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D23 Expo - Preview (8/22/19)


Miles walked: 6.3
SLR Pictures: 286
Cell Phone Pictures: 514

Trip Log:

I arrived at the Katella Ave security check point for the convention center around 7:20am and the line was out to the street and heading toward Disneyland Drive.   It was moving fairly quickly and the guests I talked to said it was about a 25-30 minute wait to get through.   I took a walk to the North Hall queue space where the entire lower level was filling with various queues.  Legends Stage Pass, Standby, show floor, everything else, etc.   This was the 3rd queueing area.  There were large queues already inside on the lower level of the main convention center and in the large plaza out front of the convention center.    I visited with some friends who were in the various queues then headed upstairs to take a look around.  The security line was being held up until they started to move the queues in the North Hall to free up space.  I made my way over to the main halls to take a look at the queues.  I stopped by the Disney Charter Members Lounge and then stepped Inside the World of Avatar for a quick look around before heading down to the show floor.   Once on the show floor walked by the Star Wars and Disney+ areas then stopped by the Pixar & Disney Animation Studios exhibit.    Strolled through the parks displays again then set off to wander the floor some more.   Passed by the Marvel display and then Disney on Broadway.  Walked through the Emporium area and then stopped at some of the Photo Spots before heading upstairs to the Walt Disney Archives Stage for some Great Moments with Walt Disney.  After the presentation back to the floor for another lap to see what was going on as the crowds built up.   Next up the Music and Sound of Star Wars:Galaxy’s Edge in the Areana.   After the presentation grabbed a quick bite to eat and then stopped by the lounge on the second floor again to see if anything was going on.  Returned to the show floor and made my way over to Hall D23 for the Disney+ Showcase.   After the showcase it was about 6pm so I decided to go meet some friends for dinner and call it a day.

Notes & Observations:

  • Great Moments with Walt Disney (Walt Disney Archives Stage @10:30am)
    My goal this Expo was to spend more time at the Archives Stage. Based on my current schedule I will fail at this.. my one and only planned visit was my first presentation of the weekend. After that everything I wanted to see conflicted with some other commitment. This presentation consisted of Randy Thorton playing resorted audio clips from an interview Walt Disney did in his backyard with his daughter.  Randy was given the opportunity to catalog and restore these recordings.  They have been used on several projects including the Disney Family Museum and TV programming.   During this presentation he shared several sequences/discussions from the recordings.   I enjoyed listening to them and seeing some of the pictures he shared with them.  He opted to use extended segments which really gave context and helped to put you there.  Unlike many times you hear a 20-30 second clip.  For example he played Walt’s recollection on the recording of the sound for Steamboat Willie.  This was an over 10 minute piece.  To hear this audio and see some pictures from the presentation check out my post from Great Moments with Walt Disney.

  • The Music and Sounds of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (D23 Expo Arena @ 12:30pm)
    This presentation was moderated by Matt Walker, the vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering Music Studio.  The first panelists were John Dennis, executive music producer Walt Disney Imagineering Music Studio, and William Ross Arranger & Producer.  They discussed what it was like to work with John Williams and his music for the park.  John Williams was not in attendance but there were two video segments with messages from him sharing his experience.    As an example they discussed some of the sound work for Savi’s Workshop.    Next up was John “JK” Kestler, Principal audio media designer Walt Disney Imagineering Show Studio.   He talked about the sound effects and ambient sounds of Galaxy’s Edge.  He said there are over 2,900 sound files for Black Spire Outpost.   These range from the ships coming and going to creatures in the woods to Wookie apartment and a radio program.  He discussed how sounds can change throughout the day.  Next up another panel that started with Yaron Spiwak, senior music producer Walt Disney Imagineering Music Studio.  He was joined by Judith Hill, Jason Mater, Matt Wood and Adam Dorn to talk about some of the music in the land, in particular Oga’s Cantina.   The presentation wrapped up with a live performance of “Oola Shuka” by Gaya.    It was also announced that there is a Spotify and Apple Playlist from Oga’s Cantina now available.

    I found this panel to be very entertaining.  It is always interesting to learn more about the various aspects of what goes into creating Disney parks.  This discussion was just the tip of the iceberg of what went into the sound/audio for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge but hearing there Imagineers and other industry professionals talk about how they approached the project and some of their highlights was an enjoyable presentation.   For some pictures and video be sure to check out my post on The Music and Sounds of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

  • Sneak Peek! Disney+ Showcase (Hall D23 @ 3:30pm)
    The featured presentation of the afternoon was the Disney+ Showcase in the large Hall D23.  This presentation was modeled after what is usually done with the Studio presentations.   Films/programs were introduced and then some of the actors/actresses involved as well as directors/producers or other key creative team members made an appearance to briefly talk about the project and share a trailer, clip or concept art.    The presentation was chalk full of projects spanning almost all areas of the company.    For more on this presentation be sure to check out my pictures from the Disney+ Showcase or the full press release for details.  

    The pace was quick and time was short for each project.   This worked well to establish the breath of what Disney+ but you were not able to learn a lot about particular projects.  It was very similar in terms of content as to what was presented at the investors conference presentation.    If you wanted to learn more about particular programs or areas there were subsequent presentations the Disney+ pavilion for many of them over the course of the Expo as well as some other larger presentations.    I really wanted to spend time learning about more of the programming but my schedule did not allow time to visit the Disney+ stage during most of them though.
  • D23 Charter Member Lounge
    The Charter Member Lounge is located on the second floor in the same space as previous Expos. It was a quiet place to stop by and get out of the crowd. There were a couple photo ops and some water/coffee/tea but not much beyond that. I am curious the number of charter members still around and the number of those that were at the Expo.

  • Inside the World of Avatar
    This exhibit is located on the second floor across the hallway from the Charter Member Lounge. I did a quick walk through of the space in the morning while it was really quiet. I am not a huge Avatar fan so most of the props and models were lost on me. I did enjoy the video in the back corner that showed some of the construction and installation of Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

  • D23 Expo Show Floor:
    • Walt Disney Animation Studios & Pixar Animation Studios
      Their presence on the show floor mimicked past Expos.  There were several photo ops for upcoming films such as Onward or Frozen II and then a presentation space.   Unfortunately I was unable to really stop and watch any of the presentations, my schedule this weekend did not line up.
    • Disney on Broadway
      Their show floor space featured some information on the currently in production tours and shows as well as a virtual experience.  
    • Photo Ops -
      Throughout the show floor are several photo opportunities.   Some recognizable characters from the parks were available including two attraction vehicles from A Bug’s Land as well as two cars from Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure.


Related posts and links from Day 1 of the D23 Expo:


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

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