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Day Two at Disneyland: The Dumbo Double Dare Expo

22 Sep

The four of us were up bright and early and ready to hit up the race expo right when it opened. The expo was held at the Disneyland Hotel.

When we rounded the corner to the front of the hotel, we could see lines going on for days and days. There were at least 5 lines with no real end, and everyone was telling us we were cutting in line, and the staff members had no clue where the lines actually started and ended. We eventually did find the end of the expo line and were able to walk in without getting trampled. Run Disney race expos used to be fairly calm. You could walk around and buy these at your leisure. However, with the ever-rising popularity of the races and the new challenges, such as the Dumbo Double Dare and the Glass Slipper Challenge, there is much more demand for the race merchandise. You pretty much have to get there right when it opens and grab what you can. Forget the packet pickup line and go straight for the merchandise. Your packet will be there all day long. The merchandise won’t be.

As soon as we entered the merchandise area, it was an all-out free-for-all.

Items were being snatched up quickly, and people were walking around with piles and piles of clothes, trying them on, and then disposing of the items that didn’t fit. Complete strangers were telling each other what they were looking for, so while I was shopping, I made it a point to find things other people were looking for. Once my friends and I gathered up what we wanted, we stood in line. And stood in line. And stood in line. It took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to get to the cashier. The line wrapped around the speaker area, out in the lobby, and around again. It was ridiculous! But everyone in line was patient and friendly.

I’m still not sure why I thought the shirts I bought were worth the long wait. While we were waiting, we all let each other mosey around the expo for a little bit. I couldn’t help it that I wanted to see the new Goofy medal! I’m a fan.

Once we all paid, we went ahead and got our packets downstairs and our shirts upstairs. No lines for either!

(I got that picture of the race shirts off of instagram, but I didn’t take note of the username. If it’s your picture, I’ll be sure to give you credit)

After that, we all parted ways, and I browsed the expo vendors and ended up running in to my good pal Sara and her husband Bryan.

(photo credit = Running in Pink Project)

Sara and I had plans of hanging out the Monday after the race, and she had just flown in to LA and needed lunch and rest, so we parted ways too. I had dinner plans at Tortilla Jo’s with some friends at 4pm, and I had about an hour and a half to kill, so I strolled around Downtown Disney. I must say- WDW’s Downtown Disney blows Disneyland’s away. No contest. I mean, they do have stores like Sephora. I’ll give them that. Their World of Disney store is much smaller, and they carry pretty much the same inventory as WDW.

I’ve been yearning to stay at the Grand Californian, so I peeked in at their lobby. It’s beautiful, and it reminds me a lot of our Wilderness Lodge. (My friends and I compared WDW and Disneyland the whole time, and we referred to them as “ours” and “yours” the whole time.) I really like how they have a direct entrance to California Adventure. Convenience for the win! Maybe I’ll stay there next time.

(not the best picture. The sun was shining in all of the windows)

Dinner at Tortilla Jo’s was pretty delicious and filled with plenty of laughs and great conversations with friends. We actually all met on Facebook via the Run Disney page, and now I consider them some of my closest friends.

After dinner, I went back to the hotel for an early bedtime. The Alice-themed Inaugural Disneyland 10K was the next morning, so I set out my “Flat Andrea” and passed out fairly quickly.

If you were at the Disneyland race expo, did you have a similar experience?

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8 Responses to “Day Two at Disneyland: The Dumbo Double Dare Expo”

  1. Melissa September 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi Andrea — I’ve read a lot of DDD recaps and I’ve got to say that your pictures WIN for demonstrating how packed in crazy the expo was. I’m glad I’ve never encountered that at the WDW races.

    Thanks for sharing — even the crowded parts! Melissa

    • admin September 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

      Oooh.. my pictures won? Yay!!! Seriously, that expo was absolutely ridiculous. I hope they open it on Thursday next year instead of Friday.

  2. Alissa September 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Oh my GOSH!! I am so scared now for the Tinkerbell in January. I have done ones in WDW and it was never like that…. I am not a fan of crowds or lines so this will be a challenge! Thank you for the GREAT info.. what was your purple outfit? I am thinking about being Megara (Hercules)

    • admin September 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

      I’m almost thinking that Tinker Bell might be worse with it being mostly women. But get there early if you want to scoop up any merchandise. Once I got the shirts home, though, I decided I really didn’t even like them. I’m not a fan of Champion tech shirts anyway. The torso is too short.

      My purple outfit was from lululemon. I wasn’t really trying to dress up as anyone. I just wanted a fun outfit for a “short” race.

  3. Destiny September 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Hi I just wanted to chime in that I have run the past two tinker bells which includes the first and the expo was nothing like that – I was absolutely appalled by this expo I wasn’t able to get any merch because the thought of waiting in that line was too much to bear and I was there first thing on Friday! If dumbo comes back they have to open the expo on Thursday – my fiancé works security for the park and he can attest that the expo was set up Wednesday night – there is no reason it could not have opened I hope run Disney learns their mistakes from this expo – can’t wait to read the rest of your recaps!

    • admin September 23, 2013 at 12:07 am #

      I was thinking that the next Tinker Bell expo might be similar to Dumbo due to the addition of the 10K.

      • destiny September 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

        ah! you are right – I totally forgot about the addition to the 10K – I decided not to do it because it wasn’t packaged up as a challenge – might be best for me to just go to the expo on Saturday this time. =)

  4. Susan September 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    I haven’t done a Disney race or Expo yet, but I run the 5K which takes place the day before the Boston Marathon, and go to the Marathon Expo to pick up my packet and to take a look around. That expo is always crowded, and I hate crowds so we never stay long, I’d stay longer if it was less crowded. But after looking at your photos, I think if the lines at an Expo I was at looked like that, I’d take one look and turn right around and run out screaming in fright! That is just nuts!

    Does Disney offer the option of buying any of the Expo merch on line? In the case of the Marathon here, you can get a lot of the Marathon items straight from the Adidas website, and at other stores around the Boston area, the merch isn’t exclusive to the Expo. I ended up getting some of the items I wanted at stores other than the Expo, the price was the same, and no line!

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