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Disneyland Half Marathon Expo 2016 Recap | runDisney

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo Recap

The Joyful Miles crew is now back from runDisney’s oh-so-awesome Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend and we’re ready to get down to some major recapping! We had such a fantastic time. Seriously, just fantastic! Both Rob and I went into this race thinking it’d be a one and done, but now? It’s one of our absolute favorites … and considering how many races we’ve done between us, that’s saying a lot. So let the recapping begin! 

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo RecapJackey had already been vacationing with her family in Disneyland the previous week, but Megan, Rob, and I arrived on Thursday, with me feeling a tad worse for the wear. My grand intentions were to have my costumes completely ready and everything packed early so I could have a restful Wednesday evening, but yeah. That didn’t happen. These name tags were especially tricky.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo Recap

Instead, I stayed up late, couldn’t sleep, and then got caught in hideous traffic on the way to BWI. My anxiety cup was runnething over. Big time. All ended well, however, with me making it to the gate with just enough time to take some video and grab some water.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo Recap

My flight was long but thankfully uneventful. Back in May for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, I had Becky to follow but this time, I made it to baggage claim and met up with James, the first of our crew.

Together we took the bus to Alamo where Rob was waiting with a rented convertible. (Yeah. We do things in style here at Joyful Miles.) Riding through LA in a convertible had never been on my bucket list, but it should have been! Fitting all our suitcases was rather tricky and it did a number on my hair, but it made me feel super cool. One must always take advantage of super cool opportunities.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

A recap of the @runDisney #DisneylandHalf Expo and the goodies we bought! #werunsocial #runchat… Click To Tweet

Rob dropped me off to meet Jackey at our hotel, Best Western Stovall Inn, before heading to the Grand California, where he and James were staying. (They went fancy this trip. We did not.) There were many other runners there, though, as proved by the race magnets!


Megan and her friend, Brooke – the one and only Bibbidi Bobbidi Brooke, soon arrived. After unpacking and a quick change, we headed to the expo that was being held at the Disneyland Hotel, about a ten minute walk. This is the biggest perk about a west coast runDisney event. Everything is so easy to get to with no buses or Ubers necessary! Pretty soon, we (almost) had the whole crew together for a quick meal at Earl of Sandwich.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

Now, normally expos in Florida bring out my full crazy, with me wanting to rush to the Disney Merchandise area as fast as possible before things sell out. But not this time. Maybe it was my sense of frugality, maybe it was the chill California vibe, but whatever the case, I was in no rush. So we headed to the lower conference area at the Disneyland Hotel first to collect our bibs, race packets, and commemorative items.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon

Jackey and I headed to the 5k lines first, since we were the only ones in the group doing the Country Bears 5k. Gotta say. There might have been some extreme girlie squealing going on when Jackey and I discovered we were both in Corral A! But she’s going to go in more detail about that on Monday. Those of us who had wisely pre-purchased commemorative items (not me) gathered their loot, and Megan, James, and Rob got their Coast to Coast wrist bands that Jackey and I had already earned at the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.

TIP: Always make a list on your phone of things you need to pick up! Especially if this is your first expo and things get overwhelming.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

We then headed to the upper level to get our race shirts and do some shopping.

TIP: If you’re running a challenge, make sure all your shirts are cut the same! My Dumbo Double Dare was significantly smaller, since the shirts were not manufactured at the same time. But no biggie, I was able to exchange my batch of shirts.

We then headed to the Disney Merchandise area where I discovered that not everything had sold out. In fact, there was hardly any crowds at all in comparison to Friday, when our friend, Leslie, had to deal with long lines. The challenge pin was sold out, however. Total bugger, but I was able to get some sweet magnets, a 5k and Half Marathon pin, plus a nice Coast to Coast shirt that I had my eye on for a while.

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo Recap

Photo from www.disneystore.com

(For all of our purchases, be sure to be on the lookout for our upcoming haul video on our YouTube channel!)

We did some additional shopping and gallivanting afterwards, including a stop by the Sparkle Athletic booth where we were able to get a basic skirt at 50% off by bringing a framed picture of us wearing our #teamsparkle gear. I only had twelve skirts, so I simply had to get another! 😉

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

A recap of the @runDisney #DisneylandHalf Expo and the goodies we bought! #werunsocial #runchat… Click To Tweet

We had hoped to get a picture with Jeff Galloway, but he was having a long conversation with some other runners so I had to settle for this one:

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

We then decided to call it a day and hit the parks. Since Rob and James were staying at the Grand California, they graciously volunteered to take all our bags to their room while we stayed behind for one last photo:

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon ExpoIt took a while for Megan and me to exchange our vouchers for park tickets, but we were soon able to see Sleeping Beauty’s gorgeous castle all decked out in its 60th Anniversary finest!

2016 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

After many rides and snack testing, (video on that coming soon,) Jackey and I decided to be good and get back to our room in order to get plenty of sleep for the Country Bears 5k. Which was AWESOME. No, BEYOND AWESOME. Jackey will be giving you the full scoop on that next Monday, but until then…

QOTD: Were you at the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo? If so, how was your experience and what did you buy?

Have a joyful day and happy running!

About the author: Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Lindsay Loves Running September 9, 2016, 10:20 am

    I was there I was there!! I actually ended up buying two things that I’ve never bought before at any of the runDisney expos I’ve been to – a Disneyland Half Marathon mug and a Dumbo Double Dare magnet (that is supposed to be for your car, but mine is on my fridge). Love your post – transports me right back there and I can’t wait for the next one!

    • Laura Bowers September 22, 2016, 10:42 pm

      The magnets are the best! And for $8.99, it’s a nice souvenir at a good price. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you had a great time at the expo! What’s next on your runDisney schedule?
      ~Laura

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