Posts Tagged by Josten’s Center

The Health & Fitness Expo – A Runners Dream!

The Health & Fitness Expo at any runDisney event can be an endurance event in itself.  There is SO MUCH to buy see and do!  It’s a great place for all runners and fitness enthusiasts, even those not participating in the weekend’s events, to come and see the latest gear.  Jackie isn’t running until Princess Half Marathon Weekend, but that didn’t stop her from checking out all the rad things at the WDW Marathon Weekend Expo.  Let’s take a look!

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While I have yet to run a race during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, I have attended this race’s Expo many times, including this past one. The runDisney Health and Fitness Expo is the best way to kickoff the 2015 racing calendar and a run filled year. The excitement is contagious and you can’t help not wanting to be apart of it!

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The second you walk inside the Jostens Center at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports, you immediately feel the energy of thousands of runners anticipating their races and the vendors who are just as excited. As you are directed downstairs into the expo, you are immediately greeted with Raw Threads and the facade of the New Balance booth.

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Not being able to resist the Raw Threads booth, with their cute designs and soft fabrics, I walked through their space to see what was available. They were fully stocked with favorite character designs and also had some newer Frozen and Star Wars designs, which are perfect for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend and Princess Weekend next month!

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My next stop was the New Balance booth. They had apparel and accessories available, but the main attraction are the official runDisney New Balance shoes! The latest shoes to join the collection are the limited edition 990v3 featuring Retro Mickey and Minnie, which were inspired by Steamboat Willie. You can checkout the new shoes and the older designs here.

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After exiting the New Balance booth, I made my way to the back of the Jostens Center where all the runDisney official merchandise was. There surprisingly was not a long line waiting to checkout, like there normally is during the expo; it’s better to get there early or in the middle of the day!

They had all different styles of shirts for each race, along with accessories, bottles, mugs, and much more! I love the ‘I Did It!’ shirts-there was one available for each distance, plus Dopey and Goofy Challenges. I saw a lot of these walking around at the end of the weekend at Downtown Disney at the Cool Down Party.

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Right in front of the runDisney booth, you can check out the medals for the weekend and chat with Jeff Galloway, who makes appearances throughout the day. I missed him this time around, but I did see him last year at Princess!

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As I made my way to the front of the Jostens Center, I stopped by the Transitions photo booth and Sweaty Bands. Transitions had tons of fun props to put on for a photo that they send to your email. They also had this booth setup at the Cool Down Party! Sweaty Bands always has super cute headbands in many different prints and patterns. You can even find ones to match your running costume!

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I had to stop by the Fit2Run booth, which is fully stocked with all your last minute weekend race needs from nutrition to apparel and shoes. You can pickup anything you may need for the weekend and training, which makes stopping by the Expo super convenient! I love how you can chat with the brand reps who will help with advice and their knowledge about the different products the booth carries. I had my eye on many things here, but my plan is to stock up Princess weekend! I have been eyeing some Dona Jo printed tights and I wish I just got them this weekend!

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After you leave the Jostens Center and enter the Champion Stadium, you could spin the Fit2Run wheel and win all different prizes including Fun Runs to spend at their location in Downtown Disney!

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Kicking off the year with the WDW Marathon Expo and Races are the perfect start to 2015! The camaraderie felt and excitement you experience at these expos just makes you more excited for your next runDisney event. Though I did not make any purchases this time around, I scouted out the goods for Fit for a Princess Expo next month and made a long list of items I have to get! Later this year I will register for the Walt Disney World Marathon (my first!!) and already cannot wait to come back and visit the expo and celebrate with all our fellow runDisney and RAD runners!

2014 Fit for a Princess Health & Fitness Expo

I’m very excited to welcome Heather to Running at Disney!  I’ve known Heather for quite some time in the Disney community and it has great to grow together as Disney runners over the years.  Today she has a great recap of the Fit for a Princess Expo with a lot of really fun photo ops!  Enjoy 🙂

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Princess Half Marathon Weekend was my fourth runDisney race weekend.  I ran the 5k and 10k, so this was my 4th and 5th race! The corresponding expo seems to run smoother each race weekend. Last year’s Disney Fit for a Princess Expo was held at the Coronado Springs resort, which was a nightmare. The lines were insane, even for the buses to get into the resort! This year, it was thankfully back at ESPN Wide World of Sports, and I didn’t encounter any long lines or other issues.  I attended the first day of the expo on Thursday.

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Staying at a host resort (which was every resort on property this weekend) makes getting to the expo easy. runDisney is really good with having signs up in the resorts and at the bus stops (even having signs directing you TO the correct bus stop), so you can’t miss it. The sign also has the times the expo takes place and the times when the first bus will run for both the expo and the races.

