Monday, February 3, 2014

What's your Game Plan for the Disney Fit For A Princess Expo?

For a first time visitor, the Run Disney expo can be very overwhelming! There will be a ton of stuff that you'll want to check out, and the crowds may be a little intense for your liking!  After you experience your first Run Disney expo, I'm sure you'll have a "plan of attack" so to speak for your next one!

I'm linking this post up with the Virtual Run Disney Blog Hop. Hopefully it will give all you first timers a little more insight  as to how the expo is run and maybe those of you who have been here before may pick up a few pointers or reminders.

Location:
The PHM expo will be located at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. You will be able to board a bus ( not a Disney bus) at a designated bus stop at your hotel. The Expo buses will have a blue card in the window.
Notice you will have to visit two buildings when you get to the complex.



This is the HP Field House: Where you will want to go first.

1. The HP Field House ( The building on your left past the Stadium) is where you will get your race bib. You will have to give them your race waiver ( that you already printed out at home and have signed). If you forget your waiver, don't worry. There are computers in the lobby of the building that you can use to print out your waiver. In addition to having your waiver, you'll need to have a photo ID as well.  There may be "Some"  official Run Disney Merchandise in this building, but don't be fooled. This is not the expo. You will find much more merchandise in the next building.

This is the main part of the Expo inside the Jostens Center


2. The Josten Center ( building on your right) is where you will be picking up your race shirts and doing some shopping ( This is the Expo)!  You need to have your bib  ( from the HP field House)BEFORE you can pick up your race shirt. You may have to wait in line to get into this building. ( you don't want to have waited in line just to realize you don't have the information that you need to get your shirt/swag)You'll need to show your race bib to the friendly volunteers and then they will give you your race swag! I see that we are getting cool race bags again this year! Yay! They had stopped that for a while. If you need to switch out your shirt for a different size, the volunteers will tell you what the protocol on that will be. It has been a bit different each time I've gone.

Shopping:
There are so many cool vendors here that you may want to take a look at the list ( in your race packet or online) so you know which ones you don't want to miss.
Some of our favorite stops!


As far as official Run Disney merchandise, you  may be able to look online a few days before and see what merchandise will be available. I bought a great Run Disney jacket during Wine n Dine, so my goal is to get another one (hopefully in a different color).

This is the queue for the official Disney merchandise ( right when the Wine n Dine expo opened). It got filled up rather quickly.

There is also a shop upstairs in the Jostens building ( not part of the expo) that sells T-shirts. Some times they have race t-shirts that you can personalize with your name and/or time/ on it.  ( you will pass this tiny shop on your right as you exit the expo)

If you are wanting to get your hands on a Disney Princess Dooney and Bourke bag, Those are upstairs in the Jostens Center ( outside of the expo actually).

Photographs:
You'll want to be sure to bring your camera to the expo because you never know who you might run into. During Wine n Dine, I finally got a picture with Jeff Galloway. At the princess expo in past years we met Ali Vincent ( from the Biggest Loser).

 You may even run into some Royal Characters!


Run Disney usually has a photo backdrop of some sort set up. Some times it's up stairs like with this Photograph that Lacey had taken during WDW marathon one year, and sometimes it's right at the expo.  Side Note: They had a fun photo backdrop set up where they would super impose Disney characters on to it but you had to have an Instagram account to use it. So you may want to create an Instagram account before you go to the expo (if you want these kind of pictures).

Miscellaneous:
If you haven't already signed up for Runner tracking (or signed a spectator up), there will be computers upstairs at the expo to do so.

There will also be a spot for your spectators to make signs of encouragement for you!

There are speakers that will give presentations throughout the day. Stop, sit, and listen to a few!

There is a place to get lunch on site. The ESPN Café is in the same building as the expo (right upstairs). You will have to pass it as you exit the expo.

Hint (If you are still hungry, there is usually a cupcake truck located past the HP Field house, down the steps towards the track).  They always look so good!

I hope this is helpful information! 

What are you most looking forward to at the Expo?



Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Blog Hop Directory

49 comments:

  1. I'm always a sucker at the runDisney merchandise booth. I can't wait to see all the Princess merchandise again this year. I will be working at the Sparkle Skirts booth, like last year so stop by and say hi!

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  2. This looks like so much fun, I may have to make a trip to FL in the future for a Disney Race. Have a great race!

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    1. Yes, Disney Races are So much fun. You need to experience at least one of them!

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  3. I love the Expo! Disney does an awesome job with all the booths and the whole set up! This past year at the expo even the Jostens Center felt kinda cramp and we were their right when the doors opened!

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    1. We got there right when it opened during Wine N Dine and it didn't feel crowded then, bit I imagined as the day went on it got crowded!

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  4. I love that they have so many vendors, but maybe it's time they expand to a different venue?

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  5. This looks like so much fun! I've never been to an expo yet since I've just been doing smaller, 5 k races so far but I'm looking forward to this :) My first RunDisney race will be in October so I'm sure I'll be able to use this information then.

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    1. Yup, pretty much all the expos operate in the same way. Although I've been told that the expos aren't as massive in October because the races are smaller. Can not confirm that thought since I have not done an October race yet! Have fun!

