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Dick Van Dyke

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alexander, dick van dyke, jennifer garner, disney

You may recall Judith Viorst’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day from your own childhood; or perhaps the tale has made its way into the nightly “read me a story” routine that is currently running on an infinite loop just this side of your child’s bedtime. Either way, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a classic book that we all love, and we love it because it is relatable.

Who among us has not had a day where everything that could go wrong does go wrong? We shake our fists at the sky, make desperate pleas into the night, and wish upon stars for mercy, understanding, and just one thing to go right. It happens to all of us, some more than others.

Alexander knows what I’m talking about.

Thankfully, those days are often countered by peaks of goodness and wonder which is how I found myself standing outside Pasadena’s famed Vroman’s Bookstore exchanging pleasantries with Dick Van Dyke and following him onto the set of Disney’s adaptation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Some good days are better than others.

whit honea, jennifer garner, lisa henson, alexander, disney

I was with a group of writers from this very Internet (I’m the guy with the beard and the hat), and together we watched Dick Van Dyke and Jennifer Garner (who totally remembered me from our Timothy Green interview, so I’ve got that going for me) film a scene in the bookstore before a crowd of extras, employees, and real-life shoppers.

Hello, and welcome to the D23 Expo, Day 2 (for more expo coverage read my D23 Expo Day 1 and Alison’s D23 Expo Day 3 recaps!) where things were taken up a big ol’ notch. I know, I couldn’t believe it either.

This is where you say, “How in the world did they top the first day? Nothing could be sweeter than Kermit the Frog and Rowlf the Dog singing a tribute to the late, great Jim Henson! Nothing could be better than Dick Van Dyke in concert!

Fair enough. However, where Day 1 was a tip of the hat to Disney legends, Day 2 was about the now and the immediate future. Hence John Lasseter introducing Billy Crystal to a standing ovation (Lasseter also received a standing ovation) while discussing the upcoming Pixar film Monsters University. Also, Jason Segel coming out with Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy to discuss the new Muppet Movie. And of course, the Avengers assembling. On stage. That’s right, with the exception of the Hulk and Captain America, the entire team came out to watch a trailer that they had never seen. Robert Downey, Jr. made us watch it twice. Basically, it was a parade of celebrities (including Jennifer Garner, Sarah Silverman, and Jon Cryer, to name but a few) and Disney awesomeness (including Rich Ross, Andrew Stanton, and Marvel’s Kevin Feige, to again name but a few). My inner geek setting was at 11.

Friday, August 19 was opening day of the D23 Expo (I’m working under the assumption that you are familiar with D23) and it kicked off with a bang. Or a mouse, as the case may be. It always starts with a mouse.

D23 crowdsWhile the expo was open to the general ticket-buying public, it did offer a number of perks specifically to official D23 members, such as discounted passes, special “members only” events and early admission. It pays to belong, people!

Friday’s itinerary started at 9:00 a.m. with two of the aforementioned members only events, namely the Disney Store Opening Ceremony and the Radio Disney Road Crew Dance Party.

Other events that morning included an art contest with Disney.com, vintage footage showcasing the history of the Disneyland Hotel (congrats, DH, on the new ranking!), meet and greets with artists Jim Salvati and Robert Olszewski of the Disney Store and Disney Dream, respectively, and characters from Disney Channel’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

Then it was time for the 2011 Disney Legends Ceremony, which was, as you might imagine, magical. However, not everyone was able to attend the ceremony, so they had to settle for other really cool things like The Wonderful Words of Disney… Behind the Page: Kingdom Keepers presentation with Ridley Pearson. I would have loved to have attended this event to discuss some of my issues with the continuity, or lack thereof, within the series, but alas, Mr. Pearson was spared my fanboy criticism, and is probably the better for it.

Sheigh Crabtree gets a piece printed in the Los Angeles Times about how performing in Mary Poppins sparked Dick Van Dyke's interest in special effects, which is still a hobby of his over four decades later.After starring in 1968's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," in which he drove a flying car thanks to the magic of