When I decided in early 2019 to attempt the Small World Challenge, I had no idea what my “small” idea would eventually become. My initial thought was there would be a handful of us taking on the challenge, and we would raise a few thousand dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think what my “dumb idea” would become!
Our team grew to 20 participants from all around the United States (including someone who signed up the day before in the airport while waiting for a plane to Orlando), and we rode “it’s a small world” at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom 23 times over the course of 13 hours! Even better, we collectively, as a team, raised OVER $40,000 for the LLS! We were also featured in various forms of media including newspaper articles, blog posts, local television interviews around the country, and were even interviewed for a segment that aired on Good Morning America!
We planned to come back to Walt Disney World in 2020, but were derailed by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. So what did we do? We pivoted and did the most “2020 thing”, and created a 24 Hour Small World Challenge Virtual Event! Even though we were mostly online, we were able to raise over $45,000 for the LLS!!
In 2021, we went “back to the boats” and rode a team record 25 times while raising OVER $45,000 as a team! In 2022, we tied our record number of rides and raised almost $37,000! That puts our 4 year total at over $167,000!!
It seems like every day, the number one question I am asked is “when is the next Small World Challenge?”. The good news is we plan to return to an “in person” event in 2023 (with a possible virtual option). The date is THURSDAY August 17th 2023
Small World Challenge 2023
Date: THURSDAY August 17th 2023
Time: Park Open to Park Close
Where: Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, Orlando FL (and maybe Disneyland in Anaheim CA)
While this epic event is loads of fun, it also serves a purpose, and that is to help the LLS in it’s mission to end blood cancers. As I mentioned above, in 2019, we were amazed that we were able to raise over $40,000…. And in 2020, we raised over $45,000 with our “virtual” event, and over $45,000 again in 2021, and $37,000 in 2022! In 2023, our fifth year, we hope to cross over the $200,000 mark!!
Once again, we are partnering with the LLS through their Team in Training (TNT) program. TNT is the division of the LLS that allows endurance athletes to fundraise for the LLS while they train for an event such as a marathon, half marathon, triathlon, hike, or even a mountain climb!!