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Nick Arciniaga Wins First-Ever Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort

posted on January 18th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Nick Arciniaga wins inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon

The Force was strong with Nick Arciniaga this morning at the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at the Disneyland Resort. The Fountain Valley, Calif. native made the jump to hyperspace to win with a time of 1:08:13. Jennifer Berry, 34, of Denver, blasted across the finish line as the female winner with a personal record of 1:22:34. Both athletes won the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon, and Berry was also the top female finisher at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon this year at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Jennifer Berry wins third runDisney race in five months

Arciniaga and Berry outran a galaxy of more than 12,200 runners in the new 13.1-mile intergalactic journey through Disneyland Resort and Anaheim area streets where a variety of Disney entertainment, including Star Wars characters, cheered on runners at every mile.

2015 Star Wars Half Marathon
More than 23,000 runners started races during the four-day event weekend, which included a variety of race experiences for all levels, from Padawans to Jedi Masters – the runDisney Kids Races, the Star Wars 5K, the Star Wars 10K and the Star Wars Half Marathon. And for an ultimate test for Star Wars rebels, there was the Star Wars Rebel Challenge – a two-race challenge that combined the Star Wars 10K on Saturday with the Star Wars Half Marathon on Sunday. Jedi runners who finished the 19.3-mile challenge earned a special Star Wars Rebel Challenge finisher medal in addition to medals for the 10K and half marathon.

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The Winner of the ESPN Cheer On Your Disney Side Contest is …

posted on January 12th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


The votes are counted and the results are in. The winner of the ESPN Cheer On Your Disney Side contest is – Rutgers University!

After casting more than 47,000 votes, you selected the Scarlet Knights as the top cheer and dance squad in the national competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Parks and Varsity Spirit.

Dozens of schools from across the country submitted routines choreographed to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs. Four finalists were selected by a panel of judges; Auburn University, Louisiana State University, Rutgers University and Santa Monica College. Today, Rutgers will be announced as the winner on ESPN during the network’s pre-game coverage of the College Football Playoff National Championship.

The Scarlet Knight dance squad wins a $100,000 grant from ESPN and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

The Knights winning routine was inspired by “it’s a small world” and featured team members dressed as their favorite Disney princesses. Lacking energy and enthusiasm, the Scarlet Knight brings the princesses together to inspire the squad and bring back their spirit.

Congratulations to Rutgers University and all the schools who shared their Disney Side.

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Brazilian Runners Dominate Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on January 11th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


After four days of runDisney events, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna wrapped up this morning with more than 26,700 registered runners competing in the marathon. Runners from more than 60 countries and all 50 states made the 26.2 mile trek through all four Disney theme parks, Walt Disney World Speedway and ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Waiting for them at the finish line was the commemorative Mickey Finisher Medal.

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For the second year in a row, Fredison Costa from Brazil, who recently moved to Orlando to train, finished with a time of 2:18:06 and ran away with the overall title. Brazilians dominated the event by taking the top four positions in the men’s division.

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Giovanna Martins continued the Brazilian domination as the top female winner, with a finishing time of 2:50:20.

The marathon capped off a four-day celebration of running that included a 5K, 10K, half marathon and kids races.

For the first time, friends and family of runners were able to watch a live video stream of the start and finish lines of the half and full marathon on the Disney Parks Blog. Runners are invited to go the Disney Parks Blog to replay and relive their accomplishment.

But before you do that, here is a chance for you to relive this morning’s race.

Next up, Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, January 15-18.

For more information on runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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Replay Our Live Stream of The Walt Disney World Marathon

posted on January 11th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


This is your chance to share in the excitement of a runDisney start and finish line. You can now watch a replay of your friends, family and thousands from around the world start and finish the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna. The 26.2-mile journey started just outside Epcot on Epcot Center Drive, and took runners through the Magic Kingdom, on the track of the Walt Disney World Speedway, through Animal Kingdom, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and finished in the shadow of Spaceship Earth outside Epcot.

Below is a choice of two live streams. The first includes the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The second, an uninterrupted stream from the finish line.

You can join in the runDisney social media conversation by using #WDWMarathon.

For more information on the half marathon, marathon and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

Walt Disney World Marathon:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Marathon, click here.

Walt Disney World Marathon Finish Line:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Marathon Finish Line, click here.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Replay Our Live Stream of The Walt Disney World Half Marathon

posted on January 10th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


This is your chance to replay the excitement of a runDisney start and finish line. Check out replays of our live streams from earlier today as your friends, family and thousands from around the world start and finish the Walt Disney World Half Marathon presented by Cigna. The 13.1-mile journey started just outside Epcot on Epcot Center Drive, and took runners to the Magic Kingdom, through Cinderella Castle, back to Epcot, past Spaceship Earth, and finished in the Epcot parking area.

