Dear Readers and Friends,
As we release the second edition of our book, we want to take a moment to address a question we are often asked. We feel that it’s important to be open and honest with our readers about our book and our blog.
As runDisney fans ourselves, we wrote Magical Miles: The Runner’s Guide to Walt Disney World to create a resource for all Disney and runDisney fans who wanted to incorporate a race into their vacation or a vacation with their race. Our goal was (and continues to be) to provide information to make your race experience a truly magical one.
That being said, we have not and will not take a paid trip from runDisney. Many of readers may know why this is being addressed on our blog. However, some of our readers may not be aware that runDisney often offers paid media trips to bloggers who promote race experiences. Some of these bloggers disclose their affiliation and paid trips with runDisney when they write about their experiences and some bloggers do not. We don’t fault runDisney for offering these paid media trips nor do we fault the bloggers who take those trips. However, we are often asked if we are receiving these benefits.
And, the answer is no!
We feel that by taking a paid trip, we would not be able to be honest about our experiences. Our goal is to offer unbiased information about which runDisney events are valuable and worth the cost. Therefore, we feel strongly that the only way to truly be able to answer this question is by opening our own pocketbooks and paying for the races, meals, resorts, transportation, tickets and special events the same way our readers do! Let’s face it, we all know Disney/runDisney is not cheap! However, a runDisney experience can be worth the cost. When we write a review, we want our readers to know that we’ve paid the same price and we will be honest in our opinions about the value of the race, resort, meal or event.
One example of our review is the Runner’s World Challenge. In January 2013, we participated in the Runner’s World Challenge during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. We paid for this experience ourselves. Yes, we had a few hiccups along the way, but this allowed us to be open with you on what areas needed improvement and what aspects were worth every penny.
Another example, Krista stayed at Yacht Club for Wine and Dine Half-Marathon. This was her first experience staying at an Epcot resort during race weekend. She was looking forward to the convenient location following the after-party. However, she found the lack of quick service offerings extremely inconvenient. The walk to Beach Club was annoying to grab a quick pre-race bite in the afternoon only to have to schlep all the way back to Yacht Club to rest. It was the same situation the morning after the race when she was looking for a quick breakfast. While walking is something we embrace and enjoy about Disney, it’s not the best set-up when you are trying to conserve energy or recover post-race. And, even though she has stayed at Yacht Club numerous times before, she had never experienced the resort on a race weekend. After experiencing the resort and paying for it, she probably would not choose this resort again. Beach Club or Boardwalk would be much better choices. Being able to share this opinion honestly is what we feel is most important. If we had received a free room at Yacht Club, we would have definitely not found the walk as inconvenient or annoying!
We also would like to state that we do not (and will not) post any information regarding new races, etc. until it has officially been announced by runDisney.
We will do our best to experience all a runDisney event has to offer, in order to help you make wise decisions regarding your race weekend plans. As always, we welcome your thoughts, questions and concerns!