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There’s also a volunteer at the bus stop if you have other questions. The same volunteer at Pop was there EVERY time I passed by, no matter the day or time. When I got on the bus for the 10k, I joked with her, asking if they ever let her sleep…and she was there when I got off the bus after the race too. A reminder to always thank the great volunteers during race weekends!

The buses seem to run pretty smoothly, and there’s usually not much of a wait for the next bus. The buses are all labeled with a number and the resorts it stops at, so you can’t miss it!

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Soon enough, you’ll pull up to ESPN Wide World of Sports.

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I love all the signs that runDisney has up for the different races ESPN Wide World of Sports. Everyone likes to take a picture with the sign for the race they will be running! And if you’re at the expo alone, don’t be shy in asking someone to take that picture for you! Everyone is just as excited as you are. 🙂

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There’s also general signs up, with the schedule for the weekend.

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They split up where you pick up your bibs and race shirts, so first I headed to the HP Field House to pick up my bibs.

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I love the silhouettes on this screen when entering the building.

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The overview of the floor. Pretty empty, other than the long line (which thankfully moves quickly enough) for official runDisney merchandise.

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Picking up your packet is easy. Just have your signed waiver and ID, and find the correct line based on your bib number. In January, I left my printed waiver in the room (of course I remembered the second the bus started pulling away), but they have computers there to print your waiver. So no worries!

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Around the official merchandise area, they have large panels with the race courses. I should have taken a picture with this one!

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On one wall, they have a banner with all the runDisney WDW races throughout the year.

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And there’s lots of other fun backdrops to take pictures in front of.

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Two princesses were meeting in a corner of the floor, in front of cute backdrops. You meet both after standing in just one line. For a character hunter like me, the line wasn’t too bad. On the day I went, Jasmine and Belle switched out with Snow White and Mulan. On the other days, a really cute Princess Minnie was in the rotation (I almost went back to the expo on Saturday just to meet her!) I had a fun interaction with both princesses, and I was glad to see they weren’t rushing you!

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Then it was time to go to the Jostens Center to get the race shirts and check out the vendors.

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One of Cinderella’s Coachmen was by the entrance (other times during the weekend, you could meet 2!) In the past, the coachmen met in front of Cinderella’s Coach, and it was a great photo spot. Since last year’s expo was at Coronado, they met inside in front of a fake castle backdrop that was a little cheesy. I was hoping the coach would be back this year, but sadly no. I still never turn down a chance at meeting a fun character. 🙂

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After walking on a red carpet, you go downstairs to pick up your race shirt. Usually the 5k shirts aren’t that great, but I loved the one this year! It’s probably the best design of any of the runDisney shirts I own. The 10k shirt was a tech shirt, but it is white, so it’s kind of see through. This was also the first time I exchanged a shirt for size at the expo, and it was a really easy process. I just brought it over to a practically empty stand, and they exchanged it for me. And if that still wasn’t the right size, they said I could keep exchanging. So no more worries about entering the wrong size when registering for a race!

I then checked out the official runDisney merchandise. Both buildings have a runDisney official merchandise area, and the one at the HP Field House is usually less crowded than the one on the main floor at the Jostens Center. Some merchandise, including the “I did it!” shirts, is only at the Jostens Center, though. Of course I didn’t realize this included some pins I wanted, so after buying a few things at the HP Field House, I got to stand in a runDisney official merchandise checkout line twice. I think that deserves a medal itself! 😉

Here’s all my runDisney goodies, including the 5k and 10k shirts I mentioned. I ended up only getting a few pins and the cute medal for the runDisney vinyl I bought in January. I’m looking forward to adding several more medals to that vinyl by the end of the year!

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The shirt they sold for the WDW 10k in January was much cuter than the Enchanted 10k shirt. I bought the WDW 10k shirt without a second thought, but passed up on the Enchanted 10k one. And I’m not one to pass on something like that! The “I did it” shirts for the half and glass slipper were both cute.

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I really liked all the Glass Slipper Challenge merchandise. Good thing I wasn’t doing the challenge. I would have wanted too much of the merchandise, so I saved a lot of money! I’m in trouble if I do the challenge next year, though!

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Now that all the “official” stuff was out of the way, it was time to check out all the vendors!

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The first thing I did when I got to the expo was to try to sign up to buy the runDisney New Balance shoes. I had tried to sign up online at 6am, but it kept giving me an error and then said it was sold out after 3 minutes. So I went to their booth to ask if there were still spots available, and was told yes, and to go outside and sign up.

