(Sorry this post is a little late! Kathleen had post-Dopey Challenge flu :(. She’s all better now though!!)
I arrived in Disney on Tuesday, January 6th after working a half day, because I knew that I had to get my hands on the Dopey merchandise first thing on Wednesday morning when the expo opened! Since Lauren could not arrive until Wednesday later in the day, we had gone over what she wanted based on some of the pictures we had seen prior to the expo.
After reading Kathryn’s blog and confirming with her that morning, I knew that the best merchandise was actually going to be in the Josten Center and not in the same place as where I was going to pick up my bib.
The bus from the hotel to the expo was supposed to start running at 9:30 am (the expo was supposed to start at 10 am), but I had heard on facebook that buses would start running at 9 am. I was determined to be on one of the early buses! I waited at my hotel and sure enough, we were going to the expo by 9:15 am!
There was a long line to the Josten Center, but it moved very quickly once the expo opened up (they opened around 9:45 am—15 minutes early) and everyone made a mad dash towards the back of the expo space for the official runDisney merchandise. This is where it got crazy. The Dopey Challenge merchandise aisle was SO CROWDED. It literally felt like runDisney Black Friday—pushing, shoving, grabbing what you could… it was CRAZY! Luckily, I was able to secure everything I wanted and then some. After I figured out what I wanted, I made my way to the marathon area for Lauren and thru texts and pictures, I secured her goodies as well.
After I got the merchandise and explored a few other tables—I also purchased some new yurbuds and an official poster of the weekend, I went over to the fieldhouse to get my bib and packet. Since I was doing the Dopey Challenge, it was a little bit more confusing. I had to get my bib and then take my picture (they confirmed pictures at the end of the challenge to make sure you were the one doing the challenge and not someone else).
After I got my picture taken, then I was able to collect the shirts for the races! Since I was doing the Dopey Challenge, I got these 6 amazing shirts!! I just doubled my fall/winter outdoor running attire 🙂
I had ordered the incorrect size for my shirts, but runDisney makes it so easy and I was able to easily exchange for the correct size. I wish all races were like this!
Before I left to go back to the hotel, I saw Jeff Galloway in the expo series… he is the reason I decided I could take on the marathon distance back in January 2014!
Afterwards, I went back to the hotel to wait for Lauren to arrive, so that we could do the expo round 2!
Shortly after getting off the plane and dropping my stuff off at the hotel, Kathleen and I boarded a bus and headed to the WDW Marathon Expo. Kathleen had already been earlier in the day and got a lot of stuff for me (I was afraid it would run out!), but I had to go to get my bib and packet, and of course buy more stuff.
Luckily, the bus was there waiting for us outside the hotel, and it was a pretty quick bus ride to the Expo which was located at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Outside of the building there was signs with the different races of the weekend, so I took a picture in front of the marathon one! Kathleen wanted to get one in front of the Dopey, but there was a long line 😦
Once we entered the building, there were tons of volunteers that greeted us and told us where we were supposed to go. My packet pickup was in a separate building, but before we went over there, I grabbed some merchandise!
After we bought some stuff, we headed over to the packet pickup area. There was absolutely no line for the marathon pickup! I feel like a lot of people were doing just the half, or one of the challenges, so that was why I didn’t have to wait at all. Thus, the pickup was very quick and easy! I loved the black long sleeve shirt, and really enjoyed that my name was written on the bib. The one thing I didn’t like was all else that was in the bag was a miniature ClifBar! We paid a ton of money to run in this, and we couldn’t even get a full size! haha.
After picking up my bib, Kathleen and I headed over to the Armpocket booth. Since we are both ambassadors, we definitely wanted to say hi to the people working there and introduce ourselves in person. As you all know, we both love our Armpockets and are so happy to be ambassadors! They were all so nice, and it was great to see them all at the Expo!
After this visit, we looked around the different booths a little more. There really wasn’t anything there that was any different from the other expos I’ve been too, so I didn’t make any additional purchases. We then left the Expo and headed back to the hotel so that we could meet up with my mom and Aunt Dorie and make our way to Animal Kingdom for our dinner reservations at the Rainforest Café!