runDisney’s Enchanted 10K at Disneyland: A Disney Villain Lover’s Paradise

After running the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare in 2013, I decided that was my last Dumbo Double Dare. It was hard work, two very early mornings, and I was too tired to enjoy Disneyland. So last year and this year, I signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon only. I’ve run the Disneyland Half Marathon every year since it started (which, in runDisney parlance, makes me a Legacy runner) and I will run it for as long as I’m able. That all changed in May, when the theme of the Disneyland 10K was “leaked” during Disneyland’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend.

DLHW ESPN Zone's Marquee

DLHW ESPN Zone’s Marquee

The image above (which appeared on the ESPN marquee as we walked to the starting line on race day) appeared on the Galloway training schedule. Social media immediately erupted in speculation about what the actual Disneyland 10K theme would be, centering around villains and Snow White. I’m a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fan and I love the Disney villains, especially Chernabog and Evil Queen, so I went on the hunt immediately for a 10K bib (the race had sold out long before). Luckily, my travel agent, Get Travel, had just had a cancellation, so I was able to secure the 10K entry.

The pre-race events were pretty much business as usual:  the usual long merchandise line at the expo, the usual sell-out of merchandise, (because runDisney doesn’t limit race merchandise sales to race participants; the 10K “I Did It” shirt sold out before or early Friday), the packet pick-up, the early race morning, the corral jumpers, etc. However, the race itself was so much more fun than I’d anticipated! Even knowing the theme, I was happily surprised both by the mile markers and the on-course entertainment.

Another stalwart in the runDisney canon is the start/finish line.  There is no skimping here.  Each race has its own start and finish line decor, matching the theme of the race.

DLHW Enchanted 10k Start Line

DLHW Enchanted 10k Start Line

DLHW Rudy Novotny Sending Us on Our Way

DLHW Rudy Novotny Sending Us on Our Way

 

Each mile marker had a different villain and not always the obvious ones. I laughed out loud when I got to Mile 2 and shivered with joyful trepidation at Mile 6.

DLHW Mile Marker 1 - Jafar

DLHW Mile Marker 1 – Jafar

DLHW Mile Marker 2 - Mother Goethel

DLHW Mile Marker 2 – Mother Goethel

DLHW Mile Marker 3 - Ursula

DLHW Mile Marker 3 – Ursula

DLHW Mile Marker 4 - Frollo

DLHW Mile Marker 4 – Frollo

DLHW Mile Marker 5 - Old Hag

DLHW Mile Marker 5 – Old Hag

DLHW Mile Marker 6 - Mirror Mirror

DLHW Mile Marker 6 – Mirror Mirror

 

In addition to the characters on the course, there were also hype crews, wearing special t-shirts and cheering us on, and Disney Bounders. This is the first time I’ve seen official Disney Bounders on a runDisney course. Disney Bounders are people who dress in a style that evokes a Disney element, but doesn’t cross the ephemeral line to being an actual costume. I saw Dr. Facilier and Ursula bounders and heard via social media that there was a Mr. Smee on the course, too. The official use by Disney of bounders is intriguing. I wonder if we’ll start seeing lines of merchandise that facilitate bounding and what the bouding community thinks of that. Dr. Facilier was an especially interesting choice, because the Dr. Facilier character was on the course a couple of miles later.  I saw the Ursula bounder on the marathon course, too.

DLHW Dr. Facilier Bounder on the 10k Course

DLHW Dr. Facilier Bounder on the 10k Course

DLHW Ursula Bounder Half Marathon

DLHW Ursula Bounder Half Marathon

 

The characters on the Enchanted 10k course made this one of my favorite runDisney events. They dug deep and gave us a unique Disney experience. Serious bang for our bucks here.  They lead us in gently, with Lotso greeting us at Toy Story Midway Mania.

DLHW Lotso on the 10k Course

DLHW Lotso on the 10k Course

 

King John, of Robin Hood fame, came next, followed closely by Dr. Facilier, outside of the Animation Academy.

DLHW King John on the 10k Course

DLHW King John on the 10k Course

DLHW Dr. Facilier on the 10k Course

DLHW Dr. Facilier on the 10k Course

 

Evil Queen and Red Queen were holding court in front of it’s a small world.

