What is a Meetup (and why should I care)?

What is a Meetup (and why should I care)?
2013 #TinkHalfMeetup on Buena Vista Street

runDisney events have become very popular – and not surprisingly, that popularity has demanded some premium price increases. From race registration costs and special limited-edition merchandise, to vacation packages and more, planning a runDisney racecation – though worth every penny – can easily drain your wallet!

Anyone care for a Dooney & Bourke Tinkerbell Half Purse? (source)

With these mounting costs, it’s easy to see why runners and racers would jump at the chance to participate in a FREE runDisney event.

What, did you say FREE?

Yes, no cost. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

These runDisney meetups that you might have heard of through the grapevine are special events scheduled at the opening of each long-distance (1/2 marathon and up) event and have been done so since the 2010 (Inaugural) Wine and Dine Half Marathon. With each event, word of mouth spread about the excitement of these exclusive and intimate experiences, causing them to fill very quickly.

I have been lucky enough to participate in two of these events:

And from those two magical experiences, I can tell you that each is comprised of this basic outline:

  1. Sign in, gear check, runDisney shirt distribution
  2. Run with Jeff Galloway (and possibly another guest)
  3. Guest Speaker(s)
  4. Other fun surprises (may/may not include: attractions, gift cards or ticket media, other schwag)
runDisney Disneyland meetup
Pic courtesy runDisney

Some other quick facts about the Meetups:

  • Each event lasts about two hours
  • Meetup may or may not include a meal
  • Participants are responsible for their own transportation to/from event
  • Event does not require (or include) park admission
  • Professional photographs are taken by Disney and made available to participants

Now, you may be saying, “sooo, what’s the catch?” Well, although no costs are involved, the current entry process can be a significant investment of time. This post outlines how to get into a meetup and in this post, I share some data collected from twitter about posting patterns, with special thanks to my friend Patty.

Time will tell if the process changes for future runDisney meetups, but as for now, it’s my pleasure to share what I’ve learned.

Have any questions about Meetups? Please share below! And don’t just take MY word for it…check out this incredible directory of recaps from previous events.

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