Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Race Report: 2015 Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend: Expo

For once, I'm on top of it!  Just a few days ago we returned from the 2015 Tink Half Marathon Weekend.  Here's Part 1--our review of the expo.  Since me and my mom were running, I thought it would be fun to hear from both of us, since we "expo-ed" different days.
I want!

Joann: After checking in at the Disneyland Hotel early Thursday afternoon (This was my first time staying here and I was obsessed with the Mickey Glove lamps in the bathroom!), I headed to the Expo around 2:30.  This turned out to be a great time to go, no crowds.

My first stop was the Official Merchandise area to see if anything on Alyson or my lists was left.  I was disappointed to find there were no wine glasses (my list), but I did manage to get us the coffee mugs.  I picked up Alyson’s water bottle and my “I Did It” shirt.  The rack that housed Alyson’s “Pixie Dust Challenge” Sweaty Band was now full of generic runDisney bands.  Browsing through them, I did find her a “Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend” one.   After checking out and getting my Disney Visa discount, I headed out to explore the rest of the expo.  

Wandering around a bit, I found myself at the New Balance booth checking out the Tinker Bell sneakers.  They were adorable!  Hmmm…no wine glass, maybe I should get the sneakers….

Next stop was packet pickup.   I realized I left my waiver home, so I had to print one.  I had my choice of computers.  I printed my waiver, picked up my bib and headed to the Get Travel booth to pick up my park tickets.  My Dooney backpack was next on the list and then I headed upstairs for my race shirt. I think I did all this in less than 20 minutes! 

Margaret Kerry
Once I deposited my “treasures” in the room, Downtown Disney was my destination for a quick meal.  It was a definite benefit being so close to everything, unlike WDW.  My plan was to head back to the expo and catch some of the Speaker Series.  This was the first time I’ve had an opportunity to do this.

I sat in on the end of “Information for Runners and Spectators” by the runDisney panel.  It was interesting as they went over the race courses and answered any questions posed. This seemed like a good choice if you were a first time run Disney participant.

The speaker I wanted to hear was Margaret Kerry.   She was the Original Animator’s Reference Model for Tinker Bell.   You could see why they chose her for the part.   What a fun and entertaining speaker!   At 86 years young, she showed us pictures of herself posing for the artists, told interesting stories and even danced a little in her tap shoes.  So glad I was there for this hour.  Yes, “laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever".

Aly:  My hubs and I arrived REALLY late Thursday night (in face, I think it was technically Friday morning), so we headed to the expo on Friday morning.  I set my alarm for 6 am to sign up for the New Balance Virtual Queue.  There were no issues and I was put in group 4. We slept in a bit longer then got ready to go to the expo, day 2.  I wasn't expecting much, which was good, because they were pretty well wiped out of any merchandise I wanted (thank goodness for moms who get there a day earlier).  We can go on and on about ebay and runners "rights" to buy stuff, but I'll leave that for another blog, another day.
For the pink C2C

The expo was similar to the DL Half, with all of the vendors and speakers being in the main ballroom.  It was a bit busy, but nothing like I would imagine the day before.  We were able to get our Lasting Commemoratives bookmark, browse the runDisney booth, pick up packets and goody bags, and look around leisurely. 

Just a few pairs!

Finally, around 11, it was my turn with New Balance.  I seriously love the new virtual queue system at DL! (It's a little tough at WDW because the expo isn't close to anything.  Here you theoretically could go to the parks and come back when your time is up.)  My mom and I were able to try on the new Tink shoes, plus I bought the Minnies that were released at Princess.  Yes, I have a problem.  We were done quickly and headed back to the room where we dropped off our packages and got ready to hit the parks.

Overall, the expo was pretty typical.  I didn't get the same "special-ness" as I did at Princess, but it was a standard expo.  Of course, if you're dying to get your hands on merchandise, you just have to get there for the first minutes on the first day.  There's just no way around it.  If that's not important to you, though, I highly suggest going later.  You'll have a much more enjoyable experience!

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