Disney Dumbo Double Dare – Expo
Our travel to Los Angeles and over to Anaheim was pretty smooth and uneventful. I think we were checked into our hotel and up in our room by 10 AM, Friday before the races. We just had to go over to the Expo and pick up our packets, bags, and park tickets that we had prepurchased. That ended up easier said than done.
I believe we got to the Expo around 10:30. It was a short walk from our hotel over to The Disneyland Hotel. It was already crazy when we got there. This was the most negative part about the weekend. The directions were not very good from the runDisney staff. It took us five minutes just to find the end of the line. The line was snaking and intertwining all over the place.
In addition, it had to be close to 90 degrees already and very little shade. They finally wised up and started doing the line in waves so that they could get people into shaded areas and hold them for the next wave. I would think that they could have afforded to put tents up or something around to provide continuous shading. They could have also provided water.
It took us about an hour to get to packet pickup for our bibs. I had not worn a hat, so I was already getting sunburned. Being bald is not conducive to standing around in the sun. When we finally got to the packet pickup, we had someone direct us over to the Dumbo packet pickups. However, it was unclear what we were were supposed to do since they were so many lines going on. We finally just walked up to the booth that had our numbers, which is what were supposed to do.
As we were picking up our bibs and signing away, the gentleman helping us told us to beware of a magnet they are putting in the bags. He stated that they could mess with the timing chip on the bib. Apparently they were using them to advertise a new movie. I am not sure who thought it would be a great idea to mix those two together.
Here, we also got our wristband for Coast to Coast. Coast to Coast is a special medal Disney gives you for completing at least a half marathon at both Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year. In other words, they figured out how to sucker us to going to Disneyland, more race bling. We had to wear the wristband until we crossed the finish line after the half on Sunday.
After we were done with packet pickup, we had to get into another line to go up to the expo to pickup our bags with our shirts and the dreaded magnet. This line moved pretty quickly, and we were up in the expo within 10 minutes. We made our way to another line to pick up our shirts. At this point, I handed my bib off to The Blonde so that I could go find where to pick up our prepurchased park tickets.
I walked around a bit and didn’t see GetTravel anywhere. So, I went to look at the map of the vendors. They were nowhere to be found. So, a slight panic started to set in. I double checked my email and it said to pick up the tickets at the expo. So, I wandered around a bit more. I asked a runDisney person if he knew where they were. He said he has never heard of them. Ok…
So, I wandered around a bit more, again. I check the map again wondering if I somehow missed them or if they were under a different name. Still no dice. So, I asked another person. He said that they are downstairs.
I am thinking to myself, downstairs, you mean the place I just stood in line for for an hour? He basically stated, you didn’t hear this from me, but if you go over here and do this you can get in through a side door. So, I tried to follow his instructions, but I got confused. At that point I tried to find The Blonde. She sent me a text that she is on her way out. I tried to find the secret entrance to the promised land again. This time, I use my finely attuned Sherlock Holmes’ power of observation and start to put together the clues.
At that point, I found myself back in the first room that we had waited so long to get into. I looked around and sure enough there was a booth that said Get Travel on it. It was sitting with the booths for the pasta party and other prepurchased items. I walked over and handed over my documents and I was out of there in five minutes. I found The Blonde where she told me she was somehow and we took off to go back to our hotel and onto the parks for a bit.
As I mentioned earlier, this was really the most negative / stressful part of the weekend. runDisney did not seem prepared at all for the number of people who were going to be there. I was in such a hurry to get out that I did not stop at one booth. Usually we purchase a couple of minor things at expos. However, we were so frustrated with being there, none of the vendors got my business.
The line for official merchandise was even longer than the packet pickup line. It was about two hours to checkout when we were there. We heard that actually shut down entry into it just to try to clear out some of the people. And apparently, people were stocking up with arm fulls of items. The lines for the shirt exchange and runner information was also extremely long.
That night as I was looking at the program that I got that morning at the expo, I noticed that it had the location of GetTravel on the map. So, I went back and looked at the virtual one that I had. I did not see that information anywhere on the stuff that runDisney sent me.