2014 Inaugural Enchanted 10K – Glass Slipper Challenge
Ah, 3:45am in the morning – it’s THE magical time of a runDisney morning! If you have to ask why, then you need to experience it for yourself. We were up and out the door on our way to our 2nd race of the weekend – the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K the first race of the Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge.
Today’s race had a start time of 5:30am. We were driving to Epcot instead of taking the bus. I don’t recommend driving unless you are familiar with the resort roads. Remember it is early and dark, it is better to take race transportation unless you have visited many, many times and have driven around the resort or have a keen sense of direction. We were staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Jumbo House. There’s a misconception that it is far away from everything in the World, but it’s really a direct shot up World Drive to Epcot and we were in the parking lot at 4:22am.
We quickly made our way through security and bag drop. Our corral placement was “A” and met up with some of our social media friends walking towards our corral. Our plan was to “have fun” and stop at “all the character stops.” Soon Rudy and Carissa, with the help of Cinderella and Prince Charming, sent us on our way and we were off!
The Inaugural Enchanted 10K course is exactly the same as the Walt Disney World 10K in January. I was really curious to see if the course entertainment had improved from January. The 10K begins and ends in Epcot’s Explore Lot. The course takes you back out through the entrance toll booths for a mile. Along the way we saw Princess Elsa, from the movie Frozen, complete with music and “snow.”
A little after the Mile 1 marker the course makes a hairpin right turn onto Epcot Center Drive (bridge/hill). Here we had a photo-op with The White Rabbit. A little further up the road before Mile 2 we had another photo-op with Pocahontas and Meeko. However, between Miles 2 and 3 it was dead, just like at WDW 10K, except for a screen playing cartoons. In my opinion, some sort of Disney entertainment is needed along this mile because it’s very dark and boring.
Once we hit Mile 3, just outside the backstage gates of Epcot, we were greeted by the Holiday Wooden Soldiers from the Christmas Parade (relevance to a Princess theme?). We entered and turned left for our run around World Showcase and stopped for photos with Jiminy Cricket, The Princess and the Frog, and Marie from Aristocats! From France we ran over the bridge and out the park via the International Gateway and turned left to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort and Villas!
Baseball Goofy was waiting outside of ESPN Zone for photos. We ran around the Boardwalk to Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Villas before again entering the backstage of Epcot Park. Donald Duck was positioned under Innovations West. We ran past the fountain and Spaceship Earth towards the finish line, but right before finishing we stopped for photos with the Fairy Godmother herself!
It took us over 2 hours to “run” the Inaugural Enchanted 10K stopping for all 11 of the character stops, but it was 100% worth it. Sure the character lines were long, but we sprinted to each stop and rested in line.
The course entertainment was 100% better than in January at the Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K, although improvements could be made between Miles 2 and 3. I wish we had more park time included in the course. I would love to see a Walt Disney World 10K course run through 2 parks like runDisney has at the Disneyland Resort. It would be great if we could begin in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and run through that park prior to running through Epcot.
My rankings of the runDisney 10K’s:
- Disneyland 10K: This course set the bar high for me. It begins outside the resort running past the Anaheim Convention Center and then entering through Disney California Adventure and into Disneyland Park. Top marks because the course takes you through Sleeping Beauty Castle.
- Tinker Bell 10K: Another not-to-be-missed race! It’s a better course than the Disneyland 10K, but gets marks off for not running through Sleeping Beauty Castle. If it did, it would hold the top spot in my opinion.
- Princess Enchanted 10K: The Princess races are loaded with character stops. Although the course is exactly the same as the WDW 10K in January, the additional character stops elevates the race to another level.
- Walt Disney World 10K: A big disappointment for an inaugural race. It was lacking and uninspiring. Although I was running on property, I felt I could be at a local road race in my hometown.
What’s your opinion? What type of 10K course would YOU like to see at a runDisney event at Walt Disney World resort?