First, the run! We had a few people that were interested in meeting up with us for this, well meet-up, but by the time the morning came it was just Marcia and I. Oh well, it was fun still!
The Coronado property is really pretty and I would consider staying here in the future. Expansive and quiet! These are just a few of the vantage points from our run. After we ran and were thoroughly sweaty (it was quite hot at 7:30am, lower 70's in the sun I would say) we went inside to get in line for the expo.
It was a good thing we got there at 8am too, look at the line that was already there and the expo didn't open for another hour! In the meantime, we took pictures and waited around. I had to print my waivers and my proof of time, because I was the dummy that left them in the hotel room. D'oh!
We sparkled in our sparkly skirts and tiaras!
They had started separating people out for what they wanted to do. A line for packet pick up, a line for merch and a line for people just wanting to buy the official runDisney New Balance shoes. This was the initial line for just those shoes!
Marcia and I wanted official runDisney merch, since the good stuff always seems to go quick, so we were the second people in line to enter the expo for shopping. When the door opened, we walked (quickly!) to the corner where merch area was and started taking our size of things we wanted. I look up and I kid you not, after being in the runDisney merch area for only 5 minutes, the place looks like this! There was no crowd control and people were streaming in grabbing at things and running into people. I experienced some really rude behavior!
Once I was done with shopping at runDisney it was time to pick up my bib! The lines for bibs were pretty long, but they moved quickly!
I grabbed my bib, but knew that my time from my last 10K could place me in a higher corral. So I brought my proof of time to the Runner Relations booth and BAM! I got moved from Corral F to Corral C. YAY! Now off to get my 5K bib and shirts! Only problem, the line for the shirts was stupid.
Like unsafe conditions stupid.
You could not reach the location of the shirt distribution and people were literally sardined in that small area. You couldn't get into the lines and people who had their shirts couldn't get out of the area, it was bodies on top of bodies. I gave up and walked away, I was not dealing with that situation. I would just as soon as go without my shirt and bag check bag then to get into that mess. It was a really sour note for me.
The organization of the expo left something greatly to be desired with runDisney. I talked with other people who have been to many runDisney expos and they all said this was the worst they had ever experienced. Not a good first impression for this runner. My hopes is that this venue is not used again for their expos and if it is, the area is used in a much better manner that would consolidate the bib pick-up area (read: tons of empty space) and give that to the shirt pick up and vendor aisle areas. It really was unsafe conditions at time. If there had been an emergency, lots of people would have been trampled and hurt. No good.
Through the madness I did manage to get some other shopping done! I went to my FAVORITE booth, Team Sparkle! Their skirts are FABULOUS, I love them, I have 4 already and I want 4 other colors. I also got to meet Kelly of According to Kelly and one of the ladies of Team Sparkle. She is just as much of a doll in person as I thought she would! I managed to leave after wracking minimal damage on my credit card, only two shirts and not the additional three skirts I wanted to walk away with!
The expo was ridiculously crowded (see: shoulder to shoulder, everywhere) so Marcia and I decided to leave and head to the Magic Kingdom for the eat part of our meet-up. But we didn't leave before we caught up with Erin of For the love of Disney running and runDisney announcer Carissa.
Now...it's time to EAT!!! We took the monorail to Magic Kingdom and headed to Sleepy Hollow for some waffle yumminess!!!
World, meet the Nutella waffle at Sleepy Hollow. Nutella waffle, meet the world. OH. SO. YUMMY!!! Marcia and I met up with Marci and Jen and a couple of other ladies for some waffles, coffee and conversation. The sun was bright, the temperature was warm and we were in the Magic Kingdom during the Princess Half Marathon weekend. We were having a great time!
Of course there was some goofing around, lets be serious now!
After this we all went our separate ways and passed the time before our next meet-up, Princess Tea Time at the Grand Floridian Resort. Erin of For the love of Disney running put this meet-up together and I was excited about it from the moment she advertised it! I love tea time and to have it in the setting of the Grand Floridian, yes...count me in!!
The tea was attended by all Princesses, except for one lucky Prince! Dennis Marsico of Run Disney TV made a special appearance, bedecked in a bow tie and sash he brought himself! VERY snazzy! We all got pictures with him too!
Don't mind me, I know how to have proper tea. It's all about the pinky!
The spread was exquisite and everything tasted amazing. The scones were light and fluffy, the eclair was filled with chocolate chantilly cream and the puff pastry had bailey's cream in it. Yum, yum and more yum. The tea was a bit pricey, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Especially if I got to share it with my running friends again!
After tea we headed to Epcot to try and get into dinner at one of the restaurants in the Italy pavilion of the World Showcase. The view of the Boardwalk area just after sunset, so beautiful!
We walked around and admired the beautiful night and the garden work that was popping up all over Epcot! Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip dancing!
One thing I can say about the Disney World parks, they sure don't give any loving to Sprint customers! My battery drained SO FAST from trying to send Tweets and Facebook while in the parks that I was relegated to looking for plugs in all the parks and hotels I would go to just so that I could charge my phone and it wouldn't die! Thank goodness for Jen's keen eye, as she found this beauty in the knick of time for me!! I love Italy and their strategically placed electrical outlets!
Miraculously, we were able to get a table for 6 at the one restaurant that seems to always be booked solid, Tutto Italia! I had the spaghetti and meatballs, no picture was taken, I was enjoying it far too much to bother with that! HA!
Dinner was fabulous and the company was even better! Laughs and stories filled the table and made the evening that much more enjoyable. Got to meet Patrick (Twitter @Whatthe5k) and meet Jen's husband Clint and got to spend more time with Jen, Marcia and Erin.
Though the night wouldn't be complete without a little adrenaline rush before bed! Erin had some fast passes for Test Track that were given out earlier when the ride was down and they were in line. So we got to take a little test drive before we went our separate ways for the night.
This was actually a really fun ride, especially when it got to the speed part of it! WOOHOO!!! I love me some speed!!! We left the park, as it began to downpour a bit, but not before one last photo op!
Such a fun night and a fantastic group! Now with full bellies we head back to the hotels and get ready for the next day. The next morning is an early one for Erin and I as we are both running in the Royal Family 5K. I was exhausted, the day was so packed, but there was still lots more to do the next day! Time to rest up! Considering I had a date with a 5K in the morning! (Corral B! I've never been in such a high corral before! WOOHOO!!)
Come back and read my first ever runDisney race recap tomorrow when I review the Royal Family 5K and more meet-up fun!!