The run Expo opened at 10am on Friday morning. Having been thru the chaos of the Dumbo Double Dare Expo in 2013 we knew we wanted to be there at opening to get first choice on official merchandise and try to beat the crowds. Since that meant we couldn’t be at a park for rope drop I decided to take the opportunity to try the Tonga Toast at the Poly. I was able to get an 8am breakfast reservations at Kona Café. We decided to take a taxi over to the Poly instead of trying to connect at a park via bus and I was really surprised how easy it was to get a taxi. I figured they would have to call one and we’d wait for a bit but there were a few sitting right there in the parking lot ready to go. It was a $20 taxi ride from the All Star. When we sat down at Kona I found myself pondering why it was so popular, the atmosphere of the place seriously looks like every 24 hour café in Vegas casinos. Not a whole lot of theming or décor going on there. Anyway, B and I split the Tonga Toast and an egg white omelet and both were delicious. I’m glad I got over there to try the Tonga Toast but I don’t think it lived up to the hype I’d heard about it. Actually, it’s not that, it’s really tasty, I think it’s more that I wouldn’t make the special trip to the Poly to get it. If it was available in my resort food court or in the parks I’d get it again in a heartbeat.
After breakfast we went to find the busses to the Expo. It was about 9:10 at this point and we were informed the first bus wouldn’t be there for another 20 minutes. Having discovered getting a taxi was so easy we decided to just grab one to the Expo instead of waiting. We’d heard the Expo usually opened early so didn’t want to wait until 10 if it wasn’t necessary. Sure it cost us another $20, but we were there in 10 min and got dropped off right in front, no long walk from the busses. We were able to get in line for the Expo at 9:25 and they opened at 9:30 exactly 30 min early from the listed time. And you could tell by how they were directing the crowd it was definitely planned to open at 9:30. We went right to the official merch booth to grab the good stuff and got….nothing. There just wasn’t anything either of us wanted, it was downright sad. I wish they would do the pint glasses for all events, but this one just had a plastic sports bottle type thing. Tinkerbell just had some stereotypical girly plastic sports bottle as well. I love my WDW marathon and DL half pint glasses, give me more of those. I needed a sweaty band to wear under my hat for the run so picked up a RunDisney one. To be honest, I got it equally for the run and to copy it and make my own at home. Its $15 for a headband made with a little ribbon, I can make them for about $2. I also ended up grabbing a magnet which is now on my file cabinet at work just so I had something with the run name on it. They had a zip up which was just meh and a few shirts. I wish they had some general villain themed stuff for this run or heck, even something with the villains in front of the Tower, but everything just had a picture of the Tower of Terror alone. Boo.
The Expo for this race was a lot smaller than any of the past RunDisney events I’ve done but I didn’t feel like it was missing anything. We hit a few vendor booths to pick up stuff and then headed over to pick up the bibs. I got my bib right away, but B’s line had the slowest person on the planet manning it so it took her a bit longer. I was in F and she was in D. After getting the bibs we had to head back to the Expo building to pick up the shirts and gear bag. Hitting the Expo first meant more walking back and forth but we were done with everything and on the bus back to our hotel by 10:20 which was awesome. The Expo was just starting to get crowded when we went in to get the race shirts. Our plan of attack worked so well in fact that we are planning to take taxis to the Expo early for both Wine & Dine and Dopey to be there and in line for the Expo before 9:30 to hit the Official Merch booth first. It’s worth the money to us to avoid the crowded chaos and get in and out quickly.
Pic of my bib, I didn’t to take one of the race shirt but it was pretty cute and it’s a women’s cut so I may actually wear it.
After the Expo we dropped our stuff back at the hotel and headed out to Animal Kingdom, getting there around noon. We went to Expedition Everest and walked on twice in a row via the single rider line. After that we went to the Pangani Trail in search of the baby gorillas. We saw no baby gorillas but did get cornered by an older cast member when we asked about them. Seriously, she went on and on and on for like 10 minutes until another guest saved us by asking a question. So, that was a bust, maybe we can find the baby gorillas at Wine & Dine. The park was unpleasantly crowded so we left and headed over to Epcot (which is where I had booked our FP+ the night before).
We were able to walk in and get a table right away at San Angel inside Mexico so that was great and it was delicious. And we may or may not have taken the leftover chips with us in B’s backpack and snacked on them for the rest of the day. We hit most of the stuff in Future World, walked around World Showcase and tried some of the food/drinks from the festival booths. But by far the most important thing was riding Maelstrom twice (once in the afternoon and once right before closing) as a farewell cruise. We had a FP for the first ride, but had to do standby at the end and the line was long with other people doing a farewell ride as well. I like Maelstrom but I’m not up in arms about it being replaced with a Frozen ride like a lot of people are, I’m interested to see what they do with it. While I’m hoping I’m wrong, I’m expecting the same ride track with just a Frozen overlay. So we hypothesized what Frozen stuff would go in each room of the ride. Bye bye polar bear, hello Snow Monster. I’m still more upset at Disney taking away Horizons in Epcot and going back even further, Adventure Thru Inner Space at Disneyland. Those two are still my all time favorite rides. On a side note, if you were an Adventure Thru Inner Space fan google and watch the virtual ride thru on YouTube. It’s awesome, the level of detail is amazing.
Maelstrom fun fact, one of the vikings in the boat on the mural by the loading area was wearing mouse ears, look at the pic below…