Disney’s big 2013 D23 Expo is this weekend! Are you ready for three days of Disney insanity? We’ve put together a guide with the Expo must-dos for Disney theme park, animation and history fans! We also have a full Disneyland update this week with a peek inside the Market House as it continues its conversion and expansion into Disneyland’s new Starbucks location as well as a look at the progress at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Don’t miss your weekly Disneyland Resort crowd forecast — provided by our friends at MouseAddict — in the Weekly News and Information Roundup at the end of today’s update!

Get a closer look at today’s update!
Click on any photo in the blog for a large, high-resolution version of the image.

Welcome to Disneyland!

Summer continues with great weather, manageable crowds and parks that look fantastic. It’s a great time to visit Disneyland.

A look at Disneyland wait times midday Friday.

The D23 Expo is almost here! This weekend the Anaheim Convention Center will host what Disney calls “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event,” bringing together every corner of the Walt Disney Company – from theme parks to television to movies and beyond! MiceChat and Dateline Disneyland will be there to cover the event for those of you who can’t make it. But for those of you who are planning on attending, we’ve put together a list of some of the most-anticipated pavilions, presentations and special events happening at this year’s Expo. So take a look at the Dateline Disneyland D23 Expo Must-Dos and see what you might want to add to your list!

    D23 Expo Tickets
    Tickets are still available and D23 Members get a discount! Buy tickets now.

      D23 Member Prices
      Adult: $50 One Day | $145 Three-Day
      Child: $42 One Day | $121 Three-Day

      General Admission
      Adult: $57 One Day | $166 Three-Day
      Child: $47 One Day | $136 Three-Day

    Quick Tips and Links

    • Get the latest D23 Expo News Stay up-to-date with the latest news on the Expo, direct from the D23 Expo website.
    • Download the full D23 Expo Guidebook Get a headstart and download the full official D23 Expo 2013 Guidebook to help you plan your visit.
    • Get the D23 Expo app D23 recently launched an app for smartphones with all of the latest information, schedules and more for the D23 Expo.
    • Don’t forget your StagePass! New for the 2013 Expo, D23 is offering StagePass – a free service that allows you to reserve guaranteed seating for up to two presentations each day in Stage 23 or Stage 28. For more information.
    • Relax after the Expo at Trader Sam’s The wildly popualar Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel will expand its footprint onto the Frontier and Adventure towers’ lawn areas near the pool on D23 Expo nights only
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Pavilion

    Perhaps one of the most anticipated features of the D23 Expo, the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion is celebrating the 60th anniversary of Walt Disney Imagineering with special historical displays plus sneak peeks on new and upcoming attractions. Guests will enter the pavilion through a recreation of the main entrance to the Walt Disney Imagineering campus in Glendale, California and inside may tease at upcoming Star Wars, Avatar while taking a look back at 60 years of creating the impossible.

    Journey Into Imagineering

    • A first look at MyMagic+ Take a look at the new collection of tools debuting soon at Walt Disney World that will give guests more opportunities to customize and personalize their entire visit.
    • A sneak peek at Disney Springs Preview the reimagining and reinvention of Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World that transforms it into a timeless and vibrant place that celebrates the turn-of-the century lakeside towns that dotted the Florida landscape.
    • Marvel’s Avengers Meet & Greet The opportunity to meet one of Marvel‚Äôs Avengers before he sets sail on a new adventure.
    • A glimpse into the Walt Disney Imagineering Art Library Featuring rarely seen models of concepts that were never built, as well as historical and revered original concept art from the early days of Imagineering, including Herb Ryman‚Äôs sketch of Disneyland and Peter Ellenshaw‚Äôs ‚Äúsurprise‚Äù rendering for the Disneyland television show.
    • Mickey‚Äôs of Glendale An outlet of Walt Disney Imagineering‚Äôs employee-only store, to shop for unique souvenirs and collectibles and Walt Disney Imagineering merchandise not available anywhere else.

    More on the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Pavilion

    This year, the extremely popular Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s beloved “Mary Poppins” film, showcasing iconic props from the film including Mary’s carpet bag which was recently acquired by the Walt Disney Archives. The Archives exhibit is always a popular look back through the rich history of the Disney company and this year’s exhibit is sure to once again deliver.

