One of the things I was most nervous about for the Disney Marathon weekend was actually getting to the race. Two years ago we experienced huge travel delays and didn’t get in to Orlando until midnight, making for a very rough wake up for the 5K race the next day. I was worried something similar would happen this year. I had booked our flights with United, flying through Denver with a generous amount of layover time in case we didn’t leave Calgary on time. Somewhere United changed our flights without asking us, routing us through Houston with a 59 minute layover window. That short layover made me super nervous in case anything delayed us leaving Calgary.
Luckily our travel day went smoothly. We were through immigration in no time (thank you NEXUS card) and our first flight left Calgary with no issues. We had enough time in Houston to grab a bite to eat and then we were off on time to Orlando.
Our suitcase was one of the first bags on the carousel and we were quickly on on our way to the race expo in our rental car. The folks at runDisney had traffic management into the expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports down to a science. Despite a lot of traffic they were well set up to smoothly get all of the cars into the parking lot.
Neil and I said a quick hello to my mom and dad who were just leaving the expo and then it was time to grab our bibs. The bib pickup for the 5K, Goofy and Dopey Challenge was in a separate space from the half and full marathon. It also wasn’t very busy when we were at bib pickup so I had my Goofy Challenge and 5K bibs in hand in no time.
Rather than using the old wrist band system to verify you’ve completed all your challenge races runDisney was using photo identification instead. There were tons of photographers on hand so it went quickly. Shirt pick up was also fast. Our Goofy challenge shirts were all bagged up for us and it was really easy to exchange our shirts if we needed another size. I really like the women’s cut of the shirts. These are the best fitting marathon weekend shirts I’ve gotten. Then it was time to hit the expo for some shopping!
The expo this year was larger than ever and split over three locations – HP Field House, the Jostens Center and Champion Stadium. I’m not sure if it was because the expo was split up or if it was just the time of day, but it didn’t feel as crowded to me as it has before.
My first stop was the official runDisney race weekend merchandise. It felt like there wasn’t very much available for the Goofy challenge. There was a short sleeved shirt, a tank top and a half zip top for the women but that was about it. It felt like of all the races this was the one with the fewest items available (other races had jackets and multiple shirt styles). This seems a bit strange since this was the 10th anniversary of the Goofy. I only grabbed a cotton “I Did It” shirt and a runDisney pint glass.
The only other items I needed were gels (because I had run out at home on my very last long run), Body Glide, and some Feetures socks. We were in and out of the expo with plenty of time to spare before our dinner reservations at Jiko.
Up next, my Walt Disney World 5K race report!
How did you find the Disney Marathon race expo and merchandise this year?