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  6. I love runDisney expos so much! They really know how to choose great vendors. The official merchandise is always my favorite section to shop at though. :0)

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    1. I am anxiously awaiting to see if they will post a glimpse of the merchandise online!

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  7. Good information! I was so overwhelmed the first time I went! Now I just spend way to much money.

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  8. Great write up! I am one of those who gets there early so they can get in line for the Expo. I love being one of the first people in there. Smartest thing I saw at Wine and Dine was the 2 Official Merchandise locations.

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    1. We were hoping to be able to get there as it opened but seeing that Disney changed the hours, looks like we'll be a few hours late now! Oops, I guess I should have posted the hours in the blog post!

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  9. This race and expo look like so much fun! I have a lot of friends running it, I can't wait to see all the pictures and recaps!!

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  10. I love this - what a thorough description of the expo! Expos are my favorite part of a race, well, one of the things I look forward to most, anyway. And runDisney expos are by far the best. I remember the first year I did PHM and they had foot men to greet you at the door of the expo on a red carpet. It was so magical :) Can't wait to see the little touches this year!

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    1. Yes, I remember that expo! That picture with the footmen on the red carpet is above!

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  11. Yeah, last year's expo was more than a little tight -- it was crazy! This is a great post. I always look forward to the official merch, and keep my fingers crossed that things don't get too out of hand (and that there's actually stuff left to buy by the time I get there)! I especially LOVE the princess expo, though...rows and rows of running stuff surrounded by girly, pretty, sparkly things, what's not to love?. :)

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    1. I truly hope Disney is prepared! If they run out of merchandise by Friday, shame on them!

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  12. I'm looking forward to seeing all the new race merchandise :) that's basically the only merchandise I buy at the expo...and it's just so expensive.

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    1. I know! I'm really hoping Disney posts a sneak peek of the race merchandise soon ( like they did with Wine n Dine and Marathon weekend)!

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  13. It seems like it would be so overwhelming... but exciting! I'd just want to shop shop shop :)

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    1. It's definitely something you could easily spend all afternoon at!

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  14. I'm so excited!! I can't wait to check out the new rundisney shoes!!!

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    1. Yes, that is exciting. I hope you don't have to wait in too long of a line for those shoes!

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  15. I agree Meranda- having a game plan does ease the angst, especially for newcomers. I am THRILLED that the Disney's Fit for a Princess Expo will be moving back to the WWOS! It was so crowded last year I had to leave without getting my shirt of princess bag! (Tear.) This year, I'm sure that will be prevented; runDisney is usually pretty good responding to runner "comments". I have my shopping plan made, and my phone ready for the pictures I will no doubt take. Thanks so much again for joining another Virtual runDisney Blog Hop- you've been a wonderful supporter Meranda!!

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    1. Thank you so much Didi! I hope you have an excellent time at the expo! I hope I see you there!

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  16. The Expo is always a fun visit, even though it's usually pretty cramped.
    If you're not super devoted to specific runDisney gear, it's a great plan to get there later in the day to avoid the lines.

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    1. You are right. I should have also mentioned that "some" RunDisney items can be found at the Team Mickey at DTD and the other shop at WWOS!

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  17. This is all great information! Having experienced my first runDisney expo at Marathon weekend, it can definitely be overwhelming. I went over the Official Race program before flying down and came up with a to do list for the expo in order to ensure that I didn't miss anything I wanted to see.

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    1. Where was the race program available ahead of time? I don't remember that, but maybe my sister does.

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  18. Thanks for posting this! I'm planning to get there on Thursday, hopefully around 11:00-12:00 so there should be some jackets and "I Did It!" shirts left, right? That's all I really need!

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    1. I hope so Kristen! If not, Disney did some awfully poor planning on their part! Good luck!

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  19. Wow that's insanely bigger than the expo at the half I ran this past weekend. I think I would be way too tempted to shop! :)

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    1. There is definitely a lot of shopping going on!

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  20. Wow, that looks amazing! I love Sweaty Bands.....I'd probably spend all my time there, lol.

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  21. Tink 2014 was my first runDisney race, and I was a little late to expo party. I'm excited to get to Disney World on Thursday before the race, so I'm hoping I'll actually get a few things done this time around. Thanks for the info - it should help me out quite a bit!

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  22. Great piece! I'm so glad I now know I need to pick my bib up first and where before entering the Expo, thanks to you! We are planning on being there when it opens on Thursday so I am hoping to snag a few neat things!

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  23. Ahh the expo looks so awesome! Definitely think I need a Run Disney race on my bucket list!!

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  24. Me + official merchandise = bad news! ;) This is a great recap!! Love it, can't wait to be there!

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  25. I can't wait to see all the merchandise! I am a sucker for the official merchandise area - I just hope they have some good stuff on Friday morning when I get there! Thanks for all the info!!

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  26. I'm not usually a huge expo fan, but I love runDisney expos!! I like to go to the expo the first day about an hour or two after opening. It seems to be less crowded then, at least to me!

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  27. So glad they moved the expo back to WWoS. I have a couple of must-have merch items I'm hoping to get and I'm hoping to sign up for TOT (as long as it doesn't get close to selling out before then!)

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  28. I love the jacket I got at Tink this year! And it's always special to get to listen to Jeff Galloway's talks at the Expo. Hope to see you there!

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