Expo: ESPN Wide World of Sports, Jan 8, 9, 10, 11, 2014. Hours were different each day
The most important thing about attending the expo is to do your research. Know where you need to go for what, as things were in different places from the previous year.
Parking: made available on site, lots of land for parking, so come early if you want to park close, otherwise you may have to walk, or there is a shuttle if you need one.
Packet Pick-up at HP Field House: Everyone needed a signed wavier, which you could print ahead of time or on site. Dopey & Goofy participants received their gear bag here (minus the 5k shirt for Dopey). All other races had to pick up their gear bags & shirts in the Jostens Center, bibs & commemorative pins only here. There was also an official Run Disney merchandise store set up here. Concessions available
Jostens Center: One entrance and one exit. This is where the merchandise and speakers were. Also individual race participants were to pick up their gear bags with shirts here. Many exhibitors with discounts set up around the entire arena. Also another official Run Disney store. Free samples, a chalk board to write messages, photos, games and the New Balance Disney shoes. Most of the Dopey merchandise was sold out by the afternoon on the first day. Concessions were also available.
New Balance Run Disney Shoes: Official shoes for Disney, limited release. The process to obtain these the first few days of the expo was crazy! People were lined up before the expo started just to get a chance to buy them. The process went something like this: wait in line, enter information in an electronic system, wait to then be texted/emailed that you were able to go buy the shoes if you want. The chance to enter was sold out by 2 pm the first day, didn’t try the 2nd day, asked about it the third day and after entering into the system it was still a 3 hour wait. Finally the fourth day, the process changed, I was just directed to a short line to get into the expo building. There was a sign with many sizes sold out, but I waited got in and got some shoes. People get these on the first day as they pre-sell them on ebay for 2 – 3 times what they pay for them. Each person was allowed up to 4 pairs. I understand the crazy, but yikes!
Speakers: There were informational speeches held throughout the days of the expo, held off to the side, away from the hustle and bustle of the shoppers. You could come and go as you pleased.
There were also exhibitors set up around the concourse of the baseball stadium, things seemed spread out, or there just wasn’t room for everyone inside the Jostens Center. As I said a little research before attending proved to be very helpful. Of course there were many volunteers eager to help.
Hidden among the craziness of the expo is the gift shop for the baseball park. There were some Run Disney items for sale inside and never a crowd.
In the entrance / exit area of the WWoS were banners with each race event. A race car for the Petty driving experience was here too. It also appeared as there were not many things off limits, so more photo opportunities were available on the property.
I am sure I missed a thing or too, but the place was always busy. This is a huge expo, so I sure there will be changes made again next year as they try to their best to accommodate everyone.