Disney Cancels Half Marathon… And Saves Lives?

It’s true, Disney has pro-actively cancelled the WDW Half Marathon 2017. This is a bit unprecedented. There is not usually any lightning activity predicted for early January, but this year this is, and at press time, it seems very uncertain. Disney is taking no chances. They are offering various refunds for those who have paid. Are you on the side that Disney overreacted? If so, you may want to consider being on Disney’s risk management team.

Risk Management is a somewhat-new concept as a career. It basically looks at “what costs more.” Do we lose more money if we do X instead of doing Y? In this case, it means “do we lose more money by cancelling the marathon (and giving refunds) vs letting the marathon go on and have a bad lightning strike that kills people, and we endure bad press as a result?”

Disney Marathon 2006

Clearly, that’s a very un-scientific thing to quantify. Who knows if they did it right. But tonight, 1/6/17, they decided to err on the side of (human) caution and cancel the entire event. There is no WDW Half Marathon on 1/7/17.

The ramifications will likely reverberate for years to come. At a very minimal level, I think we can say that WDW has opted for safety over profit.

They have offered remuneration in several forms: a gift card, a future RunDisney event, two one-person parkhoppper tickets, etc. Disney is trying to be a good steward here.


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