You may have heard that this past marathon weekend was the first time Disney premiered it’s new corral system. The new policy was spelled out on the website, and if you didn’t submit a proof of time you went to the back–and there was no way to change your corral placement. People were not pleased with their corral placements even when they did submit proof of time, but I really enjoyed watching the creative ways people tried to corral jump at the half and full marathons.
The volunteer who served as gatekeeper for corral F during the half (I was in the front of G with a great viewing spot) was an older gentleman who lived to enforce the rules and his responses to people trying to corral jump were as amazing as the ways people tried to get in; here is a sample of what went down.
Woman: “They told me at the expo that I could just change and it wouldn’t be a problem.”
Gatekeeper: “Well, I don’t see ‘they’ here, so you’re going to have to go back to your corral.”
Woman with M bib: “This is my corral!”
Gatekeeper: “Your bib says ‘M,’ this is corral F.”
Woman: “What? huh? No!”
Gatekeeper to other volunteer: “I guess no one is teaching the alphabet anymore.”
Teenage boy with parents: “This is my corral.”
Gatekeeper: “I don’t see the letter on your bib. Where’s the letter?”
Boy: “What letter?”
Gatekeeper: “Hand me your bib.”
Parents: “No, no, he’s here with us, we’re running as a family.”
Gatekeeper: “Unpin your bib.”
[Boy unpins bib to reveal letter L folded under]
Gatekeeper: “Well, you can run as a family back in the L corral. I really wish you hadn’t done that, that was a terrible, underhanded thing to do. Now get back to your own corral.” after family has left to the other volunteers, “That’s a real shame, what are they teaching that kid?”
Girl with attitude: “I CAME ALL THIS WAY! I PAID ALL THIS MONEY! I AM NOT WALKING THIS RACE!”
Gatekeeper: “Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Your bib says P, you go back to P.”
Girl with attitude stands there glaring at gatekeeper and refuses to move. (Honestly, I was glad he stuck up to her and I was cheering him on. She was a total bitch from the get go and I wouldn’t have tried to do anything to help her out.)
Husband with F, wife with P: “She’s going to run with me.”
Gatekeeper: “Well, she can’t come into this corral. This is F. That says P.”
Wife: “But we want to run together!”
Gatekeeper: “Well, you can run together… FROM P.”
Awkward moment where wife looks at husband like, “you’re coming back to P with me, right?” Husband averts his eyes. “RIGHT?!”
I can’t tell you how many people had an F and P scenario and the person with F so clearly did not want to have to go back there. Given the number of people who were (undoubtedly against their will and out of pressure from their friend) moving back to run, I can only assume this made those corrals even more crowded.
The corral situation definitely seemed messed up. I heard that in G the volunteers were teenage girls who couldn’t give a shit either way and were letting people in regardless of what was on their bib. And people were obviously in the wrong corrals. Over the course of the weekend, I spotted two Dopey challengers with legitimate, runDisney sanctioned corral changes, but aside from that it looked like people were stuck where they were. I had sympathy for the people who were obviously placed in the wrong corral, but for the people who were in P and obviously just didn’t submit anything… Well, as they say on NBC PSAs, the more you know.