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?!?