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?