This past weekend I was out at Disneyland for the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. If you've been following along, then you also know I was registered for the Dumbo Double Dare. I'll get to my race recaps another day, first I wanted to talk about the Disneyland Half Expo. The expo opened on Thursday at noon allowing runners to come pick up their packets and peruse the expo floor and all the vendors. My friends and I had decided not to go into the parks this day and instead decided to spend the day around the expo and walking around Downtown Disney (Thursday was also my birthday)!
We made our way up to the expo around noon when it opened and there was already a sea of people there. We were guided to an area below the Disneyland Hotel (I assume it was a parking garage the way it was arranged) where we picked up our bibs. As we were walking down, we came across this fun carpet:
I love the retro look of the logo
I realized on the way up to the expo that I had printed off 2 copies of my race waiver, and of course, forgot both of them in the hotel room. Luckily, there is always a place where you can print and sign your waivers at the runDisney expos. Since Nita, Mel and I were all running different races, we had to wait in separate lines to pick up our bibs. Mine was the longest line (go figure), so they all came over to meet me when they were done picking up their bibs. I signed and initialed for my bib and also received my Coast to Coast wristband, and then we made our way back up to the expo floor to pick up our race packets and race shirts.
After that was done, it was time to have some fun around the expo! Our first stop was at the Florida Hospital booth because they had a "photo booth" set up where we could be goofballs. This was our picture:
I had to put on the Maleficent hat
Next we decided to make our way over to the official runDisney merchandise. Unfortunately, once we saw the line to get into the area we decided it was not worth the wait. The Raw Threads booth was not too far from there so we headed there next. I ended up purchasing a Dumbo Double Dare themed racer tank, and an Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) themed tank.
We also made our way over to the runDisney booth where you are able to register for other runDisney races, look at the finisher medals and speak with Jeff Galloway! Nita and I waited patiently to speak with Jeff, and then we both purchased one of his interval timers (this way I didn't have to rely on the beep of my watch over my music).
Hangin' with Jeff Galloway!
I think we may have ended up staying at the expo until close to 2 pm because Nita had registered for the New Balance sneakers on the virtual queue. While she waited in line for sneakers, Mel and ventured around the expo a little more and ended up coming across displays set up for each race to take pictures with your bibs!
With Mel at the Disneyland 10K display
With Mel at the Disneyland Half display
I LOVE the Disneyland Half display - Sleeping Beauty's castle!
After we were done with our pictures, Nita was done at the New Balance booth, and we were off to Downtown Disney for the afternoon.
Fast forward to Friday morning. Nita's mom needed to pick up her bib and wanted to explore the expo. Nita, Mel and I all tagged along. We decided if we got there early enough we might be able to check out what was left of the runDisney merchandise. Luckily, we had no issues getting into the merchandise area this time around. I was able to pick up a Dumbo Double Dare Sweatyband, and also an "I did it!" Dumbo Double Dare t-shirt. I was actually surprised with the amount of merchandise that was still available for purchase on the 2nd day.
While Nita and her mom were downstairs picking up her race bib, Mel and I walked around the expo a little more. We headed to the Sparkle Athletic booth. The day before we had spotted a really cute new sparkle skirt that was "superhero" themed. I decided to buy this for the Avengers Half that I have coming up in November. While cashing out I was able to chat with Kelly. She was so sweet! I had mentioned to her that I was nervous for the race because I had never run a race in California before, and since I was from the west coast, I hadn't completely acclimated to the time and climate change. She reassured me that I would be fine and told me this was one of her favorite races.
With Kelly at the Sparkle Athletic booth
Mel and I continued to walk around the other shops that were set up, then decided to head outside to soak up some sun while Nita and her mom were in the Expo. It wasn't long before they met us outside, and we were ready to head to the parks. Nita, her mom and I were all completing the Coast to Coast challenge this past weekend, as we had all run the Princess Half in February (yay)! For those of you that don't know what the coast to coast challenge is, in order to qualify, you need to run a half marathon at Walt Disney World and a half marathon at Disneyland in the same calendar year to claim a special coast to coast medal.
We're Coast to Coast ready!
Overall, I liked the setup of the Disneyland Half expo, and had a great experience! Having the bib pick up in the parking garage below the hotel was a great idea because it was a large and open space to allow for the lines. I had no issues when I went upstairs to pick up my race packet and t-shirts. I walked right up to a volunteer, she ripped the t-shirt tag off of my bib and handed me a bag. I enjoyed the variety of vendors the expo offered. I also love going to the Raw Threads booth, they're one of my favorite vendors at each race! Unfortunately, the line outside of the official runDisney merchandise area is something that is unavoidable on the first day. I believe runDisney has designed it this way to allow for only so many people in the area at one time, this way we're not all tripping over each other. Luckily, I was able to go back early the next morning and get in with no wait, and still purchase what I wanted. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it is the same way when I go back in November for Avengers!
QOTD: Have you ever had a bad experience at a runDisney health and fitness expo? (I have) How about another race expo?