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D23 Expo - Preview (8/22/19)


Miles walked: 2.6
SLR Pictures: 175
Cell Phone Pictures: 252

Trip Log:

 My D23 Expo 2019 experience started on Thursday evening.  I was invited to an announcement and media preview event.   First stop was the Disney+ pavilion on the show floor for a welcome and announcement of the One Day at Disney Project.   Then we were given some time in the Walt Disney Archives exhibit before moving on to the Parks & Resorts pavilion.  There Bob Chapek welcomed the group and gave an overview of the displays and teased some of his Sunday presentation.  We had some time to explore the exhibits before wrapping up the event.

Notes & Observations:

  • Expectations: I have been lucky enough to be able to attend all six D23 Expos. Each Expo the company continues to expand through acquisitions and new initiatives. This year several of the new a qui sit ions had a presence and even some of the older ones that had not participated in past Expos were on hand this time around. Going into the Expo I was curious how these new additions would integrate and what the focus of the Expo would be. Also the Anaheim Convention center has grown since the last Expo so there was more space in use and a new security perimeter making for some logistical changes.

  • This year I was able to obtain a media credential again so my experience is slightly different than the average guests. I experienced StagePass for a couple presentations but was not eligible for StorePass or TalentPass and I did not utilize my D23 Gold Membership or Standby queues.

  • I was invited to attend a preview of three of the pavilions on Thursday evening. We were given time to explore each and take photos/videos.

  • Disney+
    Disney+ is the upcoming streaming service Disney is launching in November. It will feature programming and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, National Geographic and more. The pavilion was located about the center of the convention center floor on Mickey Avenue and it featured a space for presentations with a large video wall, some costumes from Noelle and the Mandalorian as well as kiosks to sign up for the service. This was our first stop and after a brief welcome and overview of the service a new documentary and book entitled "One Day At Disney" was announced. These works will spotlight individuals from throughout the Walt Disney Company from around the world. In December a feature length documentary will premiere along with the publication of the book. Then each week a new episode will be added to Disney+. I think the concept of the documentary is great and I look forward to seeing what roles are chosen and what is said. The build up to the announcement was a bit anti-climatic. It was listed as a Secret Project on the Expo Schedule with no hint as to the scope. So expectations ran a bit wild on the Internet and the reaction from many tended toward disappointment because of this vs judging the announcement for what it was, they compared it to what they thought it may be.

  • Walt Disney Archives Presents: Heroes & Villains the Art of the Disney Costume
    Our second stop was the Walt Disney Archives exhibit. This large display was about where it was last year. This year it features a large collection of costumes spanning Disney film history. I am not a huge costume person but I did enjoy seeing some of the original next to each other, for example Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns. There were only a couple props this time around unlike past Expos. The layout and staging of the exhibit this time felt a lot more open. Costumes were not encased in glass so pictures were much easier too. I am more into park history and props over costumes so this exhibit was not as interesting to me as previous years.

  • Disney Parks - Imagining Tomorrow, Today
    Our final stop of the evening was at the Disney Parks Pavilion. This is once again in the back corner of the floor nearest Hall D23. The exhibit features three areas. The front portion features upcoming projects from around the world including a look at the Hong Kong Castle, a tease for Zootopia, a model of Tokyo Disneyland Fantasyland Expansion as well as some stateside projects. The back portion explores the upcoming transformation of Epcot showcasing the new pavilions and changes to the park. The last area introduces the Avengers Campus that are expanding from Hong Kong to Disney California Adventure in 2020 and then in to the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.

    I always enjoy the parks pavilion for the opportunity to get a glimpse into the future and to talk with Imagineers. Of course you get a lot of I cannot talk about that or wait until the presentation but overall its fun to hear what they are working on directly from those involved in the projects.

    I am still the wait and see camp when it comes to the upcoming Epcot changes. Epcot of the 80s/90s was my favorite park for a very long time. The pavilions, music, and mission of the park of edutainment was great to experience. Over the years the park has drifted from this and fallen down my park ranking list. These changes are a drastic change and it will be interesting to see how they play out.

    The Avengers Campus area was fun to explore. I thought the choice of a Tony Stark inspired model vs a traditional one was interesting. Even with it being abstract you could get a feel for the future layout and comparing that to the site I saw a few hours earlier from the Pixar Pal-A-Round was fun. There were not a lot of names and details, the refrain was come back Sunday and we can talk about it after it is announced.

    It was great to see the International parks represented. I really enjoyed the Tokyo Disneyland model. Being able to see the scale and placement of the Fantasyland expansion has me excited to go back. Me being me I would have liked to have seen more on Zootopia in Shanghai, the Studios Expansion in Paris and the Hong Kong projects beyond the Castle. Even a tease for Fantasy Springs beyond the video slide would be great.

Related posts and links from the media preview:

For My Pictures & Posts from the D23 Expo 2019 Visit My Summary Page

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