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  • [Review] CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

    My friends and family have been participating the CHOC Walk for the past nine years as team Kids In Motion. We have a great time each year and the small but honest amount of money we help raise for the kids of CHOC make the whole event satisfying. This past year was no exception... except...

    ...I must say we were pretty displeased with the organization of the Walk this year and the Walk route for multiple reasons. This years' Walk took place this past Sunday, October 14th. We were excited because this year the Walk started at California Adventure's new buena Vista St. We even had specially designed team t-shirts made for the occasion. However, upon arrival it became desperately evident that this new space at DCA is dreadfully small and compact when compared to the wide open spaces of Disneyland's Main Street USA. It seems the bottleneck of walkers at this new starting line congested the entire route and we moved at a glacial pace for the duration of the supposed 5K.

    One of the selling points of the CHOC (besides helping kids in need) is that walkers get a unique perspective of the parks before they open for the day and are able to take advantage of unique photo-ops, both of the setting and of the characters who line the walk path.

    Neither of those things were available due to the congestion. DCA's small pathways slowed our usually brisk walk to a stand still. When we finally approached CarsLand we opted to skip it entirely due to gridlock. We were dumped out into DTD only to double back into Disneyland where Tomorrowland was omitted entirely. In fact, the loop of Disneyland Park that walkers have become accustomed to was severed nearly in half. Walkers were corralled into Critter Country and forced backstage behind Splash, past dumpsters, broken POTC boats, and the requisite HS cheer squads and marching bands, only to be doubled back again toward DTD/tram area then toward Tortilla Joe's where the official finish line was.

    I figured TDA would try to get CHOC Walkers out of DCA asap so as to not displease the many hotel guests waiting for their precious RSR FP but from the perspective of the CHOC Walkers the price was too high. I understand CHOC Walkers didn't exactly pay to be in the parks in the same way the hotel and other day guests did but the whole event is for charity for crying out loud. Is absolutely nothing sacred? Are the changes to the CHOC Walk this year emblematic of the money hoarding stories Al reports on? Where's the emphasis on the greater good?

    Question:
    1) Did you participate in this years' CHOC Walk?
    2) What was your experience like?

    When all was said and done we tried to put our displeasures aside and focus on the good we tried to do. After all, there are kids sick in the hospital without medical insurance and we're complaining about a missed photo-op with Tow Mater. You can view Kids In Motions' CHOC Walk 2012 photos here.
    "There's no off position on the genius switch"

    Twitter: @WRDinc | Instagram: @WRDinc

  • #2
    Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

    I saw on their fb site they were promoting twice the entertainment. Was that the case?

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    • #3
      Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

      I don't want this to sound attacking by any means, but I think the issues you experienced are miniscule to the ones whom you're walking for.
      Jeff Wayne






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      • #4
        Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

        We participated this year, but since it was our first CHOC Walk, we don't have anything to compare it to. Agree that starting on BVS was not great planning. Our team got split up repeatedly because of all the congestion. I think we were the last team in the first wave of walkers because CMs put up a rope behind us on Hollywood Blvd. to make a break. The beach ball throwing was annoying as people who were caught completely off guard got hit in the head. Don't know about the wisdom of allowing that in the walk. Maybe while people are waiting for their turn to go, but not as they are actually walking? Cars Land was not that crowded for us -- only turning the corner by Flo's, since that is a tight turn. When we got to DL, Tomorrowland was open for us. We saw Buzz and his Buzz gals by Tomorrowland Terrace. The photo ops were available for us, but we didn't want to get separated from our team. But we did get several group shots throughout the parks. Overall, we really enjoyed it and are looking forward to doing it again next year. It will be interesting to compare whatever they do next year with this year's experience.

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        • #5
          Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

          Complaining about changes. They added new areas to run so of course the old route had to be altered. The paths in DCA weren't more crowded than in DL due to it being DCA, where paths are wider. The particpants were likely crowding themselves into the other participants.

          I do lots of charity stuff and volunteering and as long as things start at the time I'm asked to show up, I'm happy with the organization.
          Be Cool Stay in School!
          Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

            I participated again this year with Gregg Cooper and his family and we had a great time, but we were waaaay at the front as the Coopers had arrived early to stake out a spot. From our perspective, we were able to maneuver around the slower walkers and take advantage of some of the cool photographic opportunities like the sun coming up over the WOC fountains over at Paradise Pier. I spent most of my time trying to get early morning empty park shots which were plentiful if you shot away from the crowds. I pretty much avoided the characters as they were completely overrun by the thousands of walkers who were trying to get a shot.

            On our route, we did indeed walk through Tomorrowland, so it's a bit confusing to me as to why they apparently changed the route after we had passed. We went around the hub, through tomorrowland, behind the Matterhorn, across Fantasyland and then over to Big Thunder before heading to Splash Mountain. I really think they were trying to move everyone through faster at that point.

            My GUESS is that the number of participants was so huge and the line so long that Disneyland panicked as opening time drew closer and closer for both parks. They may have pulled the characters off of the route and literally CHANGED the route in an effort to make sure all of the walkers were through, or mostly through, by the time the gates opened to the general public.

            I have to admit that I was shocked to see teams of walkers entering DCA at 8 AM to begin the walk, a full HOUR after the walk had kicked off. When we came out of the back stage exit at 8:45 AM, there were still HUNDREDS of walkers pouring out of the DCA exit on their way to Disneyland to finish the course. My guess is that these walkers were still ENTERING Disneyland at 9:15 and possibly later. What time did the park open? 9 AM?

            Add to that the fact that thousands of guests were arriving while thousands of other guests were still trying to exit and I really don't see how they managed anything at all at that point. What a zoo!

