Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dumbo Double Dare: Expo

Before I get going on my review of the Dumbo Double Dare/Disneyland Half Marathon expo, I just wanted to make a quick mention of today's date.  As a New Yorker, it's one I'll never forgot and a day to remember.  I posted my memories of where I was on this day in 2001 in last years Two for Tuesday on this date.  

Back to regularly scheduled programming...


Heading into the expo!
If you have read any other blogs, you probably heard what a disaster the expo was.  And let me tell you, in all my years of runDisney (almost 6 now), this was by far the worst.

Pam, Abby and I arrived Friday morning after a long flight from NYC (and very early) and we were already hearing reports of long lines waiting to get into the expo (it was about 9:30am).  And on the bus to the hotel we heard other people on the bus talking about hearing how crowded it was.

We were staying at the Disneyland Hotel, which also was hosting the expo.  We checked in and settled into our room before tackling the expo.  We were kinda hoping it would die down a little before we got there.

We went to get our bibs first and despite hearing there were lines to even get bibs, we were able to walk right up.  I got my bib, pins and necklace.  I also got my bracelet for Coast to Coast (yay!).

Following picking up our numbers, we headed to the expo.  This is were it got insane.  There was a line to even get into the expo.  Fortunately, it was moving quickly and once we got inside, we headed straight to the official merchandise.  This is where we saw the long line to pay.  We still looked around and I was going to get my wine glass and a Dumbo Double Dare sweaty band.  There was no Dumbo tech jackets and the "I Did It" shirts were already gone (as were all the other shirts).  I also could not find any Dumbo pins.

I went to get in line and by the time I found the end, I realized the line was probably at least 1.5 hours long.  And I decided to not get anything.  As much as I wanted a wine glass, they only had ones that said Disneyland Half on it, not Dumbo Double Dare and I really did not want to wait so long for the headband.  I was able to stop by the next day and they had pins for Dumbo, so I was able to get that.  But I basically didn't get anything I'd hoped for at the expo.

But - fortunately, the Disney Parks store just started selling Dumbo 'I Did it' shirts (tech ones) and teal Dumbo cotton shirts that say "I run for peanuts" on the back.  When I first heard that, I thought that they must have had more they didn't put on the floor.  But then when I looked further, I saw it said delivery would be in 6-8 weeks, so I am thinking they are making these new based on the debacle that was the expo.  Of course, I ordered both!

After escaping from the merchandise section, we went and pick up our shirts.  I don't hate the design of them, but I am so over the unisex shirts!  Let's be real, that basically means Men's.  Even a small is huge on me and they are just not flattering.  We picked sizes in women's for Marathon weekend, so it seems like women's shirts are coming for Marathon weekend, but all events should have the option for women's.

It was so crowded we couldn't do a ton of walking around, but we did make a stop at the Raw Threads booth were I picked up a red 'Fly' tank with 19.3 on the back and a Rapunzel tank.  I'm planning on wearing the Rapunzel for one of the Princess events (don't know which).

Following that, we made a quick stop to Sparkle Athletic where I picked up a couple more skirts in needed colors (got lots of costume ideas coming up!).

Once we finished there we headed out of the expo.  It was just too crowded to really hang around anymore, which kills me because you know how much I love expos!  I wanted a picture with the Dumbo car they had on site, but on Friday the line was really long.  When we went back on Saturday, there was no line and I was able to get my photo.

I love Disney races, but this expo left something to be desired.  It's not unfixable though, so here are my suggestions to runDisney on how to fix it.

1. Move it to some where bigger.  I am sure they use the Disneyland Hotel convention rooms because they don't have to pay for them, but they have outgrown the space.  Not sure if there is more rooms in the DL convention center, but they definitely need to find a bigger space for it next year.

2. Get women's shirts in addition to mens/unisex.  This race is not cheap - I find it ridiculous that they do not make women's shirts, only unisex.  As I said, it looks like this is coming, but it kills me it has not happened yet.  Women are the bigger percentage of the race (something runDisney promotes), so get with the program.

3.  Order more official merchandise.  I am sure they order limited amounts because they do not want to get stuck with extras, but it is insane that everything was sold out 3 hours after the expo opened.  Everyone should deserve to get items, not just those who get there super early.

4.  Have more stuff for all the events!  They promoted the Dumbo Double Dare so much, but they barely had any merchandise.  If this happens at Dopey I am going to be pissed (runDisney - please have Dopey tech jackets!).

5.  On that note, limit what people can buy.  I didn't really notice it here, but at Princess there were people buying 5-10 of each item.  That's not fair for the other people still waiting to shop.  Limit it to 2-3 of each item per person to give everyone a chance to get what they want.

6.  One idea might be to have people pre-order the official merchandise and then they can pick it up at the expo.  I'm not sure how feasible this is, but then people would get what they want.

7.  More registers.  Apparently the 1.5 hour line to check out was because they only had 6 registers open.

I'm sure putting on these expo's and races are tough, so I am not judging - these are just some suggestions on how to make it better!  The expo at Tink 2012 was seamless so I know it's possible.

Coming up next - my recap of the Disneyland 10K!


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