Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Our First Disneyland Expo

Hi everyone! As much as we enjoyed our time at Disneyland in California, we are kind of glad to be home. The weather in Southern California was much cooler than we anticipated and for that reason we are loving the 80 degrees and humidity that we came home to ( yea, we may be a bit crazy)!
Pixie dust challenge, tinkerbell half marathon

On Thursday morning we attended our first Disneyland race expo.  If you have done a run Disney race at Disneyland before some of this stuff may be redundant. If you've never done a Disneyland race before perhaps you will find some of this info helpful. We met our friend Pam on the way to the expo and she helped us navigate around!

The race expo is located at the Disneyland Hotel. This was very convenient for us because we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel. Just like at Disney world, packet pick-up and the actual expo are in two different locations. At Disneyland packet pick up is underneath where the expo is (kind of like in the basement).  Here is where you will get your bibs for all the races, pick up any pre-ordered merchandise, and get your wristband for the Coast to Coast Challenge if you are a participant.  I had totally forgot about getting a wristband because I was not given one when I got my bib. Thank goodness my sister noticed. I of course had to go to Runner Relations and let them know that I DID run Princess and I was doing the Coast to Coast Challenge. It appeared that they did not have my birthday correct. It was a simple fix and I got the wrist band.

Run Disney pre-order jacket

I was also kicking myself because I did not order the "pre-order" Tinkerbell half jacket before it sold out. When I got to the expo and saw that it was exactly the same design as the marathon weekend jacket, I was relieved I did not order it.  Really Run Disney, you couldn't have come up with a different design?

After picking up our packets, it was time to go upstairs and pick up our shirts and do some shopping. We were very pleased with all the shirts for this race weekend. They were very accommodating with shirt exchanges for those that didn't fit. 
disneyland expo
 
By the time we got to the official Merchandise area it was still rather early and there were no lines to get inside. Merchandise was fully stocked and all sizes were represented. My sister, mom, and I all got the teal Tinkerbell Half Marathon jacket. I think it's cute and I wanted to keep up my tradition of getting a jacket for each Disney race weekend but I will say that the quality is no way worth the $80 we paid for them but that weekend they were worth their weight in gold because we were literally freezing all weekend. Where was that Southern California sun?
tinkerbell half marathon run disney

In addition to the jackets, we picked up some magnets and some sweaty bands. All the sweaty bands were SO cute. I couldn't decide which one I wanted to get but knew I didn't want to go overboard. Apparently the one I got was very popular because when I went back the next day they were sold out.  Seeing that the expo was pretty well stocked when we got there, I was hopeful that they would have enough merchandise for those runners coming in later. Turns out, they sold out of jackets, magnets, some sweaty bands, and wine glasses all on the first day. When will Run Disney ever learn?

Tinkerbell half marathon jackets run disney

At one point we stopped to listen to the speakers talk about what to expect on the 10k and half marathon course. Since the course was new to us we thought maybe we would learn a thing or two. 
Unfortunately we didn't really learn anything about the course except where the "hidden" port o potties were. The session was more about safety information and would probably have been very helpful for first time runners.
disneyland expo

The rest of the time at the expo was spent checking out some of our favorite booths. Since neither of us packed our Massage Sticks, a visit to this booth was a must. We also found some new medal displays we wanted to get and I decided that it wouldn't hurt to get my knee and IT band taped up.


They of course had some fun photo ops at the expo as well. Here is a little tip that we found out. Don't wear a green or teal colored shirt or jacket in front of a "green screen".  It picks up that "green" color and makes it blotchy like in the first picture. That was told to us by the photographer AFTER the fact. We knew better when it was time to get another picture in front of the "green screen", the jackets came off!

For the most part, we thought the expo went very well. We especially liked the fact that it was located right inside our hotel and we didn't have to get transportation to another location.  This is one thing that is a definite plus compared to Disney World.

When choosing a hotel, is it more important to you to be closer to the expo or closer to the start line?

54 comments:

  1. So fun meeting up with you girls for the expo. Getting there on Thursday was definitely a plus in terms of merchandise and lines. I also enjoy staying close to both the start line and the expo!

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  2. That's one of the best things about Disneyland is that there are so many hotels both on and off property that keep you close to everything :) I wish runDisney would put a limit on merchandise or just allow runners in that area until the last day, kind of like New Balance started doing with the shoe queue. I'll be heading out west for the Disneyland half and can't wait! :)

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    1. Yea, we loved how convenient everything was to our hotel!

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  3. I love the top with the wings on the back - really pretty.

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    1. Yea, they had other cute jackets too but not with the wings!

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  4. I've never been to Disneyland! I don't really get into expos, so I'd rather stay close to the start line...

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    1. Yea, most expos tend to be the same vendors. We do like the official race merchandise though!

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  5. That teal jacket is really cute! And I love the fun photo ops :)

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  6. That's so weird about wearing the teal jacket in front of the screen! I think its a cute picture anyway:)

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    1. Thank you! We don't usually get pictures in front of a green screen but I think more and more companies are doing that.

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  7. I'll just keep dreaming of Disneyland : ) I think I would rather be closer to the start line though especially with how early the Disney races start.

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    1. Staying at the Disneyland hotel was perfect because it was close to both!

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  8. The teal jacket is adorable, but I agree, the quality of the material is usually not wroth the hefty price tag.

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    1. Lacey's Jacket actually started to unravel at the pocket. Most of ours looked like they were going to unravel too. So not worth it in quality but it was a nice to have in that cool weather.

