runDisney made a huge announcement today: you can join Club runDisney and have access to a load of race related perks. Cool? Definitely. Or Maybe. Depends on how you want to look at this. One of the perks included is esentially paying for better runDisney corral placement… and that’s got the runDisney community talking. Here’s how you can join Club runDisney, why you might want to, and why it just may not be for you. Let’s discuss.
Alright, we gotta talk about this. Because there’s a lot to unpack with the Club runDisney announcement and I think my emotions and thoughts have run all over the place with this.
So let’s take a deep breath, settle in, and break it down with the pros and cons of the Club runDisney membership.
And yes, we’re going to talk about the upgraded pay to play runDisney corral placement issue.
What is Club runDisney?
runDisney introduced Club runDisney, a new membership opportunity for runners. Want to be a member of the club thats made for runners like you and me?
You can: you just gotta pay for it starting February 18, 2020.
How Long is the Club runDisney Membership?
Club runDisney will be a one-year membership program that runs from October 1, 2020, to September 20, 2021.
What Membership Levels Will Club runDisney Offer and Which Ones Get Better runDisney Corral Placement?
There will be three memberships levels:
1. SILVER Club runDisney Membership Price $265.43
Please note: there are a limited number of Club runDisney Silver Memberships available
- Member Welcome Package*
- Member Jacket, Club runDisney Magnet, Membership Card
- Tier 1 Pricing Year-Round for available runDisney Races**
- Exclusive 2020 Club runDisney Virtual 10K – October 2020*
- Club runDisney designation on race bibs**
2. GOLD Club runDisney Membership Price $478.63
Please note: there are a limited number of Club runDisney Gold Memberships available
- Silver Benefits Plus…
- A guaranteed opportunity to purchase one (1) spot in the half marathon or greater distances each race weekend through early registration.***
3. PLATINUM Club runDisney Membership Price $798.43
Please note: there are a limited number of Club runDisney Platinum Memberships available
- Gold Benefits Plus…
- A guaranteed opportunity to purchase one (1) spot in one distance each race weekend through early registration .***
- Club runDisney Expo Experience including:
- Club runDisney Lounge with convenient Packet Pick-Up
- Early access to runDisney Merchandise Shop with special Character Meet & Greet opportunity
- Upgraded runDisney corral placement
Want more Club runDisney FAQs? Check out LolaLambchops for details.
Who Is Club runDisney For?
In theory for everyone- I mean, that’s what runDisney is hoping for, anyway. They are a business, they want to be profitable, the more people that sign up for this membership, the more profit they earn.
If you have the money, this club is for you!
And I totally get that from a business perspective.
But in reality? I think this membership program probably works for a specific subset of runners.
Who is Club runDisney for? Here are some possible “avatars” of the ideal Club runDisney member (nothing scientific, just me guessing based on what I know about the product, the culture, the perks, and the costs involved).
- DVC Members. These folks are already sold on Disney vacations for life and are likely AP holders. Their race weekend financial output is likely much smaller each race weekend than non-DVC runners. They likely have some disposable income to spend on a membership since they are not paying for a room and ticket package for each race weekend.
- Big runDisney Fangirls and Guys. Since the perks associated with the membership include things like club jackets and special bibs for races, this would appeal to those mega-fans of the culture.
- Groups of friends or families. Those who want to guarantee entry to a race or the same corral and who love to shop at the expo will benefit from this membership program.
- Back of the Pack Runners. There’s no other way around this: some of us back of the packers would pay a little more to get a time cushion on the course from the runDisney Balloon Ladies. Pay $800 for that perk? I guess time will tell- but yes, you can now pay for better runDisney corral placement. More on this in a minute.
Who Is Probably NOT Going To Buy Club runDisney?
Well, me, for one.
And I think many long-time runDisney participants might not be interested in this as well.
I don’t hate this idea, I just don’t feel compelled to shell out any more dollars to runDisney than I already do.
I mean, look, I love runDisney myself, but I don’t need a special jacket or bib to show my love.I also don’t care much about race merchandise so I don’t need early access to that.
I’ve been there done that enough that I know the value of a race weekend for me are the relationships I’ve fostered from the community and the on-course experience I get.
Give me more characters on the course! That’s what I get excited about.
Plus: I have an entire website devoted to my love of the brand, so really, I think I’m good.
But the devil is in the details, as they say, and for a one-time a year runDisney runner, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of tangible value vs the cost being charged.
I can’t say I’d recommend it to a one-time a year first-time runner.
Not when you can register with a travel agent in advance to secure your bib and not even remotely risk getting shut out of a race.
Paying For a Better runDisney Corral Placement
There is nothing- and I mean NOTHING- more discussed in runDisney circles than race corral placements.
And this is the most problematic and controversial aspect of the program.
Corral placement is earned by submitting proof of time if you think you will be finishing faster than 2:45 for a half marathon.
If you buy the Platinum Club runDisney package, you will be eligible for a corral upgrade simply by paying for the membership free.
And guys? runDisney had this out in a post-race survey before.
So there are absolutely people who are interested in this option. That’s why it’s been added to this program.
Who Would This Upgraded runDisney Corral Placement Impact?
According to the FAQs, if you earn a higher corral via your proof of time, you will keep that corral. In other words, I don’t think this is an across the board bump for all Club runDisney runners.
Example 1: Proof of time puts you in C but you are Club runDisney. Does this mean you get bumped to B or A? Not the way I’m reading it. It sounds like you’ll stay in your assigned corral. If getting a better corral was reason for you to pay the Platinum price: you’re welcome I just saved you some coin. You don’t need it.
Example 2: You don’t have proof of time, or your proof of time (POT) is slower than 2:46. You would get bumped up in corrals. The details are not specific, but the speculation is that you’d be bumped to the corral that is typically the cut off for proof of time. That’s generally F corral. So a non-POT runner would benefit by 1 or 2 corral bump.
Is this a good plan? Is this fair? Is this worth it?
All good questions- and ones I think runDisney needs to hear. I’m still thinking on this and need more details. And you can bet I’ll be at the runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo asking #allthequestions.
If you can’t be at the Expo, be sure to contact them via email or phone if you have concerns or feelings about the program and what it means for the enjoyment of your race experience.
I’m also happy to go in armed with a list of questions we need answers to. Let me know what you want to know!
Tell me what you think in the No-Guilt Disney Facebook Group. I’d love to hear how runners are taking this news.
Patty Holliday has been running Disney since 2011. She knows just about every tip, trick, and hack there is to cover the runDisney Magical Miles at Disney World and Disneyland. She knows every mile isn’t *always* magical- but with training, tips, and a little bit of pixie dust, they can be a lot of fun! You can also find her at noguilttravel.com and noguiltfangirl.com