When it comes to Walt Disney World and Disneyland, there are similarities – but there are also many differences. While runDisney races are no exception, there are quite a few major differences when it comes to ChEAR Squad!
If you are planning on running a race in Disneyland, you may be wondering how your spectators will cheer you on. While the parks and start/finish lines are within walking distance, the spectator locations can be quite crowded. If you are familiar with the Anaheim area, you may be able to find other locations along the course (specifically the half marathon) to cheer on your runner.
However, there is one MAJOR difference when it comes to races at Disneyland, spectators CANNOT go inside the park unless they are part of specific ChEAR Squad packages. (For the runners, this means that Main Street USA in Disneyland is not full of the overwhelming cheers like it is in Walt Disney World.)
So is ChEAR Squad worth it at Disneyland? Let’s take a look!
Disneyland ChEAR Squad Package – $79
Similar to the Walt Disney World ChEAR Squad, you will also receive a waterproof stadium blanket, Mickey clappers and a cotton ChEAR Squad t-shirt. The main addition is that you will be given access to enter Disneyland theme park to watch your runner along Main Street USA! You will be able to see your runner as they enter the park, as well as when they come through Sleeping Beauty castle.
ChEAR Squad members will also receive grandstand seating at the finish line. Since the finisher’s chute is along the road next to Disneyland Hotel, it can be quite difficult to find a good viewing location near the finish line. This aspect of ChEAR Squad guarantees a nice view as your runner finishes their race! (Note: Seating is first-come, first-served.)
But wait, there’s more! You will be treated to a VIP experience near the finish line! Enjoy more comfortable seating, a continental breakfast, executive style restrooms, live course feed of the finish line and complimentary parking at the Disneyland Hotel.
So is ChEAR Squad worth the money? It ultimately depends on your plan to watch your runner. If you would like the ease and access of watching your runner at not quite as crowded locations, it is recommended. The ability to watch your runner in Disneyland park as well as at the finish line is a nice amenity.
The courses tend to have the runners go through the parks within the first few miles, giving you time to walk back to the finish line and enjoy a little meal before your runner finishes. (Keep in mind – this ultimately depends on how fast your runner is!) Of course, you can always bring your own snacks and breakfast if you would like. Also, note that your runner CANNOT come in for breakfast with you, unlike Race Retreat at Walt Disney World!
The nice thing about the Disneyland races is that there are plenty of areas to watch your runner, from Downtown Disney to along the streets of Anaheim. However, if you are unfamiliar with the area, your spectator spots are limited to near the parks and start/finish. This is absolutely doable without ChEAR Squad, just as it is in Walt Disney World.
Here are a few questions to consider when it comes to ChEAR Squad:
- Would you like to watch your runner inside Disneyland park?
- Will you be spectating with children? If so, think of the extra cost involved. (Note: Children under 3 are no cost.)
- Would you like to watch your runner at the finish line?
- Will your runner finish quickly?
- Are you familiar with the Anaheim area? If so, you may be able to find other places to spectate.
Be sure to check out our review of the ChEAR Squad for runDisney races at Walt Disney World too!