    D23 presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

    • Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary An exhibit celebrating the film’s 50th anniversary featuring concept art and matte paintings, Mary and Bert’s carousel horses, costumes, and Mary’s recently acquired carpet bag.
    • Disney’s Adventures on the Land of Oz A collection of props, costumes and artifacts from Disney’s long association with the wonderful world of Oz featuring a costume from 1957’s “The Rainbow Road to Oz,” props and costume pieces from 1985’s Return to Oz and an assortment of costumes from this year’s Oz The Great and Powerful.
    • Storytelling on the Small Screen Props, costumes and more from ABC’s hit show “Once Upon a Time” and Disney Channel’s new “Teen Beach Movie.”

    More on Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Pavilion

Walt Disney Animation Studios Pavilion

    Check out sneak peeks of the upcoming films and catch an up-close look at the latest technology being utilized in Frozen (it’s a chilling experience). Watch Walt Disney Animation Studios artists in action as they showcase how they do what they do. There will be presentations and demonstrations featuring characters from both upcoming movies and recent favorites from Wreck It Ralph to next year’s Big Hero 6.
    More on the Walt Disney Animation Studios Pavilion
D23 Arena Highlights

    The D23 Arena is home to some of the biggest presentations at the D23 Expo, including the highly-anticipated Walt Disney Pictures presentation which is expected to give us sneak peeks into the latest big screen magic Disney is creating with Marvel, The Muppets and in Tomorrowland!

    • Art and Imagination: Animation at The Walt Disney Studios
      Friday, August 9 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
      Join Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter and get an up-close look at the exciting and innovative projects on the horizon from the Disney animation studios, from Frozen to Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur.
    • Let the Adventures Begin: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios
      Saturday, August 10 | 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
      Go behind the scenes at The Walt Disney Studios with this revealing look at the upcoming roster of live-action adventures from Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.
    • Disney Legends Awards Ceremony
      Saturday, August 10 | 2 p.m.- 4 p.m.
      This year, Monsters, Inc. stars Billy Crystal and John Goodman, technology visionary Steve Jobs, television icon Dick Clark and four others – Tony Baxter, Collin Campbell, Glen Keane, and Ed Wynn – will be named and honored as official Disney Legends.
    • Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken: The Disney Songbook
      Saturday, August 10 | 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
      For one night only, two of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and composers will take the stage.

    Full D23 Arena Schedule

Stage 23 Highlights

    The 2,000-seat Stage 23 will host numerous panel discussions and special presentations that are sure to be huge draws for Disney enthusiasts. From a series of panels celebrating Walt Disney Imagineering’s 60th Anniversary, to a behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney’s iconic “Mary Poppins” – there’s quite a bit to see in Stage 23 over the three-day Expo. Below are some that we’re especially excited about:

    • Behind the Scenes of Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins
      Friday, August 9 | 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
      Take a historical look behind the scenes at the origins of the 1964 film as it nears its 50th anniversary with Chief Archivist Emeritus Dave Smith.
    • Undiscovered Disneyland
      Friday, August 9 | 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
      Disney Imagineer and soon-to-be Disney Legend Tony Baxter, along with Imagineer Josh Shipley, share more never-before-seen color footage of Disneyland in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s.
    • Inside the Ice: The Art of Disney’s Frozen
      Saturday, August 10 | 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
      Join the team behind the movie for an exclusive look at the artistry and animation of the Thanksgiving 2013 release Frozen.
    • The Art of The Good Dinosaur
      Saturday, August 10 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
      Take a closer look at the artistry and production design behind Pixar’s upcoming film “The Good Dinosaur.”
    • Walt Disney Imagineering’s 60th
      Sunday, August 11 | Panels throughout the day
      This series of panels takes guests through the history and behind-the-scenes of Walt Disney Imagineering as it celebrates its 60th Anniversary. Panel topics include: Working with Walt, Craft of Creativity, Leave ’em Laughing and more!

    Full Stage 23 Schedule

    Reserve your seat with D23 Expo’s Stage Pass
    New this year, you may choose to retrieve a limited number of StagePass tickets, at no additional charge, to guarantee seating at select sessions in Stage 23 and Stage 28. For more information on StagePass.

