In Honor of the D23 Expo

As many of you will know, the 3rd D23 Expo is taking place starting today in Anaheim. This year, I will not be going because August is just too crazy of a month for me this year to attend. Also, even though I feel like a bad Disney employee to say this, it just isn’t worth it to me. I’ve gone to the past two D23 Conventions. While there are some cool things to see, I found myself spending less time at the Expo at the last one than I did the first one.

During the first D23 Expo, the coolest thing I got to see (and could photograph) was the area set up with props from Lost. My wife and I got to meet the actor who played the younger version of Benjamin Linus.

Little Ben

They also had this cool larger than life image…

Lost Mural

Then, there were props like Sawyer’s letter to the man who pulled the scam that got his father to kill his mother and kill himself…

Sawyers Letter

Also, we got to see Hurley’s winning Lottery ticket.

Lottory Winning Ticket

The day I went, back in 2009, there was a special musical presentation featuring many of the members of the Disney Cast Member Choir (which I sing in for the Candlelight Processional). So, I picked that day because I wanted to support them. I believe they sang some songs that ended up on the cutting room floor of a few Disney Animated films. It was fun to watch my fellow Cast Choir members sing and hear these rarely heard songs. The line to get into the presentation was long, but worth it. Also, I got to see the Disney Archives exhibit (which is usually a cool exhibit). Unfortunately, they didn’t allow photographs in the space where the exhibit was located.

In 2011, my wife and I went to the second D23 Expo with some friends of ours. This time, I didn’t get into any of the presentations. It turns out that the ones I went there to see all had lines that filled up several hours before the presentations happened. With limited time to be at the Expo, I didn’t feel it was worth my time to spend 3 hours in a line for 1 presentation. Also, disappointing was that the line to get into the Disney Archives exhibit was around an hour-long. So, we just ended up wandering around the main floor. There were some cool things to see, like the Dharma van used in Lost.

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And one of the ride vehicles from Peter Pan…

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opening until the following year (this was 2011), I really liked seeing the ride vehicles for some of the attractions in Carsland, like this one for Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree…

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It was also cool to have Imagineers there to talk with about their projects. If you ever have a chance to talk with an Imagineer, you should make sure to take it. In my first year with Disney, they had an Imagineering Week on the Studio Lot. This was an awesome week! It was cool to see what the Imagineers were coming up with for the theme parks. My favorite presentation of the week was on Toy Story Midway Mania. There were several Imagineers present and we got to hear about this attraction from concept to completion. It was so interesting to see how the ride evolved into what we have in the theme parks today.

Anyways, I left the D23 Expo a little sad to have missed out on some of the cooler presentations. If you ever get the opportunity to go to a D23 Expo, plan on spending a lot of time in lines waiting for the cooler presentations. If this isn’t something you want to do, I would advise to skip the Expo altogether and just read the reports from those that do attend. You’ll likely get to see more of the convention that way.

Last year, the folks at D23 were able to display a lot of fun artifacts at the Ronald Regan Library in Simi Valley, California. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was able to go to this exhibit. This exhibit was way better than the Expo because you were able to get more up close with the displays and take pictures. Here are some of my favorites…

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This is me with a recreation of Walt’s office at the Walt Disney Studios.

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Walt’s office without me.

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Costumes worn in the original Tron.

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The lightcycle used in Tron Legacy.

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Iron Man!

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Captain America’s Costume from the Avengers.

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This was the head of the dragon in the original version of Fantasmic at Disneyland. They replaced this dragon with a much cooler looking dragon in 2011.

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The ghosts from the end of the Haunted Mansion attraction.

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I loved this wall of animation. All the great characters are represented here. I only wish I could capture the entire wall. This wall reminded me of everything that makes Disney Animation so great.

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Ah, a replica of the building I used to work in. I see this building each and every day I come in to work. It’s the Michael Eisner Building (A.K.A. Team Disney Burbank). This is the building that the CEO works out of, as well as many other corporate departments.

I know this is another long post that has lots of photos in it. However, with the D23 Expo going on, I thought I’d give a representation of some of the things you might get to see if you were going to the expo. D23 is the official Disney Fan Club. I believe that they even have a free membership level now. For more information on D23, visit their website.

Also, today, the Hollywood Reporter had a good piece on what to check out at the D23 Expo happening this weekend. You can read that piece here.

I hope that all of you have a magical weekend!


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