UPDATE 2/20/2014: New Balance has instituted a new shoe buying process for runners at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Here’s the scoop:
I attended the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney, where they gave runners a first glimpse of the new Disney New Balance shoes. I’ve subsequently gotten a lot of questions about how to buy them.
First, the shoes are only available at runDisney race expos. Unfortunately, they are not sold online. Though I’m sure some enterprising individuals will hawk them for obscene amounts of money on eBay, as happened last year, or offer their services as virtual personal shoppers. There’s at least one personal shopping company already advertising their services around the shoes. (UPDATE: I’ve been told that particular company got shut-down at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.) Oh, Capitalism.
So you have to attend a runDisney race expo in person. There are currently seven runDisney race weekends throughout the year. Here they are for 2014:
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, January 8-12, 2014
- Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, January 16-19, 2014
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, February 20-23, 2014
- Expedition Everest Challenge: Walt Disney World, May 3, 2014
- Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, August 29-31, 2014
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend: Walt Disney World, date TDB
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, date TBD
You don’t have to actually register for any of the races to buy the shoes. The expos are free and open to the public. But you do have to get to Florida or California at the right rime.
Second, to buy the Disney New Balance shoes at the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, folks have to make a reservation at the Disney Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. They’re trying to minimize lines at the New Balance booth, which were mayhem last year.
Third, they’ve instituted buying limits so that a few people can’t scoop up all the merchandise.
The official runDisney blog put together a post with detailed instructions on the procedure for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Here’s the scoop.Purchase Rules at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
- 4 adult shoes
- 4 shoe liners
- 2 kids shoes
The post also states: “Unfortunately, when making your reservation time, you cannot reserve a specific model, design or size of shoe.”
Disney New Balance Shoe Quantity
Don’t worry, though. This time, New Balance has said they’re producing enough shoes to meet the demand.
“My goal is to not run out of them,” said Josh Rowe, Senior Marketing Manager for New Balance performance sports, at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November after I personally asked him how many shoes they were making.
Last month, he told me this: “We have learned a lot this past year at the runDisney expos and we can say that there will be significantly more shoes than last year.”
And runDisney is driving the point home with this from the blog post: “While shoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis, New Balance has taken steps to have enough shoes on hand to meet the demand.”
For all the details on the Disney New Balance shoes themselves, check out these posts:
As a member of the media, runDisney is giving me complimentary race entries, hotel and park tickets for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. I buy my own airfare, most meals, etc. As always, all opinions are purely my own. Disney does not give me talking points, post requirements, story suggestions or the like. As with everything, I choose what I write about, when I write about it, and always give my honest opinion. I firmly believe in being honest about my experiences and Disney is no exception. For more, read my Disclosure Policy.