Dear RunDisney thank you for breaking my heart

I need to write in order to process right now.

There are times when even though I know that I lead a charmed and blessed life, disappointment hits my table in a very big way and when it does, it hurts.

I’m not even sure that what I am trying to make happen won’t happen, we’re approaching the witching hour and whether or not I gather the necessary sponsors is left to be seen, but that isn’t even what saddens me right now, what saddens me, is that a company I have spent my entire life believing in has broken my heart and gone against a belief that they taught me to believe in.

My Dad used to tell me stories about 1955 when Disneyland first opened. When he told me that I could be anything I wanted to be, and I could do anything I wanted to do, he would tell me stories about how a man named Walt Disney created Disneyland out of a dream, a mouse and some orange orchards.

“Honey if you ever think that you can’t accomplish something you just remember what Mr. Walt Disney said, ‘If you can dream it you can do it, always remember that this whole thing started with a dream and a mouse.”

And I believed that. My favorite Walt Disney quote has always been

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Since I don’t know that it will ever come to fruition, I feel like I maybe shouldn’t talk about it, but you know I have promised to share the good and the bad, and so, here goes… today was a sad day for me.

Two years ago, my father passed away. He was one of the biggest champions in my weight loss journey. To help cope with his death I began running. It wasn’t easy at first. I could barely get around the block! But recently, I’m proud to report that I ran my first half marathon — a personal 13.1 miles! — in honor of my dad on Father’s Day.

Today I was willing to step away from my studying to pursue a dream that I have. First let me say that I think you have to understand often times my dreams are a little less selfish than I think most people realize. In a few weeks on July 9th, RunDisney will open registration for the Tinkerbell half marathon, and no matter what happens, I will register and I will run that half marathon because I committed to doing so.

But I didn’t want to just run that half marathon, I wanted to empower someone else to run it with me. And if I had more than the few weeks that Disney allowed me between registration announcement and the actual registration, I have no doubt that I would find the sponsorship to make that happen. I already have 1/4th of the sponsorship I need and I haven’t given up just yet, it may still happen.

But what bothers me is, that I shouldn’t HAVE to be on such a tight time limit to make it happen, and the only reason I am is because of the ridiculous politics of them requiring the name of the person that I take with me on registration day, 7 months prior to the event.

If I could simply purchase my registration and a second spot, and notify them within a reasonable time frame who the second runner would be, this would be much more feasible. I’d purchase the registrations myself and then in I could obtain the rest of the sponsorship I needed for us to go, we’d go and if I didn’t well then I’d sell the registration to someone else that could participate and that would be that. In the mean time I would have a few months instead of a few weeks to try to make this all happen.

But instead I have to try to find the sponsors, run a contest, pick a winner and have that winner’s name in place to register them for the event by July 9th. Thank you RunDisney for making this awesome idea nearly impossible.

I tried so hard. I spent hours and hours today trying to contact people involved with the RunDisney events to see if they could help me make this possible. But really, what I felt like today after talking to most of them was that I was a little fish in a big world and since I wasn’t a non-profit organization willing to secure race registrations for thirty people instead of two, I wasn’t important.

At 6pm tonight here in Dallas where I am visiting, I finally got ahold of a very nice woman named Cindy Hernandez who tried to help me. But Sadly, all the resources she had to try to help me, I had already exhausted. She wanted to send me to talk to the woman I talked to early this morning Katie, who had only been the first to make me feel like that insignificant little person in a great big world. After she had spoken to Katie herself who informed her that she had already talked to me and had “forwarded my request” to their Florida Office Cindy tried for quite some time to find a number for that Florida office that I could call and talk to someone at. She even called the number herself to try to find a way through the bureaucratic red tape. But to no avail, she couldn’t get through the computer animated message that had forwarded me to her any better than I could. Cindy suggested that I email a woman named Shannon who is Katie’s supervisor, to see if she could help me, but she warned me that Shannon and Katie worked very closely together and that she wasn’t sure she could help me either. She apologized to me over and over and expressed her sadness that she couldn’t help me.

At one point during the conversation I told Cindy “Disney is a company I grew up with. I had a father that was born before your doors were even open and I spent so much time in Disneyland as a kid. I’m not asking you guys for money or charity or anything more than the ability to do something great and empower someone else to do it with me. Your company was founded on the beliefs of a man who believed if you can dream it you can do it. And this is a really small ask, all I’m asking for is a little time before an event that occurs 7 months down the road to give you a person’s name. If Walt Disney was here right now, he’d be ashamed of this.” Cindy very compassionately said to me “I really hope he wouldn’t be ashamed of me.” I assured her she was right, he wouldn’t be, as she was the only one that I had gotten on the phone today that really and truly tried to help make this happen for me.

It’s nearly 8pm and I really want to go to bed early tonight, I am emotionally drained from this day of doing nothing but writing letters to sponsors asking them to get on board at the last-minute, reaching out to people to try to make this dream happen and I am emotionally exhausted from it. I’m sad that RunDisney made this so impossible and I am heart-broken than a company I have always believed so much in left me feeling like Aladdin, the lowly street rat who didn’t have enough to offer.

“Riffraff, street rat, I don’t buy that, if only they’d look closer. Would they see a poor boy? No, siree, They’d find out, there’s so much more to me.”

