10 Ways the 2015 D23 Expo Was Like a runDisney Event

D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention CenterThere were a lot of similarities between a runDisney event and the 2015 D23 Convention and Expo in Anaheim – just without any running events!

D23 is the official Disney fan club and was founded in 2009. Every two years, The Walt Disney Company holds an expo with presentations on all facets of its business operations, from theme parks and resorts, to movies and animation, to television and sports programming.

Here are the top ten ways the D23 Expo was like a runDisney event:

10. Getting Up at Crazy Early Dark O’Clock

While not mandatory to attend the D23 Expo, if you wanted to see any of the morning presentations, like the previews of the upcoming live action films or celebrities like Dwayne Johnson, Johnny Depp and Harrison Ford, then you’re up by 4:00am to ensure a spot in line. Many folks spent the night in line!

Sitting on the D23 Expo floor with lots and lots of folks around also in line.
Sitting/Standing in Line at 5am – a necessary part

9. Lots and Lots (and Lots) of People

Whether sitting in line for a presentation, or walking around the show floor, there were tons of people everywhere. But this was also part of the fun, being surrounded by so many fellow Disney fans from all over the World. But of course, the people are the best part, just like running at a runDisney event!

Lots and lots of fellow Disney fans at the D23 Expo
Lots and lots of fellow Disney fans at the D23 Expo
David, Jennifer and me - all Disney fans and runners!
David, Jennifer and me – all Disney fans and runners!

8. The Importance of the Right Shoes

When spending so much time on your feet and walking around, the best way to survive the D23 Expo was to wear comfortable and supportive shoes. I brought two pairs of running shoes and traded off each day. No blisters for me thankfully, but I know there were many casualties.

D23 Expo & Race must-have: Good shoes!
D23 Expo & Race must-have: Good shoes!

7. Wristbands

Just like they give out at races for tracking Coast to Coast or other multi-day challenges, you could end up with quite a few wristbands over the course of the three-day D23 Expo.

Pink and white with purple paper wristbands
Wristbands – I really was here!

6. Sean Astin Was There

I didn’t get a photo of him, but Sean Astin was at the D23 Expo signing autographs and taking photos with fans. And while there’s never any guarantee, Sean Astin frequently participates in RunDisney events.

5. New Balance shoes

The line for the much-loved New Balance runDisney shoes was much shorter at this expo. And apparently you could even get them personalized!

New Balance Steamboat Mickey shoes
New Balance Steamboat Mickey shoes (Credit: David Koch)

4. Costumes

I did dress in costume on one of the days of the D23 Expo, and I have to say it made the day just that much more fun and special. I’ve felt the same when I’ve run races in costumes.
And one of the best parts of the D23 Expo was seeing all the other costumes! Check some of them out:

Cosplay of "I would die for Riley" bot and Joy form Inside Out.
One of my favorites – from Inside Out
Timothy Q. Mouse riding Dumbo
Timothy Q. Mouse riding Dumbo
Bo Peep with her Sheep walking with the Mad Hatter
Bo Peep with her Sheep walking with the Mad Hatter

3. Shopping!

It wouldn’t be a D23 Expo without plenty of shopping to be done. Thankfully the runDisney shopping lines are usually much shorter than they were at D23. But as usual, you can walk away with a suitcase full of merchandise, or in the case of this Expo, a new suitcase entirely!

The D23 Expo Show floor
The D23 Expo Show floor

2. You can play in the parks before and after

Just like on runDisney race weekends, your feet may not struggle to handle it, but you could spend your evenings in the parks riding rides and watching fireworks. I know many folks went to the parks before and/or after the Expo.

Model of Disneyland Castle
Disneyland! – or as close as I got this trip.

1. Photo Ops!

There were great opportunities for photo ops all over the Expo. Here are just a few…

Me and my buddy Baymax
Me and my buddy Baymax
Yoda figurine and Me
“Wait in line, You will”
Starry sky background with Wall-E and Eve
Wall-E and Eeeeee-vah
R2D2 model and Me
R2-D2 and me

One thing was NOT at the D23 Expo…

…and that was runDisney! With all the different areas of The Walt Disney Company that were represented at the D23 Expo, I was really surprised runDisney didn’t have a booth there (especially with the Paris race now on the books).  Maybe next time.

Did you make it to the 2015 D23 Expo? Did you feel like you were at a runDisney event? What were your thoughts?

Julia Locus

About Author:

Julia Locus, aka @JulesWhistles is a proud back-of-the-packer whose journey has taken her from a disdain for running, to her first 5k in 2012, to completing 2 marathons, the second of which part of the Dopey Challenge 2015. It may take her 7 hours to finish, but no matter the time, she still completed 26.2 miles and is darn proud of it. She’s enjoying running with her 3 year old son and can’t wait to run races with him someday. She treasures the friendships she’s made through running and how much it has taught her about herself.

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