Thursday, April 11, 2013

D23 Expo 2013 – Day Three: Sunday August 11, 2013

Reported by Jami Ferguson
expoAll the magic and excitement of the past, present and future of Disney entertainment will come together once again when D23: The Official Disney Fan Club presents an all-new D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 9-11, 2013.  Among the highlights of D23 Expo 2013 will be expanded capacities at some of our most popular venues; the 2013 Disney Legends Ceremony, which honors the talented men and women who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy; Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, a treasure trove of crown jewels from the Walt Disney Archives; the bustling aisles of the Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia and merchandise; and a massive show floor full of special opportunities to see what’s on the horizon for Disney around the world - and where guests may bump into their favorite Disney stars, characters, Imagineers, animators and filmmakers. 
Having dedicated nearly all of my first two days to getting into (or out of) the Expo arena – day three is all about shopping for me.  I left behind a five year old (without telling him where I was going so he wouldn’t be sad) and a husband that frankly loves Disney significantly more than I do, so I thought they both deserved a souvenir.  Unlike Comic-Con, the crowds are not shoulder to shoulder and I am amazed that I can walk freely on the exhibition floor. I want to buy my son a t-shirt, and I am unable to locate a single vendor with children’s sizes.  I do see that there is a walled off Disney Store but those in line tell me they have been waiting for two hours and that the line has barely moved.
I happen upon the silent auction area and briefly imagine having Matterhorn bobsleds in my living room in place of our lazy boy chairs.  I’d also like to have a piece of the Dumbo ride but I I’m not willing to spend thousands of dollars on this trip.  The auction items are interesting to look at but out of my budget.
Walking the floor again, I see a lot of really nice art. In some locations, you can watch the artists create their pieces.  A Boba Fett picture catches my eye.  I know that my husband and son would think that I’m the coolest person if I brought it home, but again I’m not willing to part with the cash.
I can’t believe that I am unable to locate a decent souvenir and after passing the same booth for the third time I resign to wait in line for the Disney Expo items.  Again, not a single t-shirt in children’s sizes but I do find an iPhone 5 case, which I have personalized for my husband.
I walk outside to the structure next to the Marvel tent hoping to see something with a super-hero on it.  It turns out the structure is the waffle-inator where Eggo waffles can be fired from cannons toward villains and it is related to the “Phineas and Ferb” show and it is certainly something I’ve never seen before.
Next to the Waffle-inator tower is a large hotel and inspiration strikes as I realize they must have a gift shop.  Inside I find a stuffed Nemo and I am able to head home with an appropriate gift for my son.  I am amazed that Disney didn’t take advantage of this opportunity to offer a ton of merchandise to their fans, which is something I thought they were known for.  Now that the Expo is over, it’s hard to to believe how fast it all went.  I got to see a ton of actors that I really like, a lot of movie clips that have gotten me excited up Disney’s upcoming movies, and a bunch of cool sights that could only have been seen here.  I’m already looking forward to the next Expo and I hope that Disney learns from what worked and didn’t work from this one and makes it even better!
If you’d like to experience these presentations yourself, please take a look at the following videos that I’ve found that will make you feel like you were there!
To Infinity and Beyond: Disney Interactive Takes the Stage:
Walt Disney Imagineering’s 60th: Leading a Legacy:
Star Wars Attraction Teased with Walt Disney Imagineer Jason Surrell:

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