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D23 Expo - Day 2 Thoughts and Observations (9/11/09)

Friday marked the 2nd day of the Expo. I was able to attend a couple more sessions/discussions as well as the feature presentation of the day which was from the studios. Overall the crowd seemed very similar in size to the first day, but I really did not spend that much time on the main floor, I seemed to always be in a session or in line for a session. Again it seemed that the demand for many of the sessions far outpaced the available space for them (namely anything to do with the parks that was in the Storytellers Theater). The lines seemed a bit more organized as the day went on, but the Cruise Line presentation seemed to be a flash point for the crowd issues (more on this below).

Today I ended up walking 8,850 steps, 3.3 miles (5,873 steps for 52 minutes at a moderate pace) according to my pedometer.

Nuts and Bolts: The D23 Expo ran from 9/10-13. One day tickets were $37 for adults and $27 for children. All four days were $111 for adults and $81 for children. For D23 members the price was $30/$22 and $90/$66. The main floor was open from 9am - 5pm (opening at 8am for D23 members). Presentations and movies were scheduled all day and into the late evening (midnight 3 of the nights and 11pm one night).

Rundown and thoughts from day 2 (Friday 9/11/09):

  • Arrived at the Expo just before 8:00am and again saw no real lines or problems getting in. At 8am when the doors to the floor opened there seemed to be two groups again. Those heading for merchandise and those for the queue for the keynote presentation. Also some headed upstairs to get in line for the Cruise Line presentation. I spend twenty minutes or so roaming the floor then headed up to get in line for the Cruise Line presentation.

  • The presentation was done by Disney Cruise Line president Karl Holz. He came out and spoke briefly about the Cruise line then launched into a presentation on the new cruise Itineraries as well as the new boat. The big announcement of the morning was about the Disney Wonder moving out to the west coast in 2011 and adding Alaskan ports of call during the summer and Mexican ports during the fall/winter. To help Karl out during the presentation Donald was on hand. Below is a brief video of Donald's Alaskan trip. For information on the new itineraries check out the press release here. He also spoke about the expansion projects going on at Disney's Island, Castaway Cay. For information on these check out the press release here.

  • The Cruise Line presentation became one of the black eye moments of crowd control at the event. It was scheduled to begin at 9am was an announcement and presentation from the Cruise Line, many already guessed what the announcement was but due to them indicated everyone in attendance would receive a gift a line started to grow rather early. When we hopped in line around 8:20ish we were already pretty far back. Cast Members kept coming by and counting. I would say by 8:40 (maybe a bit before) they stopped letting people line up due to their count being at the max. Everything seemed ok up to this point. They started to let the line in near 9am. When we got to the door I noticed the room was smaller than it had been yesterday, the back portion was blocked off. So a small room was even smaller. We made it in but the line was cut off not too long after due to the room being full. At this point I have no first hand knowledge of what happened outside but my understanding is quite a few people in line got very upset that they were not allowed in and somehow it spread that the media and Disney employees took all the seats so those that were counted in line were not allowed in. Based off of what I saw in the room there were some media and some Disney people, most of which were standing on the outside and not taking up that many seats. The big problems seemed to be the room was cut smaller and they did not tell the CMs outside the proper count. This led to quite a few people who had been waiting in line not making it in.

  • After the Cruise Line presentation we headed down to the Keynote presentation in the arena which was titled Disney Movie Magic: Inside the Disney Studios. This hour and half presentation (which may have run a bit long even) was the talk of the Expo and I would say the high point of the presentations. It also generated quite a bit of outside media coverage too. Dick Cook put on a show for all of us in attendance and trotted out Hollywood heavyweights every few minutes. I knew we were in for something when to kick things off there was a 15 minute clips package of Disney films that featured an orchestra and live singers instead of traditional cuts from the sound tracks (great touch!). Here is a brief run down of the presentation(based off my notes that were scribbled down in the dark, so if anyone was there and I missed something let me know). As you can see from the long list below they really pulled out all the stops and put on a great show. Everyone that I spoke to that attended said it was one of the best presentations they had seen and it really brought the Expo alive and the energy in the arena was incredible. Note: Cameras were not allowed inside, so below are the press release photos from Disney..
    • First out of the gate was Robert Zemeckis to talk about A Christmas Carol which comes out this holiday season. Then a new announcement that he would be working on new 3D Adaptation of the Beatles Yellow Submarine film. No release date was given for the film.

    • Next up was another holiday release, Old Dogs which stars Robin Williams, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, and their daughter Ella Bleu makes her big screen debut. The three Travoltas were on hand and came out on stage and answered some questions from Dick Cook.
    • Tim Burton took the stage next to discuss Alice in Wonderland as well as a stop motion film, Frankenweenie (2012 Release)
    • A large production number by the Muppets was next. They sung a couple songs from a replica of Disneyland's Mark Twain and announced they were working on their next film, titled, "The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made"
    • Then Jerry Bruckhiemer took the stage to discuss his upcoming film, Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time (May 28, 2010) they showed a brief clip from the film.
    • Nicholas Cage came out next and showed a clip from Sorcerers Apprentice (and there was a brief mention of the next National Treasure film)
    • A segment on Disney Nature films (next one will be Oceans)
    • Then an announcement about Disney Double Dare You. Disney teamed up with Guillermo Del Toro to create new animated features with "chills and thrills". He was not able to attend, but a brief video clip was played instead.
    • Miley Cyrus joined Dick Cook to talk about her upcoming film, the Last Song and then she performed the Climb.
    • A brief clip from Tron Legacy was played next
    • Next up Andrew Stanton's live action film, John Carter of Mars (Release: 2012)
    • The discussion turned to the Lone Ranger film with Johnny Depp (Release:2012)
    • Then the finale was the unveiling of the next Pirates Film tagline, - On Stranger Tides (July 2011) and Johnny Depp making an appearance as Captain Jack Sparrow and doing a brief chat with Dick Cook in character.

      Here is Disney's B-roll of the event which includes clips from the Keynote presentation:

  • After the keynote presentation grabbed a couple of hamburgers for lunch and ate them while in line for the next presentation we wanted to attend, the Making of the World of Color. (Two hamburgers cost $15, no fries or sides, just the plain burgers).

  • The Making of the World of Color Presentation was what you would expect from Steve Davison. An energetic look at the creation of this new show for DCA. Some interesting factoids that came out of the presentation (and press conference):

    • The running time is approximately 25 minutes right, but they will not know for sure until they program the show
    • Amy Grant will be the featured vocalist
    • The plan is to have small fountain shows during the day, maybe on the quarter hour or hour. This could start as early as summer, but no final timeline is in place
    • The long term goal is to make the fountains "interactive". No hints as to what that really means.
    • After the show be sure to stick around as the fountain will take "bows" and have several encore choices
    • The concept is the show will always be changing and to have different versions throughout the year. This may be additions/subtractions to the main show or the encores
    • The system will also be variable to take into account wind direction and velocity

    Here is video I found on Youtube of the presentation (there are 5 parts, this is the first):

  • Since I could not make it into the We Make the Music: Disney Theme Park Music presentation I attended the press conference on World of Color and then headed for the parks.

    I also found video of the press conference on YouTube. Here is the first of three parts:


For My Pictures from this day please visit our D23 Picture Section

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