Sunday, January 17, 2010

Review: Disney's Health & Fitness Expo

For a few years now both Hope and I have wanted to attend Disney's Health & Fitness Expo that is always part of their annual Marathon Weekend, but for various reasons just never made it over to the Mouse for that event. But the 2010 Expo was different because Hope actually ran in the marathon and needed to go to the Expo at some point to pick up her racing packet and goodies. And after finally going on that Friday afternoon (January 8th), we're really glad we got the chance to check it out this year.

An overhead of the Health & Fitness Expo.
This wide shot leaves out about half the's huge.

First off, the Expo is HUGE. Massive. It's essentially a trade show centered around racing/running, athletics and fitness. If you're into all of that, this event was like being World. Ahem. And that's why we loved it. As fitness and Disney World maniacs, if we had unlimited funds, we would have gone nuts there.

The Expo ran from Thursday through Saturday but had to visit there on Friday. We couldn't make it over on Thursday due to school and work schedules, and didn't want to go there on Saturday in order to not wait to the last minute to pick up her packet - Disney's advice is to not wait that long because it's a madhouse on Saturday.

This sign at the D Sports merchandise store greets
visitors to the Expo in Disney's Wide World Of Sports.

So we picked up the kids from school and headed up for the afternoon/early evening on Friday. It had been several years since I'd been to the Wide World Of Sports, so I was looking forward to heading over there again.

The Wide World Of Sports Cafe is one of the few spots
in Wide World Of Sports Complex where you can spend
some time if you're not watching a sporting event.
ESPN at Boardwalk is far superior, however.

Basically, unless you're there for a specific sporting event at one of the fields or facilities, or there to watch an Atlanta Braves spring training game, there's not a lot to do at Wide World Of Sports. But I was still looking forward to heading over and checking the place out and of course, to hit the Expo.

Plenty of signage is available at Wide World Of Sports
to help out those who aren't familiar with the huge facility.

We started out doing what we really HAD to do there - picking up Hope's racing packet. There were plenty of signs to follow to get you where you're going and also plenty of people to follow. The registration area was held in a building called "The Milk House". Basically, this is an indoor gym/athletic facility sponsored by "Got Milk?"

I think some kind of beverage sponsors this building,
but it's not clear which one.

The registration process was pretty easy. There were no lines for her area of the alphabet, it was taken care of very quickly. Hope was very excited to see her bib, and her commemorative 2010 Marathon pin that she ordered back when signing up for the event many months ago.

The registration lines were very short on Friday afternoon.

Registration was simple and quick. Don't forget your ID!

Ahhh, that commemorative pin and racing bib.

The bib and pin, along with the censor strip for her shoes and other paperwork all came in the registration packet. It was indeed cool to open a late Christmas present!

Hope and Mickey have an eerily similar smile going.
Hopefully she would be smiling like that during his marathon.

There was a small merchandise area in the middle of the registration was but a taste of what was to come in the actual Expo. But still, it was enough to get really excited about the reality of the event. Between the merchandise and the racing packet, gave the feeling of it's here. It was time. Now, it's real.

They also had guest speakers in the Milk House talking about running and fitness and training and their experiences. Unfortunately, we didn't get to hear any of them as most of the speaking engagements were in the morning...we didn't get there until about 3:30 in the afternoon or so.

This was a quality trade show - Disney does Marathon weekend right.

From there, it was time to hit the main event: the Health and Fitness Expo. This is exciting because both Hope and I are group cycling instructors (a program called RPM). We love fitness as much as we love Disney, so this is something that we really excited for. Combining these two important things in our lives was a great thing.

As you could see from the first picture in this article above, the Expo was enormous; a massive trade show, essentially. Some of the biggest names in fitness and endurance sports: Adidas, Clif, Garmin, Polar, Brooks, Puma and countless others. They had massage tables and merchandise of every kind imaginable.

Another look from overhead - check out the massage tables.

The Clif Bar table was popular - they were handing out samples.

Adidas was one of the many shoe manufacturers there to
get the runners into new gear.

Brooks makes one of the most popular and effective racing shoe.

A $10 rack. Proof that there were some semi-affordable
merchandise to be had at the Expo!

Garmin makes phenomenal heart rate watches that incorporate
GPS technology to help runners keep track of everything they need.

Like Adidas, Puma was representing.

Hope's favorite shirt.

After looking at some of the vendors that were at the Expo, we made our way to the other side of the show area to pick up Hope's Goody Bag. We were also really looking forward to seeing what was going to be in here as well. Turns out it had several very cool things inside, including a sharp running shirt Hope wore around Epcot when we got our pics with the Fab 5.

Hope receives her Goody Bag.
It was actually incredibly helpful for the race.

The day after the marathon - Hope sporting
the complimentary running shirt that was part
of the Goody Bag.

After getting the Goody Bag, we went back through the entire trade show again, this time making our way to the Sharpie booth that was set up special for making signs the families and friends of the runners could hold up during the marathon. This was a GREAT idea. They were handing out free heavy poster paper, about tabloid size (11x17") and had tables set up with dozens of Sharpie markers set out for people to use. We made great use out of our signs during the race.

The kids hard at work on this signs for mommy.

We had a great time at the Health & Fitness Expo. Free samples were handed out at several of the tables and just seeing the latest and greatest in the fitness industry was fascinating. All within a professional Walt Disney World wrapping. It was definitely worth checking out and we'll be doing it again in the future.


  1. Nice post...This is great information. I appreciate the sincere appreciation for making this awesome post.... Thank you.


  2. Thank you for writing about the expo. I have been trying to find some good information about what exactly it entails, but nothing as descriptive as this post. I am running my first marathon in 8 days and am so excited to get down to Disney!