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D23 Expo - Day 2 (8/24/19)


Miles walked: 5.1
SLR Pictures: 141
Cell Phone Pictures: 331

Trip Log:
I arrived around 8:20am and found no waits at the Katella security checkpoint this morning.   The North Hall queues were already on the move and most of the space was empty already.  I walked down to the main plaza and then inside to take a look at the crowds.  At 9:00am when the floor opened I made my way inside and tried not to get run over by all the guests running to their first destination (mostly stores).   I visited with a friend and we stopped by the Animation pavilion and then hung out in the Parks Pavilion enjoying the relative calm compared to other areas this morning.  Stopped by the Disney Publishing space to check out the latest books.  Then at 10am I was given a tour of the three stores, the Disney Store, Disney Dream Store and Mickey’s Of Glendale.   I had about 10 minutes in each to take pictures and see some of the highlight merchandise.   After the tour walked through the floor and took a look at the Disney Design Challenge finalists and some of the other floor booths.  Grabbed an early lunch, just after 11am before the crowds got bad.   Then made my way to the arena for the Haunted Mansion 50th Anniversary celebration.  As soon as it ended I walked quickly upstairs to Stage 28 to see the One Day at Disney panel.   After the panel I caught my breath for a few minutes then headed to the delayed Disney on Broadway 25th Anniversary performance.   I had to leave that early since it started late (due to the Studios running long earlier in the day).  I walked quickly across the floor to the Arena for the Musical Journey of Aladdin presentation.  The presentation ran long and ended just shy of 7pm.   I walked quickly to the North Hall but arrived at 7:02pm and the doors were closed and I was unable to pick up my Gold Member Gift today.   This wrapped up day 2 of the Expo for me.

Notes & Observations:

  • Haunted Mansion: Celebrating 50 Years(D23 Expo Arena @ 12:30pm)
    This presentation featured several Imagineers sharing stories and some tidbits about the Haunted Mansion.  It also included a really funny Jungle Cruise Skipper visit to the Mansion and closed with a dramatic reading of an early draft of the script performed by Sally Slater (the tight rope walker from the Mansion), Uncle Deadly from the muppets and X Atencio’s granddaughter Kelsey McCullough.

    The presentation started off a little on the slow side with almost 1/3 of it devoted to at home Illusioneering and creating some of the effects from the mansion.  I think one or two effects would have kept the pace going.   Then it dove into topics that were both funny and interesting to me including a more personal look at Marc Davis and X Atencio.   For X his granddaughter shared some stories of what it was like to visit her grandfather’s attractions with the family.   The presentation ended with a dramatic reading of an early script and it was interesting to see how it was cleaned up and refined from this to the final version.

  • One Day at Disney (Stage 28 @ 1:30pm)
    One Day at Disney is an upcoming documentary series and book.  They feature 76 Disney Cast Members and their story all shot on February 12th around the globe. . The series will premiere on Disney+ on December 3rd as a feature length documentary, the 224 page book will be released the same day.  Then 50 episodes, one each week featuring one cast member.

    Stage 28 hosted a presentation moderated by Jeffrey Epstein, director, Corporate Communications, and Wendy Lefkon, director, Disney Editions featured six of the cast members highlighted in the project to discuss some of their favorite aspects of working for Disney and their photo shoot day.  The cast members at the panel were -  Este Meza Lucasfilm’s senior events manager,  ABC7 helicopter reporter Chris Cristi, Walt Disney Imagineering construction manager Kristina Dewberry, legendary Disney animator Eric Goldberg, Golden Oak Ranch senior manager Steve Sligh, and Radio Disney Network talent Candice Valdez.

    The Walt Disney Company has cast members in a number of very unique and interesting roles.  The six on stage were a great representation of this showcasing some of this diversity.   I found Steve Sligh to be really interesting and in such a unique role.  He spoke about several experiences and some of the requests/challenges of operating a movie ranch.   For example he shared a recent request he had to create a 7-acre corn field for an upcoming project.  In addition to growing the crop they had to make sure it was ready at the time the shooting schedule required, which meant out of season in Southern California.

