Recap: Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo

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Ready to get my shopping on!

I thought I’d start my Princess Half Marathon weekend recaps with a look at the race expo (if you didn’t see my first post-Princess recap, click here). Appropriately dubbed “Fit for a Princess,” the expo was pretty much the female runner’s heaven, with endless booths of must-have running gear and essentials along with girly apparel, sparkly jewelry, and plenty of other fun and festive accessories.

This was my very first race expo, so I feel I should mention that I really didn’t have anything to compare it to and pretty much had no idea what to expect during my entire race weekend experience.

That being said, I had read enough blogs and message board posts ahead of time to know that if I wanted a pair of those coveted RunDisney New Balance sneakers, that I had better get there early. I had already pre-ordered my Disney Princess Dooney & Bourke bag, so it was all about the sneakers that morning.

These lovely gentlemen were on hand to greet us at the expo.

These lovely gentlemen were on hand to greet us at the expo.

I had already changed my hotel to the Coronado Springs resort, which was hosting the expo this year, because I found a better deal through my annual pass discount than my original reservation at the Port Orleans French Quarter.  I was lucky enough to be able to wake up around 7am and take a stroll over the expo, where I was amongst the first 20-something princesses in line for the sneakers.

After the New Balance folks helped organize us into an orderly line and directed us to their booth, I spent about 30 minutes waiting for my turn to try on a pair of the sneakers…and let’s just say that I may or may not have purchased both models, with the justification that my size 10W feet were probably better suited for the wider men’s pair…but I really wanted the women’s, too!

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Yeah…this happened.

My next plan of attack was, of course, the RunDisney booth, where I was greeted with quite a surprise. It was 9:30 in the morning and the booth was absolutely and completely PACKED. I mean it, you could not move. I had to squeeze my way through what seemed a mile-long line of princesses just to LOOK at the merchandise.

Since I’m a crazy person and this was my first half marathon and I was oh-so-excited by all of the RunDisney goodies, my genius shopping strategy was to grab one of everything I MIGHT want, including the coveted “I Did It!” shirt, and then sort through what I was actually going to purchase while waiting in line (needless to say, I had some SORE arms the next day!). It wasn’t until well after 10am that I noticed that there was now a ridiculously long line formed by expo staff just let people into the booth, and I was almost denied re-admission when all I wanted to do was pick up my purse from the Dooney & Bourke table. CRAZY.

Found one of my favorite princesses at the expo!

Found one of my favorite princesses at the expo!

Then it was time to head to runner relations to get my corral changed, pick up my bib, my family’s ChEAR Squad gear, my race retreat wristband, my commemorative items — all of which required standing in separate lines, I might add — before jumping into the line that wrapped ALL THE WAY AROUND THE EXPO for packet pick-up.

I was planning on catching at least one of the speeches by the likes of Jeff Galloway or Ali Vincent from The Biggest Loser — a show that I watched all throughout my weight loss journey, and that continues to inspire me today — but by the time I had all of my must-do tasks taken care of, it was too late! Now that I’ve been through the half marathon experience, I’m hoping to be able to chill out a little bit and participate in more meet-and-greet activities during my Dumbo Double Dare weekend this summer (hint, hint, RunDisney, I’m going to need a spot at the meet-up!)

By this point, I was absolutely exhausted. I never did stop for a cup of coffee as originally planned on my way to the expo, and my stomach was growling, so I grabbed a bite to eat at the resort with my boyfriend (who was kind enough to help me lug my purchases back to the hotel room) and then hit the expo again to browse some new-to-me vendors, like SportHooks for my awesome “Once Upon a Run” medal hanger and Milestone Sports Jewelry for my beautiful runner heart necklace and earrings, as well as some of my tried-and-true favorites: Team Sparkle, BondiBand, and my newest obsession, Raw Threads, who released the adorable Mermaid shirt just in time for me to pre-order for the expo (so that was one line I got to skip!) and whose shirts are the absolute SOFTEST and COZIEST material ever and now I want to buy one for every day of the week. I was also particularly excited to buy the special Princess Half Marathon BondiBands and the Team Sparkle limited edition princess-inspired tees!

