Ok so this was our very first time doing a Fun Run, it was amazing for him and a bit of a challenge for me.
I signed up for the Disney Run newsletter after trying for 2 years to get a spot to do this fun run. I wanted to see if Jayden would love running as much as I did growing up. I also ran the 100 and 200 meter in high school and was hoping that Jayden would follow in my footsteeps one day. I was hoping for this to be a turning point for him, to get him a little more into sports. After 2 years of trying to get us a fun run spot I was finally able to pay and get Jayden a spot. I think it cost me about $30, not too bad.
Leading up to the event I was hoping for a little more clarity on what was going to take place for the kids run and not just for the adults running in the 5k and 10k race. The website and pdf files were not that clear so let me help you out.
Here is what you may not know:
Is the Kids Fun Run inside Disneyland? No, it's in a parking lot and through Downtown Disney. No need to buy a ticket to the park unless you want to go after the race.
Do you have to attend the expo on opening day or day before to get the kids bibs and shirt? No.
What time should the kids arrive? The race was at 9am and we got there at 4:30am with the other runners like the website said. That was way too early! Get there around 7:30am and there wont be a long line to go through bag check and get your bib at the information booth. After that you hang out around the ESPN area and can grab a quick snack or two until about 8:45am and then walk to the Kids Area to line up.
What happens at the race? After you get yout bib and it's 9am you line up in a parking lot for the kids. They are divided by goups, 100, 200 and 400 meter runners. Each child has 1 parent with them or the child can go alone while the parent waits at the finish line. I walked with Jayden. The 100 meter went first and we waited in the sun. Next the 400 meter was sent to our starting point, near the parking area along the movie theater. Next the 200 meter lined up at their starting point. Once the 200 meter ran their race it was time for the 400 meters to run. Some parent escorted thier children to the front of the line and had them stand there while they walked back to the finish line so they could cheer them on and be there when thier kids finished. A group of about 6 kids lined up and they said GO! Then another 6 and another 6. They yelled go about every 20-30 seconds giving each group of six a chance to get ahead. Parents could run along side thier kids or walk, yeah I walked with my camera and back pack getting high fives from the cheer squad long the way lol.
Where do I park? If you are not staying at the Disneyland hotel I would park near the movie parking closer to Downtown Disney. We parked in the Disneyland handicapped parking structure and had to pay $18 to park.
Is it safe? Yes. At the top of the bib was a rip off ticket that the parent keeps. Once the child finishes he or she is given a medal, banana, water, and protein bar and they wait for the parent to find them or catch up with them after running. It took me about 3-4 minutes to find Jayden and he was standing a spot with a volunteer so he wouldn't get scared. I did hear over the loud speaker announcements for about 2 kids that couldn't find their parents. In order to leave out of the area you had to turn in your rip off ticket that they matched up to the bib the kids were wearing.
Is it safe for the kids? Yes. There was no pushing. There was no loosers. Everyone was a winner and everyone was very supportive of each other and each other's children.
After the race is over what do you do? Enjoy yourself because it's over. Go to downtown Disney or Disneyland and have a blast.
Do you have to dress up in costume? No but it's just cute when they do. Kids see other characters and they think it's cool to have Captain America running alongside the Hulk and Iron Man.
Would you go again? Yes, however I was treated so rudly by the actual paid staff that works there that it gives me pause. Jayden loved it but it's already Novmber 17th and most of the 2016 races are sold out until September 2016, which isn't a themed race. Jayden will be 8 next year and that's the oldest age you can be for the Kid Fun Run. If I can snag a ticket for the September race then I will but I'm not activley trying hard to get it because I can't deal with racism from staff members, I just can't see myself giving them my money to be ignored, while handicapped and in pain. Plus I'm a season pass holder and this experience and the increase in prices makes me want to cancel and not renew my passes to the theme park.