    D23 Expo Announcement – One Day At Disney – Documentary on Disney+ & Book Coming in December

  • Disney on Broadway in Concert: A 25th Anniversary Celebration (Hall D23 @ 3:30pm)
    Disney on Broadway is celebrating 25 years this year. For the D23 Expo they are producing a 90 minute performance held in Hall D23. Performing were Gavin Lee, Ashley Brown, Alton Fitzgerald White, Kissy Simmons, Heidi Blickenstaff and Josh Strickland.  The performance followed the format of other Disney on Broadway ones at previous D23 Expos as well as Epcot during the Festival of the Arts.  The group performs songs from various Disney on Broadway shows including Beauty and the Beast, the Lion King, Tarzan and Mary Poppins.  In between songs they talk about the history of Disney on Broadway as well as some of the roles they have each played over the years.

    Being able to sit back, relax, and enjoy live performances by some great Broadway stays was a great way to spend the afternoon.   If you have not had a chance to take in one of these types of performances and ever have the opportunity they are great if you enjoy Disney music.  Unfortunately the performance started over 30 minutes late due to the morning’s Studio presentation running long and shifting the entire day.   

    Prior to the start of the performance I saw a nice moment.  I noticed Michael Vargo walking around Hall D23.  He walked back and forth a couple times and caught my eye.  He walked to a section near the back and gathered a couple cast members then talked to the section.  The first several rows stood up and followed him from their location to seats in the center section much closer to the stage. It looked to be a great seat upgrade for the guests.

  • The Musical Journey of Disney's Aladdin (D23 Expo Arena @ 5:30pm)

    I closed out Day 2 of the 2019 D23 Expo at the The Musical Journey of Aladdin in the Arena.   This presentation was hosted by Scott Weinger, the original speaking voice of the animated Aladdin.  He was joined on stage by several other Aladdins, including the singing voice, Brad Kane, Clinton Greenspan from the Broadway national tour and Mena Massoud from the new live-action Aladdin.  Jasmine was represented by Linda Larkin, the speaking voice of Jasmine and Deedee Magno Hall who was Jasmine at the Disney California Adventure production.   From the live action Aladdin, Choreographer Jamal Sims performed “A Friend Like Me”.   Regina Belle and Norm Lewis closed out the evening with a performance of “A Whole New World”.  In addition to live performances of some of the songs, the actors shared some of their memories of auditioning and playing their parts.  There were also several featurettes shown that look to be bonus features on the home video releases of both the original and live-action films.

    This was an entertaining and enjoyable way to end the day.  It was part concert and part live interview/video home video bonus feature.  By this I mean it was people involved in the films talking about their experiences and memories of the project and its impact, but in a longer format, this rand over its one hour timeslot.   Where as in a home video release you usually get a much shorter piece (for example this mirrored some of what is on the upcoming Walt Disney Signature Collection release of Aladdin titled Aladdin on Aladdin featuring Scott Weinger telling his personal story of Aladdin.  That feature runs about 20 minutes, which for home video is long, but compared to this short.)

  • D23 Expo Show Floor:
    • Shopping – Disney Store, Disney Dream Store & Mickey’s of Glendale
      This morning I went on a tour of the three main stores on the show floor, the Disney Store, Disney Dream Store and Mickey’s of Glendale.   The Disney Store featured an assortment of merchandise focused on various franchises and anniversaries.   The Disney Dream Store had more D23 Expo specific merchandise and Mickey’s of Glendale is the Imagineering store and highlighted park related merchandise including Avengers Campus and Epcot.  There is also a Pin Store affiliated with Mickey’s of Glendale.  Each store featured its own standby queue and StorePass queue for entry.    The offerings seemed about on par with previous Expos and the queues were just as long.  Guests were lining up Wednesday for the Friday releases.  Each evening there was a line started for the limited releases the next day too.   I spent about 10 minutes in each one being shown some of the featured merchandise and trying to work my way through the crowded stores.   I posted picture sets from each store –
    • Disney Publishing Worldwide
      The Disney Publishing display was on the small side  this time around.  It was basically a kiosk located across the walkway from Hulu.  It featured a display with several of the current and upcoming books, registers and a meet and greet location.  Authors held signing sessions here throughout the Expo.  When I stopped by Don Hahn was just wrapping up a session.   You could also purchase books that were not widely released yet.  These included the upcoming Kevin Rafferty, Marty Sklar and Marc Davis books.

    • Hulu and ESPN+
      They had spaces near the main Disney+ Pavilion highlighting some of their programming and kiosks to sign up for the service. I quickly walked through both but did not have a lot of time to spend at either.  They did have various talent and other presentations throughout the Expo.



Related posts and links from Day 2 of the D23 Expo:


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