~ A special thanks to runner/writer Brandi St. John for this post!
In 10 short days, thousands of Rebel runners will converge on Disneyland in Anaheim to participate in the runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. While many runners believe all the planning takes place when training for the races, I am here to help you make a plan for shopping at the very popular runDisney expo. If you have never been to a runDisney Expo, you are in for a surprise. Be aware that sometimes it can bring out the “dark side” in some runners, but if you can go in with a plan and realistic expectations, than you should be able to leave there happy and probably a few dollars down.
Race Merchandise-The first thing to be aware of is that if there is something that is race specific that you want, you need to be there the day the Expo opens, or get with someone who will be, so they can shop for you. The lines start forming to get in the Expo up to 3 hours before it opens on the first day. Please note, this is not the line to get your bibs, or pre-ordered items. This is the line to enter the Expo to shop for race gear. Once you get in the merchandise area, you will find all kinds of items from race shirts and hoodies to hats, magnets and wine glasses (these last two items go very fast). A few days before the race, runDisney will send out a post showing what the merchandise will look like and you will be able to see what goodies you want to buy.
Dooney and Bourke Purses – If you are interested in the Star Wars Dooney purses, there is a line for you too. This line will be down where you pick up your bibs, not where the race merchandise is located. Again, if this is something you have to have, then divide and conquer. This line doesn’t normally move very fast and if you want something in the race merchandise area too, you need to decide what line to choose first…I know, life as a runDisney addict is tough! If the purse is something you want to think about, sometimes Disney will send the leftovers to certain stores in the park after the Expo, again though, it’s not a guarantee.
Becky Ginther says
I do find the expos to be a bit overwhelming! Honestly, there are very few things I want badly enough to spend the time required to wait and get them.
I find that strategies are absolutely a necessity at runDisney Expos! Budgeting, hitting the runDisney merchandise with a plan, and deciding the whether you want to hear a particular speaker need to be done in advance. And Dooneys? Don't get me started!! So much to consider, and you've done it all for us. Thank you for the terrific post Brandi!!