A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

RunDisney Star Wars Expo

on January 26, 2015

My flight to California landed early in the morning and my hotel room wasn’t quite ready, so I dropped off my bags at the hotel and headed over to the Expo in the Disneyland hotel. It would have been about a 5 minute walk, but I got lost and wandered a bit. As a bonus, I did see where they were setting up several weddings on the property. πŸ™‚

When I entered the hotel, I was immediately met by someone who wanted to know if I was looking for the merchandise line. I said “sure,” figuring my best chance at any of the official race merchandise would be now, when the Expo was just opened. I was sent up stairs (I seriously walked a couple of thousand steps just lapping this hotel to the various merchandise lines!) and at the entrance to a ballroom, given a yellow arm band:

Entrance key for the merchandise line

Entrance key for the merchandise line

The ballroom was full of people in line waiting for race merchandise. This was the first holding area, before we sent a SECOND holding area, before actually entering the line for the race merchandise area. It was crazy! On the plus side, in this particular ballroom, they were playing the Star Wars movies on a screen in front to keep us distracted.

Love that lady's X-wing headband. :)

Love that lady’s X-wing headband. πŸ™‚

They were very serious about each of us staying in our own little lane on the carpet:

The yellow people had to stay between the red lines.

The yellow people had to stay between the red lines.

After 30-40 minutes, my row was sent over to the next holding area:

Looking down on the second holding area for the official merchandise line.

Looking down on the second holding area for the official merchandise line.

We spent another 30 minutes here (without the movies to distract us – boo!) before finally heading up to the race merchandise area. While it was a lot of waiting in line to start off the morning, I will say that once we got into the official merchandise area, things weren’t crowded at all. I felt like I had plenty of time and space to look at everything, which was great. They were restocking as we were in there, but I heard at least one shirt that they were already out of in small less than 1.5 hours into the Expo!

Restocking throughout the day, which was great, and lots of helpful people for questions.

Restocking throughout the day, which was great, and lots of helpful people for questions.

I got the super cute “Let the Wookie Win” shirt, which is love sleeved with a hood, and a great jacket (men’s cut I think) that is thick enough to get lots of use with chilly Nebraska runs.

I like the reflective stripe on the jacket too.

I like the reflective stripe on the jacket too.

I also got Oliver a runner Mickey, which he’s loving and alleviated some mom guilt for coming to Disneyland without him. πŸ™‚

O is excited about the medal.

O is excited about the medal.

Checkout was quick and easy – there are always lots of people at Disney willing to take your money in my experience. πŸ™‚ After that, I headed back outside to the separate entrance for packet pick up. I’m glad I decided to hit the official merchandise before packet pick up because there was absolutely NO line for packet pick up by the time I got down there.

Lots of empty booths waiting to help people.

Lots of empty booths waiting to help people.

It took no time at all to go get my bib and bag. Definitely print out your waiver ahead of time – it helps speed things along! I then had to stop at a photo stop to get my photo challenge for the Rebel Challenge (doing this instead of arm bands now).

A cheerful mug shot stop :)

A cheerful mug shot stop πŸ™‚

The stations for picking up park tickets from the travel provider and arm bands for the Wookie Welcome party were also down here. After gathering all of these, it was time to head back out to the main Expo space to get my race shirts (slightly irritating that Disney separates these, especially if you wanted a quick in and out).

They had cute themed carpet leading down into the packet pick up space:

A great way to start a journey, right?

A great way to start a journey, right?

And at the exit as well:

I liked this one in particular because one of my race shirts said "May the course be with you"

I liked this one in particular because one of my race shirts said “May the course be with you”

Re-entering the Expo space, there was a red carpet with banners for each of the events and of course I had to get my Rebel Challenge selfie:

Love the Yoda side of the medal.

Love the Yoda side of the medal.

The Expo was so pleasantly uncrowded! I felt like there was plenty of space to walk between the booths. Shirt pick up was quick and easy, and exchanges are in the same space if you need them.

I like all 3 shirts (long sleeved, v neck tech fabric) but the Yoda is definitely my favorite.

I like all 3 shirts (long sleeved, v neck tech fabric) but the Yoda is definitely my favorite.

I picked up the Raw Threads I’d ordered online for the race:

I love that you can order it online and pick it up at the expo - less packing and less in shipping.