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Of course once I got there, they told me the line had just closed (this was around 10:30a.) I chatted with them a bit, trying to decide if it would be worth trying to go back to the expo immediately after the 5k or 10k over the next few days. Did I really need the shoes that badly? (Silly question, they are Disney AND they are pink!) It seemed like too close of a call so I figured I probably would be trying for them at a later runDisney race expo. But while roaming around the vendor booths, a friend asked if I still wanted the shoes. Uh, of course! She had a friend that wasn’t going to make it, so she was able to give me her confirmation number. I was so excited…until I saw on the board that they didn’t have my size in the Minnie shoes. I signed in anyway, just in case, and was taken to a super cute bench inside the New Balance area.

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The New Balance worker was very nice, and double checked in both the store and on the truck, but they didn’t have my size. But then he said a kids size 4.5 or 5 is comparable to a womens size 7, and asked if I wanted to try. I asked if there was any difference between the adult and kids shoes, and he said the kids version just had more pink on it (bonus!!) I figured I had nothing to lose…and they fit! He was very patient when I couldn’t decide between the two sizes, and let me walk around the expo floor for a bit trying them out. When I finally decided on which size to get, I got a second bonus…the kids shoes were $50 cheaper than the adult shoes! So YAY for them not having my size! I can’t wait until we finally are rid of snow and ice so I can wear them (I’m not about to wear them through the slush to mess them up!)

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The area by the registers has more fun photo spots, though I think Cindy should be wearing her running shoes here!

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Though these glass slipper sneakers probably aren’t as comfortable as my favorite pair of running shoes.

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After acquiring my beloved pink Minnie shoes (after everything, carrying around the New Balance bag felt like a badge of honor!), I headed over to the Sparkle Athletic booth to get a sparkle skirt for the 5k. Kelly was so helpful when I was trying to decide on my first sparkle skirt at the expo on January, I decided to ask for a picture this time. I have to laugh at the girl’s face behind me though!

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I always seem to miss the Chiquita Banana lady at the expo, but I caught her this time! They were also giving out free bananas or apple slices after getting your picture. Since I hadn’t eaten all day, the apple slices tasted delicious!

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I’ve never taken a picture with my bib before the race, so I finally did that in front of a nice photo spot of the castle.

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It’s always fun to check out the runDisney booth. In January, this is where I got a picture with Jeff Galloway and talked with him for a while. It was a huge boost to someone like me who has just started running. I also love how they have the medals for past races. I will be doing my first half marathon at Wine & Dine, and just seeing this medal made it all the more real!

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You can see in that picture the new buttons runDisney had this year. One said “my first 1/2 marathon” and another said “I’m celebrating.” Hopefully they’ll have these at every expo, because I didn’t even think to pick up the “first half marathon” one for the future!

I’m hoping to get all these medals next year (yes, I haven’t even done my first half, and I’m already looking towards my 2nd and 3rd! runDisney is some addiction.)

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I’m holding off buying a fun rack for my medals until after I finish my first half. I can’t wait!

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One more fun picture before leaving the expo. They provided the tiara and wand. 🙂

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And runDisney wishing all runners good luck on the way out.

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It was kind of funny to hear some people complaining about the long walk back to the buses after the expo. You’re going to be walking or running at least 3 miles during the weekend…this is nothing! 😉

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I always end up spending a lot longer at the expo than I expect. There’s so much to see, take pictures of, and buy! I’m already looking forward to my next race weekend and expo in August at Disneyland!

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Heather is an annual passholder that loves coming up with excuses to take a trip to the World. She started doing runDisney races for the characters, but then found out she actually loved running. Visit her website, I Love Characters, to see pictures of the over 200 characters she’s met at Disney World and Disneyland. Follow her adventures at Disney on twitter and instagram.

2014 Princess Half Marathon Race Weekend Info

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Final race instructions are now available for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon!  It’s less than a week away princesses (and princes)…are you getting excited?!?  This was my first half marathon and therefore my favorite race weekend…I can’t wait!

New for this year is the addition of the Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge, which is running both the 10K and the half marathon.  Completing that will get you a 3 of these gorgeous medals! Yes, those will be mine!

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The weekend starts with the Fit for a Princess Expo relocated back at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  I am SO happy about this because last year’s expo was way too close for comfort!  The hours are as follows:

  • Thursday, February 20th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Friday, February 21st: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, February 22nd: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

All race participants  MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick-up race packets, which include your race bib with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and gEAR bag.  The gEAR bag also doubles as the bag to use for bag check during the race.  This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration.  Transportation will be provided to and from all Walt Disney World Resort Hotels 30 minutes prior to the Expo opening and 30 minutes after closing.

