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D23 Expo - Day 3 Thoughts and Observations (8/21/11)

Overview: The third and final day of the Expo began like all the others for me. I arrived around 8am to be greeted by a large line and some semi confusion as to where to go. I then proceeded to go from line to line and after two panels and two long waits finally had some time to roam the floor and relax to wrap up my trip.

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:

  • First stop of the morning for me was the queue to get into Stage 23 up on the third floor for the Imagineering Cruise Line presentation The guests in the front of the line were in line before 5am to guarantee themselves a seat.

  • The presentation itself featured two Imagineers talking about the creation of the Dream and touching on some of the differences for the Fantasy but at several points they cut themselves off and said they could not talk more about it because that information had not been released. I was a little disappointed and thought this would have been a great forum to share some more of those details. Most of what was talked about I had heard or read in one form or another. I did find the extended description and video clip of the Animation Magic show for the Animator's Palate.

  • After the presentation ended I exited the room with the initial thought to go get into line for the Art of Brave which was in 90 minutes. The queue was fairly full already for this. Then I noticed about 50 people already in line for the Radiator Springs presentation that did not start till to 1:30 (it was about 10am at this point). I opted to get into that line since I really wanted to see that presentation.

  • The Radiator Springs Reality: Imagineering Cars Land for Disney California Adventure presentation was interesting. They had some new concept art, construction pictures and tidbits of information scattered throughout. One thing that really surprised me was the audience reaction. Seems many had not seen or read that much about the land based on some of the comments.

    Some notes from the presentation (if anyone has corrections please let me know I was jotting these down quickly in the dark while taking pictures for the site as well as twitter):
    • Maters will have 22 tractors on 2 tracks, the queue will feature memorabilia from his Tall Tale adventures
    • Cars Land is approx 12 acres and the Radiator Springs Racers take up 6 of them to make it the largest single attraction Disney has built to date.
    • The Racers will top at 40mph. There will be two car styles, four cars of each style and eight colors. The will begin ride testing this week.
    • To help with scale, the scaffolding on the mountain is 8ft apart

  • The presentation ended with an appeal from John Lasseter for help. He wants to find a picture of himself as a Jungle Cruise skipper. He worked the attraction back in 1977-78. If you can come up with an authentic picture he is offering a VIP experience at the Cars Land opening next year. The website is http://johnofthejungle.com

  • After the Cars Land presentation the lines for Star Tours were full and the Vintage Disneyland was either full or close to full so we opted to go get some food and then roam the show floor for a while since I had not really had time to do that yet.

  • On the way down for food I finally made it into the D23 Charter Members Lounge. This seemed to be a hidden gem of the Expo. Inside there were several tables and seating areas. Also a small area with some coffee and snacks. (there was a bar too but you had to pay for beverages there). This relaxing room was great, too bad I did not have time to visit and experience it before the last afternoon.

  • As I sat down to eat, at a table (first time since Thursday dinner I had done this for a meal) it was a nice treat. (not the food, but sitting at a table).

  • After eating spent some time roaming the aisles of the Collectors Forum which for those who have never been is sort of a swap meet combined with a trade show for Disney fans. It is an interesting experience and you find everything there from artists to pin collectors to the Postal service to the Disney Family Museum. There was even a booth for the Disneyland Halloween parties.

  • Next up for me was one more pass through the Disney Living area then circled around to the Disney Channel and Radio Disney area. Somehow timed it to be in the area as the cast of Shake It Up was coming out for autographs and their fans were going crazy. It was great to see the enthusiasm and energy of their fans and the area.

  • I continued on my grand circle tour of the Floor stopping by the Dream Store next. By this point in time the lines had vanished but the regular merchandise had not (limited edition items were gone for the most part). The store seemed similar to the first one and had a decent array of merchandise.

  • I made my way back around to the Parks and Resorts exhibit to conclude my trip. Figured it was only fitting to end where I started. Plus wanted to see the Partners statue and see the Talking Mickey. The parks exhibit was not that crowded so it was nice to spend time walking around and taking some more pictures.

  • I did catch the new talking Mickey. For those that do not know this reference. They unveiled a version of the walk around Mickey last year that is able to carry on conversations with guests in the park. They have been testing him at random times as well as bringing him out at special events. It was impressive and those that were talking with Mickey really seemed to enjoy the experience.

  • After spending some time roaming around we decided it was time to call it quits and head for the exits, car and home.

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

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