Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo

Even though my “racecation” week began on Monday prior to the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, I’m going to begin my recap with the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo and go from there…stick with me, I have lots of fun things to share!

Friday, August 30, 2o13 – Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

Words could not describe how happy I was to see Friday morning’s race weekend ticker on runDisney’s website.

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 12

Finally….at long last!

Our plans for Friday morning began early – start at California Adventure for Extra Magic Hours at 8 a.m., then meet up with friends for the Expo at 9 a.m. Per Twitter, I read that the line for the Expo was growing long, and it was only 8:30 a.m. I sent out a tweet to my group of friends who were supposed to meet up (Lisa, Lisa, & Jen) to see what they wanted to do…we then decided to change plans and meet up in line at the Expo instead. Since Lisa was from Canada and unable to receive tweets, Jason and I decided to swing by the meeting spot on our way out of California Adventure. Sure enough, Lisa was there waiting…and as I approached, said hi, shared hugs, the usual…she said, “I just saw Joey Fatone and Sean Astin walk by!”

Ummm…rewind…ok….what?!

We began walking and sure enough, she was right! It WAS Joey Fatone and Sean Astin!

I couldn’t miss my opportunity, so I walked right up and asked if I could take a picture with him! (I’m a huge NSYNC nerd, what can I say?)

Joey Fatone runDisney

Lisa was also happy because she stopped Sean for a picture! GREAT way to begin a runDisney weekend if I do say so myself!

As we approached the Disneyland Hotel we couldn’t help but notice the GIANT crowd of people lining the sidewalk outside the resort. We were told there were two lines – one to get into the expo itself (merchandise area) and one to get race numbers. I tweeted my other friends a few times but was unable to locate them because of the massive amounts of people around. Instead, we jumped in the Expo merch line and waited. At exactly 10 a.m., the doors to the Expo opened and the merchandise area was flooded with people. I didn’t have time to take pictures because we were busy grabbing anything and everything we liked in our size. Shirts were flying, people were all over the place…needless to say, it was quite the event.

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 1

My husband was such a good sport. He helped us decide which items to buy, then he held all of our merchandise and stayed in line so we could look through the floor items again to make sure we didn’t miss anything!

Thankfully, our wait in line to purchase our merchandise was not as long as others…I heard reports of some waiting in line for 2+ hours to check out! I also heard that they closed the merchandise area for 1 hour to let the line die down . I’m glad we were out of there by that point! One thing I did mention to my husband – Disney is a master at forming lines. After the merchandise line wound out of the designated area and into the hallway, a CM came by with tape and marked out an additional line, which then wound through the hallway, the staging area, and out into the corridor.

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 9Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 8

This is only one portion of the line. Cray cray.

After making our purchases, we took a few pictures and said our goodbyes.

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 2

Lisa helped make a crazy experience much more enjoyable and I really had fun hanging out with her! She was a huge help in deciding what to buy, too. Yay for new twitter friends!

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 3

Hello Dumbo! :0)

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 7

Thankfully, the Expo floor was not near as crowded as the runDisney merchandise area.

While walking through the Expo area, I heard my name and as I looked up, I saw the lovely ladies of We Run Disney!!

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 5

I’m excited I was able to meet them! They even had a birthday gift for me…so sweet!

I saw that they were talking to someone in the KT Tape line and realized that I knew her too….

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 6

Jen!! We were texting several times throughout the day and weren’t able to meet up in prior to the Expo – so glad I ran into her there!

As we were talking, someone else came up and said that they wanted us to know they read our blogs and really enjoyed following us! It was so nice of her to say, but I’m sad I never got her name! If you are reading this, let me know who you are…and thanks for saying hi! That was really sweet of you! :0)

I ran into so many others at the Expo…Heather (who’s husband was stuck in a super long line for merchandise), Fred, Crystal & Jaclyn (two Disney Bride friends), Emily (who I continued running into over and over again that day)…I saw so many faces, I’m sorry if I left you out!

After saying our goodbyes, Jason and I headed over to the packet pickup area. Thankfully, my race bib line wasn’t long…yay!

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 10 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 11

Once I received my race bib, I had to go back into the Expo floor to pick up my race shirts/bag.

Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention to sizing and I ordered a Medium (unisex). Whoops. Ah well…lesson learned!  However, I heard a rumor that women’s fit will be offered at upcoming races. We’ll see if that’s really true!