When you arrive at the expo, your first stop will be the HP Field House for Packet Pick Up.  5K pick up will be on the entry level and all other races will be on the lower level.  If you are unable to attend the expo, you can fill out a release waiver and give it to a friend to pick up your packet for you.  Release forms for all events can be found here.

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After visiting the HP Field House, head over to the Jostens Center to visit with vendors and pick up your race shirts, visit with the vendors and listen to the speaker series.

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The following are instructions for the Princess Half Marathon and include all of the information you will need about the race, transportation and other events around the weekend.

Here is all of the information you will need for Race Day.

  • Host Resort Transportation  All Walt Disney World resorts, including Shades of Green and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, will have transportation available to bring participants to and from ALL events during Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
    • Bus transportation will be during the following times for the races:
      • Friday, February 21st, 3:30 am – 5:00 am and 7:00 am – 11:00 am
      • Saturday, February 22nd, 3:30 am – 5:00 am and 7:00 am – 10:00 am
      • Sunday, February 23rd, 3:00 am – 5:00 am and 7:00 am – 10:30 am
    • Runners must be on a bus by 4:00 am to ensure they make it into their corrals by the 5:00 am cut-off time.
    • Shuttle service will be suspended between 5:00 am and 7:00 am because of road closures, but will recommence for spectators after 7:00 am.  Traffic into the Epcot parking lot will also be suspended at this time and all cars will be routed to the Magic Kingdom Parking lot where spectators can take the monorail to Epcot.
    • After the race, buses will be set by resort in the Family Reunion Area to take all participants back to their resorts until 10:30 am.
    • Guests staying at monorail resorts will be able to take the monorail to and from Epcot for the races.
  • Driving Directions  If not staying at a host resort, participants will need to provide their own transportation to all events.  As usual, Disney says to EXPECT SIGNIFICANT DELAYS so make sure you leave yourself enough time.  Road closures will begin at 3:30 am, so you will want to try to arrive at Epcot before then.  If that isn’t possible, be sure to arrive at Epcot and be parked by 4:30 am since it is about a 20 minute walk to the starting corrals from the parking lot and you must be in there by 5:00 am.
  • Costumes This is one of the best parts of Disney races…the costumes!  Runners get so creative and it’s so fun to see.  Please note that runners are NOT allowed to wear a face mask of any kind and will be removed from the course if this is violated.  Who are you dressing up as?
  • Bag Check  Participants MUST use the clear bag provided at the expo to check any belongings during the race and affix the label with their bib number on the outside.  The bag check tents are located in the Family Reunion Area in the Epcot parking lot.  All bags must be checked prior to walking over to the start corrals. 
  • Start Corrals  Corrals for the 5K and 10K are in the the Epcot Center parking lot and the start corrals for the half marathon are located on Epcot Center Drive.  It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the half marathon starting corrals from the holding area, so you will want to head over there no later than 4:30 am.  Your corral will be listed on your race bib and you will only be granted access to that corral or one behind you.   You can find your corral placement by printing your waiver and finding the corresponding corral for your bib number.

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For the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge, we had one bib for both the 10K and half marathon, so we were in the same corral for both.  I’m a little confused about the 10K corrals since it looks like they only go up to E, however the Glass Slipper Challenge corral assignment go up to P.  So either we’ll have 2 bibs or the 10K corrals will just be a free for all…

  • Race Bibs  Bibs must be centered on the front of your shirt.  Safety pins will be provided in your race packet at the expo.  Do not bend our fold your bib, as the ChronoTrack B-tag will be affixed to the back of the bib which will be used to track your time.  If your bib is not properly centered, damaged or covered, your time may not be recorded properly.  Your bib will also be used for the on course photographers, so make sure the number is clearly visible and smile for that camera 🙂
  • Pacing Requirements Remember, you must keep a minimum of 16-minutes per mile throughout the race or you will run the risk of being picked up and brought to the finish line.  Keep this in mind if you a planning to stop for character photos.  Those lines can get long and it’s easy to lose track of time.  Pace cyclists will be on the course to let you know if you have fallen behind.
  • Coast to Coast Race Challenge  Participants in the challenge will be given a wristband at the expo that must be worn during the race.  After completion, proceed to the Coast to Coast tent to claim your super awesome medal!  If you ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January, you will be able to get the brand new PINK Coast to Coast medal!

Looking for the course maps?  Here you go!