DLHW Evil Queen on the 10k Course

DLHW Evil Queen on the 10k Course

DLHW Red Queen on the 10k Course

DLHW Red Queen on the 10k Course

 

Then we headed backstage where a series of Disney Did You Know signs motivated us further. I think my favorite is the one directed at the runners.

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 1

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 1

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 2

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 2

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 3

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 3

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 4

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 4

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 4

DLHW Disneyland Did You Know Sign 4

 

When we looped back into Disneyland via Toon Town, I decided to run back over to it’s a small world to see if different characters had come out and, boy, am I glad I did! I’ve seen Governor Ratcliffe out in other events.

DLHW Governor Ratcliffe on the 10k Course

DLHW Governor Ratcliffe on the 10k Course

 

I have NEVER seen his companion out at any Disney event, runDisney, parade, party . . . never.

DLHW Shan Yu on the 10k Course

DLHW Shan Yu on the 10k Course

 

In case you’re wondering, that is Shan Yu, the Hun attacking Mulan’s troop and the emperor in MULAN!

Mr. Smee (Captain Hook had apparently run off after Peter Pan) was cheering us all along at King Arthur Carrousel.

DLHW Mr. Smee on the 10k Course

DLHW Mr. Smee on the 10k Course

 

Our final foray through the park took us out via Critter Country, where Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear were looking for Br’er Rabbit.

DLHW Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear on the 10k Course

DLHW Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear on the 10k Course

DLHW Br'er Fox on the 10k Course

DLHW Br’er Fox on the 10k Course

 

Cruella De Vil and Jafar were bringing the runners in, with Rudy Novotny and Carissa Bealert, the voices of runDisney.

DLHW Cruella De Vil at the 10k Finish Line

DLHW Cruella De Vil at the 10k Finish Line

DLHW Rudy Novotny and Carissa Bealert at the 10k Finish Line

DLHW Rudy Novotny and Carissa Bealert at the 10k Finish Line

DLHW Enchanted 10k Finish Line

DLHW Enchanted 10k Finish Line

 

My favorite costume on the 10K course was a team of the Little Green Aliens from Toy Story. They even held squeakers in their hand and squeaked their way through the course. Happy!

DLHW Little Green Aliens on 10k Course

DLHW Little Green Aliens on 10k Course

 

This was my favorite runDisney 10K and my favorite 10K ever! How often do you get to see Shan Yu, King John, and the Splash Mountain Br’ers in the parks? The medal, the bib, and the t-shirt are some of the best runDisney has designed.

DLHW 10k Race Shirt, Bib, and Medal

DLHW 10k Race Shirt, Bib, and Medal

DLHW 10k Medal

DLHW 10k Medal

 

My thumbnails and the buttons I used to pin my bib to my shirt are the closest I get to dressing in costume.  I guess you could call me a running bounder.

DLHW Villains Nails for Enchanted 10k

DLHW Villains Nails for Enchanted 10k

 

I’m not going to sign up for the Dumbo Double Dare next year, but might be tempted back in to the 10K, if they do another fun theme like this one. Or, maybe, I’ll volunteer for the 10K. If I do, I’ll report back about how volunteering for runDisney works. All of the volunteers on the course were smiling, cheering, and genuinely seemed happy to be there, despite the early hours. Thank you to all of the volunteers, the runDisney team, and the cast members who were there for an early morning, especially Third Shift Custodial, and the one who shouted, “You don’t have Jafar to go now!”

DLHW Third Shift Custodial Workers on the 10k Course

DLHW Third Shift Custodial Workers on the 10k Course

 

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About George Gensler

George Gensler is a copyrights specialist during the week and a runner on the weekends. She lives in New York City now, but has lived in five countries on three continents. She grew up traveling the world, but her official residence was in Southern California and every visit home included a trip to Disneyland. She has also visited every Disney Park around the world and sailed on board two Disney cruises. She threw in a visit to the Disney Family museum in San Francisco for good measure, and has had the Premier Disney Park Pass since its inception.