D23 Expo Ups and Downs

Ed – Please welcome back Alison with her own report from D23 Expo.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the D23 event on Sunday with my family. There were some big highlights but also a huge disappointment.

The Carousel of Projects was a highlight for my family. It had a great model which showed the Disney World Fantasyland expansion project. I had been having difficulty visualizing the whole thing but the model really brought it to life.

Video of the model and much more from D23 Expo below the jump:

The video presentation and mock up of the ride vehicle for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Coaster was very interesting. Certainly looks as though it will be an interesting ride.

There was a lot of information about the new Cars Land for Disney California Adventure. Having just been in the park and seen how much the building has progressed in the past month or so, it was exciting to see more details. The new Lightning McQueen ride vehicle was on display. The basic design looks very much like the Epcot Test Track vehicle but of course with Lightning McQueens famous shiny exterior.

The Art of Brave presentation by Steve Pilcher, the production designer and Tia Kratter the shader art director for the movie was very interesting. The art work looks absolutely stunning and to hear the process of the attention to detail which we now know we can expect from Pixar, was fascinating.

The main reason for going to the event was to take my 9 year old son to see the Radiator Springs Reality presentation by John Lasseter. We reluctantly left the The Art of Brave presentation early as we knew the Lasseter event would be popular.

However we got it wrong. The crowds were big and the venue was not big enough. We made it to the stand by line so still had hope.

We waited for 90 minutes only to be told that we were not one of the lucky ones. As there were hundreds of people ahead of us in the stand by line I am not sure how they ever thought they were going to get those people in. The result was that we spent so long waiting in that line we couldn’t even make it into the line for The Making of Star Tours presentation.

This was a huge disappointment. I always knew we would have to wait in line but we missed the things which we really wanted to see. The venues for the presentations simply were not large enough to meet the demand. Of course it was my error in misjudging the line but to miss the second event too was just too much for me.

The younger members of my family enjoyed the appearances by the cast of Shake It Up. And my 5 year old got to see Handy Manny in person. Overall everyone got to see something they enjoyed. I would certainly go again – but definitely plan my day in a very different way. Next time John Lasseter appears I am going to be first in line!

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8 Responses to D23 Expo Ups and Downs

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  4. Joe says:

    The ride vehicle is actually a “resident of Radiator Springs.” I asked the Imagineer staffing that area about “Lightning” and he quickly corrected me. That made sense, as at the last Expo I saw the working Lightning AA who riders will encounter on the track; he has similar eyes to Red, and I believe a working mouth, too.

    As to your day, I don’t think you planned wrong. I attended all three days, and by Sunday, realized that as they only had one “Stage” running vs. two (Stages 23 and 28 were the main session rooms), there wasn’t going to be enough going on to meet demand. I didn’t feel like waiting 2-3 hours to maybe see something, so I left after the Marvel presentation and went to the parks and a movie at Downtown Disney, before heading back to the East Coast. They needed “Plan B” sessions and they didn’t have them. In ’09, there was always something else to do. But this year with more fans, there was less. Like you, I still enjoyed it, but was disappointed, and not enthralled and excited as I was in ’09.

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  6. Cassandra says:

    You must’ve been sitting next to us! We waited for an hour and a half to see John Lasseter, too, just to have them tell us “Sorry, folks. It’s filled up.” I was sooooo disappointed because I LOVE John Lasseter.

  7. Laura Atwell says:

    My son and husband are on their way home from the D23 Expo as I type. They encountered the same frustrations as you described. They attended in 2009 as well and were a little disappointed in this Expo. As you said, the venues were too small, the options limited, and too much time was spent waiting in line when the Disney staff should have told people that they were wasting their time. To travel across the country for this event (we live in NY) and spend much of the three days waiting in line is frustrating. While they certainly had some wonderful experiences, I don’t think it was the quality of event we all expect from Disney. Why not allow attendees to select events when they purchase their tickets and then use a bracelet system to attend. Much less wait time. It might be nice for D23 charter members to have the perc of signing up first–they don’t have any other percs!

    • karlene says:

      We agree. We traveled from Seattle only to wait in long lines and then be told we were not getting in to the program. D23 was a BIG disappointment. Just getting into the venue on Friday took 1 and half hours. Having so few employees scanning entrance tickets was very poor crowd control…D23 execs knew how many tickets were sold…the crowds could not have been a surprise…BUT their incredible poor planning was.. We got in..only to stand in line again and be told..SORRY!
      Our highlight was meeting Margaret Kerry..” Tinker Bell”..she was so lovely and sincere…
      D23 should come out with a big APOLOGY to all the Disney fans.

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