            But I am VERY glad that Disney puts forth the effort to do this every year. I think the total was almost 2 million dollars raised, and as you walk and look around, it just breaks your heart to see the lives that have been touched by these terrible childhood illnesses. I saw more than a few teams there who were walking to honor the memory of a child that didn't make it. It just rips your heart out, but makes the early morning and the fundraising all the more meaningful if those funds can be used to save even one child among the dozens and perhaps hundreds who were represented last Sunday.
            Last edited by Mac Daddy; 10-18-2012, 05:33 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

              Originally posted by Mac Daddy View Post
              ...I have to admit that I was shocked to see teams of walkers entering DCA at 8 AM to begin the walk, a full HOUR after the walk had kicked off...
              We saw walkers arriving at the DL gates after 8 am to begin the walk. It was quite surprising. Don't know if they were allowed to start and, if so, when they finished.

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              • #8
                Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

                Originally posted by PascalGal View Post
                We saw walkers arriving at the DL gates after 8 am to begin the walk. It was quite surprising. Don't know if they were allowed to start and, if so, when they finished.
                After 8 you could only go to DL. The latest anyone could start was 8:30.
                Be Cool Stay in School!
                Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Why complain about an event to help children? Many of the kids you are walking have much more to complain about besides your petty complaints. Really distasteful!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

                    Originally posted by GhostHostJeff View Post
                    I don't want this to sound attacking by any means, but I think the issues you experienced are miniscule to the ones whom you're walking for.
                    Originally posted by ParadeDude View Post
                    Why complain about an event to help children? Many of the kids you are walking have much more to complain about besides your petty complaints. Really distasteful!
                    Maybe you guys didn't read all the way to the bottom of my original post (I know it was long) but I totally get your point. I know my complaints are petty considering the circumstances of those we walk for and I and my team are sensitive to that. I've quoted my original post below.

                    Originally posted by WRDup View Post
                    When all was said and done we tried to put our displeasures aside and focus on the good we tried to do. After all, there are kids sick in the hospital without medical insurance and we're complaining about a missed photo-op with Tow Mater.
                    My intention, while perhaps not effectively communicated originally, was to express concern about the organization of the event which, from my perspective this year, seemed to be lacking when compared to the well-oiled machine of an event we've experienced over the previous eight years. I wanted to post here to get other participants input and experiences to help broaden my limited singular experience. Learning from others' experiences is how I had hoped to gain a greater appreciation for the entire scope of the event rather than just base my opinion on my very limited experience.

                    Originally posted by PascalGal View Post
                    ...When we got to DL, Tomorrowland was open for us. We saw Buzz and his Buzz gals by Tomorrowland Terrace. The photo ops were available for us, but we didn't want to get separated from our team. Overall, we really enjoyed it and are looking forward to doing it again next year. It will be interesting to compare whatever they do next year with this year's experience.
                    I know that in the past the routes are changed or condensed as the Walk progresses. This may be the reason why our group didn't get to experience TL. We did start later this year than in previous years. We waited for the entire team to arrive before we started and were delayed by a few team members who had parking/traffic issues.

                    Originally posted by Mac Daddy View Post
                    ...we were waaaay at the front as the Coopers had arrived early to stake out a spot. From our perspective, we were able to maneuver around the slower walkers and take advantage of some of the cool photographic opportunities like the sun coming up over the WOC fountains over at Paradise Pier.

                    My GUESS is that the number of participants was so huge and the line so long that Disneyland panicked as opening time drew closer and closer for both parks. They may have pulled the characters off of the route and literally CHANGED the route in an effort to make sure all of the walkers were through, or mostly through, by the time the gates opened to the general public....

                    It just rips your heart out, but makes the early morning and the fundraising all the more meaningful if those funds can be used to save even one child among the dozens and perhaps hundreds who were represented last Sunday.
                    As noted above, it seems our team fell victim to the congestion that merging the route sometimes creates. Live and learn. We will be extra early next year! And you are right about the emotion that fills the air during the walk. The first 6 years I participated I didn't have kids but the point was still driven home about the importance of CHOC's mission. Now I have an 18 month old son and the whole magnitude of the event is multiplied ad infinitum. I cant even imagine going through what some of the patients and parents deal with. CHOC is definitely doing some very important work.

                    That being said, team Kids In Motion is looking forward to next year and celebrating the teams tenth Walk!
                    Last edited by WRDup; 10-18-2012, 08:45 PM. Reason: Poor grammar.
                    "There's no off position on the genius switch"

                    Twitter: @WRDinc | Instagram: @WRDinc

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

                      Originally posted by swampymarsh View Post
                      After 8 you could only go to DL. The latest anyone could start was 8:30.
                      That's interesting, because the people we saw went first to the DL gates and were told to go to the DCA gates to start. That mix-up must have just added to their already delayed start.

                      Originally posted by WRDup View Post
                      ...I know that in the past the routes are changed or condensed as the Walk progresses. This may be the reason why our group didn't get to experience TL. We did start later this year than in previous years. We waited for the entire team to arrive before we started and were delayed by a few team members who had parking/traffic issues...
                      No kidding about the traffic and parking issues! Even as early as 6 am, it took one of our teammates 40 minutes to get from the entrance to M&F to the west side bag check.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

                        Originally posted by PascalGal View Post
                        No kidding about the traffic and parking issues! Even as early as 6 am, it took one of our teammates 40 minutes to get from the entrance to M&F to the west side bag check.

                        Heres my secret... We parked at the Disneyland Hotel. Our team usually goes to Goofy's Kitchen for breakfast/brunch so technically it's allowed but we have to get there mighty early for that scheme to fly.
                        "There's no off position on the genius switch"

                        Twitter: @WRDinc | Instagram: @WRDinc

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: CHOC Walk 2012 Fail

                          Thanks to all who participated.
                          sigpic

                          This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

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