Lines, Shoes & a Twerking Goofy

UPDATE: To those of you headed to Princess be sure to check out this New Balance page for details.

WARNING: Lots of pictures... and words ;) 

We're home from a quick trip to California. It was a ton of fun! We crammed lots in to two days but it was well worth it.

The first thing on our to do list was to get in line for the new runDisney New Balance shoes. I was lucky enough last year during Tink to purchase the original New Balance Minnie Mouse shoes.

Funny thing - both last year and this year our original plans for the trip didn't work out. Last year I didn't get in to the meet up and we forgot to pick up our park tickets so we wandered around Disneyland Hotel and stumbled upon the line to reserve the Minnie or Mickey shoes. This year due to work we arrived to California late Friday night and headed to the expo first thing Saturday morning - seems like everyone and their brother was running the 10k that morning! Everything happens for a reason! 

Bright and early on Saturday morning - so early in fact the roads by our hotel were blocked by the 10k runners and road blocks. We had to take the long way around to get onto Disneyland property. We ended up parking at the Mickey and Friends massive parking garage.  Nice and easy! Getting there just took a bit longer than planned.
I couldn't resist - no one was coming :)

 Once we got on to Disneyland property we headed straight to the Disneyland Hotel, spoke with a cast member who directed us down the black carpet to the underground parking structure.  But first I had to stop and take a picture! Note I'm rocking my Minne Mouse New Balance shoes from the previous year.
Walking down...

We found about 50 other people waiting in line. I sat down in the middle of the second row. I was amazed there were so few people!  At that point it was about 45 minutes before the New Balance team would open the doors to allow us to make our reservations.  (When I walked past I heard audible gasps from people saying "She has the shoes!" A couple even stopped me later in the day asking me all about the shoes. It was funny because last year it was a smile and wink to those who had the Minnie shoes. This year a LOT more people noticed.)

View from where I was sitting... no one behind me!
 The time waiting down in the garage passed quickly, I found a great group of women to chat with. We shared stories of our training, what races we had participated in in the past and our hopes for this years race.

At 8:30am New Balance employees came down and allowed small groups to head up stairs to the reservation station. By this time the line had grown to about 4 rows.  Still a MUCH smaller line from the Marathon weekend and two previous Tink Expo days.

The lines waiting for the reservation station.
 Once inside the reservation station you filled out your information on an iPad and received this confirmation screen. (I took a picture just to be safe as I had heard some people due to cell phone service issues did not receive the confirmation emails or texts.)
My confirmation screen
Shortly after the sign up I received both a confirmation text and email listing the which sizes were unavailable for each style.
This is the site that was included in the email and text.


The shoe display inside the reservation station.

These beauties would be mine!
After the confirmation station appointment making (fancy term huh?) we headed to the expo entrance as I had read on the New Balance blog that the expo was opening at 9 am (an hour earlier!). After speaking with a runDisney employee he confirmed that the expo would still be opening at 10am and was unsure why New Balance shared the incorrect information. 
Expo entrance sign
 A bit disappointed we decided to stroll around Disneyland Hotel in case I got the go-ahead text/email from New Balance that it was my turn.  I grabbed some breakfast at Tangaroa Terrace, hubs wasn't hungry as he ate while I waited in line for the reservation station.

Probably my favorite Disneyland quick service stop
CARB & protein loading for breakfast - YUM!
We relaxed and chatted while waiting for the expo to open. We had a great table outside, enjoyed the view and the 40 hours we had of vacation.
Breakfast with a view
 Once done with breakfast we headed back to the expo to see if packet pick up was opened early.

Fairies escorted you down the ramp to the garage
More fairies :)
Once down stairs in the parking garage we found a spot in line. I couldn't believe all these people were waiting for packet pick up. Many were still in their outfits and costumes from running the 10k earlier that morning!
LINES for packet pickup
 We only waited about 20 minutes before they opened up packet pickup.
People making a dash for packet pickup
 Packet pick up went smooth - I was in Corral D this year. I took my usual picture with my bib (I do this because without failure every race my bib gets destroyed during the race, so I like to have one nice picture of me and my bib.) Once we got our bibs (hubs was in Corral D with me too!) we picked up our one day park hopper tickets and headed up stairs to the expo.
Me and my bib :)
YAY! We finally made it!
We picked up our shirts and extras from the amazing runDisney volunteers and set off to explore the rest of the expo.  We visited two booths when I got the text that Group 2 was up! It was time to get my shoes!

