To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Operation X: Expo From Hell

Tara & I found Dumbo at the potty!
Friday morning I woke up excited, yet nervous, to attend the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo.  Social media was in a frenzy and we (Team Freedom - you'll meet us in the 10K race recap) knew a strategy was in order.  After breakfast at the Rainforest Cafe that included a mini game plan pow-wow, we made our way to the Disneyland Hotel. We hadn't even arrived and could see the masses and the madness.  Jaime, Man Friend and MF's son waited at the line (that I believe eventually overtook security) while Tara and I made a dash for the bathroom in the lobby (also next door to the merch!).

Upon exiting the potty we engrossed ourselves in eye-contact type conversation, forcing any runDisney people to interrupt if they wanted to stop us.  (Really, does it kill you if we go in this WIDE OPEN DOOR instead of walking outside and going downstairs just so we can walk upstairs??)  One runDisney dude was ballsy enough to interrupt and question if we were trying to get into the expo. Uh, duh.  Without missing a beat, Tara replied, "We were there and left for the bathroom." Boom, we are in!

This actually looks calm and empty compared to the reality.
"Do the Galloway!" 
In to what.... in to chaos! It was worse than the scurry of Titanic passengers hurrying to life boats.  Tara and I immediately split and hit the merch.  People were diving, grabbing, hoarding ... wait, that was me.  OK, sort of.  I DID dive for a magnet on the floor since there were no others available.  All of the Dumbo merch was gone as soon as it was set out. Man Friend figured that out and stood watch, grabbing anything as soon as it was set on the racks. I kidnapped his son and we grabbed nearly one of everything. The three of us met up at an empty rack to go through our stash. I'm not kidding when I say we had to actually have our arms around all of it for fear of it being taken.  as soon as we'd rule something out I'd announce what I had "up for grabs' and almost always it was immediately snatched up. People around were like vultures.  

Why did I not even think to put MF's son in line while we shopped?? We needed a FastPass! I bet we were in line over 90 minutes.  By standing in line we got to talk with other runners, one whose son ran out on merchandise hunts or us. Score! Also during the wait we got to listen to Jeff Galloway. I think MF and I took away a lot of helpful tips from him that day.  Sean Astin came out next, so naturally the Goonies fan in me was excited!  

Goonies never say die!
Packet pickup was a breeze - and we took the shortcut Tara found. Double Score!! I actually had to wait in line for my shirts, but not hat bad. It was such a mad house that I avoided the rest of the expo. Disneyland itself sounded like much more fun!

The fabulous merch attack team post-expo!
So that was it.  We survived thanks to teamwork.  However, the insanity and lack of preparation on the part of runDisney left us worried about the rest of the race weekend. Would this inaugural event live up to the hype??



12 comments:

  1. We were there and left for the bathroom....ahahahaha! I waited until the guy at the door was answering questions and slinked in behind him. No shame here. The crowd mess was downright shocking compared to past years. I can't believe someone in a planning meeting didn't bring up the fact that ten or so thousand people running on Saturday would have to be there on Friday for their packets. Hey...that might make crowd control a little different than usual, no?

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    1. I think we get points for craftiness on finding ways in besides going through their ridiculous layout. I'm almost ashamed that I bought anything. I should have protested due to the poor planning. But I NEEDED one of everything! I wish I was joking - but lets just say I wore only expo runDisney clothes each day after that expo ... and still have more.

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  2. Team Freeeeeeedddoooooooommmmmmmmmmm! Arrrrrrrrrrrr!!! What a freaking mess that was! We should have gotten a picture at breakfast; The Calm Before The Storm. Yowser.

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    1. I guess then we go to Disneyland again and hit up Rainforest Cafe for breakfast so we can get photos? Then instead of race stuff we'll just go straight to Trader Sams!

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    2. Sounds perfect. Next time, I'm bringing a sword.

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  3. We waited in line for bibs but then took the bathroom exit to head into the expo, gave the CM on duty the excuse that we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel (which we were! we didnt lie about that!) and we just wanted to go up to our rooms (ha!). SUCH a mess.

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    1. That's the way we travelled back and forth as well. I liked that little door!

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  5. Loved stalking you on FB! Looks like a fun trip!

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    1. It really was! I needed that little getaway BAD!!

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  6. I appreciate all your hard work :)

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    1. I wish they didn't forget to charge/give me the Bondi Band! I felt like such a winner when I was able to find two unattended. I imagine the people next to me ended up buying it unknowingly. Their stack was probably 3 times the size of mine .... and mine was NOT small at all!

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