I am so excited to kickoff this race weekend report. The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend holds a special place in my heart and this year didn't disappoint!
So let's jump into the details of this trip.
I arrived on a red-eye flight from Denver Wednesday morning. I hopped on Magical Express and made my way to the All Star Music resort arriving around 8. This trip was the first time I was solo for a race weekend so it gave me some added flexibility (3 hour naps anyone?) but I missed having people with me.
I stopped at the front desk in hopes that I could get into my room early but no dice. I headed over to the food court and finished up some work while enjoying a breakfast only Disney can make!
Around noon I finally got the text that my room was ready! I went to my room, my bags were quick to follow, and then... it was nap time. After a restless night of sleep on my red-eye flight, reports of LONG lines at the expo, and a cold and dreary Florida day I was in no rush and a nice warm bed felt fan-freaking-tastic!
After sleeping for a while and unpacking, the sun was finally was out and I was ready to get out into the "world". There were still reports of very long lines at the expo so I decided instead to head to the Magic Kingdom area for a quick ride on the monorail and to grab some food at the resorts. Bus to Magic Kingdom, hop on the monorail, hop off the monorail at the Polynesian to enjoy a flatbread pizza, and then a stroll to the Grand Floridian to enjoy the band and continue to unwind. It was agreat way to pass the time and enjoy the sounds of the Magic Kingdom sans park ticket. After my stroll, it was about 5:30 and it was time to hop on the expo bus.
I arrived at the Wide World of Sports right around 6 and this year the bus drop off was in a new place that was more in front of the buildings in stead of out to the side. Time to conquer the expo!
Even this late in the day, there were still a good number of people at the expo. The expo hours the first day, Wednesday, was 12-8 so I was there pretty close to closing time. This year they rearranged the flow. In the area where they had done bib pickup for the Dopey Challenge before they put official race merchandise and pre-order merchandise pickup and moved the Dopey Challenge pickup to the upstairs area. By the time I got there the bib and tshirt pickup was a breeze!
Time to go to our next stop - the pre-purchased merchandise area. I don't normally get this tye of merch but I wanted to celebrate my 5th Dopey Challenge and thought this would be a great way to do that. I got the race weekend jacket and Dopey pin and magnet set. The entrance to this part of the expo was in a weird spot but it was a breeze to get through.
Then I decided it was time to check out the official race merchandise. There was still a slight outdoor line and an indoor line but it was not as bad as it was earlier in the day. I got inside and items for the Dopey Challenge were pretty picked over. Jackets and t-shirts had limited size availability but overall the selection was pretty good. I really liked some of the Goofy Challenge gear and they even had new character running outfits which were super cute!
The line to check out was still super long so I decided there wasn't really anything I needed so I decided to move along to the main expo floor!
Time to head over to the vendor area and after the slightly overwhelmed feeling I was having at the merchandise floor, I decided it was time for a beer. Look how fun this foam printer is!
After a lap around the floor stopping at a couple booths, including the Cigna booth, it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready and rested for day 1 of the Dopey Challenge. With a 5:30 am 5k start time I was ready to call it a night!
With temps at the start potentially in the 20's, all the layers were necessary for day 1 of the Dopey Challenge at the WDW 5k!