I chose not to write about the Disneyland Half Marathon Health & Fitness Expo because it was quite the debacle. You know, if you have nothing nice to say…blah blah blah. So I was curious to see how the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Expo would compare. Well West Coast runner Angela attended the Expo and happily reported that it seems that some improvements have been made. Here’s her recap!
The Tinker Bell Half Marathon expo was held over the course of three days; Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I went on Thursday. WOW! What a huge difference between the way the Tink expo ran compared to the Disneyland Half expo (in late August). It was so well organized and didn’t feel chaotic or claustrophobic at all.
I got there around 1:15pm (expo opened at 2). As I walked to Disneyland Hotel I already noticed a huge difference. There were no crowds! No huge mass of people standing in the hot sun, getting different information from different cast members as to where to go. I walked right down the ramp and entered the underground parking area where the packet pick up is held.
As you can see from the picture, it looks chaotic, but it wasn’t. There were separate lines for merchandise (New Balance shoes) and a separate line for those that just wanted to get their bib. That’s the line I got into.
I noticed they took the New Balance people in groups back upstairs where people would be given a number and “call time” as to when to return to get their shoes. Those of us that just wanted out bib waited until around 1:50 before they allowed us into the area to get them. Again, all this was very smooth. However, at around 2:15pm I did hear an announcement that they were done taking reservations for the New Balance shoes and that people would have an opportunity to try again tomorrow at 8am.
After getting my bib, I followed the signs that led to shirt pick up. Again, no lines. I have to admit that I really love the shirt this year for the half marathon. It’s a lovely cranberry color and super soft.
I was also given the standard plastic runDisney clear bag that also serves as your gear check bag. Inside were two other bags. One was a mesh bag that had Tinker Bell Half Marathon on it, and the other was a dark blue sling bag that advertised Tinker Bell’s new movie.
From there I walked toward the official merchandise area prepared for the disaster that was Disneyland Half Weekend. Everyone was stopped and told to walk out of the expo area (basically follow the line) and wait in it. Although the line looked long, it actually went by pretty quickly. I think I spent 15 minutes in line (instead of the 2 hours for Disneyland Half). There they allowed small groups at a time into the official merch area. It was nice. No chaos, people were friendly with each other. I grabbed two small things for myself and headed out.
I believe there was a couple of major things that led to this expo being so much more pleasant than the Disneyland Half expo. One, the Tinker Bell Half weekend is “smaller” than the Disneyland Half weekend. Two, the expo was expanded to three days instead of two. And three, logistically it just made more sense. During the Disneyland Half expo everyone who was doing the 5K, 10K, Kids Run or Dumbo Double Dare Challenge HAD to go on the opening day. The only people who could wait to go the second day of the expo where the runners only participating in the Half. At Tink, the only people that had to be there on opening day were those participating in the 5K. I hope runDisney continues with these well organized expos. It just makes everything much more pleasant.
Angela Richardson is a Half Fanatic (#5371) and Tinker Bell Half marked her 1 year anniversary in running!
Find Angela here: Website