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  1. #1

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    The LA Times Says, "Disney Has A Hit On Its Hands"

    LA Times more or less raves about the D23 Expo:

    Hero Complex | D23 hits its stride with Saturday crowd surge | Los Angeles Times


    D23 hits its stride with Saturday crowd surge

    Judging by the faces of Walt Disney Co. officials, the Happiest Place on Earth moved south a few blocks on Saturday to the Anaheim Convention Center. With a crowd surging well over 10,000 (perhaps closer to 20,000) and with the weekend energy of so many youngsters added to the attendance mix, the inaugural D23 Expo hit its stride.

    When an encore performance was added for Roy P. Disney's "Growing Up Disney" presentation and an overflow crowd was turned away from "Imagineering the Future of Disney Parks" program at the 5,000-seat arena, you could sense that the event had hit turning point. The message it signaled was a first-year success for Disney's bold plan to create its own dedicated version of Comic-Con International. The crowd on Thursday had left some observers here (myself included) wondering if the expo was too young to fill this cavernous venue, but the size felt just right today.

    It will be interesting to see where the Expo goes next year. With images, footage and media accounts of this year's edition, I suspect that the second gathering will bring in Disney faithful from across the country and beyond. Photos of Johnny Depp's three-minute romp on stage on Friday will probably be good for 10,000 tickets sold alone. There's also a big ace in the hole for the organizers: This year the Expo has Darth Vader, Ms. Piggy, Jack Sparrow and Mickey Mouse on stage, but next year they can add Spider-Man and other Marvel characters after the recent acquisition of the comics-industry giant.

    The event feels very different than Comic-Con International and not just due to size. This Expo started with Disney's polish and intense appetite for control (which, it must be said, has served the company well at times) which makes its sensibility very different than the scruffy, fan-ruled Comic-Con. You won't see fans sitting on the floors during presentations, and you certainly won't hear Kevin Smith or Samuel L. Jackson dropping F-bombs from the main stage. On Friday, even press weren't allowed to bring their laptops, cell phones or cameras into the presentation by Disney Studios chief Dick Cook which is major departure from the digital freewheeling spirit of Hall H at Comic-Con. Comic-Con wants to be everywhere via You Tube; D23 wants you to know that if you weren't in the room than you missed something special. Comic-Con is like Grateful Dead encouraging fans to swap bootlegs, D23 is more like, well, a Hollywood studio gripped by piracy concerns and the fear of seeing amatuer-quality versions of its product.

    Also, it occurred to me today, there's a big track-meet quality to Comic-Con with so many competing studios, companies and dreamers looking to win over the audience. That creates a kind of lovely chaos that's missing from the one-company show here in Anaheim. The "surprises" at D23 will be elaborate stage moments that are carefully choreographed, such as the delightful Muppets musical number on Friday. The surprises at Comic-Con feel more like a rock concert where the crowd is more actively involved in the ultimate fate of the show.

    But on Saturday, here in Anaheim, the careful rhythms of Disney's tune didn't really matter, the big story was that Disney has a hit on its hands.

    -- Geoff Boucher

  2. #2

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    Re: The LA Times Says, "Disney Has A Hit On Its Hands"

    Sweet! I've been here since Wednesday and I've been pleasantly surprised by the abilty to always find something to do here at D23. I was a little concerned about running out of things to do, but I always seemed to find something new around every corner when I had a little "down time".
    Charlie
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  3. #3

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    Re: The LA Times Says, "Disney Has A Hit On Its Hands"

    Really cool...can we buy d23 tickets for 2010 yet? lol

    I would have to say that from what i read and hear that disney does what disney does add magic everywhere.
    "I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known."-Walt Disney

    Hope I was helpful!

  4. #4

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    Re: The LA Times Says, "Disney Has A Hit On Its Hands"

    I was very happy with my one day on thursday... I still feel they need to improve the food, and figure out how to add more discussions presentations or at least have overflow rooms etc.

  5. #5

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    Re: The LA Times Says, "Disney Has A Hit On Its Hands"

    The expo has been all-around amazing. So many great experiences at all the different events.. The speakers/panel discussions are really incredible and I feel like I've learned so much about Disney and Walt this weekend.

    A little sad that tomorrow will be the final day, but i'm definitely looking forward to next year's event. I almost wish the expo could stay in the convention center permanently - I don't want it to end!

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    Re: The LA Times Says, "Disney Has A Hit On Its Hands"

    Like I mentioned in another thread, it's going to be a challenge to decide how not to make this event clash with Comic Con and vice versa, so that one event doesn't take the thunder away from the other, now that Marvel is in the picture. There's talk about adding Marvel characters to D23, however, I think it would be better to have Spiderman and the gang only at Comic Con, and focus D23 on Disney only properties with the exception of attractions based on Star Wars and Indiana Jones. It will be interesting to see what the future has in-store for this event.

  7. #7

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    Re: The LA Times Says, "Disney Has A Hit On Its Hands"

    i was very satisfied with my one day attendance on satuday. i actually didn't get to see everything i wanted to which was surprising. it left me wanting more and i can't for next year's.

  8. #8

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    Re: The LA Times Says, "Disney Has A Hit On Its Hands"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbossa View Post
    Like I mentioned in another thread, it's going to be a challenge to decide how not to make this event clash with Comic Con and vice versa, so that one event doesn't take the thunder away from the other, now that Marvel is in the picture. There's talk about adding Marvel characters to D23, however, I think it would be better to have Spiderman and the gang only at Comic Con, and focus D23 on Disney only properties with the exception of attractions based on Star Wars and Indiana Jones. It will be interesting to see what the future has in-store for this event.
    I don't really see how they can do this on a yearly basis. They have covered most of their upcoming films, park & resort expansions and most other upcoming aspects of the Disney company pushed out for the next several years.

    Next year, most of what they would have available would just be a rehash of what they showed this year. Take the parks for example. I think they were just lucky that they had models of a major new announced attraction available to be displayed. Knowing how Imagineering projects can fluctuate, next year, they might not be in the position of having something available to be shown.

    It may take several years before they could gather enough new content to make the expo feel new and exciting enough so that attendees wouldn't feel that they had wasted their money.

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    Re: The LA Times Says, "Disney Has A Hit On Its Hands"

    i don't think it will be a problem to find things for next years event. Disney has wherehouses of models and concepts of attractions that were never built. They could easily bring many of those out and use the parks and resort area to display them.

    There is also the future announcement of Shanghai Disney that could be presented as well as many other projects that are in the works that have not leaked out.

    Even their movie panels will have new work that they can talk about inclduing several movies that are scheduled to be released between 2010/2011 timeline.

    I think they were really careful not to release to much information about projects including several from DCA.

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