D23 Weekend Coverage

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in D23Expo, Disney

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Published on August 11, 2013 at 12:35 am with 18 Comments

It’s D23 Expo weekend folks!  Time to delve into the epicenter of all things Disney.  There has been much more to see and do at the Anaheim Convention center, just across the street from Disney California Adventure, than you could possibly do in just one day.  So much so that it took a full team of MiceChat reporters to cover it all.  But we have just barely scratched the surface here.

Below is a collection of the amazing threads (essentially live blogs) started by our reporters in the MiceChat D23 section.  Enjoy reading through the collection of panels, info and more.  We’ll have more for you later this week, but we wanted to get the news out to you as quickly as possible in its raw conversational format.

COSPLAY in the Kingdom of D23

The onslaught of costumed convention attendees is truly impressive.  look at this thread to see some examples.

The Art of The Good Dinosaur

Here we stopped in to see the panel on the Good Dinosaur.  Light on imagery due to a request from Pixar, this is an interesting bit of info.

2013 D23 Undiscovered Disney Session with Tony Baxter (video)

A full video of the sold out Undiscovered Disney with Disney Legend Tony Baxter.

Toy Story of Terror: and the motivation behind Pixar’s short form content

An interesting, but ultimately disappointing panel that yielded more information about short form content than the title subject.

The Optimist: Disney’s WDI/WED ARG – Summary and Recap – What we know!

MonorailMan, the expert on the Optimist game, shares what he knows on this groundbreaking, interactive game.

D23 Expo – 2013 Disney Legends Awards Ceremony

MasterGracey covers the Disney Legends Ceremony that was at times celebratory and poignant.

Let the adventures begin. Live action at the Walt Disney studios

Here is what was offered from the Disney studios Live Action productions.

Review of “ABC’s Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairytale”

Our own MiceChatter, Sarah Snitch covers Once Upon a Time:  Behind the Fairytale.  Was it worth waiting for?

Review of “Inside the Ice: The Art of Disney’s ‘Frozen’”

Our darling Sarah Snitch takes in the cold art of Disney’s Frozen.  Here we have her thoughts.

Stage 28 – Broadcasts from Buena Vista Street

MasterGracey covers the Broadcasts from Buena Vista Street.

Were you at the D23 Expo? Are you planning to return today (Sunday the 11th)?  We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please click on the D23 Forum link below and leave a comment on one of the discussions or start one of your own!

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About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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18 Comments

Comments for D23 Weekend Coverage are now closed.

  1. Shocking presentation at D23! Turns out all the mystery around Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland” has been solved! “Tomorrowland”, as it turns out, is all about how Disney Leadership in the years around 2003 and forward becomes simultaneously LAZY and GREEDY. Then Disney Leadership begins creating computer controlled cups which turn on and off preventing guests from getting a sip of a coke that they, according to Disney Leadership, may not deserve. Then Disney Leadership begins tearing out rides, like Snow White, and replacing them with potential revenue centers like Princess Photo locations. Then Disney Leadership begins building store after store, and restaurant after restaurant, surrounded by rockwork, and they start calling this a New Land. Then they create a “Fastpass” which tells guests everyplace THEY WILL BE every moment of their vacation prior to the guests leaving home. Then Disney Leadership stops creating any new parks or true new lands but tells guests that they need to make their meal reservations 180 days before their vacation. When they do build a new ride they take THREE YEARS to COMPLETE a SINGLE RIDE.
    So, another competitor rises and begins building ride after ride for the guests at the same time in less than a year, whole NEW LANDS in less than 15 months, and so Tomorrowland is actually the story of UNIVERSAL STUDIOS! WOW! While Disney becomes the nursing home of old classic attractions where average guest age is 65 and over. Brad Bird comes up with the most amazing stories, doesn’t he?

    • Ummm, what prompted that rant?

      What are your comments on any of the specific articles above? Was the Expo fun? Did you have trouble getting into panels, or did the new Stagepass solve the waiting in line problem? What were your most and least favorite things at the Expo? Did you learn anything new? Did you meet an Imagineer who told you something interesting about a current or upcoming project? Do you think they’ll finally install the Hatbox Ghost?

