Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Sunday, October 14, 2012. Part I takes a look at the Annual CHOC Walk in the Park event. Part II will be a regular park update.
This year marked the 22nd year of the CHOC Walk in the Park. The walk is a 5K route that makes its way through both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. This year the walk raised over $1.8 million dollars to benefit CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County). There were over 16,000 participants who arrived before sunrise to take part in the event (the opening ceremony started at 6:40am). Since its inception the walk has raised more than $19 million. For the first time the course started off inside DCA then went to Disneyland and ended in Downtown Disney.
I arrived at the Mickey and Friends structure about 5:45am and everyone participating the CHOC Walk was taking a pre-walk walk to the park since there were no trams at this hour.
I made my way to DCA for the opening ceremony. There was a stage (float) set up in Carthay Circle.
A DJ was warming up the crowd that was filling Hollywood Blvd and Buena Vista Street.
Looking down Buena Vista Street.
Time for the opening Ceremony. Here is a video of it I shot (be warned it is not the best since I was shooting stills with the other hand).
Caroline Sunshine from the Disney Channel takes the stage to make some remarks.
The 2012 CHOC Walk Child Ambassador, 10-year-old Adela Jaurequi. She is joined by her mother Norma, father Jesus and little sister Olivia.
Goofy came on-stage for some pre-walk warmups.
The current Disneyland Ambassadors Renee Torrico and Jolie Hales along with the Disney Characters were next to come up to the stage.
George Kalogridis, Disneyland Resort President
Kim Cripe, CHOC Childrens President/CEO.
After a countdown it was time to walk. Fireworks are set off to mark the start.
The walkers begin and confetti is shot from near the starting archway.
Caroline Sunshine is joined by the two newly named Disneyland Resort Ambassadors Megan Navarette and Sachico White and the current/outgoing two for a photo.
The walkers were released in waves. Here is the next group coming up to the starting line. The walkers filled Hollywood Blvd. This year over 16,000 joined the walk.
They made their way down the parade route and turned onto Route 66.
Along the way there were cast members and characters out for photos and to cheer on the walkers.
The walkers filled Route 66 and turned right at Cross Street.
They then walked out toward the Wharf area.
The course then snaked back by Ghirardelli and to the parade route where it continued on toward the Pier.
I went back to the Blue Sky Cellar to get a shot of the walkers making their way down Route 66. There were large beach balls bouncing down the route too. (also notice the new telephone poles on the right hand side of the street, those are for the Christmas decorations going up in less than a month).
Rejoining the route near the Pier the Phineas and Ferb gang was out. The course turned and went by Ariel’s, Screamin’, Toy Story and around the Pier.
The World of Color Fountains were on, and the Fun Wheel, Swings, and Zephyr were all cycling too.
The walkers returning from their loop around the Pier, walking past Little Mermaid then turning to go around Grizzly River Run and into Condor Flats.
At that point they exited out the large gate between La Brea Bakery and the World of Disney and headed for the Esplanade and Disneyland.
The Green Army Men were out in the Esplanade. Here they are talking with some of the kids walking.
On Main Street the Cadaver Dans were out entertaining guests.
In front of the castle Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather were out for pictures.
The course circled the hub and went into Tomorrowland. Some Jedi trainers out near Star Tours.
Fight On Buzz!! He was out near the Tomorrowland Terrace.
The course then went around the Matterhorn, through Fantasyland, and around the Big Thunder Trail. Here the walkers are making their way down to the Rivers of America.
Tiana and some of her friends were out for pictures in New Orleans Square.
The course continued on to Critter Country then out the backstage gate by Splash Mountain. Backstage there were several groups. This was a band that was performing and high-fiving people as they walked by.
The course continued backstage behind Splash, Haunted Mansion and Pirates. They were passing out water to the walkers here.
Along the way there were cast members with signs cheering on the walkers.
Also some signs to let walkers know what the various areas did that they were passing and some fun stats.
Thought this was great, these CMs up on lifts cheering everyone on. Would have liked to have gotten a picture from up there.
Another group performing along the route, they were great!
The walkers exited backstage and made their way through Downtown Disney.
The walkers nearest are heading toward the finish, in the background you can still see walkers exiting DCA and heading to Disneyland.
More supporters lining Downtown Disney cheering walkers on to the finish line.
The finish line! It featured all four Disneyland Ambassadors as well as the DJ announcing groups and congratulating those who finished.
After crossing the finish line there were several participant tables set up going out toward the Rain Forest Cafe and ESPN.
Also a band performing on the stage.
Banners hung for the event.
CHOCO the Bear (the CHOC mascot was on hand)
Everyone who participated in the walk received a T-shirt. Here is this year’s design.
Hope you enjoyed this look at the Annual CHOC Walk in the Park. A regular Disneyland update will be posted soon. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.