All you had to do was look at what I was asking you for to see that deep inside, I’m a diamond in the rough. I might not be able to put it all together in the time frame you are setting, which is just a horrible unrealistic time frame, heck RunDisney YOU don’t even have all your details hammered out yet. You don’t even have pricing available yet, nor does your event travel coordination company because they don’t have your pricing or even know how many registration blocks you are selling them yet. If you call the Disney resorts and ask to for the prices for room reservations for that weekend they will tell you they can’t tell you because the pricing for the new year doesn’t come out until August. So you can imagine how hard it was for me to even put together a budget to take to my sponsors this morning. But you can’t find a way to cut me a little break on having to have the name of my team member ready to go registration morning?

Disney, you’ve broken my heart today. I’m going to hope that somewhere in the night while I am sleeping the answers come to me, or that by Monday morning my own little Genie shows up and starts waving wishes around.

For right now I am going to go do something that will make me feel better. I’m going to go find a little Pandora mental health reprieve and I am going to remember …

“No Matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you dare to wish will come true.”

RunDisney, Mr. Walt Disney would be ashamed of you for they way you shattered my dreams today, but he’d be super proud of me, who I am, what I have accomplished and how big my dreams are.


By |2013-06-21T19:25:38+00:00June 21st, 2013|My Story|5 Comments


  1. blindbites June 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Sadly this is the way many coorporations treat people. I agree that if Walt Disney was around today, many things in the Disney empire would be different. Here in Kansas City, where Walt came up with Mickey Mouse, the house he rented a room in is a wreck and while many people have tried to get Disney involved to restore it, they aren’t interested.
    I worked for a large multi-national coorporation that played games with me. After successfully completing a project that management asked me to do, I was told that I should have used better judgement and refused the project as I should stick to my job description and because of that lack in judgement on my part, I wouldn’t be receiving a raise in my salary for the next year.
    I’m sorry this is happening to you and hope things find a way of working out for you.

    • Pandora June 21, 2013 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      That is super sad. I would never in my wildest dreams have thought that a company like Disney wouldn’t do everything the could to preserve anything Walt Disney touched. I think I am just one of those girls that grew up with a Father that was very old fashion. My Dad was born in 1926, and the values and morals and personal integrity that he instilled in me is something that honestly I think will be an integral part of who I am for the rest of my life. When my Father passed away, I told people, “We lost on of the greatest men in the world today, they don’t build them like that anymore.” I believe that to be true. I think men like Walt Disney, Red Skelton, Johnny Cash, and my Father… these mans were visionaries before we knew what visionaries were. They believed in a world that hardly exists today where people treated each-other with a goodness, kindness and love that is now a rarity in this world. Thank you for sharing your experience with me … if nothing else good comes out of this, I am once again reminded today that I had the luck of being loved by one of the most amazing men in the world, and that he taught me to be the sort of person that he and Mr. Walt Disney would be proud of if they were alive today.

  2. Trisha June 27, 2013 at 8:27 am - Reply

    YOU DID IT!! All things are possible with your wonderful and strong determination!!!

  3. Do You Care July 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    While I understand your disappointment, I wonder if you have any idea how many people miss out on registering for Disney races because they couldn’t get to the registration site fast enough, etc. To ask Disney to bend the rules for you is somewhat short-sighted. What makes your cause any more important than all the others who are unable to get in on the race?

    Again, your cause may be noble, but runDisney has a well-established procedure. Perhaps you should have researched more in the initial planning stages.

    • Pandora July 22, 2013 at 6:58 am - Reply

      Dear “Do You Care”

      While I hear what you are saying and I think it is sad that anyone misses out on this event. I also think that everyone should be treated fairly, Why is my cause any less important than that of some non-profit charity that wants to secure 30 spots instead of 2 and doesn’t have to provide the names of all of their participants the day of registration? I don’t see any reason at all that they should need all the participants information 7 months before and event takes place.

      I managed to work out my contest so that I had my winners name in time to register them on the day of the event by giving up my own opportunity to achieve sponsorship to the event and pay my own way instead. But there is no reason at all that I should be treated differently than a big .org just because they have numbers of 30 vs my number of 2. And let me also say that since RunDisney does allow big non profit organizations to secure sports for 30+ at a time without providing their information on the day of registration, many of the people that are NOT able to register and “miss out” as you say because they could not get to the side fast enough, would have better chances if RunDisney wasn’t holding hundreds of spots for non profits.

      Additionally are you aware that their Travel provider gets a block of nearly 400 additional spots that they get to sale after RunDisney has officially “Sold old”

      There isn’t much you can say that will convince me that Mr. Walt Disney would be happy with the way this company is handling these events and with the little people being treated differently than the big corporations.

      While RunDisney may well have a well established procedure, that procedure is very prejudiced against the single and small scale participating and caters to the the big non profit organization which to me, isn’t noble, just or fair, and those are the sorts of things I speak out against.

      It of course is your right to stand behind and enjoy that Disney would rather hold a blocks of HUNDREDS of spaces for big organization and for their travel provider to sell after they have sold out so that more of those individuals you talked about couldn’t get through to the site fast enough to register. We’re all entitled to our opinions.

      Thanks for sharing yours with my readers and I, I always appreciate hearing the other side of an issue.


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