Stage 28 Highlights
    The 850-seat Stage 28 may be the smallest of the D23 Expo’s main venues, but it still packs an amazing line-up of panel discussions and special presentations!

    • Mayhem, Mischief, and Monkeys: The Magic of Mystic Manor
      Friday, August 9 | 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
      Imagineers Joe Lanzisero and Mark Schirmer pull back the curtain on the amazing new Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland.
    • Dave Bossert Remembers Roy E. Disney, with Special Guest Roy P. Disney
      Friday, August 9 | 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
      Dave Bossert, along with guest Roy P. Disney, will share stories, drawings, and candid photos found in his new book, Remembering Roy E. Disney: Memories and Photos of a Storied Life.
    • Broadcasts from Buena Vista Street
      Saturday, August 10 | 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
      Hear audio from Buena Vista Street, performed live with members of the original voice cast.
    • Charles Phoenix Presents
      Saturday, August 10 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
      With his gracious wit and keen eye for oddball detail, Charles Phoenix shares spectacular views of beloved and gone-but-not-forgotten Disneyland attractions, as well as Anaheim’s midcentury motels.
    • Voices of the Disney Parks
      Saturday, August 10 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
      The men and women who provide voices for the Disney parks are back with more stories, more humorous asides, and new faces
    • Disney Animated: An Inside Look at Walt Disney Animation Studios
      Saturday, August 10 | 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
      Discover how the timeless stories from Walt Disney Animation Studios are brought to life.
    • Sounds Delightful! An Illustrated Audio Adventure
      Sunday, August 11 | 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
      Join Disney artist and historian Stacia Martin for a trip across the decades via vintage Disney Vinyl Recordings.
    • The Jack Wrather Organization Featuring The Disneyland Hotel
      Sunday, August 11 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
      Disneyland Hotel historian and author Don Ballard opens up the resort’s past with opening-day color footage.

    Full Stage 28 Schedule

      Reserve your seat with D23 Expo’s Stage Pass
      New this year, you may choose to retrieve a limited number of StagePass tickets, at no additional charge, to guarantee seating at select sessions in Stage 23 and Stage 28. For more information on StagePass.

    • Disney Dream Store D23 Expo-themed official merchandise and other specialty items including official D23 Expo merchandise, HARVEYS Seatbeltbags, Disney theme park merchandise, ACME Archives Limited, autograph sessions with guest artists, and much more.
    • Silent Auction The rare opportunity to bid on unique artifacts, artwork, experiences, props and more. More information.
    • Mickey’s of Glendale Exclusive merchandise from Walt Disney Imagineering.

    More on D23 Expo Shopping

    Meet Disney celebrities and your favorite MiceChat bloggers and podcasters!
    As if the D23 Expo didn’t have enough things for you to see and do, MiceChat will have an amazing booth (Booth #513) in the Collectors Forum area of the D23 Expo this year as well. We invite you and your friends to meet with the incredible lineup of special guests and Disney Legends whom we have scheduled throughout the three day show including:

    • Bob Gurr, Disney Legend and Imagineer
    • Rolly Crump, Disney Legend and Imagineer
    • Floyd Norman, Disney Animator
    • Nik Ranieri, Disney Animator
    • Mark Silverman, Disney Voice Actor
    • Margaret Kerry, Orignal model for Tinker Bell
    • Carolyn Carroll, Wife of Eddie Carroll, the voice of Jiminy Cricket
    • …and surprise guests!

    Plus MiceChat staff and columnists inlcuding Fishbulb, Monorail Man, Sam Gennawey, Doug Barnes, Scarlett Stahl, Rixter, Mickey Maxx, Jeff Heimbuch, Gwendolyn Dreyer, Sarah the MiceChatter, Indiana Jenn, Mamabot, Dustysage and more!

    We will also be giving away lots of great prizes, including hotel stays and an iPad Mini!

