Last weekend, I had the superbly wonderful opportunity to represent Sparkly Soul again (like in October) at the inaugural Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon weekend.
Disney expos are no joke - especially since this was slated to be a BIG race, being an inaugural one and all, we were prepping for some long days! Set up on Wednesday, 9:30-8 on Thursday, 8:30-8 on Friday, and who knows what crazy hours on Saturday. Because it was a multi-race weekend (5K on Friday, 10K on Saturday, half on Sunday), it was an extended expo as well. I was only there for some set up, all day Thursday and most of Friday before heading out to Austin.
(Seemingly) Unlike Rock 'n Roll, which is pretty relaxed in nature, runDisney expos have all kinds of guidelines and expectations of its vendors. First off, vendors are invited to participate in the expos - booths are hard to come by and are uber expensive, at that, so getting selected to have a booth at any runDisney weekend is a major deal.
Vendors are fully expected to have their booth set up, product displays complete and be ready to go no less than 15 minutes before the doors open. You think this wouldn't be hard, but given the other expos I've worked at/seen, there are always vendors scrambling until the last minute, and even then some. We even had two staff members come fix our banner becaue it was drooping a little too much for their taste.
We weren't allowed to wear jeans. Not that we did for Sparkly Soul at RnR anyway, but you saw no (if any) vendors wearing jeans at their booths. Again, it's a race expo, so who wants to wear jeans anyway? But you get my drift.
We also weren't allowed to sit - like ever. Apparently at past expos, photos have been taken of vendors and sent to their company, being like, "Hey, tell your people that sitting isn't okay." The only reason a vendor should be sitting is basically to demonstrate how a product works to a customer. Fascinating, right?
But MAN runDisney expos are seriously amazing. I've only been to one Disney race, mind you, and I remember being totally excited and overwhelmed because it was my first big race and I had no idea expos took on such personalities! Yes, expos have personalities, and runDisney certainly lives up to the Disney name and hype.
I even got to drive through the 5K start line a few times, and walked underneath the finish line a few times while going back and forth from parking to the Disneyland Hotel where the expo was. Being around all the finish lines, race buzz and expo fun makes me REALLY excited for the Pixie Dust Challenge in May, my first west coast Disney race!
Did you run Star Wars this weekend? Do Disney expos live up to the hype of the Disney brand in general?