      • Well, I wouldn’t call it a rant. It was done with a wink and a sense of humor.
        What prompted it? Well, some Disney fans are still asleep when it comes to WDW’s lack of anything interesting for THE GUESTS in the last 10 years.
        D23 is a snoozefest. Go back and comment directly on my criticisms of CURRENT Disney leadership.
        Current Disney leadership is only concerned with; 1. Guests getting a sip of coke they don’t deserve. 2. Controlling guests vacations with 180 day early reservations at restaurants. 3. Fastpasses planned out so that guests vacation becomes completly inflexible. 4. Opening restaurants, stores, and photo passes to grab more money. 5. Taking over 2-3 years to build a new rollercoaster which guests almost forced them to build because New Fantasyland only included 1 new ride.
        Now compare this to all that Universal is doing for guests.
        D23 just affirms that WDW has no plans to compete with Universal.
        Time for the last Disneyphiles to expexct more from Current Disney Leadership than a second Dumbo ride next to the old Dumbo.

    • If this is your version of a wink, then I’d hate to see what a black eye looks like.

  2. The D23 expo has been mild success from then previous expos as far as the adjustment of the queues for the presentations and stagepass was a huge success , but oh my they sell out fast sure there wasn’t a park and resorts presentation, which was disappointing to all of us devoted D23 members but hey you can’t have it all, the only thing I say the entrance to the expo has to improve , for D23 members it was an 1hr + just to get in , and by the time i got to the entrance i found out they only had 2 staff members scanning to get people in , while theres was other 20 staff members just standing doing nothing, if at least 10 of them entering the the expo would of been a breeze,also don’t lie to us about a Star Wars teaser at the let the adventures begin presentation, D23 arena fans booed Alan Horn for it, which makes disney look bad, for some that was the only reason they went to the expo. And if you actually want to see a presentation in the D23 arena , get there at least 3 hours before it begins , or else you will go into the overflow seating which was empty for the legends ceremony. So my grade for the expo is C, they improved but crowd control has to be limited , I heard there was 21,000+ guests on Saturday and 18,000 on Friday and I believe if it was limited to 15,000+ per day if would be a success , just my two cents in.

    • Appreciate your comments. I didn’t see ANY of the expo other than the MiceChat booth and the Imagineering pavilion. Hard for me to tell how things were this time around. However, the MiceChat booth was packed and much more crowded than last time around.

  3. I haven’t read anything about the D23 Expo that got me excited sorry to say. Maybe if I attended the Expo the presentations might seem more interesting? Don’t know if it’s me but this year seemed like mediocre presentations with more social media/bloggers then ever taking pictures of themselves and each other for Twitter.

    • Totally agree with you wdwprince! Im glad I decided to not attend this year. The only information that was remotely interesting was related to the upcoming live action movies, and all of that info can be found online with a little digging.

  4. I don’t think the StagePass worked so well… it was like, stand an hour in line to save time later on.

    3rdGateFan, I think that’s the way all conventions are right now. For the Doctor Who panel at the San Diego Comic Con, I was in line at 5:45 am for a 1pm panel. It was more than slightly ridiculous. At the D23 show, I was in the overflow room for live action, which was cool, and then got in line for the Legends Awards and got it.

    Overall, everything was spread out nicely and there was a lot of content. If I was to nitpick, I saw way too many “Disney Guest”s for me to think the show was honestly sold out, but did I have a great time? Yes.

    I took over 400 pics, and they are still uploading, You can fine em here…
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rick_r/sets

  5. [...] Story 1: Geek23 [...]

  6. Based on everything I’ve seen and read online, in my opinion, Disney failed by even having an Expo this year. They should have held out for 2014 when they actually had some worthy things in the pipe to talk about. It seemed like the majority of the things most people cared about were either teased or glossed over because they aren’t ready for prime time. It also didn’t help that a lot of the things they could talk about, like the upcoming Marvel movies, were scooped by Comic Con a few weeks before.

    I read a live blog of the live action features panel and was left thinking “I’m glad I went in 2011 for that”. It seemed anticlimactic and didn’t have near the star participation as the previous Expo.

    As for the StagePass, it seems like that only served to make sure most people got into one panel, but they have yet to figure out how to make sure most people get into most of the panels they want to see, especially since, from what I’ve read, there wasn’t a lot else to do if you weren’t in a panel, once you’d experienced the two main attractions. I still think they need to move to an online room sign-up, like they have at educational conferences, and then adjust rooms based on popularity.