    More information on MiceChat’s D23 Expo Booth

MiceChat’s D23 Expo Cocktail Party
At the Anabella Hotel | Saturday, August 10 | 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.
    We’d like to invite all of you to join us for a special cocktail party at the Anabella Hotel’s Tangerine Grill & Patio, just a short walk from the Anaheim Convention Center on Katella Avenue! on the evening of Saturday, August 10th! The Tangerine Grill & Patio will be offering happy hour prices to MiceChatters from 9pm until 1am. We’ll have some VERY special guests drop by, including Disney Legend Bob Gurr!
Refurbishment Round-Up

Back at Disneyland, Expo guests this weekend will see first-hand the progress on on-going projects in Disneyland, including the new Starbucks location on Main Street and the major Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment.

Not much new to see from outside of the Market House and former Disneyana shop as construction continues inside on the new Starbucks location. Walls are still up around what we believe will be a new door.

A pulled-back construction tarp revealed progress inside the former Disneyana shop.

This is looking inside the bay window to the right of the main door to the shop, positioned behind where the shop’s main cash wrap was located.

Nothing left of the Disneyana shop – but still a long ways to go before its usable cafe space.

At the end of Main Street, the Main Street Photo Supply roofline has gotten a quick fix to hide the retractable safety railing that is now always in the up position.


Heading toward Frontierland….

… Big Thunder Mountain Railroad work continues…

Scaffolding has gone up around the load building.

Big Thunder Trail was still “washed out” for repaving last week.

Big Thunder Trail’s repaving project is coming along nicely. I’m happy to see the painted slurry is now gone and themed pavement is going in.

Looks good so far

Over in Fantasyland, there’s still plenty of safety railing up on Sleeping Beauty Castle.

There’s also a little something missing on Sleeping Beauty Castle that we had failed to notice until recently. One of the highest (and smallest) turrets on the castle is missing its roof. Our friend Matt Gottula (@DLthings on Twitter) looked back through photos and said that turret has been missing since the holiday snow overlay was removed in January!

It’s interesting that something like this on the park’s central icon has been missing for so long but also interesting that nobody really seemed to notice…

Limited Time Magic

[center]Take Flight with Planes Commemorative Wings
at Disney California Adventure
Available now while supplies last
Disney is promoting their new movie by giving away “Planes” pins at Soarin’ Over California. The official line is that only kids ages 5-13 can get the pins, but we’ve heard that Soarin’ Cast Members are giving them away to anybody who wants one.

[center]Cover Your Ears with Heroes or Villains
at Disneyland Park
Available now while supplies last
Disney is now selling Ear Hat covers at Disneyland and marketing as part of Limited Time Magic. I suspect these Ear Hat covers will stick around long after Limited Time Magic if their sales are successful – afterall, the Cozy Cone hats in Cars Land are still for sale long after their Limited Time Magic run.

[center]Vote for Your Favorite Long Lost Disney Friends
at Disneyland Park
Available now while supplies last
Seemingly out of ideas, Disney will be bringing back another one of its Limited Time Magic offerings again in the near future – this time its the popular “Long Lost Friends Week.” Disney is inviting fans to cast their votes to decide which characters return.
Some of the options such as Merlin, Dr. Facilier or the Three Little Pigs would be nice to see return, but some of the other options such as Snow White and Chip n’ Dale reek of desperation – I mean, these are characters that are out every day! In any case, voting closes today so if you haven’t voted yet – go choose your favorite.

[center]Disney Infinity at Innoventions Preview for Passholders
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disneyland Park
August 6, 2013
The new Disney Infinity video game will be taking over the XBox display in Innoventions this month and Annual Passholders will be able to get a sneak peek of the Disney Infinity takeover Tuesday night and will be able to mingle with some of the video game developers and other surprises.

    Disney Infinity at Innoventions

    Come celebrate the upcoming release of the Disney Infinity video game on August 18, 2013! Passholders can get a sneak peek at the Disney Infinity take-over of the Xbox 360 exhibit in Innoventions on August 6, 2013 before it opens to the general public.

    Disney Infinity, available for many popular game consoles, is a video game that merges various characters from Disney and Pixar worlds. Explore the Disney Infinity Characters and check out Disney Infinity Play Sets.

    Dates and Times
    Tuesday, August 18, 2013
    5:00 – 10:00 p.m.