I love that you can order it online and pick it up at the expo – less packing and less in shipping.

Then it was time to wander and look at things. I tried out the Clif Bar tasting station, which was much needed since I hadn’t had lunch yet!

Like a little Clif salad bar. :) They also had it set up so you could taste the gel flavors that would be on the course at mile 8, which I thought was a great idea.

Like a little Clif salad bar. πŸ™‚ They also had it set up so you could taste the gel flavors that would be on the course at mile 8, which I thought was a great idea.

They also had CPR mannequins set up to teach people the chest compressions only approach to CPR, which was great (and thankfully unneeded, at least for me) idea pre-race. If you completed the mini-session, which was just a couple of minutes, you got a CPR sticker on your bib. Before I headed out for lunch, I made a last stop at the RunDisney Instagram booth for a quick photo:

I love the RunDisney Instagram booth. :) I have to say, I like this picture of me! Not as awkward as my normal posing.

I love the RunDisney Instagram booth. πŸ™‚ I have to say, I like this picture of me! Not as awkward as my normal posing.

They had lots of vendors with running supplies, cute running shirts (lots with specific Star Wars theming), RunDisney medals for other races and all the usual fun things. Thanks to lack of crowds, I was able to get through the Expo itself quickly and get out for some much needed lunch before hitting the parks.

Earl of Sandwich Holiday sandwich - just as good as I'd heard!

Earl of Sandwich Holiday sandwich – just as good as I’d heard!

I even ran across this guy on the way out, to really get me in the mood:

Why hello Goofy!

Why hello Goofy!

It was a great way to kick off the race weekend and I really appreciated how easy it was to walk over there instead of trying to wrangle buses to get to ESPN Wide World of Sports like I did at Princess. The only real downside was having to carry all of my loot with me because I didn’t have a room ready yet at Paradise Pier. That probably wouldn’t have been an issue if I hadn’t gotten so much stuff, right? πŸ™‚

I confess I was a little nervous about the Expo, given all I heard about the chaos of prior Disneyland expos, but this went really smoothly. Disney definitely pays attention and makes adjustments based on prior experiences and they’ve clearly learned how to keep this kind of expo experience reasonably well controlled. I really wish they’d offer more pre-order of race specific merchandise with registration, so you didn’t have to worry about all of the lines and things selling out, but hopefully they’ll introduce more of that. I didn’t stay this time for any of the speaker series (wanted to put that park ticket to use!) but really enjoyed the ones I attended at Princess weekend so I’d definitely recommend checking those out if you get a chance.

Do you plan for shopping at the Expo when you’re setting up a race budget? It’s easy to spend a ton in a short amount of time with all of the cool goodies they have!

 

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10 responses to “RunDisney Star Wars Expo

  1. I LOL’ed at May the Course Be With You. Too cute! Love all that merch that you saw. I’d have a hard time deciding I think. And OMG Earl of Sandwich!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that place! So glad they don’t have one near me! LOL

  2. Meg B says:

    Oh man that sounds like an awesome expo. HAving never run a Run Disney race I have no concept of how insane they are. I honestly can’t imagine waiting in line that long for clothing but I get it, I really do.

    • I definitely wouldn’t have waited that long if my family had been along for the ride. By myself, it seemed worth it, especially since I’d seen the cute Wookie shirt online. πŸ™‚

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  3. […] I’d worked through a travel provider was stopping to pick up my park ticket at a booth in the Expo. This was down in the lower level with the packet pick up and Wookie Welcome party booths, so it […]

  4. Rebecca says:

    I’m counting down until registration opens in June for the 2016 edition!! I really really really want to do the Rebel Challenge! And now, reading your blogs has me even more excited. I only started running at the end of December, and am aiming to run my first Half in October as prep for this! πŸ˜€

  5. […] are aΒ handful of RunDisney posts: Working with a travel provider and the Star Wars Half Marathon, Expo and 10K recaps. I certainly love looking at those photos again myself – that trip was a […]

  6. […] to that booth first especially if it’s RunDisney (or another high demand race). Check out my Star Wars Expo post for my experiences on the one and only time I’ve actually waited in line for race merchandise. […]

  7. […] the Star Wars Rebel Challenge Expo, there were several fun things! I got a super cute “Let the Wookie Win” shirt and the […]

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