Your chance to track, watch runners cross the finish line and share in their celebration “live” begins by viewing the video feeds below.

Below is a choice of two live streams. The first includes the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The second, an uninterrupted stream from the finish line.

You can join in the runDisney social media conversation by using #WDWHalf.

For more information on the half marathon, marathon and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Start Line:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon Start Line, click here.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Finish Line:

To view the full size version of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon Finish Line, click here.

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Watch Walt Disney World Half & Full Marathons Live On The Disney Parks Blog

posted on January 8th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


We are off and running – literally. This morning the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna officially got underway with the Walt Disney World 5K.

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It was exciting to join thousands of runners at Epcot and brave the unseasonable cool temperature and run the 3.1 mile course around World Showcase, past Spaceship Earth, and cross the finish line to earn a runDisney 5K finisher medal. The costumes, energy and Disney spirit were amazing. It was fun to see first-time runners, and runners of all ages and nationalities enjoying the fun run.

This morning’s run kicks off a four-day celebration of running, which includes runDisney Kids’ Races, Walt Disney World 10K tomorrow, Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday and Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday.

That leads me to share some exciting news. The Disney Parks Blog and runDisney want to share the excitement of the start and finish lines of our events. Building off the success of live video streams for the holidays, we will “live’ stream the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday.

Family and friends, and those wanting to see what a runDisney event is all about, will be able to visit the Disney Parks Blog both days starting at 5 a.m., and watch the start and finish of both races. You will be able to track, watch runners cross the finish line and share in their celebration.

We are always looking for ways to enhance our runner and guest experience, and hope this live stream allows you to share in the magic of a runDisney event.

For more information on runner tracking and runDisney events, visit runDisney.com.

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Sign Up for the runDisney ‘McFarland, USA’ Blog Meet-Up

posted on January 7th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


UPDATE: This event has been filled to capacity. Please CLICK HERE to view a list of the accepted event attendees. If you are on the list and do not receive a confirmation email by 7 p.m. EST today, please contact us at WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com.

We’ve just finalized exciting plans for a runDisney Blog Meet-Up and it’s one you’ll not want to miss. On Sunday January 11, 2015, we’re offering the opportunity to be part of a special preview screening of Disney’s “McFarland, USA” at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort before it opens in U.S. theaters on February 20.

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Our runDisney Blog Meet-Up begins at 4:00 p.m. EST (doors open at 3:00 p.m.) at Downtown Disney on Sunday, January 11, 2015.

At the event, you’ll see “McFarland, USA,” which is based on the 1987 true story that follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) — a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Soon something beyond their physical gifts become apparent — the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic.

RSVP for the meet-up now by sending us an email with your name, address and if you’ll be bringing a guest to WDW.BlogMeetUps@disney.com. Only one guest is permitted. A limited number of attendees will be selected for the event, so be one of the first to sign up.

Also, there are a few things you should know:

  • All attendees who sign up for the event must be 18 years or older, but guests do not need to be 18 or older.
  • Disney “McFarland, USA” is rated PG.
  • Limit one guest per registrant.
  • We will send an email to individuals whose valid RSVPs are received by us via email before we reach the planned capacity to confirm their attendance for the event.
  • If confirmed, it will be necessary for the registrant and guest to check in at Downtown Disney for access to the event. The confirmation will include those details.
  • Valid photo I.D. will be required at check-in.
  • Meet-up confirmations are non-transferrable and have no cash value.
  • Confirmation will be for the accepted registered person and guest.
  • If you do not receive an email from us confirming your reservation, then your RSVP was not accepted.
  • The event is subject to change or cancellation without notice.
  • This post will be updated after capacity has been reached.

Also, here are some other things to know:

  • This is an advance screening of the film. Closed Captioning and Descriptive Video services may not be available.
  • Please arrive early. No one will be admitted late. We may refuse, revoke or limit admission in our sole discretion at any time.
  • NO RECORDING

The screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any video or audio recording devices (including, without limitation, cameras) into the venue and you consent to a physical search of your belongings and person for recording devices. If you attempt to enter with a recording device, you will be denied admission. If you attempt to use a recording device during this screening, you consent to your immediate removal from the venue and forfeiture of your recording device and its contents. Any attempted unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability. We reserve the right to pursue any and all available remedies at law and in equity for any unauthorized recording and/or copyright infringement, including without limitation statutory damages of up to $150,000 per violation, and nothing contained in this notice shall be construed to limit our available remedies and/or legal recourse. You assume all risks of personal injury arising from or incidental to attending the screening, whether occurring prior to, during, or after the event. Further, by attending you grant permission to Disney Destinations, LLC, its licensees, licensors, affiliates and agents, to record and utilize your name, voice and likeness to publicize the screening and promote the movie.

