It’s International Hollywood Studios Awareness Week! This is the third year Studios Central has been hosting this week in honor of what I agree is the best park in Walt Disney World. I’ve enjoyed reading it for the past two years and I’m so excited to participate this year!
Ever since the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler was announced in late 2011, there has been a lot of buzz about this race. A 10 mile race is a great distance for beginner runners who are looking to take the next step from a 5K, but aren’t quite ready for a half marathon yet, and it gives more experienced runners a new challenge to get a faster time on a shorter course. Also, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a favorite attraction at Walt Disney World (it’s definitely my favorite!) and was once popular race theme in the now defunct 13K, which was last held in 2009. Once the (really cool!) medal was released, the excitement continued to grow and the race sold out soon thereafter.
I’ve never seen a Disney race sell out so fast or have such popularity, which led me to wonder…
- Why was the decision made to bring back The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror theme and add an additional nighttime race to the runDisney lineup?
- How many runners will be participating in The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler?
- Was Disney surprised by how quickly the race sold out?
- Can we expect any surprises on the race course given that this is the inaugural year?
Well, the great folks over at Disney Sports were nice enough to provide me with some answers!
Overall, I was glad to hear that they are listening. Feedback from post race surveys, social media, and letters are all taken into account when forming a new Disney race. Of course this goes along with many other factors such as season, other resort events, and demand.
For The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler, they fell that “the theme, along with the new 10-mile distance, is a great combination runDisney fans will be very excited about. In addition, night races have proven to be extremely popular among runDisney guests, first with the previous The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 13K event and now with the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. [They] feel that a night race is the best way to deliver the thrills and chills of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ and the entire Halloween season at WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort.” Now really, what better way to kickstart the season than in the shadows of the Tower of Terror?!
Since the race sold out so quickly, I was most interested in how many people were actually registered for the race. When I ran the Princess Half Marathon, there were over 20,000 runners and I couldn’t imagine that was the case for this race. Not only would it be unheard of the sell out a race that large so quickly, I couldn’t imagine all of those runners converging on Disney’s Hollywood Studios after the race for the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash. In fact, the race was originally only open to 8,000 participants, but due to “the overwhelmingly positive response, [they] expanded to 10,000,” which they weren’t surprised by because the original 13K was so popular. I think that 10,000 runners is a great number because it will allow for some breathing room on the race course, but will also still maintain the energy of a great Disney race.
Lastly, I wanted to know about any surprises that might be in store given that it’s the inaugural year of this race. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of an answer because then it would really be a surprise, would it? They were kind enough to say that “given the race is all about the ‘thrills’ associated with The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and running at night, I think it’s safe to say the creative minds on our Entertainment team will have a few surprises in store for our runners.” Well that’s exciting enough for me! I can’t wait to see everything that will be in store for us. Let’s hope the majority of that is focused on Osceola Parkway
I’m really looking forward to getting my next piece of Disney bling…will I see you there?