Virtual Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Blog Hop
Disney knows how to put on an event. And, yes, we do pay top dollar to run in their races….but if you are after an occasion and not just a race in which to PR, you will be sure to get your money’s worth. Don’t wait for race day to start collecting the value of your investment. The exposition is much more than a place to sign your waiver and pick up your bib and timing tag. It offers many opportunities to enjoy the Disney experience! Disney makes good on its promise that the expo is a three day celebration!
This year’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon Expo will be held in the Disneyland Hotel Exhibit Hall from 2:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday (January 16, 2014), from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Friday (January 17, 2014), and from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday (January 18, 2014). At times, the lines for entering the expo can make you feel as if you are waiting to ride one of Disney’s most popular attractions on a busy day. Give yourself plenty of time to attend, take a deep breath, and enjoy the process rather than considering packet pick-up to be just another chore before the race.
You will begin your experience by being corralled into the Lower Exhibit Hall.
Take a moment to enjoy a sprinkle of pixie dust as you work your way down through the tunnel.
Packet pick-up will run smoothly if you take a moment to sign your waiver ahead of time and if you know your bib number (printed on your waiver form). There is a link to the waiver in the final race instructions that were emailed to you. Or, you can print your waiver on rundisney.com. However, don’t panic if you forget your waiver; there are blank ones available in the expo hall. It may take a few extra minutes to get through the process, though.
Although the crowds are large, booths are plentiful and clearly marked with the bib numbers that each booth services. There is usually plenty of staff available to help with questions or concerns. And according to Disney, over 1,200 volunteers will be assisting during the expo packet pick-up this year. Thank you, volunteers!
Don’t forget to keep an eye open for photo opportunities while attending to business!
Before heading back to the Upper Level, and after you pick up your bib and timing tag (be sure to have your ID easily available; yes, they do check), you will also collect any race-weekend commemorative items that were pre-ordered such as the Tinker Bell Necklaces, Disney pins, ChEAR Squad Packages, Pasta Party Packages, and Mickey Ears.
Now comes the fun part! Head for the Upper Level Exhibit Hall to pick up your Tinker Bell Half Race Weekend tech-shirts and gEAR bag. As you first enter the Exhibit Hall, take the time to have your picture taken at the race-weekend photo op in the Center Lounge before you enter the Grand Ballroom. You may have to wait a bit, but the line does move fairly quickly. And having a photo while holding your bib in front of the beautifully designed set is worth the wait!
The Center Lounge has also been the location of a bank of computers that allows you to sign-up for runner tracking. It looks as if it may have moved this year to the North Lounge (a smaller room to the right easily accessible during the expo). You can have your split times at the 5K, 10K, 15K and Finish Line sent to family and friends via emails, text accounts or Facebook. A worthy time investment, particularly if you have a chEAR squad finding locations to cheer you on! Or save time at the expo by signing up on runDisney.com beginning about a week before race weekend.
Now, pass through those large doors into the Upper Level Exhibit Hall! Immediately in front of you is the Inspiration Station, a good place to sit and rest those legs for a moment as you receive some last minute race tips, advice and inspiration from the runDisney Speakers. An added bonus – your ChEAR Squad is supplied with the makings for runDisney signs to cheer you on!
To the left of the Inspiration Station is the runDisney Official Merchandise Store where you can purchase all of your Tinker Bell Half Marathon gear: commemorative shirts, hats, glasses, magnets, headbands, and more! Look for the Disney Pixie Dust Beauty Booth where you can get pixie dusted for the race.
To the right of the Inspiration Station you will find a variety of vendors with “the latest in fitness apparel, footwear, high tech gadgets and nutritional products”. Pass through to the very far right of the hall to pick up your tech shirts, gEAR Bag, and, if you scrapbook, your official race guides. Once again, plenty of staff, volunteers and well-marked signs have always made shirt pick-up an easy process. As you enjoy all of the expo offerings, make sure to stay hydrated. Disney thoughtfully provides water stations throughout the hall.
Enjoy and have a magical weekend! Marji