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo Gear 2

After wandering around the Expo, I stopped by the New Balance booth to try my chances on snagging a pair of runDisney Women’s New Balance shoes. Of course, I knew my chances were slim as it was in my original plan to stop by this booth first – but after seeing the madhouse on the runDisney Merchandise floor, I decided to forego my original plan as you saw above.

Guess what? I was in luck! At 12:30 (the expo opened at 10 a.m.), New Balance still had a pair of Women’s size 8.5 runDisney shoes! Not only did I get to meet Joey Fatone earlier that morning, I also snagged a pair of runDisney shoes, too! It was my lucky day!

We stayed at the Expo until 1 p.m. and decided it was time to go back to the parks for lunch. After leaving, we dropped off our goodies in our room, then made a bee-line for California Adventure!

Disneyland Half Marathon Expo Gear

…but not before taking a picture of my new gear, first!

runDisney New Balance Shoes

Sportin my knew kicks…on route 66!

So much more happened this day, but I don’t want to overwhelm this post, so I’ll save the rest for another time.

In the meantime, check out the Vlog I made of our experience at the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo and California Adventure!

What did you think? Were you at the Expo? Did you snag the gear you were hoping for?

38 comments:

  1. Ahhhhh! You just walked up to Joey and Sean?!?! Don't they get tired of people approaching them? I think my inner-fan-girl might go nuts if Sean Astin walked by me! Keeping my fingers crossed for the PHM! I heard the expo was crazy, it's making me nervous b/c I really want an I did it shirt or a PHM jacket/hoodie. I think it will probably be just as crazy b/c of the GSC. I'm hoping everyone will be grabbing GSC stuff and I'll be able to get my PHM stuff! Can't wait to hear more.

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    1. Yes, I walked right up behind them! As I reached Joey, another girl approached him and asked for a picture...after her pic, I slipped right on in and asked as well. He was super nice but I could tell he didn't want to just stand still/stay put because he didn't want to create a commotion, get stuck, etc. As he walked away, I told him to have fun this weekend and he said thanks. Again, really nice and super approachable but I could tell he didn't want to stay still too long.

      I'm just hoping they order enough GSC merchandise. I had the same issue with Goofy, so I'm glad I was at the DL expo when it opened...heard Dumbo merch was gone within an hour!

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  2. I read about all those reports, and the fire marshal shut down the merchandise booth?! Makes me happy I'm not planning to buy anything at the expo in January. Just show me the way to the race packets and I'll be all set.

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    1. Oh wow I didn't know about the Fire Marshall! Honestly, I've never had an issue like that at WDW races. Granted, they were out of Goofy merchandise by the time I got there, but I didn't arrive until the 2nd expo day...had I been there earlier, I think it would have been ok. Best of luck in January! You're going to have a fabulous time!

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  3. It was nuts!! We were some of the lucky ones in line for 2 hours waiting to pay for official merch...luckily my friends stayed in line while I got taped up :) It was so awesome to finally meet you and hope to see you again soon!!! :)

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    1. Definitely!! Im glad we were able to meet up, too! What's your next disney race? Mine is glass slipper!

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  4. LOVE it!!! How awesome that you got to meet Joey! And I'm so jealous of all your purchases!!! I so want the runDisney New Balance shoes!!! It's crazy how fast all the official merchandise goes! I'm hoping it's not all sold out marathon weekend when I get there. Last year I went to the expo the second day and almost everything was gone. :-(

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    1. That is exactly what happened to me last year, too! Bummer! Hoping you can grab a pair of shoes next time! :0)

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  5. I am totally jealous of your runDisney shoes!!! I can't wait to read the rest of your recaps! Wish I was there!!!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! Im looking forward to your W&D recaps, too!

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  6. Holy cow - that expo looks crazy! I have never experienced that at the expos in Disney World, even though they get packed pretty quickly! Seems like such the whirl wind day! So fun that you got to meet Joey and a bunch of your blogger friends :)

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    1. You are right, I've never experience that at WDW either, though I heard the princess 2013 expo was kind of crazy! It was great meeting up with everyone, especially Joey!

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  7. I am pretty sure I would have reverted to my 13-year-old obsessive NSYNC fangirl stage if I had run into a member of my favorite boy band of all time. SO. COOL!