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Some of my swag…

All in all, I spent a ridiculous amount of money — this running thing is still very new and exciting to me, and I couldn’t help myself — and while I will say that I wish the expo wasn’t so INSANELY crowded or that the lines just for essentials like packet pick-up didn’t go on forever (and ever…and ever…) it was still a great start to the weekend!

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16 thoughts on “Recap: Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo

  1. Glad you were able to get into the RunDisney booth & grab all that you wanted. I stood in that line for a really long time before the claustrophobia started to get to me & those coming out were saying that the booth was sold out of so many items. I finally decided to leave. No ‘i did it’ shirt or coffee mug or magnet for me.

    • Ugh, sorry to hear that! That’s the thing — I know I would have had a completely different experience if I wasn’t there right at opening. It’s not fair that you can’t buy the stuff you want if you’re unable to make it to the expo early on the first day! I hear you about the claustrophobia…I swear, the expo experience was almost more exhausting than the half marathon!

  2. This expo was different than the first 4 runs. I rushed to get my official race sweaty bands and purse right off because I knew it would be packed. Good luck on running Disneyland. I loved doing that race.

    • That’s what I’ve been hearing! I’m sure they’ll end up moving it back. Glad you got what you wanted, though!

      Thanks so much — I can’t wait! It’s my first trip to DL, so it’ll be that much more exciting. 🙂

  3. Dang girl! You really did it up right! Enjoy all that swag 🙂 I think a medal rack is next on my list!

    • Haha, yeeeahh…definitely got a little carried away. It’s all still just so new and exciting to me! I am in LOVE with my Disney-inspired medal rack…gotta have something for my Dumbo Double Dare and C2C medals… 😀

  4. Pingback: Race Recap: Disney Princess Half Marathon (part one) |

  5. Pingback: Race Recap: Disney Princess Half Marathon (part two) |

  6. Deanna1471

    Congratulations on your race!! I’m so glad you scored what you wanted! I pre-purchased some stuff too & was happy i did. Craziest Disney expo I’ve ever seen. I’m also doing the DD & DL Half for the 1st time. (gotta get that elusive C2C finally) & now I want the medal rack I couldn’t pick up more than ever. Thanks for the inspiration! I appreciate your journey as I’m on a similar one. : )

    • Thanks so much for reading! I think I scored a little TOO much of what I wanted (let’s just saw I’ll be working on paying off my CC bills for a little while…haha). It was definitely crazy, but since I didn’t have anything to compare it to, I just went with the flow.

      That’s awesome about your DL races — maybe I’ll see you there! I want that C2C medal SO badly. The medal racks are really nice, would highly recommend — I’m looking forward to filling mine up. Whatever keeps you motivated right? Thanks again for reading, and best of luck on your journey! 😀

  7. Sarah

    Thank you SO much for posting a link to the Once Upon a Run medal hanger! I’ve seen pictures of it, but didn’t know who made them!! The Expo was SO packed and my friend and I were headed to MK after, so we didn’t spend more than 2 hours at the Expo (which was just enough time to buy official merch, get my bib, and the shirt!!) I was disappointed there was no list of vendors in the program-I’m sure I missed some very great merchandise!

    • Thanks for reading! So glad I could help! The medal hangers are awesome, and it was actually one of the last things I picked up at the expo…I was there for a few hours, and was SO overwhelmed and exhausted by the time I picked up all of my essentials and then took some time to look around at all the vendors. Fortunately, pretty much of these goodies are available on-line, in case you missed something you really wanted. 😀

  8. Ahhh can’t believe you saw Jasmine! I was on the hunt for her and didn’t see her. At least I got Belle, right?

    • Thanks for reading! Jasmine is one of my favorites, so even though I was SO tired of standing in lines at the expo, I thought it was worth another line for a photo opp with her. Belle’s another fave, and my photo with her is actually one of my favorites from the race! 😀

  9. Love your recap!

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