Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Quest for the Minnie Shoes (or Princess Half Marathon Weekend Expo)

Ahh...It was so hard to get back to reality.  But here I am in 30'ish, 40'ish degree weather, wishing I was still back at Disney but with my family there too for good measure.

My Princess experience this year was vastly different than last year, and I have so many thoughts on the races, my time spent just having fun and of course random thoughts.  So just a little heads up, there will be Princess Half weekend thoughts for several days.  Way too much just to put in one post. 

I arrived into Orlando with my Oklahoma running friends Wedsneday night.  The plan of attack was to get to the expo first thing Thursday morning to get all of our stuff done first thing so we could play the rest of the day before the DisBroads Princess Wave Meet up.  Of course, the slight hiccup to this plan, was that mama needed wanted a new pair of shoes, or in this case three.  I had my eyes set on getting a pair of the New Balance runDisney Minnie shoes, not only for myself, but for E as well.  I had visions in my head of how adorbs it would be to be walking around the parks on our next family trip in matching super cute shoes.  If that's not a good enough reason to be wanting new shoes, I don't know what is.  My original plan was to get the boys the sorcerer Mickey shoes also, but they shot that down fairly quickly.  The third pair came in when I offered to pick up a pair for my sweet friend DisBroad Kristen, who was getting in later in the day. 

The plan was for me to try to take advantage of the new NewBalance Virtual queue.  So it meant me setting my alarm for a little before 6a and try to get signed up for a spot with my bib number.  I got in right at 6a, and still ended up in group 5 at 1p.  Admittedly, I was slightly grumpy about the time as we had booked fast passes for Hollywood Studio and that would require a little shuffling.  I was less grumpy about it when I saw that the queue was full in just about 7 minutes and that there were people who were unable to secure a time via this method.  It was decided that my friends would go to Hollywood Studio after the Expo and I would head back to the Expo after dropping my stuff off at the room and meet up with my friend Wendy who also had a 1p slot. 

With that urgent matter attended to, off we went to the Expo, we picked up our packets for the 5k and for the Glass Slipper Challenge.  Once that was done it was time to shop.  I know this will probably surpise no one, but I might have gone slightly crazy.  I thought Wine & Dine was bad, but this put a whole new spin on it. I think Expo's will always be my downfall. 

I am rationalizing my spending by saying outside of food and a few other things this is where I mostly spent my money.  I did stay mostly within my wish list.  One of the few things not on my list was this shirt for my hockey nerd. 

I found it slighly ironic and I was greatly amused by it.  I'm not sure he sees it nearly as funny as I do, but I for sure will be packing this on our next family Disney trip for him. 

During the Expo time, Wendy and I were texting about the shoe situation, and I started to get concerned about the odds of getting shoes.  I decided to go visit the New Balance shoe check in area.  It was there that I found out that some of the online rumors were not true and that the schedule was running on time.  I also found out that they were no longer accepting walk ups to schedule a time.    I decided to go back to the room to drop off my Expo loot and would head back to the Expo to wait for my text. 
As soon as we pulled into the resort, I got the text that it was time for my group.  I stayed on the bus and went straight back to the expo.  It is important to note that I got the text an hour early.  Once I got checked in I was escorted to the shoe area and had my shoes.  I have to say in retrospect this worked out really well for me.  I wasn't sure that it would go as smoothly as it did, so I was pleasantly surprised.  I had hoped to go up a size for E, but they were already sold out So I got what was available that fit her and still gave her some room.  I was super excited that I was able to get the shoes that I wanted and was able to get Kristen's Cinderella shoes as well. 
After I got the shoes, I waited for Wendy who was picking up her packets for the 5k and the Glass Slipper Challenge. Once we met up,  she and I walked around the expo to visit a bit.  I was bound and determined to not spend any money, but it didn't happen.  I walked away with one more thing, the runDisney "I did it shirt" for the Glass Slipper Challenge.   Before I left Wendy and I had the traditional Expo glass of champagne and I was off to meet my Oklahoma friends at Hollywood Studios. 
Overall, the Fit for A Princess Expo was amazing.  I wasn't the least bit claustrophobic and it didn't seem as crowded.  Though I'm sure the fact that we went early on the first day probably helped with that as well. 
Coming up next, the DisBroads Princess Wave. 
What were your thoughts on the expo this year?  Were you a shoe buyer?  How did the new virtual queue work for you?