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    1. I kind of did...and I'm surprised I was so calm. After he walked away and was out of hearing range, I kind of freaked out! Haha!

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  8. It was so nice to finally meet you! Wish we could have chatted more...there's always next time :)

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    1. Definitely next time!! :0) We will have to plan something!

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  9. The expo was a complete disaster...not a typical Run Disney event, not sure why this year was so disorganized. We got to the expo at 10am and there were no Run Disney people around to direct people as to what line was for what. We waited about 15 min to get our bibs and then my wife didnt show up as Coast to Coast, so we had to go to Runner Relations and waited for about 45 min. Once there, the Disney computers were down /so slow that they couldnt bring up the results from WDW 1/2. I brought it up on my phone and insisted the woman accept it and give my wife the C2C wrist band. When we left there, the Runner Relations line was about 300 people (Lots of C2C issues)

    We headed up to the expo and waited about 20 min to get in. Got our shirts and took a quick look around. Ran into my friend Monica who works for New Balance and she had my wife try on a pair of the shoes, which were a bit tight. (NB is bringing out more versions of the Disney shoes next year) We walked through the merchandise area, didnt see anything worth the wait and headed back to the parks.

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    1. Goodness Bob...I'm sorry that was such a hassle for y'all! Glad you guys got the Coast to Coast stuff figured out!

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  10. Hello Karen! I've been following your blog for a while and wanted to say hi and congrats on completing yet another fantastic runDisney race. I'm hoping to complete my first (of many!) in 2015.

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    1. Thank you so much! YAY...you are going to love it! Best of luck to you! Let me know if you need anything! :0)

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  11. The Expo was absoltuely insane! I saw you for like a nanosecond in the merch area where it was grab, grab, grab and then decide what you wanted to keep. Since my wife had to work that day, I was solo and had to wait in the 2 hour line to make my purchases. Even though the line to purchase merch was horrible, I did get to meet some cool people who assured me that the WDW Marathon Weekend won't be that crazy. Although, this exprience has me seriously thinking about how early I need to arrive for that Expo. After all, it will be my very first full marathon and I want some sort of WDW Marathon merch.

    By the way, I'm glad you got to meet Joey Fatone. It's fun to meet celebrities.

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    1. Aww bummer sorry we didn't get to say hi...and I'm sorry if I looked like a mad woman running all over the place! :0) Ugh that line...crazy! I promise WDW won't be that way...at least it never has been for me!

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    2. No worries. I probably saw you for like a second as I was quickly looking for the merch I wanted. So many faces in the crowd. It took a few seconds to register that I actually recognized one of them. Then, it was a sea of faces I didn't know. Everything happened so fast in the merch area at the Expo that my head was spinning for hours trying to process it all.

      I'm so looking forward to WDW Marathon Weekend! I got my airline tickets yesterday and have my resort reservations finalized! Can't wait!

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    3. Totally understand!! Everything did happen so fast in that area, I agree! Madness! LOL YAY for airline tickets! So exciting...it will be here before you know it!

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  12. I got stuck in that hour long line to pay for official merchandise at the expo. The longest line I stood in all trip! Still worth it though. :)

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  13. Congrats on the expo goodies! We skipped the shopping area because it was so insane!

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  14. Crazy! Expos have been nuts lately, huh? Princess was the same way! I'm so glad you got the runDisney shoes though AND got to meet Joey!!

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    1. I heard about princess! Sounds like a similar situation! Thanks so much! :0)

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  15. I did not want to read any expo posts until mine was written. It was such a crazy day and thank goodness we met some of our internet pals which certainly made the experience better.

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    1. SO crazy! Glad we were able to meet up with you guys, too! :0)

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  16. Wow i didn't think the expo would be that crazy!!! Loving your recap, I will want to buy EVERYTHING!!!

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    1. It was SO crazy, but I heard last year's DL and Tink's weren't that crazy! I know that feeling...I wanted everything!

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  17. Great meeting you (FINALLY) at the expo, Karen. I kept running in to you in line after line after line. That was quite the expo experience.

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    1. You too, Fred!! The Expo was so crazy...it was fun seeing you every time we turned the corner, though! lol

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  18. Sounds like a great Expo. I really need to take more time when I go to the Disney Expo this year...I usually just rush right through!

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    1. I love walking through Expos! I didn't enjoy my first expo and I regretted that, so now I take time to see it all!

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