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    Team MousePlanet: Black Friday Descends over the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

    Black Friday Descends over the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo by Lani Teshima

    Confusion, panic buying, pushing and shoving create nightmare scenario as perfect storm wreaks havoc on the expo

    Read it here!


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    My suggestion would be to control the line to the official merch area in a manner akin to D23. We were controlled before entering. So yeah, you still waited in line, BUT you did not have to do it carrying all those hangers. Merchandise was better controlled (what was to keep people from slipping all that Dumbo, etc merch into bags and out the door?), better stocked, and you didn't feel crammed into the area.


  4. #3

    The expo was a mess! We could not go untill after work on Friday and by then, the only DDD item left was the lime green sweatshirt and only in small (saw one) or medium. I guess I have a good reason to drop 10lbs, to fit in my sweatshirt. Very disappointed that we could not get a magnet or an "I did it!" shirt. We have them from every runDisney event we have done, except this one. Way to much of the merch was available on Ebay the last time I checked, not good form at all.

    I would happily pre-order the merch I want. I am already dropping a pretty penny to run a Disney event, so it is not to much of a strech to just pay for the manget and "I did it!" shirt upfront.


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    I wanted to attend the expo just to see it - but glad I did not. Lani's report was straight out of Pirates 2000 and the debacle that was. However, it seems to me that the lack of organizational flow and info sharing among different groups within Disney parks, even in the same location, is more the norm than regular. So many of the suggestions you noted seem like a repeat of what folks asked for from the merchandize events in the past. I think one note of interest is that even now since they don't do that many "events" any more I think they are falling out of practice - or they simply are, indeed, happy to let the public and on the ground CMs deal with chaos because the important thing is the spreadsheet. As it was pointed out - down the road this may be a problem for them. Frankly I doubt it. We keep saying that about price increases at the Parks, etc. - and none of that has changed over the years... They will simply replace the current crop of attendees with new ones.

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    It was an utterly insane train wreck. And, with having to stand outside in the direct hot sun with NO shade or even water offered near the super long outdoor lines, it made people even more irritable, myself included. I really hope they have a better system in place before Tink. I would love the option to pre-order my official merchandise and just pick it up like I can with my bib and pre-ordered pin. My idea of attending the expo is to enjoy myself before the race, meet other runners, and especially enjoy the presentations by Jeff Galloway, etc. But, I'd still like to go home with a bit of merchandise without spending hours in line for it or having to "race" to find my size before its all gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    I think one note of interest is that even now since they don't do that many "events" any more I think they are falling out of practice - or they simply are, indeed, happy to let the public and on the ground CMs deal with chaos because the important thing is the spreadsheet.
    If that's the case I really feel sadly for them. Someone probably needs to take initiative, and oftentimes in large companies, that person winds up hitting all sorts of walls because it's truly difficult to shift inertia. It may look fantastic on the spreadsheet to show that they sold 99.354 percent of all the merchandise they made for the event, and that they made $5.2 million or whatever.

    But what they might not see is that they could make easily three (or four) times the number of inventory, streamline the shopping process, and clear an easy $9.7 mil. So they might wind up with $1 mil worth of leftovers, but they will still make a huge jump in profits, and that could help pay for extra CMs to help in future events.

    There's SO much more they could do, really. They could sell "autographable running shirts" with a permanent marker. Have characters sign your shirt during the run. How neat would that be? They could sell a ton of GENERIC runDisney photo frames. Even if you don't order the official photos, you can print a photo from the weekend and frame it.

    EXPENSIVE runDisney jewelry. Not that class ring stuff. Charms for your bracelet that are mini versions of your medals. Charms you can wear on your necklace. Charms you can hang on your shoelaces. runDisney and various character-themed shoelaces. Socks. Tons of ear hats. They can even embroider your ear hat with running-related words.

    There's just SO much stuff they could sell. That's not even counting the fact that they simply don't sell ENOUGH of the inventory they have.
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    This is one of the many reasons I stopped running these marathons. The price just keeps getting higher and higher and the conditions worse and worse. The first few years, although expensive, there was really a lot to see along the course and the expo, although not perfect, wasn't that bad. Over the years our group kept seeing the rising cost vs. what you get to simply be too skewed to Disney trying to milk as much money out of the customer as possible.

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    Team MousePlanet: Black Friday Descends over the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

    Others have posted that some items (I saw a Dumbo 'I Did It' shirt for one) are available online, but sizes are limited, so make your move soon!

    Looks like just some Dumbo and C2C merchandise, in addition to the regular Run Disney stuff.

    Cathy

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    So they're selling SOME of the merchandise online now. Here's a link.

    But. I can't get my AP discount on it. And I can't try anything on. I already bought that blue shirt in my size and it didn't fit me. I'm not willing to buy shirts online and guess at sizing - and their sizes obviously don't run true for me. I don't want to end up with a shirt that fits but doesn't look good because the cut is funky.