Cinderella Royal Family 5K & Princess Enchanted 10K

10K 5K Courses Map

Princess Half Marathon

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Notice a difference in the entrance to the Magic Kingdom?  It looks like we’ll be running through the main entrance instead of through backstage and onto Main Street.  That will be pretty awesome!

Kids Races

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I LOVE how the Kids Races are in Epcot.  What an exciting 1-Mile Run to go through Future World!

Other events for the weekend include the Pasta in the Park Party and the Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney!  More information is available over on the runDisney website including the Official Program for the weekend. Also, check out my packing tips as you get ready for travel…sadly we don’t all have a Fairy Godmother to do that for us.

And make sure to check out my experience from the last 2 years at Princess Half Marathon Weekend…it’s a BLAST!

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Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get all the latest from the race weekend and please make sure to say hi!!

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Navigating the Walt Disney World Marathon Health & Fitness Expo

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is only 2 days away…who’s excited??

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The Health & Fitness Expo kicks off the weekend on Wednesday, January 8th.  The Expo will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS) and the hours are as follows:

  • Wednesday, January 8th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Thursday, January 9th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Friday, January 10th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, January 11th: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

All race participants  MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick-up race packets, which include your race bib (Dopey Challenge participants will be receiving 2 bibs) with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and clear gEAR bag.  The gEAR bag doubles as the bag to use for bag check during the race.  This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration.  If you are unable to attend the expo, you will need to fill out an authorization form to have someone pick-up your packet for you.  You can find these here.

The Expo last year was incredibly busy, so be prepared to wait in line and that you will probably spend a significant amount of time there because the Expo has expanded this year.  Packet pick-up is located in the HP Field House for all races except for the Kids Races.  Here you will also pick up your shirts for the Goofy & Dopey Challenges.  Packet pick-up is now spread over 2 floors so see the map below to find where you have to go.

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After visiting the HP Field House, head over to the Jostens Center to visit with vendors and pick up your shirts for the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon.  Speaking of shirts, what do you think of the designs for this year??

2014-wdw-Marathon-shirt-designsAlso in the Jostens Center you will find the speakers series where you can get great tips for race day.

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New this year is the Expo expanded into Champion Stadium.  Here you will find various vendors, packet pick-up for the Kids Races, Runner Tracking and Dooney & Bourke items.

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If you’re looking to get any of the Expo exclusive items, such as the New Balance runDisney shoes or the Minnie Marathon Bra, you should probably get to the Expo early on the first day.  Things tend to sell out quickly!

So get your wallets ready and have fun!

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2013 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Expo

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After a less than stellar experience at the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo (so bad I didn’t even write about it…when you have nothing nice to say…), I was looking forward to the smaller, more relaxed expo for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler.  Since there wasn’t anything I was dying to get at the expo, I spent the early afternoon enjoying Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival and headed over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS) later in the day.  By the time we arrived, there weren’t many people there at all.   Ahhhh…breathing room 🙂

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No lines…woohoo!  For this race weekend, packet pick up is in the Josten’s Center with the rest of the Expo which makes for a much easier experience having everything in one place.

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I headed towards the back of the Expo to pick up my race bib first and then moved on to the shirt/bag pick up.  I always like to get that out of the way first before hitting the various vendor booths.

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After getting all of the official business done, I headed to the runDisney booth to get an up close and personal look at some of the new medals.  I of course had to see the new ribbon for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler that I would be getting the next day.

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And then the new design for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon…can’t wait to get this one!

ToT-Expo-W&D-MedalAnd a look at the two Coast to Coast medals for 2014.  There’s the pink version for those running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and the Princess Half Marathon and then the regular Coast to Coast for any other combination of races.  This one looks like it got a new ribbon for 2014.

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While I was at the runDisney booth I ran into Jeff Galloway and had to say hi.  He’s such an inspiration to me and my friends.  If you ever get the chance to say hi to Jeff in person, do it…he’s amazing!

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My next stop was the official race merchandise area to see what I could spend my money on.  I didn’t love any of the shirts for the race (yellow really isn’t my color), but I was glad to see the new runDisney headbands there!

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I ended up just getting a new Vinylmation with the Tower of Terror medal and a pin to add to my collection.  Before heading out, we checked out some of the vendors and made a final stop at the Sparkle Athletic booth to say hi to my friends Kelly and Krissy.  And guess what I got??  My first Team Sparkle Skirt!  I’ve never considered myself a sparkly kind of girl, but I have to say I was kind of excited to wear this for the race…thanks Kelly!

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I was only at the Expo for a little over an hour, but I managed to see a lot of the vendors and get a lot done.  These smaller expos are SO much more enjoyable 🙂  Next stop…The Fifth Dimension….

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