My first RunDisney experience (other than the mad dash to register for the Rebel Challenge) was packet pick up and the expo.
Chris and I got to Anaheim early in the afternoon on Friday and our top priority was to get to the expo to score some exclusive RunDisney merchandise that we had our eye on as we had heard rumors that they sometimes sell out. We also wanted to pick up our packets as well of course, but we knew that those would be waiting for us and therefore they weren’t as big of a priority.
Packet pick up and the expo were both at the Disneyland Hotel which was a short walk from the Marriott Anaheim that we were staying at. Because of the direction we were coming from we ended up coming in through the back way of the hotel and found the expo first. We later discovered that packet pick up area naturally filtered people into the expo so we went to the expo and then did packet pick up and then found ourselves back in the expo. lol
As a general rule I am not a big fan of expos. They tend to be very crowded and most don’t have any merchandise that I haven’t already seen. This was true of this expo as well although we did enjoy the RunDisney specific merchandise area.
Thanks to Instagram I had my heart set on one thing in particular that I wanted to purchase. Well technically two things. I wanted a Mickey and a Minnie Vinylmation runner. What I didn’t know about the Vinylmations is that they are blind packs so although I purchased two I couldn’t be certain that I got a Mickey and a Minnie. I immediately opened my boxes after I bought them and I ended up with two Mickeys. Bummer! Minnie is pretty hard to get though as for every 10 Vinylmations there is just 1 Minnie. (Why, Disney? WHY???) The odds were not in my favor. Oh well, I still think my runner Mickey is pretty sweet and now Chris has one as well.
In addition to my Vinylmations, I also bought a Rebel Challenge magnet for my car. You all know how I love to showcase my running stickers on my ride!
After the expo we meandered over to packet pick up which compared to the expo was empty! Packet pick up was very well-organized with a separate pick up area for each race distance. In our case, we headed over to the rebel challenge booth, showed our ID and presented our waiver and we were given our race bib and information packet. All Rebel Challenge participants also had to have their picture taken with their bib which was later used when picking up our Rebel Challenge medal to ensure that we did in fact run the races. Talk about high security for the bling!
Once we got our Rebel mug shot taken we were funneled into the expo where we picked up our three race shirts! Yes, THREE! One for the 10k, one for the half and one for the Rebel Challenge.
After doing a final walk around the expo we had our picture taken at a few of the many photo-op locations and then headed to downtown Disney where we spent the rest of our day.
Although I am not a big expo aficionado I can say that both packet pick up and the expo were very organized and easy to navigate! So that was a win for me and a good indicator of how the RunDisney races were going to be.
And speaking of the races, come back next week so I can tell you all about those! And to read Chris’s recaps, click HERE!