You can find a quick recap of our travel day to Walt Disney World here.
Friday morning we woke up around 8 o’clock and went to the hotel’s breakfast area. Connor, my dad, and Andrew seemed to like the breakfast, but I didn’t really like anything I tried. I’m not much of a breakfast person (give me a bagel with peanut butter and a banana and that’s my kind of breakfast-unless it is Cracker Barrel, of course!), so that could have been the problem.
We went back up to our room to repack, then we checked out and got into the car. We stopped by Publix to buy shampoo and conditioner, bananas, and bagels. Dad bought a few snacks to take to our room at Disney. After shopping, we drove to Caribbean Beach Resort and checked in.
Our room was ready and was located in Trinidad South. We lucked out and got pirate ship beds! It was a really cool feature in the room, and Connor absolutely loved it. I plan to do a full review on the resort soon.
After dropping our bags off in our room, we took a bus to the expo. Going into the expo, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve seen photos of runDisney expos in the past, but I’ve not been able to find any reviews or recaps online.
First, we were dropped off in the parking lot and had to walk to the entrance to the complex. We got in line and had to wait about half an hour to get in. Waiting wasn’t much of an issue – there were lots of opportunities for photo taking and chatting. However, the heat was intense. It definitely had Andrew and I concerned about the heat during the race. The line did move pretty fast, though, and before long we were in the air conditioning and inside the expo.
First we went to pick up our bibs. The place was pretty congested, but we finally made it to the right place. I was really worried that I had been assigned to the last corral. When we signed up for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler I hadn’t run a 10K yet, so I figured I would be placed at the very back of the starting line. I was happy to find out that I was placed in F! (Corrals were A-J, with A being the fastest runners and J being the slowest.) I am not a fast runner at all, but I was really afraid that if I was in the last corral I would stand a chance of getting swept. Knowing that I had a few corrals behind me helped calm my nerves for a little bit. Next, we went to the Proof of Time booth. Here Andrew and I submitted our times from our 10Ks to see if we were eligible to move up a corral. My placement stayed at F but Andrew was moved up to C! Way to go, babe!
The last place we had to go to was packet pick-up. We were given huge, clear plastic bags (we would later use these at the race to put our change of clothes in). Inside the bags were our tech shirts (they glow in the dark-how cool!), a Cliff bar, race information printouts, and safety pins. Andrew’s shirt was too big so he asked if he could exchange his for a smaller size. That wasn’t a problem, and he quickly got the appropriate shirt. All of this probably took less than half an hour. It was very smooth, efficient, and well-organized. All of the staff/volunteers (I’m not sure which they were) were friendly and informative.
That was all that we HAD to do while we were there, but we did take some time to browse some of the merchandise and take photos. Brooks had a booth and were selling the same BRAND NEW shoes that I bought just three days prior for $30 less than the “sale” price I bought them for at home! I will definitely bring extra money to the expo for the Princess Half to buy some new shoes. I thought the prices on all of the merchandise was either typical of the regular costs or were less than normal. We didn’t buy anything, but we did have some fun with photos. We took a fun photo with some of the crew from runDisney.
They had all of this year’s medals out too. It was really cool to be able to see all of them in person. The Coast to Coast is absolutely gorgeous and now having that medal is on my bucket list for the future. I also really liked the Wine and Dine-that thing was heavy! We saw the Tower of Terror 10 Miler medal, too, and I love it with one exception: Stitch does not belong on it. He has nothing to do with the Tower of Terror. It’s not that I’m not a Stitch fan. I actually like the character a lot (although his ride is terrible). I think it just cheapens the look of the ribbon and makes it too “cutesy.” Other than that, I think it is a very handsome medal that has really incredible features that you wont find on any other finisher medal. The medal has a spring elevator that actually moves up and down. It also glows in the dark – how cool is that?
After seeing the Tower of Terror medal, I saw the one that I have been dreaming of and drooling over for 5 years-the Princess Half medal:
Isn’t she gorgeous? That medal is what started my dream years ago. That medal is what has motivated me to change my lifestyle. That medal will be hanging around my neck in 4 months, and it is a symbol of so much to me. I could spend a whole post just gushing about it, and in February I probably will! Lol
We made one last stop on our way out. We took a photo in front of a really neat background that had a countdown on it. I thought it was super cute!
I was really impressed with the expo. I thought that some really great companies were represented, and I will definitely have some extra money with me in February to make a few purchases that I didn’t get this time. The transition from booth to booth was very smooth, and it was very organized. There were only two things that stood out to me that I wish could be tweaked a little. I think that having us wait in line outside while there was a heat advisory wasn’t that great of a plan. I wish there was a way that they could have runners wait inside. Also, the space was a little tight to have so many people in. I think eventually they’ll have to make adjustments for this because it seems that runDisney events just get more and more popular each year, with more and more runners attending.
Moving on, we left the building and headed toward the buses. My dad stopped by a vending cart and bought a pretzel and frozen lemonade for he and Connor to share. We had lunch reservations for Whispering Canyon Café, so we hopped on a bus for Wilderness Lodge.
This was the first time Andrew, Connor, and I had ever been to Wilderness Lodge. I thought it was beautiful, and I can only imagine how gorgeous it must be at Christmas. When we walked in, I went to the concierge to drop off a package for one of the guest. She ordered a Pluto tutu from me to wear during the 5K, and instead of shipping it to her, we made plans for me to drop it off at the resort. We got there just in time for our 2 o’clock reservations for lunch. I will do a full review of the restaurant soon, but I’ll give you a sneak peak with this picture:
After lunch, Dad caught a bus to EPCOT (he went to see Air Supply perform) and Andrew, Connor and I took a bus to Downtown Disney. Connor had been saving his allowance for a while, and was on a mission to buy a Buzz Lightyear.
All four of us then met back up at our room at Caribbean Beach. We went to the pool for a little bit and then grabbed dinner at the food court. Everyone seemed to like theirs but me. I ordered a ham and cheese sandwich, and it tasted like something I would have had in the lunchroom in kindergarten. I was expecting something deli-style like all of the other sandwiches I saw, but it was just a dry and plain sandwich. I had one bite, threw it away and ate chocolate cake for dinner-not a great option before a 10-mile run.
We were all pretty exhausted by this point so we went back to our room, got showers and called it a night.
Coming up: Tower of Terror 10 Miler review and After Party
Have you run a runDisney race? What did you think of the Expo you attended?