    Innoventions in Tomorrowland

    Event Registration and Wristband Distribution

      • To check event availability, please present your valid Annual Passport (photo ID may also be required) to the event Cast Member at the entrance to Innoventions in Tomorrowland during event hours.
      • This is an all-ages event. However, all participating Guests ages 3 and older must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event. Guests under the age of 3 do not need an Annual Pass.

      More information

Welcome to California Adventure

Summer trudges along at California Adventure with no major news coming from the park.

A look at wait times Friday afternoon… Not bad!

Downtown Volleyball

Last week Downtown Disney played host to another one of its strangely under-promoted side events. The shopping district’s “Summer Celebration” set up shop between Earl of Sandwich and ESPN Zone at the far end of Downtown Disney with a beach volleyball tournament and a couple booths and some special guests.

Downtown Disney’s small little offerings and festivals like this can seem a little weird and out of left field at times, but they tend to work as nice little events for the local community rather than added attractions for the tourists.

Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the

Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.

A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat

MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts
Available Every Day!

The HoJo Anaheim is now offering deeper discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! On select nights, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can get rooms for as low as $59 per night, plus tax. For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn’t listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.

Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
August 5 – 11, 2013
[B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
Mon.-Sat.: 8am – 12am
Sunday: 8am – 11pm
8am – 10pm
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • [b]Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:[/b] Closed for extensive refurbishment through October 30.
  • [B]Mad Tea Party:[/B] Closed August 19-22 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/B] Closed August 19-22 and September 3-5 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Haunted Mansion:[/B] Closed August 26-September 12 for Haunted Mansion Holiday installation.
  • [B]Big Thunder Ranch:[/B] Closed September 3-12 for Halloween overlay installation.
  • [B]Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island:[/B] Closed September 3-4.
  • [B]Mickey’s House:[/B] Closed September 3-26 for refurbishment.
  • [B]King Arthur Carrousel:[/B] Closed September 3 – October 10 for refurbishment.
  • [B]Mark Twain Riverboat:[/B] Closed for one day, September 9.
  • [B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed September 9-12 for Ghost Galaxy overlay installation.
  • [B]Sailing Ship Columbia:[/B] Closed September 17-19 for refurbishment.
  • [b]Market House:[/b] Closed for conversion and expansion for new Starbucks location. Opens fall 2013.
  • [B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Expected to close early 2014 to install permanent safety railing on outdoor ride portion.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • [b]Muppet*Vision 3D:[/b] Closed September 9-12.
  • [b]Toy Story Midway Mania!:[/b] Closed September 16-19 for refurbishment.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
A weekly look at projected crowd levels at the Disneyland Resort.[/center]

August 5 – 11, 2013


About This Week’s Estimates
Our Addictometer™ crowd estimates are designed to give you an idea of how busy the resort feels using historical data, crowd sourcing, and proprietary algorithms used in the Mouseaddict iOS app. Among the variables affecting crowd levels this week are:

  • The D23 Expo will take place Friday-Sunday, and D23 crowds will ebb and flow throughout the weekend depending on keynote events.
  • Hotels are heavily booked all week, even before D23 begins.
  • Southern California and SoCal Select passports are blocked every day this week. Deluxe passports are blocked out this Saturday.
  • There are just two weeks left before schools are back in session. Time for last minute visits before fall!

Are you already a Mouseaddict? Be sure to submit your wait times to help us help you!

Download the free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad for current crowd estimates, crowd maps, and wait times along with 60 categories of searchable resort information and your favorite MiceChat blogs.

[center]Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
  • The 23rd Annual CHOC Walk in the Park benefitting CHOC Children’s Hospital returns to Disneyland October 13
  • MiceChat reported that big changes are coming to Disneyland’s private Club 33 this year that could mean notable changes in New Orleans Square for regular park guests.
  • The Pirates League returns to Disneyland in a new location during this year’s Halloween Time, starting September 13.
  • A new Official Album of the Disneyland Resort will hit theme park store shelves on August 20.
  • You can save up to 20% on Disneyland Resort Hotel stays this fall with this new promotion.
Alright! Thanks wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading and please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below! Are you attending this weekend’s D23 Expo? Let us know and be sure to stop by and say hello at the MiceChat booth!

