The race weekend started with the Fit for a Princess Expo. This year Disney had the Expo at the Cornado Springs Resort and all participants were required to ride a bus to get there from Downtown Disney as parking was not allowed at the venue. The whole family headed out in great spirits super excited for a great Expo.
Upon entering the expo we were greeted by none other than Cinderella’s coach men. We stopped for a quick photo opportunity. This place was packed but the line for the photo wasn’t bad at all.
After our quick picture, Prince Charming, and I went in and decided to divide and conquer the masses. PC went and got our bibs while I tried to get into the Official Merchandise area. Wow! The crowds were crazy busy. They were letting way too many people into a very small area. It was impossible to tell who was trying to pick up merchandise and who was waiting to pay. After getting stuck in a grid lock I decided to exit the area. I had a Vinyamation Mickey in my hand with the Princess Half medal and honestly was just trying to escape and couldn’t move. A Princess from Germany told me we were in line. I told her I was just trying to put my stuff down and leave. However she worked her magic and cast a spell on the unsuspecting worker and the next thing I knew I was being shuffled to a register to pay and avoided the hour long line.
My daughters favorite princess is Aurora so I took a quick photo of this banner.
Next, I wanted to try and find Run Disney’s official trainer Jeff Galloway to ask for some advice in running the Half. I found him and he was awesome! He told me to walk the first 4 miles and then to do very short run/walk intervals to avoid aggravating my injured knee. At first I was thinking that I didn’t want to walk. I was afraid it would ruin my time and get me swept. However, after contemplating for awhile I realized Jeff Galloway is an Olympic Gold Medalist and has way more experience than I do so it only made sense to follow his sought after advice.
We had browsed around a bit so after finding Prince Charming we decided to try to come back tomorrow because this place was packed with Princesses and every booth had an impossible line.
We took some great photos on the way out.
We had decided my little Prince C was going to run the 5K instead of me due to my injuries. He was wearing my 5K shirt on the right and it was huge on him. We were told by the staff at the Expo we couldn’t exchange sizes until after 6pm that day. Really – not super convenient as it was like 11 am and we live 45 minutes away.
We left and went to home. Later that day some very friendly RunDisney people called and informed us that my husband had left his portfolio on the ground by the picture spot above with the next mornings 5K bibs! Some very nice Princess found it and turned it in. It also had our commemorative pins inside it.
Ut Oh! Change of plans. We decided we best drive back out as that would be the only way to get to run the next day.
Tip: The Expos seem to be the least busy in the afternoon. In the future I will go on the first day and plan on arriving around noon-1ish. We did this at a previous expo and via Facebook post it seemed calmest at this time for this Expo as well.
We came back around 5 and it was crazy busy, again. I guess a lot of folks were getting off work and picking up their bibs. We found RunDisney had ironed out some of the issues from earlier in the day and we were able to purchase the Official merchandise that we wanted to look at earlier in the day They were limiting the crowds inside the booth and making everyone wait to get in. This made so much more sense! We could actually find what we wanted and get out of there so others could do the same. We bought 3 Vinylmation Mickeys, 2 Princess Half Marathon Commemorative Pink Ears, a jacket and wine glass for me, a Coast to Coast Shirt for PC, and some decorative replica medal pins. Prince Charming wanting me to get and I Did It shirt, but I passed for the jacket. Who wants to be stuck with a $40 shirt if they weren’t able to finish? I would hate that shirt! I didn’t want to jinx myself.
We left in the evening much happier than we had that morning.
This was my little Princess posing for me.
My only complaint was that I saw other Princesses with photos with the Disney Princesses. I think they may have come on Saturday??? Also we waited for over an hour for a bus to get from the Expo back to our car. All in all -the Expo was Ok. Many people complained over and over again about the crowds and organization. I agree in part after comparing it to other Disney Expos that I have attended. However, to give them credit where credit is due, they did seem to iron out many of the issues from the morning by the afternoon. The Disney Princess Half Weekend had begun!
Continue on to read about Mickey and Minnie’s Royal 5K and the Princess Half Marathon.