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  1. #1

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    BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    I was amazed to discover that the 5K Family Fun Run they held on Saturday as part of the Disneyland Half-Marathon Weekend went all over the place "Backstage".

    I thought it was going to be cool just running through Disneyland and DCA in the early morning without other people, and that didn't disapoint. The race started near the Pinnochio Lot, wound down the tram route and to the Esplandade, and then into Disneyland and up Main Street. The course had us go over the drawbridge into the Castle and Fantasyland where the Carousel and Dumbo were spinning around with no one on them. We took a left turn like we were going towards Big Thunder Ranch, but there was a giant wall up and we were forced to take a hard right into a very long Backstage tunnel that runs under the old Skyway Station and finally dumped us out behind the Fantasyland Theater. Then it was on through an alley where they store stuff and keep extra Casey Jr. trains and a pond with extra StorybookLand boats, with CM's cheering us on through this alley. Out some big gates back "Onstage" and then through Toontown and back down Small World Mall where Alice, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and the Tweetles were cheering us on.

    When we got to Tomorrowland we headed "Backstage" again, behind Space Mountain and Innoventions and down another long alley with offices and locker rooms. Then past another big office building with Tinkerbell painted on the side, around the ugly backside of Space Mountain with entrances and driveways into underground areas. Finally we jogged past the real Disneyland Fire Station, the backside of the Main Street Opera House and past some CM break areas (that did look pretty barrren and ugly looking) and out on to Main Street again through those big gates where the parade always starts or ends.

    Over to DCA and we did the predictable loop around Grizzly Peak, around Paradise Pier and the lagoon. But then it was "Backstage" again to cut through Fliks Fun Fair and down another alley where we got to see the backside of the Tower structure and all the lighting that illuminates it at night. Back into DCA in Hollywood and on to the finish near Monsters Inc. and Hollywood Blvd.

    All in all it was a great race. They had some of the rides spinning and running with empty vehicles as you ran past, and every so often there would be a clump of Characters waving and yelling you on. The course was lined with what seemed like 8,000 red cones, plus CM's from the Attractions lining the course in their uniforms waving and making sure people didn't run into things when the course got narrow. And there were long stretches of the course that took you "backstage" at Disneyland.

    Did anyone else run in the 5K Fun Run on Saturday? I saw the map for the Half-Marathon that was run this morning, and portions of it went Backstage as well. But not nearly as much as the 5K course went Backstage. There were lots of runners with cameras and video cameras. Who got pictures?!?

  2. #2

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    They go backstage at WDW's marathon too if I'm not mistaken

    "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally!" -Back to the Future

    "With this place, I wanted to give them something real, something that wasn't an illusion, something they could see and touch. An aim devoid of merit."
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  3. #3

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    My friend went to the half marathon today and ended up passing out, luckily his boyfriend was right there with him and medics got there quick. Yeah not so fun.

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    TP2000, Congrats on your 5K! It sounds like you had a lot of fun. I ran the half-marathon today and I'll have pics uploaded soon.

    EagleWings, I'm sorry to hear about your friend, I hope he's ok.

  5. #5

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    Here are a few pictures from the Disneyland Half-Marathon that my wife and I ran today. I'm posting them here because I consider the 5K and Half-Marathon all part of the same "Half-Marathon Event" Weekend.

    There's not much to see in this first photo since it was still dark at 5AM when we started to line up for the race, and yes, we're all CRAZY to get up at 3:30AM to run 13.1 miles.



    Here's the starting line. (I actually started a few blocks back, but the race timer doesn't officially start until you cross the starting line).



    Mickey and Minnie were at the starting line to cheer on the runners.



    After the starting line we ran South on Disneyland drive and then through Calfornia Adventure. I took a bunch of photos here, but they call came out blurry since it was still dark.

    Next we ran across to Disneyland and here's a photo of the "Backstage" area behind Space Mountain. (It was still early, so this photo is a bit dark).



    Next we ran through Tomorrowland, then around the Matterhorn and towards Fantasyland. Here's a picture of us running towards the the castle.



    After running through the castle and we ran around the hub and made our way towards Frontierland.



    We then ran past the Rivers of America to see pirates on the Columbia waving us onwards.





    But of course the pirate everyone wanted to see was on the bridge next to PotC. Here's Jack Sparrow greeting us all.



    We then ran through Adventureland and down Main Street.



    We then exited the park, ran down the tram path, and ran north towards the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.



    Next up for us was a 4 mile run through the streets of Anaheim (and while I know you're all dying to see photos of the streets of Anaheim, I've decided not to include them here ).

    The next "Big Stop" was Anaheim Stadium.



    After a short run through a tunnel we emerged out onto the playing field. At this point everyone started cheering! We were only a few miles away from the finish line now! Yay!



    Here we are rounding Home Plate. They had a live camera just before 3rd base and it was cool to see yourself running on the Jumbotron.




    After leaving the stadium we ran a couple of miles back to Disneyland and here at Mile 12 you can see the ToT in the background.



    Next We ran through through California Adventure again (and since it was daylight now I was able to take a non-blurry photo).



    Then in the final stretch, we ran through Downtown Disney and finished next to the Disneyland Hotel. Yay! We finished!