  7. This was my first time attending a D23 expo and I left very happy. I went all 3 days and can tell you first hand that it had nothing to do with the big shows going on in the arena. It had to do with the personal touch that the hard working people at Disney brought this year. Sure there was a lot of marketing out there on the show floor but there was also amazing panels presented by people who genuinely were happy to be there talking about their experiences. On top of that you had Journey into imagineering that not only had wonderful things to see but was filled with imagineers literally showing guest how things worked . At one point I was standing next to Tony Baxter and Joe Rohdes as they were talking about different projects in the pavilion.I couldn’t believe that not only were these guys just hanging out here but they were going out of their way to try and talk and take photos with as many people as possible. I mean Bob Gurr was at the expo all 3-Days and I swear he stopped and talked to every last person that greeted him. It was those things that made the Expo for me. I went to the Arena saturday to check out Live Action Presentation. When I left even though I saw some cool stuff all I could think was that I wished I had checked out a panel instead because that’s were the real shows were.

    Sorry about this being so long : )
    Also just want to say the micechat booth was awesome even though I was too shy to say hello to some of you lol

  8. No one else has mentioned this, so I’ll go ahead and talk about it. My sister and I were really excited for Inside Out to come out. Its the one about what goes on in a girl’s mind and probably got the biggest laughs out of everything being shown that day, and it was only a storyboard sequence. Also, sitting through the Women of Pixar, they had nothing but good things to say about what that movie is going to be like when it comes out, so I have a really good feeling about that one.

    On the subject of Women of Pixar, that was another great panel. One strong story I remember was by Susman describing an incident that happened to her in grad school. She was paired up to write her thesis with a guy who was extremely sexist. When she asked her professor if she could switch topics in order to not work with that guy, her teacher replied that being in the male dominated field back then of computer graphics, she would have to deal with that many more times in the future and her partner would stay the same so that she would have to learn how to deal in those situations. Later, when she went quit school to go work at Apple (she worked on the first color graphics for the Mac), this was a lesson that she quite handily used in her professional life.

    I think because the Women of Pixar panel was so good, it was easier for me to contrast that with the weakness of the Imagineering panels that I attended that day. Though they did readily admit in one of the panels that they were in an inbetween year, thus they didn’t have much that they could readily confirm at that time.

    Also, more people wore costumes this year and they were some of the most creative things I have ever seen. I don’t know if anyone has a good picture, but there was this one ballgown that someone created that was Hero/Villain themed. All over the gown itself, there were these Mickey Mouse patterns that had very detailed depections of various Disney Heroes and Villains finely detailed all over it, I believe it also won one of the Mode trophys. One of the judges for the contest, Mona May, was the costumer for Enchanted. When she saw the Giselle and Prince Edward costumes pictured above, she was stunned at how well they replicated the dress and suit that she created and was extremely complimentary. It was a nice moment to see how joyful the Giselle and Prince Edward cosplayers were to receive the great praise that Mona was passing onto them.

    All in all, I had a great time. Admittedly, I did not get to see all the panels I wanted to, but unless I had the power to pause time, there was no way I could realistically do that.

    • We ran into the Hero/Villan girl on the showfloor and got some nice pictures. I’ll try to post them on the picture thread later. It was an amazing piece of work. We got to see the trophy up close to and it was really cool. And I like the women of Pixar panel as well; It was actually nice to see so many female producers, writers, and directors at the various presentations.

  9. As a Disneyland Cast Member, I gotta say that it’s probably time to cut back on the cheap-o tickets they pass out by the thousands to CM’s. I was there and I saw many, many familiar CM faces in the crowds; hanging with their friends, pushing strollers of kids with their spouses, standing in lines.

    I feel guilty for being there on the $15 ticket myself, but it seems like they only offer those cheap tickets to CM’s to ensure there are “crowds” so the Expo has energy and a buzz like ComicCon or other big conventions. I think it’s time to let this concept sink or swim on its own and stop padding the numbers with thousands of cheap tickets given to Cast Members. It would be a better experience for those who spend full-fare to get in, as a CM on a cheap ticket can get just as many ShowPasses and clog up lines just as easily as someone on an expensive D23 member ticket.

    Overall, the Expo was kind of a bust. They really didn’t reveal anything, and all the “hinting” got to be annoying. I will say that Consumer Products and the other Burbank divisions stepped it up this year; their booths were slicker and better presented than in years past. WDI still blew ‘em all out of the water, but Burbank divisions are learning that there’s an expectation of showmanship and drama at D23 Expo.

