We were still on a high from achieving Dopey status at Walt Disney World. We arrived back in Toronto late on Monday night (actually, early Tuesday morning by the time we got home). I went straight to bed as I had to go to work Tuesday. By Wednesday night, we were packed and ready to travel to California for the Tinker Bell running weekend at Disneyland. I tried to get some sleep over the two days being back, but in all honesty, it was tough. Between work, unpacking and packing, and getting things organized around the house, I maybe was managing about 5 hours of sleep per night. I actually was looking forward to the long flight to California; to attempt to sleep.
Our flight on Thursday morning was delayed for a good hour and a half. We knew we’d have little time to waste upon arrival. Coincidently, it was also my birthday, so I was a little excited to get the party started down in Disneyland. We had plans to spend a little time there after the expo. We picked up our car at LAX and drove to the hotel. We made good time and checked into our hotel (thank you HOV lane) before walking towards Downtown Disney, onwards to the Disney Hotel.
Due to the crowds at the expo, we decided to pick up our race kits only, and check out the Run Disney merchandise section before making a very brief look at the other vendors. We had plans to come back and really explore the expo the following day after the 5K and this worked out really well as we got there prior to opening, and was able to check in for a New Balance appointment for the limited edition Run Disney shoes. As it turned out, we actually came back a third time on Saturday to see Margaret Kerry speak at the expo. The original Tinker Bell.
For interest of sharing my expo experience in it’s entirety, I’ll be grouping our expo sights in this one post.
Race kit pickup was pretty flawless. We entered the lower exhibit hall of the Disneyland hotel. The line for the 5k was pretty big, but the 10K and half marathon pickup windows had little wait. The biggest wait was for the Park Hopper pass we purchased with GET Travel. All things considered, it wasn’t too lengthy. We were out of the pick up area in about 20 minutes. We then, went into the hall and picked up our race shirts and quickly browsed the vendors. It really was a mad house in terms of people, so with a brief look at Sparkle Skirts (the line was huge to pay), and a few other places, we left it for the day as we knew coming back first thing on Friday was a better option.
Once we got to the upper exhibit hall, we made our way to the long line that awaited us for the Run Disney merchandise. Disney organized a line outside the hall that moved pretty briskly, but upon entering the line, I was at first taken aback as I thought it would take forever to get inside. I heard from others that this was due in part to last year’s Disneyland half marathon weekend, which apparently had crazy crowds and long line ups to cash out. Once inside the merchandise area, it was easy to get around the aisles. Disneyland employees did a great job at not over packing the area with people and the cash out process was swift and easy.
I will say, on the Thursday when we arrived, there was a lot of merchandise to be bought to commemorate the Tinker Bell weekend. Unfortunately, those that didn’t arrive until Friday or Saturday missed out on a lot to be had as the expo sold out on many of the items. When we went back on Saturday and took a brief look at the shelves, many of the items were gone, only to have the shelves replaced with non commemorative Tinker Bell mugs and Mickey stuffed toys. The demand for “I Did It” shirts, mugs, wine glasses, shirts and jackets was great. I took a few pictures of some of the items on Thursday, only to see them gone the following days. I didn’t purchase much here, however, I do have a habit of buying a hat during these expos, however, I wasn’t too happy with the design for this years Tinker Bell as it was just a plain white hat with grey lettering which I thought was a bit dull. I opted to buy a Run Disney hat instead and a 5K and 10K pin.
After we left the expo on Thursday, we made a quick stop at our hotel, and dropped off our expo gear. Then we crossed the street so I could enjoy a few hours on my birthday at Disneyland. We ended up at Carnation Cafe for dinner. Enjoyed the deep fried pickles (definitely recommend) and one of Walt’s favourites. At dessert time, a few of the cast members came by and sang a birthday song, and I was given a Mickey cupcake.
On Friday, we arrived just prior to the 10am open of the expo, but the doors were already open. I went directly to Sparkle Skirts and picked up a few skirts I had previously had my eye on via the website. We had about a half hour before the crowds starting coming in, so it was great being able to get what we wanted without waiting too long and to be able to browse effortlessly. While I was doing that, my spouse was drooling at the 620 Garmin that was at another vendor. I came by shortly after and started my drool on the 220. After that, I spent some time at Bondi Bands and bought a couple I had seen at Disney World the week before.
We lingered around and visited many vendors to see what they were selling. I bought a pair of CEP calf compression sleeves. As well, I splurged and got the 220 Garmin on Saturday. It was time for a new Garmin and it was also a fantastic deal in comparison to Canadian prices. I love the fact that I can also use it as a watch.
I also got these….Oh yeah!
When we went back on Saturday to see Margaret Kerry, I was so glad I did. She spoke at the speaker series in the exhibit hall, and she was fantastic. She told us about her experience working at Disney and how fond she was of Marc Davis (creator of Bambi, Tinker Bell, and Cruella De Vil) who directed Margaret during her movement sessions. She shared her audition process for Tinker Bell. As someone who has dabbled in improv and sketch, I really got a kick out of it as she mimed her movements as she proceeded to tell her story. In true Tink fashion, it was obvious that Tinker Bell was Margaret Kerry. At a time when the majority of crew were male, she said she felt safe and protected on set with Marc Davis, or Mr. Davis, as I’m sure he was called back then. In fact, she said that one day on set, a member of the crew said something about Margaret, and that crew member was swiftly told to leave the set and to not return. She also met Walt Disney himself. She seemed very fond of her experience on Peter Pan. She went on to do other acting projects, and found her niche in voice work. After the speaker series, I was standing off to the side of the stage, and she walked by. By luck, I was able to say “Thank you” and told her how much I enjoyed her talk. She graciously stopped to talk for a moment. I wish I said more but I tend to forget to seize the moment sometimes and just be polite and brief (it’s the Canadian in me) and left it at that….then she was whisked away by her handler for some photo ops. It’s not great, but I took a quick picture of her as she walked toward us.
Next up – The Never Land 5K