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A Full Review Of The NEW Virtual Queue for the runDisney Merchandise Shop

A Full Review Of The NEW Virtual Queue for the runDisney Merchandise Shop

Are you heading to a runDisney event and curious about the new virtual queue? Read on to find an honest opinion of how it went over Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend. 

runDisney 

Credit: Susan

Rundisney has FOUR race weekends at Walt Disney World and will soon be bringing races back to Disneyland. I (Heather) can’t wait for these races to return. Are you a member of club rundisney or thinking about becoming one? Read HERE to find out why it may become even more popular to be part of club rundisney. 

Before we dive into the virtual queue review, check out some of my previous runDisney posts:

Virtual queue

For the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend runDisney announced that they would be offering a virtual queue for Disney race merchandise on the first day of the expo. I personally feel the virtual queue made the merchandise shop run a little more smoothly, and apparently Disney felt the same way. It now looks like the virtual queue will be here to stay, as they are continuing to use it for Marathon Weekend. 

For the Wine and Dine Weekend the queue opened at 7:30 am. Be aware that these queues may open at different times depending on the race weekend. It seems runDisney is changing the time for Marathon Weekend as the queue opens at 8:30 am. This may be because they found too many people were at the expo early trying to get in, or the earlier time just wasn’t necessary. 

Getting a spot 

Screenshot: MDE

At 730 am we all tried to get a spot in the virtual queue. This queue works just like the ride Virtual Queues. Fortunately, you are able to pre-select your party, so you can try to move quickly through the screens. Each person in your party that wants to enter the Merchandise Shop on day one will need to enter the Virtual Queue.

Be sure you have everyone included. If you wait to select your party until the opening of the queue, you probably won’t be one of the first in line. We got Group 15! I felt good about this number even though we honestly had no idea how many were in each group. 

Just like with the rides, you will get an estimated call back time. Be aware this time could and most likely will change. 

Arriving at the expo 

Photo Credit: Heather

We arrived about a half hour before our return time. The Disney race official merchandise shop opened at 10:00 am. You can also get assistance with the Virtual Queue once you arrive. In the picture above you can see Cast Members ready to help with “virtual queue solutions.”

Once we got to the expo, our time kept getting pushed back. We took this opportunity to go grab our bibs and race shirts. This is something I always did last, but where we had time we opted to do this now. Apparently, everyone else had the same idea. There was a line here. It moved quickly, but I have always just walked right in. 

Where people couldn’t be waiting in line at the Merchandise Shop, they did move throughout the expo. The expo is always busy on the first day but it felt exceptionally busy in common areas. 

Our group was called 

Photo Credit: Heather

Once our group was called we went to the tent to check in. It was just beyond the Virtual Queue Solutions tent. Everything was gated off so only people with the group being called could enter. A QR code shows up on the app once your group is called. Each member of your party receives their own code. 

There are two tents you will go through. The first tent is just to make sure you group has actually been called. The second tent is where your QR code will be scanned. Each member of your party will scan their individual QR code here. Once scanned you will head in! Normally you could spend hours waiting inside the building. Not this time! 

Photo Credit: Heather

We did walk into the big queuing room, but we may have stayed a grand total of ONE minute. They didn’t even have the drink stand open in this room like they have done in previous years. I could hardly snap a picture we were in and out of this room so fast!

Photo from Marathon Weekend 2020
Photo Credit: Heather

Cast members were so happy and were welcoming all the runners. It probably had everyone in a better mood to not have been standing around for hours. 

Availability of items 

Photo Credit: Heather

We got into the shop at 10:30, so not too late from when it opened (about a half hour). I personally only found one item that was sold out which was the Annual Passholder weekend t-shirt in size small. 

There were tons of other items from water bottles, t shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, jackets, ornaments, a weekend exclusive Loungefly, generic runDisney attire, and even a runDisney backpack! 

Photo Credit: Heather

There were a fair amount of people shopping. However, it didn’t feel overly crowded. Many people tend to grab items (it’s too crowded where the merchandise is) and then step off to the side and try things on. 

Pirate Tip: Try things on before you buy. runDisney merchandise can vary in size!

I have found that runDisney items can range in all sizes – even during the same weekend. For example, I will get one shirt in one size and then next item will need to be a different size. I definitely recommend trying items on. These items aren’t cheap and you want to make sure they fit so you will wear them. 

Photo Credit: Heather

As I just took in the room and all the shop had to offer, there was one thing I noticed. The Cast Members were constantly restocking! You would see Cast Members putting back items that people had decided not to purchase, but also racks and racks of items that were just heading out to the floor. 

Final thoughts

Credit: KtP

At first I was very shocked and upset that runDisney implemented the Virtual Queue. Now I no longer had control of when I could get into the expo. However, it made for a much more relaxed morning. I felt the entire experience was less stressful. I was anxious at first about how getting a spot would go. 

Yes, we did get a good number, but it seemed they continued to call groups and bring merchandise to the floor. I don’t feel like my experience would have been poor having a later number. 

We did go back to the expo on Saturday afternoon. There was still race merchandise available, however, sizes may have been limited. There were also some items that sold out, but overall I felt they had a good stock in merchandise for people who do not arrive on the first day.  

Photo Credit: Heather

I have also tried to take on the attitude that if it wasn’t there when I was able to shop, it wasn’t meant to be. I personally love the race specific items to commemorate my achievement, but there were still plenty of items left on Saturday. I may feel differently if I ever decide to run Dopey.

Overall the virtual queue ran smoothly, and Cast Members were constantly restocking merchandise.

I also feel that it puts the resellers on a more level playing field. With the demand of runDisney items, I’m not sure there will ever be a way to get rid of them, but I feel this change helped. Now we all don’t have to wait for hours to get a few items to remember our weekend. 

What did you think of the virtual queue? Are you glad they are keeping it? Let us know on the Kenny the Pirate Facebook page. Don’t forget to join the KtP crew page, too!


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