This year, the Fit for a Princess Expo was held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort instead of its usual place, ESPN’s Wide World of Sports due to the Atlanta Braves Spring Training.
Buses arranged for picking up guests at the Disney resorts, leaving approximately every 20-25 minutes. I went Friday morning. Once there, there were stations where you could access your waiver, print it, sign it, and head to the various booths where you could pick up your bib. If you had a 10K or above time to submit, this is where you would hand that in and get your corral placement changed. I didn’t have a time, therefore I stayed where I was placed, in the back, H.
The expo felt crammed. The distance between the vendors and the bib booths was enormous, and it would have been nice to have had those spaces spread out. It was difficult getting to the vendor booths, and even more difficult figuring out where the lines started.
I got in line to pick up the race bag, which contained some goodies: a purple 5th anniversary Princess Half Marathon tech shirt, a pink mesh backpack, a temporary tattoo and other goodies, all in a clear runDisney bag which you would use as your race check in bag at the half. The line wrapped around the building but it moved fairly quickly. It was frustrating at first but the volunteers did a wonderful job and I was in and out of that line in about 20 minutes. While standing in line, actor Sean Astin walked past. I was too shy to say hi, although everyone says how nice he is and is very receptive to taking pics with fans. Next run I’ll chill out for sure.
There were lots of vendors and I picked up some Nuun tablets and a Cinderella shirt from Raw Threads. I could have bought the entire stock of Raw Threads merchandise, seriously! I was coveting the runDisney New Balance Minnie Mouse sneakers, and by the time I got to the booth, all that was left were sizes below 8. I’m an 8.5, go figure! I picked up the Princess New Balance sneakers and I’m glad I did. They are fabulous!!! The staff at New Balance even threw in some tiara-printed laces and a tiara that lit up. All is good!!!
I worked a few hours at the Sparkle Skirts booth with Leah Powell (genius creator of Sparkle Skirts) and a few other princesses. I earned the highly-coveted Merida sparkle tech skirt, for my next race! So exciting!!
The runDisney merchandise booth could not be touched, it was just insane in there!!! I returned on Saturday to see that the crowds thinned out a lot more, and I was able to pick up my “I did it!” shirt at the runDisney booth. No jackets or green 5th anniversary tech shirts left. I’m mad at myself for not getting the pins either, what was I thinking?!? 🙁
Towards the back, a stage was set up and they had several people speak. I stood and watched Jeff Galloway, Olympic runner, speak about training and running techniques; nutritionist Tara Gidus, and Ali Vincent, first female winner of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. It was inspiring to hear them talk about what makes you a winner, and having the courage to start a race makes you a winner. It’s not easy, but it’s good to know you’re not alone. All speakers were available to take questions, and they were nice to allow princesses and princes alike to photograph with them.
Aside from the fact that it was just so crowded, the Fit for a Princess Expo was a wonderful opportunity to meet people, get some advice for this race and future races, and if you forgot your race gear or wanted to change it, everything you needed was right there, from KT Tape to Yurbuds to Sparkle Skirts and all kinds of running shoes. It met my expectations, and can not wait until next year. Hopefully runDisney will accommodate the crowd better.
Until next time, see you at the finish line,