    As I type this, my legs are so sore that I can barely walk, but if you asked if I would do it again I would definitely say YES! It was a fun and unique experience! And I even stopped for a bunch of Character Photos (even though it cost me a lot of time on my official run timer, but I am a Disney Fan after all).
    Last edited by Noryen; 09-18-2006 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Added More Photos

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    Thank you so much for your description. I, too, ran the 5K on Saturday. I was so thrilled to run through the Disneyland parks I could not recall all of the details you posted. I actually looked through the course that evening to remember all the "secret" passages and realized one was under the old skyway entrance. I had practiced for this race but then actually ran the race too fast. I forgot too many details. I was amazed by the amount of CMs and characters that were along the course. I have been an AP holder for the last few years and consider myself a big Disney fan...but this was truly an amazing experience. My kids ran in the dashes. We had such a good time. I'm not sure if I will run the 5k or the 1/2 marathon next year. I enjoyed reading your post.

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    What was the monorail doing there?

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    Lightbulb Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    Quote Originally Posted by mrfantasmic View Post
    What was the monorail doing there?
    Just to add to the "feeling" of it all. It looked better having one of the mono trains out rather then just an empty beam for the runners to go by.

    Sort of like how they ran most attractions empty, it added to the overall feeling of the race.
    -Wes

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    That's awesome! Congratulations on the run. 5K can be gruling. Someday I would love to have the chance to do this run.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  10. #10

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    I ran the 5K and did take some photos of the backstage areas, but don't know how to post them. Thanks for the recap. I was so focused on keeping a pace that I missed some of it. Congrats to all who participated in both the 5K and 1/2. Those who did the 1/2 - special kudos! It was a wonderful experience, so fun!

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    I ran the half marathon on Sunday and posted my review at MarathonGuide.com. A friend told me about this thread, so I thought I would cross-post it here:

    I was hoping to be able to slam Disney on this race as I am quite angry with them for the very poor judgement they showed in airing that horribly inaccurate docu-drama about September 11th. But I can not do like them and lie; the race was a blast.

    There were 12,000 runners entered into the race and I suspect almost all showed up. Packet pick-up was at the Disneyland Hotel on Friday and Saturday with the race on Sunday. I picked up my packet on Saturday afternoon and experienced no lines whatsoever. The volunteers were friendly and helpful. I heard from another runner that the lines were pretty bad on Friday. That was probably due to the 5K runners also registering at that time. The Expo itself was small but I personally donít care much about those things and was just going to get my packet.
    The race was scheduled to start at 6 AM but Disney asked that runners arrive no later than 4:30 AM. From 4:30 to 5 AM, we were all corralled together. A stage was setup with an MC and music being played. Disney had "Army Soldier" characters on stage to entertain us. Disney required that you check your bag during this time, which left you pretty cold without your warm-ups until race start. In this area, Disney had set up probably hundreds of port-a-potties but that still wasnít enough. The lines werenít bad but the toilets quickly were filled to capacity and the smell was horrendous.

    At 5 AM, Disney placed us in one of five corrals that was printed on your bib. They had excellent organization directing you to your correct corral. It was pretty crowded in these corals and cold but they kept us entertained with messages and information. The race started pretty near right on time and your start time was set to when you crossed the start line, which was nice for those in the back corrals that probably started 15 minutes later than the first.

    The first few miles of the route took us into the Disney parks. They had characters and music at many locations. Some of the distance within the parks took us to "behind the scenes" areas, which was interesting to see. After that, the route took us out on to the streets of Anaheim. The volunteers for the city deserve the greatest praise, they did a great job blocking traffic, encouraging runners and keeping us supplied with fluids. We ran past high school bands, cheer squads, mariachi bands and even some Hawaiian group.

    Around the ninth mile, we entered the Angels baseball stadium and did a lap most of the way around the field. That was probably the coolest part of the run. They had the announcer calling out our names on the PA system and had video of us up on their jumbo screen in center field.
    The rest of the run took us back onto the streets of Anaheim and then back into Disneyland to the finish line. The crowds were great towards the end really inspiring us to move onward.

    Water stations were set up at about 1.25 mile intervals. Port-a-potties were near or at most of these stations. There were lines at just about every port-a-potty.

    For running in the race, we received a long-sleeve synthetic running shirt. For finishing, we received a pretty good sized race medal. After the race, we were offered solar blankets, bottles of water and power-aide. They had a tent set up with bagels, bananas, yogurt, oranges, muffins and probably more.

    Again, they really did a nice job. Hopefully, next year they will be better prepared with the port-a-potties.

  12. #12

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    Sounds like it was pretty good time, esp. for their first time, and hoprfully they will learn a bit from the potty situation!

    And i WILL do this next year dang it!!
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  13. #13

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    Re: BACKSTAGE Disneyland 5K Fun Run

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley815 View Post
    Just to add to the "feeling" of it all. It looked better having one of the mono trains out rather then just an empty beam for the runners to go by.

    Sort of like how they ran most attractions empty, it added to the overall feeling of the race.
    Yep, it was the for atmosphere, but I must admit it was extremely cool to see Disney characters hanging out the windows cheering us on.

    Here's a photo. (Sorry that it's blurry... Running + out of flash range = A bad picture)

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