There is an old adage that there can be too much of a good thing. I believe I may have experienced this in my life a few times, typically after Thanksgiving dinner laying on a couch. So I ask the question is it possible to have too many runDisney events? My first response would be no way! How is this possible? Our friends at runDisney have recently introduced several new events and challenges for the running community. They added the Dumbo Dare Challenge (10k race and Half Marathon) at Disneyland, a new 10k race and Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World (5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon in 4 consecutive days) and now a new Coast to Coast challenge with two 10k races at WDW and two 10k races at Disneyland. Whew! almost too many to keep track of. So again I ask the question are all these new races and challenges too much of a good thing?
So I will start first on the side that there are now too many new races. One of the things about any event is the special or unique aspect of it. When something only happens once or only once in a while it creates a special or unique feel to the event. When you add similar events to the calendar you immediately take away from the original event. I understand why runDisney has added these new events but what they have also done is try to recreate unique experiences over and over again. I would argue that limiting events keeps the events that you do have on a special, unique level. Demand is created by limiting the opportunities to participate in something, your guests will plan well ahead of time to make sure they are available when those events come around. If I know I can skip something because it is going to happen just a few weeks later then the unique, special quality of that event no longer exists. The coast to coast challenge (running in both WDW and Disneyland in the same calendar year) was a special accomplishment so by adding another chance to complete this I feel as though it has lessened the accomplishment. Make people wait or plan around your events, that makes those who complete this challenge to feel special, part of a unique club. I am sure runDisney has heard complaints of runners left out of the special challenges and races and thus they added more, but I argue that those left out the first time would make sure next time around this would not happen to them.
I believe I can also argue the other side and say that there cannot be enough runDisney experiences. The identity of a runDisney race is special in the run community because of where you get to run. Both parks provide the runner the opportunity to run through all the parks and enjoy the characters and special touches that runDisney has to offer. I can attest that almost no other running event offers such special and unique opportunities. Disney fans come almost certainly for those reasons, so the more chances you give a Disney fan to be a part of these experiences the more they will take the opportunity. By adding races you give a wider audience a chance to experience these events and therefore become hooked on other races that runDisney has to offer. I do applaud them for offering races of all distances so that almost no one is left out as far a race is concerned. I love that runDisney events can be for the whole family and allow everyone to have an amazing weekend of memories and accomplishments. It is also obvious that runDisney is trying to strike while the iron is hot and see how far they can grow their brand and races. I do believe they will hit a saturation point and will slowly eliminate some races but who can blame them for trying to go as far as the run public allows them.
So in conclusion I lean toward the side of . . . let’s wait and see. My best guess is that some of the races that exist today will not exist in the future, because runDisney will learn in the next few years which races the public loves and which races the public is so so on. Perfecting your brand is something all businesses experiment with and runDisney is no different. It will be interesting to see how things go in the upcoming years and in the mean time get out and experience a race yourself and have an amazing time doing it.