The runDisney Health & Fitness Expo for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend opened today at ESPN Wide World of Sports with huge crowds and awesome new runDisney merchandise! From the new, official merchandise to character meet-n-greets to an interactive zone, this year’s Expo has plenty for runners and for those who love and support them.
Official runDisney merchandise
As a spectator for this weekend, I first checked out the Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to see the new runDisney merchandise we previewed. The specific race magnets always go first and there is usually another hot, new item that follows closely behind.
I love the way they arrange the queue, winding runners and spectators through the hallways decorated with silhouettes of characters in running poses and inspiring Disney quotes to get runners motivated for the miles ahead. With the anticipated crowds, there was even an overflow line for those wishing to enter the area with the merchandise.
Once inside, there is plenty of room to venture and shop. The new runDisney Minnie ears are even more fun in person! These new ears, the second edition of specially branded runDisney Minnie ears, sport the logo of each of the four parks hosting runners this weekend during races. The front showcases the two main parks with Epcot for the 5K, 10K and Magic Kingdom Park for the Half Marathon and Marathon, and on the back Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
runDisney Spirit Jerseys
The Spirit Jerseys are my favorite new item, and there are three options — I wanted one of each! If you’ve never donned a Disney Spirit Jersey, you are missing out on incredible comfort and warmth with that extra touch of Disney magic. The jerseys typically have a logo on the front left side and the back sports a wide design.
The new runDisney jerseys feature a black and white ombre coloring with Oswald holding and wearing a race medal and the runDisney logo; a navy blue version with Dopey and all four Theme Park logos represented and the slogan “I Run the World” on the back and the Disney Fab Five; and a pink ombre version with a Castle logo and “Every Mile is Magic” 2020, and the runDisney logo on the back with the characters in running poses.
For runDisney general items, versus race weekend specific items, there are specially designed runDisney leggings and matching jackets, shirts and headbands, scarves and puffer vests. There are many new shirts with fun run puns or adorable slogans and including the Disney foodie designed shirt with “The Faster you run the sooner we Eat,” and a four park logo shirt with “Forget the miles, Remember the Magic,” or a new Olaf sweatshirt with “runners are cool.”
One of the cutest things, perfect for a cold weather run were the soft Dopey and Mickey plush-like headbands. I can’t wait to see those around the parks!
Annual Passholder merchandise options
There is even special merchandise for Annual Passholders and the passholder discount applies at checkout!
For the race weekend merchandise, you can find the typical “I did it” runDisney shirts for each race as well as pullovers, hats, long and short sleeve shirts, mugs, cups, wine glasses, pins, Christmas running shoe ornaments and the ever-important race magnets.
Featured race weekend characters, including Mickey and Goofy, are available for character meet-n-greets when leaving the official merchandise area. There are also booths with representatives to answer questions regarding ChEAR Squad, and transportation and large maps of each of the race routes, and, of course, food! As you leave the building to head up the hill, you can also stop to get an airbrush tattoo with multiple race logo options, sponsored by Cigna.
Picking up your race bib
Once you leave the Arena, just a short walk up the hill (this is where comfortable shoes are key), will take you to the HP Field House to for race bib pick-up and runner relations and more fun photo opportunities.
runDisney Health & Fitness Expo floor
Then head across the quad to the Visa Athletic Center for the main Expo floor where exhibitors showcase everything from bath salts and sparkly head gear to sports beans and health care professionals.
Whether in need of something fun to wear this weekend or in races to come, the Expo is always an excellent place to find fun running gear! You can even ask questions of physical therapists, or race pacers and check out the latest from running belts to socks. There are always photo opportunities and, yes, more race themed food options.
On the second level, as you leave the main floor is the Interactive Zone. I walked up during a Race Tips and Tricks presentation, with an opportunity to ask those last-minute questions. This is where you can hear from experts, participate in an Animation Academy, pin trade, or even pre-race or race recovery yoga. This zone is open throughout the Expo, with programming subject to change. Family and friends are encouraged to participate as well.
Staying on property? There are buses running each day to the Expo, ending 30 minutes after the Expo closes each day.
Have you experienced a runDisney Expo? What are you most excited to find this year? Tell us in the comments.