Johnny Depp, of course, was the highlight for me. Totally unexpected and amazing.
The Parks expansion info was really exciting, even if it didn't have everything I'd hoped for regarding Fantasyland. But there's time, there's time...
I loved the montage film of Disney memories with the live orchestra. That was thrilling.
And I loved seeing the animatronics exhibit. I've always been fascinated by Disney's AA's. Some cool stuff there, like the old Lincoln figure, the Country Bear, and the newer "automatronic" (think it was spelled like that) figures of the man and the parrot. Amazingly smooth movement.
I didn't go every day, so I didn't see everything, but what I did see was pretty fantastic. I really think it'd be so great if Disney made some kind of traveling exhibit out of this, like they're doing with the Christmas Carol train. I suppose it would be cost-prohibitive, but everyone ought to see it to remember the true Disney magic. It was clear that the Disney crew worked very hard on this show and I hope it pays off for them. Despite my quibbles with their, um, recent purchases, I'm a Disney booster all the way - as long as the current management doesn't forget Walt's vision and his way of doing things...too much...
Good time AND need improvements. There were OUTSTANDING moments but they became far and few between. Getting INTO those moments was too difficult. I pretty much missed half of the panels I planned on seeing.
Dream Store made me dreamed they had better merchandise. I was ready to blow a lot of money but it was the typical Emporium kids stuff and not enough Disneyanna. They had some GREAT art but nothing in the lower price point.
Characters. I wanted to see something more unique than Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Minnie.
I spent 4 full days at the expo, overall it was just OK and that's experiencing it on a friend's $5.00 cast member tickets.
Though it would have been hard to top, I expected each presentation in the D23 Arena to be just as amazing as Friday's Walt Disney Studios presentation it was incredible! Unfortunately that was not the case with the rest of the weekend.
Thursday started off pretty good. First part of Princess and the Frog followed by a performance of one of the songs was great.
Friday had the live orchestra with singers, snow, Muppets, confetti, Miley, the real Jack Sparrow, and all the other actors and directors, it was incredible!
Saturday the parks and resorts presentation was not very entertaining. Our host looked like he was trying, but was not very interesting and the worst person to interact with the cheap Dark Vader video.
Sundays pixar disney animation was better than the parks and resorts but nothing happened except sneak peaks, trailers and artwork was shown.
Maybe I have the wrong idea of an expo but I thought a Disney expo would include appearances of who they were talking about and special effects in all the big presentations just like the Disney Studios had.
The floor show was interesting but we were able to see everything in just about an hour as it was very dead thurs and friday. The Beauty and the Beast, and Princess and the Frog panels were great. The world of color was good but not much more than you can find on you tube was done. The worst one I saw by far was "The making of Toy Story the Musical" did anyone else sit through that? we left before it ended. They talked for a while about how the writer's were married and were asking questions like how did you meet? Though I'm sure nice people I didn't really care that her husband was playing at a gay bar and she thought he was gay when they first meet. Not really that interesting when your presentation started nearly an hour late and it's supposed to be about TOY STORY! It seemed many presentations were starting up to an hour later than planned so that would also be a thing they need to work on if/when they do it again.
With the exception of friday's studios presentation I give the expo a C+ on a $5 dollar ticket.
I had a good time the 2 days I went. The main thing for me is they really need to work on having the presentations start on time! Each one I went to started at least 15 minutes late. Then there was the Small World one which started 40 minutes late. Hopefully this is something they will fix for the next Expo. Also, having more time for the audience to ask questions of the Imagineers or other panelists would have been nice too.
Otherwise, I think Disney did pretty good for the first year!
Parks and Resorts pavillion - Absolutely AMAZING. Not only having the models of Cars Land, HKDL expansion, Lucky, etc ... but having imagineers walking around talking to people (and meeting Tony Baxter) was AWESOME.
Archives - I do wish it had been a little bigger and would have not been so "costume dependent" but it was REALLY well done and also quite popular. I can only see this expanding next year. Plus, I got to meet/take a picture with Marty Sklar there so that was awesome.
Queue/Entrance for stage 23 - I thought they did a good job keeping the large crowds going into Stage 23 in one place as to not disrupt a lot of the expo. The electronics check had a lot to be desired though.
The two presentations I saw at D23, although they were the ones I was looking forward to most (Rasulo/Lasseter) were kind of lackluster to be honest. Nothing really major announced at Rasulo (that most of us didn't know already) and Lasseter spent WAY too much time talking Tinkerbell.
They have to remember (at least when it comes to the parks) that they are talking to Disney fans who have probably already heard about the Hawaii resort, HKDL expansion, Cars Land, etc. I get why they talked up the FL Fantasyland and Star Tours, and I really wasn't expecting anything big, but after the special guests on Friday, we were really expecting Lucas to come out.
Is it worth it, absolutely. I don't think I could spend 4 days there, the 2 days I was there was about right. There were a few things I didn't get around to seeing as I wasn't there for a full day on either day so in that regard, I would have rather had 2 FULL days.