Last year's expo was a disaster - sheer insanity. I'd been keeping my fingers crossed that this year it would be better, but I wasn't sure if it would. Forntunately, this year it was much smoother!
The expo opened at noon on Thursday and since we were already there, Pam and I decided to go on the early side. First stop, merchandise! There were a couple of things I really wanted, so it made sense to do it first.
The merchandise was in the same area, but this year it was sectioned off better. There was a line to get in and they were monitoring how many people were inside at once. The line wasn't too bad when I arrived and it moved quickly - probably only waited 20-25 minutes.
Once inside, there was plenty of room and there was none of the mad grabbing to get merchandise as there was last year. And there was also plenty of merchandise to go around (and from what it sounds like, plenty all weekend). Looks like runDisney actually listened and made some positive changes! Thanks runDisney!
They didn't preview a ton of the merchandise online (just a couple of t-shirt designs), so I wasn't sure what they'd have. I knew a couple of items I hoped they had (and they did!) and assumed I would find a couple of other things to buy. I can't resist race merchandise!
I started with the three items I knew I would want: Sweaty Bands (I love them and wasn't able to get them last year), a magnet (which I have gotten from all my recent runDisney races lately) and a mini Dumbo Double Dare medal pin (I got the mini medal from both Dopey and Glass Slipper and wanted to complete my collection).
Lucky me - they had all 3! I actually got 2 Sweaty Bands - one for the Half and one for Dumbo. The designs were really cute! I was also able to get my magnet (I got the Dumbo one only, they did have 2 for the Half) and the mini medal pin. Off to a good start!
I also thought I might get a wine glass... I don't need one, but I have one from all my other runDisney races so I thought I had a feeling I would get one for this race too. And it was really cute this year! I love the tag line - 'Running the Dream!'. Perfect for this race!
They also had a really cute waterbottle (I have an obsession with them) so I picked up one of those. The pack of the waterbottle says 'Running for Peanuts'. I also picked a Dumbo Double Dare keychain. So cute and something I can use everyday!
Lastly, I ended up getting a Dumbo Double Dare hoodie. I loved the blue color and the back had a great design. I didn't really need it... but I couldn't resist.
|The back, the front says 'Running for Peanuts' on the right side|
After making our decisions, we headed to the registers. They had them located in a side room and it was a very smooth process. So easy!
Once we had paid for everything, we headed back to get our numbers. My line to pick up was pretty short, so it went quickly. I also got my race pins with no line as well. Pam's line was a little longer, but not too bad!
After that, it was upstairs to get the race shirts. They had it set up so you went directly up from the number pick up into the back of the expo for shirt pickup. The shirts were well organized and no lines. I really like the shirts this year! The color of the half shirt isn't my favorite, but I don't hate it (I know some people really didn't like it). And they were women sized, yay!
Did some quick walking around the expo, but honestly didn't look around too much. I don't need much of anything so just made it quick.
Overall, I think this expo was a 100% better than last year. They made some important (and needed) changes to the expo so it went smoother. They organized the official merchandise better and had plenty of it. I'm not sure how much they had left over (I hope not a lot so they don't order less) and that they continue to order a lot of merchandise. It's not fair to the people who can't go on the first day not to be able to get stuff.
If you went to the expo, what did you think of it?