-out; that’s the goal. They could never accommodate everyone who wanted to run; can you imagine a race with 100,000+ participants, or more? Disney’s marketing machine has done exactly what it needs to do for these races – pump people up, get them interested and watch the registrations fly out the door. The only way they’re leaving money on the table is the theoretical “if we could accommodate everyone.”

      Also, I think the author didn’t make fun of people because they were upset – she was drawing attention to the kinds of ridiculous comments being thrown around. I would imagine we can all agree that saying charities shouldn’t have a block of registrations and that non-elite runners shouldn’t register is silly and unnecessary. Yes, it’s disappointing to not get into a race you wanted to run, but there are other events.

      • Dale says:

        Hi Katie,
        We can agree to disagree about my fourth point. My point is that if they can’t handle the influx of interest, then they are creating disappointment in their customers. They need to explore alternative product models or selling models to increase satisfaction. There’s only so many times people can be upset before they don’t return or tell others that it’s not worth the hassle. And we also have to be honest about why Disney does races – it’s to fill rooms and attendance in the parks during slow times of the year (nothing to do with running). For that, Disney is very smart. It’s the execution that I have a problem with. Other popular races (NYC Marathon, Boston, some of the Rock-N-Rolls) have come up with alternatives registration methods that seem more judicious to all those who want to participate. Giving everyone an equal opportunity would go far in increasing the interest in running and races, but that’s not really the objective.

        The host/op’s tone was definitely snarky and mean spirited towards those who were voicing their frustration. She was basically saying that everyone should have known better because she did.

        • patty says:

          Hi Dale,

          Thanks for stopping by and giving your opinion. I don’t agree with you, but hey, I’m ok with opposing viewpoints being presented. Welcome to my blog!

          I do take issue with how you feel I am acting towards others. As you admitted, this is the first time you’ve visited here and you don’t know me.

          You don’t know how supportive I am for ANYONE who wants to experience a runDisney event or the reasons why I started this blog in the first place. You don’t know that I spend hours of my (unpaid) time answering questions and putting information out to HELP people register for these races.

          If my tone sounds exasperated- it’s because I am. But NEVER mean spirited to fellow runners who wish to join in the runDisney adventure. I do apologize if your first visit here left you with an unsavory impression of my intentions.

          But here’s my personal feelings on the issue: anyone who wants to run any race (Disney or not) can help themselves tremendously by doing a bit of simple research. With the growth of this sport, I feel this is becoming more important as time goes on.

          I’m certainly not the only blogger out there in the runDisney realm that tries to help people sign up for the races. There’s many resources at the potential runners finger tips if they choose to look. Every day I have hits to this blog that come from Google searches “how to register for a runDisney event”. The info IS available to anyone who cares enough to look.

          I figure if you know how to complain in a running group on Facebook, you probably know how to use Google as well. That’s not meant to be snark- that’s just simple reality. If you are savvy enough to be in a runDisney focused Facebook group, I think it’s a simple step to use Google before a registration.

          I truly hope your concerns are voiced to the proper folks at runDisney and Active.com. They would be able to talk to you about any changes that you’d like to see and possibly even address why they haven’t been put into place previously. And if they choose to ignore you or your concerns, then I highly suggest using your power as a consumer to find other races to support. Because in the end- money talks.

          Good luck with your future race adventures!

  • KellPow says:

    I agree with what you are saying. Registration was stressful, but I was ready and waiting before noon and was able to get both Wine and Dine 1/2 and the 5k. My parents were ready and waiting before noon and got the 5k as well. I’m so excited to run it as a family.

    I can’t stand when people hate on other runners, walkers, participants. If you got in, great if not, oh well. We should be celebrating anyone who wants to make the attempt and is willing to put the work in. If you’re running a half for time, runDisney really isn’t the place to do it. You miss the magic! I worked hard to get into Corral A last year, just for the sake of having no lines for pictures! runDisney is supposed to be FUN and I feel like lots of people are missing the point.

  • Lesley says:

    I agree with everything here Patty. Get the popcorn and read the comments, the drama has gotten ridiculous and people need a reality check. RunDisney has exploded in popularity as the running boom has exploded as well. W&D is a much smaller race than marathon weekend or Princess weekend, and throw in no ToT and this is what happens. This is the way it works and has for sometime. Maybe the newbies need to read information before thinking it’s easy peasy to register. Vets get in because they know the game and are prepared. If people are ready to go for registration in the UK and Australia and they get in, no one should be complaining.

  • Rebecca says:

    I think I’m in love with this op-ed. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. And totally on point. Every point.

  • Tammy says:

    Wow! I’m so glad I don’t have a Facebook account.

    I’m still on cloud9 after finishing my 1st half at the Princess last month. It was my first time ever registering for a runDisney event and even I knew what the process was from blogs like Patty’s. I was so excited when I got in! That was the beginning of my 7 months of gleeful preparation & planning for the race & the weekend trip.

  • Meiko says:

    Thank you for posting this, I really appreciate all the comments you made as well as the suggestions. I came into the RunDisney scene in 2013 with the Disneyland Half Weekend 5K and have been hooked since. Being someone who has always seen herself as “not athletic” and couldn’t run 5 min if my life depended on it, RunDisney has helped motivate me to quite a few runs and help me reach my personal goal of running a half marathon last year (and several races since) AND the Rebel Challenge all in the span of less than 2 years. I got lucky that me and my friends got in and will be doing the Wine & Dine this year, which allows me to get my Coast to Coast. I know they are overpriced races but the FUN and enthusiasm and enjoyment I get from these races with my friends are what has been worth it. It’s been really disheartening to read and hear of all the negativity and bashing that has been going on. I don’t know why RunDisney has suddenly gotten an influx of attention and people wanting to do the runs, but it seems to add to this additional feeling of entitlement I see across the board. It’s a fun event and sure we all have complaints (hello, no one is perfect), but to get down right nasty towards other is unnecessary. It absolutely sucks when you don’t get in but think of it this way, then you and your family can be in the park even more AND you have a chance next year to repeat the trip again for the run! (And you get to sleep in instead of waking up at 3AM to stand in corral for an hour in the dark!)

    Oh, and I HATE the people bashing on others who walk or are in the “corral far far away”. Do they have any idea how it feels to work hard towards being able to accomplish a fitness goal like running a half marathon when one has never conceivably thought it was possible to run at all in one’s life? Before you spew out nastiness, elite runners, please remember that not everyone in the world is gifted with your athletic abilities or speed and maybe, just maybe someone else has a story that you could be inspired by if you just put aside your judgments and listen to why they are trying to do something like this in the first place.

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Patty Holliday


If she isn’t chasing her four kids around Northern Virginia, Patty is chasing four bars on her phone to share her authentic and fun stories on social media and her blog, My No-Guilt Life. She’s also one half of the Marvel Moms, an online community for discussing the Marvel fandom. You can catch up on her runDisney fun at No-Guilt Disney.

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