    • I don’t know much about the rest of Linefest 2013 but meeting readers at the D23 booth and the parade of wonderful costumed guests was well worth it. Did not see any panels. That took a level of committment equal to being the first on Dumbo or Peter Pan.

      Samland
      http://Www.samlanddisney.blogspot.com

  10. I realize that all the cool kids hate the Expo but as I’ve never been one of the cool kids I can say that I actually had a fun time. Now granted, my experience may have been different in that I’m a veteran of many years (like 20!) of Comic Con so when I hear complaints about lines, and lines for lines, and one panel being on opposite of the panel you had to see or die, I can only smile.

    Disney did some things very well and failed miserably on others. But the totality for me was a good experience. Was it corporate? Well, duh….

    Upside: The line wrangling. Everyone freaking hates lines, myself included. But I thought the line wrangling for the Area 23 events were handled pretty well (there’s always room for improvement). For the most part the Red-shirted Expo folks were helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly.

    Downside: On the other hand, the “pro staff” convention center guys in the blue jackets working the Arena 23 doors were not. (others in other areas were) But at Arena 23 for the animation & movie panels they wanted you to place your electronics in a bag. Fair enough. But there was no one outside the door telling the people in line to have your stuff out of your purses and backpacks and ready to place in the bag. So this caused an unnecessary delay and frustration. This would have been EASILY resolved if just one of the blue jackets had taken some ownership of their job and got someone out there making that announcement, but it didn’t happen.

    Upside: The overflow room for the Arena 23 was a good idea. The Stage Pass also worked for me, I got passes to the events I wanted. The only event I couldn’t get into the whole weekend was the Charles Phoenix panel because I arrived late to the party. The stage-pass hand out worked well for me for other panels and events.

    Downside: The costume event. After going to the effort of creating a really cool award trophy, the rest of the event was very haphazard, badly organized, badly executed, and ultimately disrespectful to the contestants. It was saved somewhat by two of the judges, Mona and Jai, who essentially took over from the inept MC who was clueless and tasteless. (but the upside of the fabulous creativity of some of the contestants ameliorated some of the downside.)

    Upside: The Imagineering pavilion was very enjoyable, probably my favorite. And I enjoyed several of the panels I attended (standouts were the women of Pixar, which was especially interesting for me, and having grown up in the area, the Disneyland hotel presentation was great fun). I thought the Tomorrowland area was a good promo for the film. Yes, I understand fanboys who somehow don’t get that they’re being punk’d may be pissy when they finally figure it out, but if you’re willing to roll with it and be in on the joke, I thought it was fun. Hopefully, it won’t lose its way as “Lost” did ( I’m lookin’ at YOU Damon Lindelof.)

    Downside: Getting in. Seriously, once the door is open that line should just be moving constantly. And D23 members with a paid membership should have had a priority line. The non-paying D23 members should have been mixed in with the general admissions folks. Yes, paid membership should have its privileges, and should have been one of them. There I said it.

    Upside: The big presentations for animation and live action. Being a geek, if it’s Marvel or Pixare, I’m there. But of the other upcoming films, Saving Mr. Banks looks like it will be great fun. While Tom Hanks doesn’t look a thing like Walt, he has his Midwestern accent, his spirit, and mannerisms down. Emma Thompson can do no wrong. Sorry Angelina, not feelin’ it on Maleficent. But I’m willing to keep an open mind.

    Also, loved the legends of Disney presentation. Always glad to see the Animators and Imagineers get the credit they deserve. Didn’t know that Billy Crystal’s mom was one of the voices of Minnie in some of the early cartoons! And yes, I cried when John Lasseter starting crying during the Steve Jobs presentation.

    Had a great time at the Collectors Area, spent more money than I needed to. It was great seeing the MiceChat gang and the fabulous folks they had at the booth. So in the weighing of good and bad, all in all, I got my money’s worth over the three days. Met some nice folks (perhaps the only up side of having to wait in line!) , had fun at the MiceChat cocktail party and in two years when my feet have recovered, I’d probably do it again.

    • Thank you for commenting on the D23 line. I’m with you. Those of us who actually pay for our D23 memberships should get priority entrance. That only makes sense.