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D23 Expo - Day 2 Thoughts and Observations (8/20/11)

Overview: The second day of the Expo was sold out according to the official announcements and there were long lines and a large crowd already when we showed up just past 8am. Today I attended the Inside the Walt Disney Studios presentation as well as the Sneak Peak at Buena Vista Street and the Imagineering's Guide to Creativity and Innovation.

Three sessions seem to be the Magic Number as I was able to attend the same today as yesterday. I spent no time on the main floor, unless you count running through it while eating a hot dog on my way up to the afternoon sessions. As I waited in line and talked to those around me the reoccurring theme was frustration by the long waits, lack of time on the floor because of them, and questioning the venue size and lack of overflow rooms. Everyone did enjoy all the presentations they were able to get into but getting into them meant long waits and by the evening many people's patience was wearing thin.

Nuts and Bolts: The D23 Expo ran from 8/19-21/2011. I spent the three full days at the Expo, plus a preview reception. Took just under 3,000 pictures, 50 video clips, 100 cell phone shots for Twitter, spend way too many hours in line to share the D23 experience (and save it for myself). I attended three of the arena presentations, five of the smaller sessions (others of our team, one of the retired geeks and the invisible geek, attended an additional arena presentation and three smaller sessions).

Rundown and thoughts from the second day:

  • When we arrived at the convention center this morning we were greeted by a long line to get in the door. Seems after the success of the Studios presentation at the first Expo everyone decided to show up early for this one. A vast majority of the people were heading to the Arena line which stretched for quite a while.

  • This was the only presentation where they listed a camera/electronics check. We dropped off our bags around 8:30 and did not touch them again till well after 1:00pm. It was very odd to be in a session with no camera or phone.

  • The Inside the Walt Disney Studios presentation started very close to on time, unlike the late starts on Friday. The show did run long, but that was due to material. Overall I thought this year's presentation was not as strong as the one at the first Expo. For example no live orchestra this time around. Maybe it was because I was more interested in the movies that time around? I did enjoy the extended Animation portion though and thought it made sense to combine Animation and the rest of the studios.

  • Here is a quick run down of the presentation, including the film title, release date, and who came out on stage to talk about it: (Note all images below are courtesy of Disney since we were not allowed to have cameras in the presentation)
    • Planes - Summer 2013 - John Cryer who voiced the main character joined John Lasseter on stage

    • Wreck-It Ralph - 11/2/2012 - Jack McBrayer and Sarah Silverman came out

    • Brave - 6/22/2012 - Filmakers Mark Andrews & Katherine Safafian and voice talent Kelly MacDonald and Kevin McKidd

    • Monsters University - 2013 - Bob Peterson (Director), John Walker (Producer) and voice talent Billy Crystal

    • Untitled Pixar Dinosaur Film - Holiday 2014 - Bob Peterson(Director), John Walker (Producer)
    • Untitled Pixar movie that Takes You Inside the Mind - Pete Docter (Director), Jonas Rivera (Producer)
    • John Carter from Mars, 3/9/2012 - Andrew Stanton(Director), Jim Morris (Producer) joined by Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, and Willem Dafoe

    • Frankenweenie - October 2012 - Don Hahn and Alison Abbate

    • The Odd Life of Timothy Green - Jennifer Garner
    • Oz - The Great and Powerful - March 2013 - No one was on stage due to them currently filming
    • Muppets Movie - November 2011 - Jason Segel, Kermit the Frog, and Miss Piggy

    • Chimpanzee - April 2012
    • The Avengers - Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was joined by stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett
      Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders and Chris Hemsworth

  • As we exited the Studios presentation and were able to get back online I gave up hope of making it into the Pixar 25th Years of Creativity Presentation and instead had someone go save me a spot for the Buena Vista Street one while I quickly grabbed a hot dog on the go since I did not see time in the schedule for food the rest of the day really.

  • Made it into the queue for Buena Vista Street and had plenty of time to kill waiting for the presentation, but in the end it was worth it. I thought this was a great tour of the street and some of the buildings and thought that went into the redesign of DCA.

    They discussed details such as why the fountain area is offset. The answer is to help with the site lines so when you stood in the parks new hub you could not see the Disneyland Train Station. They really wanted to keep you immersed with in this park/place/story. They also spent quite a bit of time talking about how they were how they were looking at guest comfort and experience. This ranged from more shade trees, to parks to rest in to corridors that will run parallel to the street through the stores, just like Main Street at Disneyland. The street will also help with the "over lapping lands" DCA had. When you walk the street because of the alignment, etc.. it will help with the visuals toward other lands. For example you will no longer be able to see all the way down the parade route. The Carthay and Pump House work as visual barriers and funnel you on a curved path that leads to an unveil later down the walkway/route.

    One of the other aspects that Buena Vista Street will have is a ton of detail. For example there will be over 400 different kinds of tile used. They used 5 architects to put the street together to ensure different styles in the buildings.

    The pump house structure will also be a Red Car stop, so there will be four stops (near the entrance, the pump house, animation building, and Tower of Terror for the two red cars.

  • After the presentation we exited the room and immediately found out that the 4:30 Imagineering Legends session was full and the 6:30 Imagineering Creativity and Innovation one was filling up fast so we hopped into that line to wait the 2.5 hours or so till it began! Luckily we did get in line since there were at most a half dozen rows let in behind us only.

  • This session consisted of several Imagineers talking about their background, interests, and then some projects. At the end was a brief Q&A which was cut short since we were running so long already. I really enjoyed hearing their stories and the projects they had worked on and some of the hints of upcoming ones. Several were on to Shanghai already while others were wrapping up Cars Land. One interesting tidbit that sticks out to me is Kim Irvine said her team of Imagineers at Disneyland now numbers twenty-five.


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

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