We’re only here because of generous readers like you. Do you enjoy reading Dateline Disneyland every week? Consider helping us out by donating so we can pay the bills and keep the weekly updates coming! You can donate with a click of a button via PayPal, click here!

For more Disneyland news, be sure to read MiceChat’s weekly In the Parks blog. And be sure to check out our sister blog, Dateline Disney World – a fantastic weekly photo blog covering Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
[B]- Andy[/B]

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.
  • Internitty

    I kind of think the safety rails on the buildings on Main Street looked better than the solution to hide them. As for the new rails on the castle I personally think raising the actual walls would be better than the horrid rails.

  • disneychrista

    Can someone explain to me, something about the DCA wait times board. For World of Color it says 9:00pm with 6:00pm underneath it, I know they do not have a 6pm showing, so what does that mean?

  • Sparky

    I’m extremely displeased and disappointed with the D23 Expo schedule. On Friday and Saturday, every single panel or seminar that I am interested in conflicts with arena presentations or other good presentations. So, I have to choose between arena things or panels. Very poor scheduling. Very frustrating. Originally, like most of my friends, I was not going to go to this Expo after the bad experience of the last one, but decided to give them one more chance after their reassurances that things would be better. I can already see from the schedule that I will not be getting a worthwhile return for my investment in time off from work, hotel and other costs and the admission ticket. Three strikes, they’re out. This will be the last Expo for me. I’ll stick with the Destination D events. Those have been very satisfying.

    • Open_at_the_close

      The reason why they schedule in that manner is simply because if everyone was able to go to every major panel then all panels would be packed. The way they do it then makes you choose what panel is more important for you to want to see and try and spread the crowds around. The last expo was a utter disaster IMO considering the first expo was truely a great experience. Now they are adding a overflow viewing room for those that cant get a seat into the major panels and also a fastpass-ish option to allow you a for sure spot in two large panels for that day. If you go in expecting to see all the panels you want then sure, you are already setting yourself up for a bad experience. Like you the last expo left a bad taste in my mouth but i see that they are taking certain steps to attempt to work or fix issues last time had. At the same time i feel we should keep in mind that although the company name “Disney” is at the root of this expo, this is still a fairly new concept for the people who organize it. This is their third go at it. The first time was superb, second was a definate miss with many issues and i hope that they heard the criticism from the last to make this years expo much better.

      • Sparky

        I have no expectation of getting to see every panel that I’m interested in. But, it is not unreasonable to expect to be able to see at least one on my “most interested” list. Not getting to see any of them is unacceptable.

    • daveyjones

      yea, i’ve been weary of this too. it’s just to big, imo. nothing seems less appealing that sharing a convention center with thousands of other uber-fans, being herded around like cattle, trying to cram into a room to listen to rolly crump or tony baxter tell and anecdote i can guarantee you i’ve heard before. and as for having the ‘first look’ at anything, that’s what i have things like miceage for. anything announced i can read about in the comfort of my own browser.

      i’d rather stroll the park solo than be caught dead at the D23 expo.

  • FANTASTIC update Andy!!!

    I would have thought that the Starbucks on Main Street would be further along by now. The local Starbucks by my work closed down recently, was gutted and rebuilt in just 30 days. Disney works very slowly.

    I’m actually looking forward to the D23 Expo and can’t wait to meet everyone. Please swing by the MiceChat booth in the Collectors Forum and say hello. And all are welcome to our cocktail party at Anabella on the evening of Saturday the 10th.

    • Big D

      At least one reason is that Disney has to get 10 times the permits of anyone else anytime they want to change a lightbulb. There is someone at OSHA that either absolutely HATES them (maybe he was stuck on Small World once when it broke down and had to listen to the song over and over and over) or is taking bribes from all of the surrounding businesses (GardenWalk) to make things as difficult on Disney as possible to try and get people to walk across Harbor Blvd to their business instead.

      • EC82

        What I’ve never understood, at least in the past 5-7 years, is this: Disney has literally billions of dollars, and it pays a remarkably large team of lawyers to fight for it in just about every instance. Ever known anyone who tried to bring an employment action against Disney, for instance? Surely these lawyers could fight every OSHA action brought against Disney if they wanted to? What I really don’t understand is … why DON’T they, and make the lawyers do something that actually benefits the park and the guest experience, rather than seemingly roll over and beg for more every time an OSHA decision is passed down?