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  9. Disneyland has a pretty nice set up because even if you stay off property, you can walk through DTD and get to the DL Hotel. I love that part and I don't feel as rushed to get a bus and get to the park. Walking over each morning is nice.

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    1. Yes, we loved the fact that we could walk and not have to take a bus!

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  10. I am really surprised that the weather was so cool in Anaheim! It is amazing how quickly the RunDisney merchandise sells out indeed. It is so expensive but so adorable at the same time. Can't wait to hear the race recap!

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    1. We were sad that we missed such beautiful weather at home. It was 85 degrees here while we were gone!

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  11. Sounds like a great expo!!! When I race, I like to be close to the starting line vs. the expo. That means a later wake up call and walk over in the am!!

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    1. We got really lucky that the start line was so close. That is something that we did not know about when we booked the hotel.

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  12. Thanks for sharing! I would rather be close to the start/finish then the expo.

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  13. I'm sorry we weren't able to meet up at the Tink! I managed to make it to the expo around lunch time on Thursday and I grabbed a Coast to Coast shirt and one of those teal Tink half jackets. I would have grabbed the purple Pixie Dust Challenge one but it didn't have the cute wing graphic on the back! When I went back to the expo with my mom on Friday morning I couldn't believe how much of the merchandise was gone. I felt bad for the people that weren't able to make it to the expo on the first day. I understand they don't want to make too much and then get left over with a bunch of race merchandise they didn't sell but I was really surprised at how quick some of the stuff sold out.

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    1. Yes, so sorry we missed you. The wings on the back of the Tink jacket was actually the deciding factor for us in buying that one instead of the Pixie Dust Challenge one.

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  14. You'd think they could seriously come up with another design! I'd be mad if I had both items with the same look :( ... & you're right - why do they sell out of everything so fast. I get they don't want to have a stock afterwards, but really? They think it won't sell out over the length of the weekend?!?!?!

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    1. Even if they had extra inventory, I would think they would be able to sell it on line. They have been doing that lately with the "I did it " shirts. People always change their minds once they get home and regret not buying something. This would give them a way to get the merchandise they missed out on.

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  15. it is crazy how fast they sold out of everything. I could only take off work on Friday so I walked into the Expo at 9:30 and everything was gone. At least I got a magnet! I wanted a sweatyband but the only ones they had left were the half marathon I did it ones. i will just have to wait until next year for the 5 year anniversary

    but it was lovely seeing both of you ladies on Friday!

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    1. It was great to see you too! For an expo that is three days long, they should never have run out of merchandise on the first night. That's just crazy and poor planning. But it seems to be the norm with Disney lately.

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  16. You ladies look great in your teal jackets!! Very cute, but that is a steep $ tag. I do love a big expo and being close is great convenience ;)
    Love all the cute photo ops. I am surprised it was cool in CA...odd.

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    1. Thanks Karen! Yes, it was very cool. We needed those jackets for sure.

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  17. I love those jackets!!! I can't believe it was so cool there. Mother Nature sure is crazy lately! I also love the cute pics you got.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. We were really thankful for those jackets. We needed them in that weather!

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  18. Love your jackets!! Normally, I'd rather stay near the start line but Disney races are the exception. WDW doesn't really matter for me but at Disneyland, I always stay at one of the hotels at the entrance of the parks. The walk to the start line is really long but I know I'll be making way more treks to the parks than the race!

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    1. We loved how convenient everything was to our hotel!

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  19. Love the jackets! I guess I would want to be closer to the start line. I've never done one so I am not sure.

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  20. Wow, this looks like the prettiest expo ever! I love the jackets and all the pictures you took. Looks like an awesome race! I know what you mean about it feeling chilly on the west coast..they don't get our humidity so it feels a lot cooler! When the sun's not out just forget about it..freezing!

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    1. Disney generally does put on some great race expos!

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  21. I love racing at Disneyland!! I bought a WDW AP this year so decided to be a grown up and stick with Florida races, but for next year, really hoping to do at least one DL race! Maybe Tink which I've NEVER done . . hmmmm. And I agree - the jackets are ADORABLE!!

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    1. Lucky you to have the WDW AP! Put it to good use!

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  22. The teal jackets are very cute! I would pick being close to the start. You usually have plenty of time (days even) to get to and enjoy an expo --- but you don't when it comes to the start line. Being close to the start also relieves stress on race morning.

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    1. I love that they were teal. They had some pinkish/purple-ish ones too but I didn't think they were too Tinkerbell-ish!

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  23. Oh I LOVE the jacket!!! But bummer that the pre-order jacket was the same as marathon weekend.

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    1. Yea, that really surprised me. The Princess Jacket was not that same design so I never would have thought the Tinkerbell one would have been the same as Marathon weekend.

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  24. I'd rather stay near the start line if I'm traveling for a race. It's a lot easier to deal with transportation in the middle of the day to an expo than to have to figure out when to leave to make an early start time.

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    1. I loved the location of our hotel. It was so easy to navigate everywhere.

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  25. I don't know why runDisney can't keep up with the demand for merchandise. Actually, they are smart they know people want it so they make it difficult! LOVE the race shirts!!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

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    1. You are right. They make less so it is in high demand. They know what they are doing...lol

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  26. Ahhh!!! This is so fun!! What a great day! :) Pretty jacket!! :)

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  27. Thanks, this is helpful since I will be running my first Disneyland race in September!

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  28. I like to be close to the start line myself :) Cute jacket- I love expos, looks like fun!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.