    Too little, too late. I'm ok with my tech shirts from the race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    So they're selling SOME of the merchandise online now. Here's a link.
    I for one am surprised that they have not gone all out with more styles online. I kind of want that shirt that they tend to pass out for meetups - just plain runDisney on it, no characters, etc. - but I doubt we'll see it. The mentality seems to be (again) that exclusivity is important and making an event a must attend, must buy all, must be there is a goal that the runDisney folks (and many other departments at Disney ) tend to have. Selling these others online means they are overstocked and want to dump the items with a year on it.

    either way - as Lani points out - to all of us there is a strong online market. I can't understand why Disney doesn't act on it.
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    Team MousePlanet: Black Friday Descends over the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo

    The energy I had to buy was at the Expo.

    Now I'm remembering standing in lines, being yelled at and called an idiot, sucking up my time that I wanted to spend in the Expo, and the crowds in the Expo. I don't feel warm & fuzzy nor in the mood to shop.

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  13. #12
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    Great article...and spot on! I didn't register for the 5K this year; however, I had a work friend from FL who had done the Goofy Challenge with some of his running friends in January and they were all coming out here for the Dumbo Double Dare and also to get their Coast-to-Coast medals. I recommended that they get in the Expo line first, since the event merchandise was so important to them (especially the C2C shirt!); three of them were in line shortly after 9am and the other 2 and I joined them about 9:45am (after we had hit Peter Pan, Mr. Toad, and Alice ). I was SHOCKED at the lines; I had NEVER seen it so crazy at the other 4 runDisney expos I had attended in the past!

    We had LOTS of people try to crash the line at various places; many said that they were 'told' the end of the line was here...um, yeah, 20mins ago it was! We also had lots of people with their bibs in hand also try to crash the line...we tried very hard to stay together as we wound through the outside queue and not let anybody else in. I was also very surprised that they had NOBODY to limit entrance into the Event Merchandise area...it was a madhouse! You could barely move around to even see what was still on the racks, and people were just shoving unwanted merchandise anywhere they pleased. I don't think my group was successful in finding everything they wanted.

    We got in that awful long purchasing line and took turns holding our place while others went to Sparkle Skirts or other vendors; SS was crazily busy as well, and I had to stand in line about 20mins just to buy another tech skirt from them. All I planned to buy was a runDisney lanyard, and my friend Mike ended up purchasing it for me (without my AP discount) because I had to leave at 11am to go check-in for our lunch at the Blue Bayou! They waited about 90mins to pay for their merchandise, and the two who were supposed to have lunch with me were 45mins late for our reservation (I felt so bad for our server, but she was very patient) and then they STILL had to return later that afternoon to get their bibs & shirts.

    I hope they go to an online purchasing program for the next Expo, so you can pre-order and then pick up your merchandise in a more orderly fashion...I think that would be a very smart way to avoid similar messes like this in the future.

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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    I kind of want that shirt that they tend to pass out for meetups - just plain runDisney on it, no characters, etc. - but I doubt we'll see it.
    Actually, they HAVE sold that generic black unisex runDisney tech shirt online at the Disney Store in the past. They haven't had it in stock in a while, but they have in the past. What I REALLY want is the women's version of the shirt.

    I really think there's a huge market for the stuff. Heck, they could co-brand a lot of stuff (look at all the craziness surrounding the New Balance shoes).

    Quote Originally Posted by Pammer View Post
    I hope they go to an online purchasing program for the next Expo, so you can pre-order and then pick up your merchandise in a more orderly fashion...I think that would be a very smart way to avoid similar messes like this in the future.
    It sure would alleviate the worst of the problems, I think!
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    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    So they're selling SOME of the merchandise online now. Here's a link.

    But. I can't get my AP discount on it. And I can't try anything on. I already bought that blue shirt in my size and it didn't fit me. I'm not willing to buy shirts online and guess at sizing - and their sizes obviously don't run true for me. I don't want to end up with a shirt that fits but doesn't look good because the cut is funky.

    Too little, too late. I'm ok with my tech shirts from the race.
    I hear you. The sizing and seemingly random selection is frustrating (e.g. no short sleeve men's I Did It shirts for the half.)

    I'm also a little annoyed that I wasn't told there was an AP discount, just the Disney Visa 10%. I suppose it was on me to ask but I incorrectly assumed there were no AP discounts, and now I see I could have saved another $15.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    So they're selling SOME of the merchandise online now. Here's a link.

    But. I can't get my AP discount on it. And I can't try anything on. I already bought that blue shirt in my size and it didn't fit me. I'm not willing to buy shirts online and guess at sizing - and their sizes obviously don't run true for me. I don't want to end up with a shirt that fits but doesn't look good because the cut is funky.

    Too little, too late. I'm ok with my tech shirts from the race.

    Thanks for the link! We are chancing the sizes. I am hoping they run similar to past years. I went a size bigger for me, just in case. Wish they had the magnet, but at least I will have the "I did it!" shirt.

    I also know for next year to take the morning off..

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