  • ssaamm

    Can anyone explain why there have been 2 of the same Buena Vista Street characters out at the same time? In an update last week there was 2 Officer Calvin Blues and in this week there are 2 of Molly the Messenger.

    • Susan Hughes

      I’m not sure why we’re “seeing double” lately with the Citizens of Buena Vista Street. It’s obviously not a fluke because it happens a lot now.
      Maybe it’s just Molly and Officer Blue because they’re uniformed characters, unlike the others who are individually dressed.

  • Skimbob

    I don’t get what is taking so long with Starbucks either. They must not have too many people on the job. Maybe one person from the look of things. Who knows it might still be unfinished when I come in January to race.

  • kkocka

    “The wildly popualar Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel will expand its footprint onto the Frontier and Adventure towers’ lawn areas near the pool on D23 Expo nights only”

    Exactly why I will be avoiding DLR during D23.

  • Caretoman

    oh god the railing!!!

  • TodAZ1

    Excuse me??? Billy Crystal and John Goodman are going to be named Disney Legends??? WHY???

    • Stormy

      Simple. Publicity for the Monsters U movie. Just like every studio now buys a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for the star of their latest blockbuster, an honor that used to be reserved for those who had made a substantial contribution to or had a long storied career in the entertainment field.

  • lurkyloo

    Thanks for the great guide to D23 Expo, which does what Disney’s Expo app is inexplicably unable to do: break out just the Studio 23 and Studio 28 presentations from all the fluff going on at the various brands’ booths.

  • Eric Davis

    this column is a wealth of information!

  • huskydawg

    I can confirm that they are handing out “Planes” pins to anyone, since I got one on Saturday.

    I noticed King Arthur Carrousel is going to be down for a month long refurb. I hope they fix the canopy. That thing looks awful.

  • KCmike

    Those railings on Sleepy’s Castle look horrible. I hope they can cover them up somehow. What an eyesore.

  • sean317

    I do not think that the safety railings are that big of an eyesore. If they are able to make them more appropriate for the “themed area”, let them have at it. Safety first, though, even if they do look a little ugly (I think guests can understand).

  • EC82

    I bought tickets to the D23 Expo several months ago — but I doubt I am going to go. It just seems so manufactured and corporate.

  • stamphead

    I just bought my tickets to the D23 Expo. The receipt says they will mail my credentials. Since it is this weekend, will they hold them at will call?

  • scorsese

    Great update on the D23 stuff. I will be there on Friday, but I have to admit, when I went in 2009 I pretty much spent the entire time waiting in line, and I didn’t even get into the D23 Arena event even though I lined up at 7am. It was enjoyable overall but there were just too many lines. I also couldn’t get into the WD Treasures exhibit last time – line was so long the thing closed before we got to the front of the line.

    I’m hoping some slightly better planning on my part and the Stagepasses might help me out this time… but you definitely have to assume you’ll only get into 1 or 2 seminars throughout the day.

  • CaptainAction

    Saw a great presentation at D23 Expo entitled – “How Universal is Handing Us Our Butts”.
    I was surprised how open and honest they were. They had a slide show which showed how Disney was begining year 3 of construction of “New Fantasyland” compared to what Universal had accomplished in half that time: New Despicable Me Ride, New Nightime Water Show, New Parade, Transformers, New Resort, New Train Station and Emersive Themed Area At Wizarding World of HP, State of the Art Train Attraction Which Will Simulate Hogwartz to London and Return With Different Rides Each Time, Completion of New Harry Potter London in less Than 1 1/2 years, New Simpson’s Emersive Land, etc.
    At the end of the presentation the presenters all put on lanyards with Universal annual Passes openly visible and then placed sacks over their heads and left the stage.
    I and the rest of the audience were fairly shocked.

  • p8treot

    I do not know if someone asked this, but does anyone know if Starbuck’s in Market House will allow free refills of coffee if you bring back your receipt. I always liked that Market House would do that