Since my body was still on Eastern time, I woke up at 5:15 a.m. wide awake. Jenny was still sleeping and it was still a little too early to get up and get ready, so I played around on my phone and watched the tweets roll in from the lucky participants in the very exclusive runDisney social media meet up. My fingers weren’t fast enough to get in, but Brandi’s were! You can read about her experience here!
I had plans to meet two fellow #TeamrunDisney friends, Jen and Kim, for breakfast at 8 before getting in line for the expo. It was my first time meeting them and we really hit it off. I absolutely love that about the running community! We decided to get in line early after seeing the official runDisney merchandise for the weekend posted on the Disney Parks Blog a few days before – we knew it would go fast.
We got into line at around 8:20 and it had already started forming! Luckily we were in the first “row” so we would be able to get in fairly quickly (it didn’t open until 10!). We were later joined by several other #TeamrunDisney friends – at least we had each other to keep us company during the long wait!
After only about 30 minutes, here is what the line began to look like. We were grateful that we got in line early!
After what seemed like FOREVER, the doors opened and the line started to move. Once we got in, EVERYONE made a mad dash for the official merchandise. I snagged a couple of shirts I knew I wanted along with a magnet, keychain, and headband and headed behind a curtain to try stuff on with Jen and Kim. By the time we finished, the line to pay was seriously wrapped around the building! It was absolutely insane. The three of us agreed to take turns and stand in line while the other ones browsed around the expo. We even jumped out of line to get pictures with the namesake of the challenge we were running -
I wanted to get my knees taped by KT Tape so that was pretty much my one and only stop. While I was in line, I saw Carissa, one of the official runDisney race announcers and blogger at Fit2Flex, walking around and was able to meet her for a quick photo op. I also saw Karen from Just Me and My Running Shoes as well!
Once I finished up at KT Tape, I literally ran across the expo to where Jen and Kim were in the merchandise line, and talk about your good timing! I got there as SOON as Kim was about to walk up to pay! I am so grateful to her and still owe her a little ‘thank you’!
Here’s what I ended up with from the runDisney booth -
Three shirts, a magnet, keychain, headband, and 3 pins (I pre-ordered the 10k and half pin and purchased Dumbo when I arrived).
After we finished with the runDisney merchandise, we kind of looked around the expo for a few, but were pretty tired and ready to hit the parks. Before we left, Lena, her hubby, and I headed down to pick up our bibs for the next day!
I was so excited to get my Coast to Coast wristband! You can earn your Coast to Coast medal by completing a half marathon at Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the same calendar year, so the Princess half marathon made me eligible!
There were so many amazing vendors and speakers at the expo, but since Friday was a park day we decided we would come back on Saturday and look around more.
Once we got our bibs and race shirts, we put our purchases into Jen and Kim’s room (another HUGE thank you ladies!) and headed to Tortilla Jo’s at Downtown Disney before grabbing some lunch and meeting Brandi and Mama Karen at Disney’s California Adventure.
A few thoughts about the expo:
- There was such a mad dash to the official merchandise that I don’t think runDisney was prepared for, but they handled it well. Between the amount of people shopping and the way the line grew in such a short amount of time, I would limit the number of people allowed in the merchandise area so that you don’t have people with items they haven’t paid for at the other end of the convention center. They ended up doing this at the Princess half marathon. I’m sure a few people walked away without paying for things.
- The expo is open to the public and, unfortunately, you have non runners that want to take advantage of those who are actually running the race. They come in, buy thousands of dollars of official merchandise, and throw the items up on eBay with prices often double and triple of what they actually paid. Maybe to allow those who are actually participating to have a chance to purchase these items, require showing proof of participating before entering the area the first day or so, and then open it up to the public…or offer a pre-purchase option online and have it available for pick up.
- Offer women’s cut for the official race shirts! I believe they started offering them for people who registered for the WDW Marathon weekend, so let’s hope this continues into the other race weekends as well.
If you missed out on buying a Dumbo Double Dare shirt or a Coast to Coast shirt, runDisney does have them up for sale on their website from September 10 – September 16th and is offering free shipping. You can check out the shirts here.
Next up – my recap of the Disneyland 10k!
What did you buy at the expo? What are your favorite vendors?
Until next time,
Thanks to Jen and Karen for sharing pictures used in this post!