Hope to see you there.

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Go Retro With The 2015 New Balance runDisney Shoes

posted on January 6th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


What better way to kick-off the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna then to unveil the new 2015 New Balance runDisney shoes.

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Inspired by the Disney classic Steamboat Willie, the limited edition Retro Mickey and Retro Minnie 990v3 shoes will be available for the first time at this weekend’s runDisney Health and Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The retro black and white shoes feature musical notes around the front sole, classic images of Mickey and Minnie, character signatures and other hidden Disney surprises.

Now, if you are a fan of the 2014 New Balance runDisney shoes I have additional good news. Due to popular demand, a limited number of the 860v4 Sorcerer Mickey and Pink Minnie, as well as the 890v4 Goofy and Cinderella shoes will be available at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at Disneyland Resort, January 15 – 18.

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The new Retro Mickey and Minnie 990v3 shoes will only be available at Health and Fitness Expos during runDisney event weekends. To minimize waiting in line for shoes, New Balance has created a virtual queue to let you know when it’s your turn to be fitted and make your purchase. Starting on Wednesday, January 7, starting at 6 a.m. runners can sign up at NBvirtualqueue.com using their bib number, and all other guests can sign up Thursday, Jan. 8, starting at 6 am. Be sure to visit NBvirtualqueue.com to get all the details on ordering and pick-up. For more information on runDisney event weekends, including Health and Fitness Expo dates and hours, visit runDisney.com.

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Santa Monica College Cheers On Their Disney Side

posted on December 24th, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


It may be a small world but the Santa Monica College cheer squad is big when showing their Disney Side and love for one of the most beloved attractions at Disney. Celebrating team and campus diversity, the cheer squad used their memories of “it’s a small world” to choreograph a routine for the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Destinations and Varsity Spirit.

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The video follows four young park guests through the attraction as they experience everything from the famous boat ride, to beautiful costumes and a cultural celebration.

Santa Monica College is one of four finalists in the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition, alongside Auburn, Louisiana State University and Rutgers University. Dozens of universities from across the country submitted videos choreographed to one of four Disney Parks-inspired songs. The winning squad will earn a $100,000 grant for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

How will the best cheer be selected? By your vote!

Guests are asked to go to Espn.com/CheerMagic to view and vote for their favorite video from the final four. The school with the most votes wins. Fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic. On-line voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on January 12 in Dallas.

Before casting your vote take a look at the inspiration and Santa Monica College spirit that went into the making of the cheer.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their “Disney Side”– their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.
No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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Rutgers’ Scarlet Knight Saves the Day in Cheer On Your Disney Side Video

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


It sounds like the basis of a good fairytale, young women in despair when a knight rides in and saves the day. That’s exactly what happens in the video submitted by the University of Rutgers dance team for the Cheer On Your Disney Side competition sponsored by ESPN, in collaboration with Disney Destination and Varsity Spirit.

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Set to “it’s a small world” inspired music, Scarlet Knight, with the help of some of our beloved Disney Princesses, restores school spirit to a tired and dejected dance team. A story and production helping, the Rutgers dance team emerge as a finalist in the competition along with Auburn University, Louisiana State University and Santa Monica College.

University cheer and dance squads from across the country were invited to choreograph routines to one of four Disney Parks inspired songs. The winning squad will earn a $100,000 grant for its college spirit program and a team trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

Now it is your turn to vote!

Guests are asked to go to Espn.com/CheerMagic and vote for their favorite video from the final four. The school with the most votes wins. Fans who vote are entered into an ESPN sweepstakes to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Rules may be found at Espn.com/CheerMagic. Online voting ends on January 6 and the winning squad will be announced on ESPN before the College Football National Championship Game on January 12 in Dallas.

So what’s the ‘spirit’ behind the Rutgers video? Check out this behind the scenes look inside their world.

This year, Disney Parks is encouraging people to show their Disney Side – their fun-loving adventurous side that laughs more, says “yes” more and just plain lives life to the fullest.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort has been the home of Varsity Spirit’s College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, the premier athletic competition for these teams, for over 20 years. Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today. Focused on safety, entertainment and school leadership, Varsity Spirit conducts educational camps, administrates competitions and provides apparel for more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers.

Cheer Your Disney Side Promotion By ESPN.
No purchase necessary. Ends 11:59 PM ET on 1/6/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 years or older, or the age of majority. Limit 1 entry/vote per person & per email per day. For prize details, odds of winning & complete Official Rules, go to www.espn.com/CheerMagic. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: ESPN Internet Ventures, New York, NY.

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