I LOVED the signage
 We headed to the New Balance booth and were directed to a line against the wall where I showed my confirmation text and checked in with a New Balance employee.

Waiting in line to check in
More fun signage - this was the view from the check in line.
After a second check in with another New Balance employee I was introduced to my New Balance shoe guide.  She was FANTASTIC!  (I wish we took a picture together.)

Partial view of the booth
I am obsessed with Disney signage & marketing (clearly the advertising major in me comes out at events and in the parks, I take pictures of SOOO many signs and ads!)

The New Balance booth had a great lay out, it was visually appealing and had a nice flow from merchandise displays to check out.  Well done New Balance!

I LOVED the seating they had in the booth - all fit the style and hidden designs in the shoes. 

Cinderella


Is it just me or does Goofy look like he's twerking??

Twerk Goofy Twerk it.

Sorcerer Mickey

The Minnie shoes are my favorite fit, and my physical therapist said they were the best shoes she saw me run in.  So after getting a doctor's okay on cute Disney shoes I knew I'd be buying the Minnie shoes again. The Cinderella shoes were so beautiful I couldn't resist. At this point I don't know if I will run in the Cinderella shoes. They may be park/walking shoes for me.  But you never know! 

I tried on both the pink Minnie shoes and the Cinderella shoes to ensure the fit was right for me. This year I went up an additional 1/2 size as my feet tend to swell during my longer runs. Once we determined the 9.5 was the right fit for me, my shoe guide escorted my husband and I to the check out line.  Where we paid and went on to explore the rest of the expo.

I truly can not believe what an easy process it was. I know some people complained about waiting hours in line, but clearly going on the last day of the expo eases the lines.  To me the shoes are wonderful but there is no way I could justify waiting 4 or more hours for shoes.  Don't get me wrong I love them and they are gorgeous, but at the end of the day they are just shoes.  I'm very thankful that two years in a row our timing has been perfect.

Hopefully those of you going to a future runDisney event will find the lines and process as easy as my husband and I did.  Below I've made a list of tips to make the process easier on you :)

Kara's New Balance runDisney shoes tips
  • Follow runDisney & New Balance on all forms of social media you belong to - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Be sure to sign up for text notifications (Twitter allows you to receive texts for specific users, I find this helps me the most as I am not constantly checking Twitter, Facebook and the likes to see if any announcements have been made.) 
  • Read blogs!! Disney blogs, New Balance blogs, runner blogs. Find out as much as you can before you head to your race vacation. 
  • Have a game plan and be realistic about it.  I was lucky that the styles and sizes I wanted were still available.  Be prepared that your first choice may not be.  
  • Try on the shoes with socks you usually wear. New Balance was kind enough to have sample socks for people to try on with the shoes. But I have learned from past shopping experiences that this doesn't work for me. Maybe the socks I wear are thicker or thinner from what is provided. 
  • Know the price! The shoes range from $72(kids) to $125 and don't forget about taxes! 
  • Know the maximum amount of shoes you are allowed to purchase - at Tink it was 2 adult pairs and 2 kid pairs.
  • Ask questions!! That is what the runDisney and New Balance staff are there for.  Confused about the process? Simply ask.  
  • Talk to those standing in line with you - it will make the waiting process that much easier. 
  • Be patient, understand that the shoes are in high demand, it may be a bit crazy but remember at the end of the day it's just a pair of shoes. 
  • Lastly - ROCK your shoes! Take pictures of them, wear them and enjoy them!
My expo goodies!
For some reason I did not get the cute black & white bow that goes on the Minnie Mouse shoes.  The New Balance staff at the expo was unsure where they were and told me to call the New Balance customer service line.  But in talking to others who purchased the Minnie shoes during Tink weekend they were told by New Balance customer service that the bows were a promo for Marathon weekend.  Hmmm if anyone knows anything about the bows or has a pair they won't use let me know :)

Have you ever waited in lines for an exclusive item? Was it worth it to you? Do you have plans on getting the New Balance runDisney shoes at future races?

2 comments:

  1. Great post! I absolutely love the seating area inside the NB booth...think they'll let me take one of those home with me, too? :D I'm hoping to score a pair of the Cinderella shoes during Princess, we shall see!! :0) Thanks for the great info!

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    1. Thanks :) I am obsessed with the seating area... probably more excited about those than anything else ha. Good luck getting a pair for Princess. Be sure to follow them on twitter for constant updates. Have a wonderful time at Princess, run fast & strong.

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