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  1. #1

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    Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    Ready for a rant? Got that hot cup of black coffee and day-old donut handy?

    As someone who prompted others to buy tickets even before the full schedule was released, I have to say I unfortunately regret the advice. I had such an amazing time in '09 and thought they kept all four days packed with great panels and presentations. I had so many unique and fun experiences that I jumped at the chance to defend this event and told people they wouldn't want to miss out. This year, however, it's a tough chore to get people excited, even about the abbreviated three day schedule, which should have made it easier to ensure an amazing roster.

    Let me take a minute to talk about the Disney Channel. Growing up in the 80's and 90's, that station was a staple of my youth, and through it I was exposed to so many classic television shows, movies, cartoons, and specials that I wouldn't have otherwise seen. It opened my eyes to the full spectrum and rich history of Disney entertainment and not just the animated feature length that would come out in the theaters every year or so. I can say without a doubt, that I wouldn't be the same passionate Disney fan I am today without it.

    Today's Disney Channel is a travesty compared to what it offered 2 to 3 decades ago. There is no history and very little diversity other than the choice between toddler shows and tween shows. While it may make a good babysitter for some, I don't know any adult Disney die-hards that truly appreciate the programming themselves (other than maybe Phineas & Ferb, which seems to bridge a generation gap). So why, Why, WHY did the Expo planners insist on dumping so much of this channel and its disappointing content on us? To me, it's just a huge indication that they continue to care less about what makes Disney and Disney fans special in the first place -- which is the history, our appreciation of it, and our concern that it be maintained and promoted.

    I understand having some offerings for younger kids. I understand that as much as I dislike the Disney Channel, it is an arm of the company and one they want to promote. But recognize your audience and recognize the demographic of people who come to a 3-day Expo. They are ADULTS, by and large. The adults far outnumbered the children in '09, and honestly, that's the way it should be. We have the patience to stand in long lines, sit still for panels, and endure long schedules over multiple days. We are the ones shopping and spending money on higher-end collectibles and pieces of memorabilia and art. An Expo of any kind, by nature, is tailored for the grown-ups. Why cater so much to the kids?

    While most Expos focus the majority of their offerings on current and future projects, I think the Disney Expo should be different. It should be a nice healthy split. I am excited to hear about upcoming projects, I like being the first to hear an announcement, but I also love hearing more about the past! I love celebrating the company's past successes in a community atmosphere. I love having access to the many great minds who helped make Disney what it was. I feel like these elements, while represented in some capacity, were essentially forced to the backseat this time around.

    What really drives me nuts is that when there's finally a break in the schedule from the tween-o-rama, the panels I actually want to attend are overlapping or completely conflicting. The Trivia Tournament and Voices of the Park both seem to appeal to a more mature crowd and they overlap. Same thing with the Pixar Creative Team panel and A Good Look At Buena Vista Street. And apparently the schedulers thought you could only appreciate Disney Animation or Pixar Animation but not want to attend both panels celebrating their artists -- those completely conflict as well. I totally understand that during big events like this, you'll never get to see everything you'd like to. I had to make some tough choices in '09. However, it seems with the glut of this Expo being dedicated to a younger audience they could have easily spaced out the events for the older crowd and sent everybody home a little more satisfied that they got their money's worth.

    There are definitely things I'm looking forward to in the coming week. I love that Dick Van Dyke is going to be in attendance, although I would have loved to see him with Julie Andrews and Richard Sherman for a Mary Poppins panel! (Seriously, get on that!) I like that the Imagineer legends are coming back, it was one of the highlights for me the first year. The 45th anny of Small World should be great. But they could have and should have done so much more to deliver both sides of Disney. Where's Hayley Mills? Where's an Alice in Wonderland screening and panel? Ms. Beaumont was at the D23 1st Anniversary party, you're telling me you couldn't get her to the Expo? Take advantage of these amazing, legendary people while you still can! That's what D23 should really be about.

    As it stands right now, I'm not thrilled about the future of this event... And at this rate, I can see why there may not be much of one left.
    Last edited by PhantomBlot; 08-14-2011 at 06:31 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    I totally understand where you're coming from, but I also see Disney's side of it. It's still summer break, and what a better way to promote your fall music/tv/movie/video game/toy releases than with an Expo where the kids can come make their Christmas lists a little early?

    I too wish there was more "mature" events happening, especially at times that don't overlap, but I've been able to find enough on the schedule to keep me happy. Yeah, Sunday is mostly a wash for me -- I don't buy comics or watch the tween shows on The Disney Channel. (Phineas and Ferb are my only guilty pleasure...) So I'll spend that time on the show floor, checking out all the cool stuff there. It's be nice to have more Disney history represented, but the Expo is what it is, so I'm going to go and have fun, regardless.

  3. #3

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    Agree with you, too many Disney Channel panels, concerts and meet and greets. Will be checking out the stores and displays during those times.

  4. #4

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    The only meet and greet I'm going to is the ANT Farm because my mom is going with me and she loves the show and maybe Phineas and Ferb, depends on how busy it will be at DCA as this will also be a weekend trip to Anaheim and both my mom and I want to get everything on our to do list done. That includes what we want to do at the Expo

  5. #5

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    Warren Spector is not young......through he made a new game but I'm pretty excited

  6. #6

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    I can see where you are coming from and I had the original thoughts as you as well.

    With that said, once I picked through the presentations that I don't want to see, it became clear that there is a lot of panels and presentations for an older crowd. There are at least 5 or 6 presentation featuring Imagineers, the Disneyland Hotel history presentation, John Lasseter has at least 3 presentations, and Pixar has around 4 or 5 panels. In fact, almost all of these overlap each other and it's going to become very difficult figuring out what to do. If you look at the map, the Disney Channel pavilion is sort of out of the way and off in the corner. It will be very easy to ignore the teeny-bop presentations and celebrities and focus on the more important panels.

  7. #7

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    Yep. mom and I are planning on going to Dland when we don't want to do any special events at the Expo

  8. #8

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    I definitely agree like everyone else has said.

    But you do have to think that maybe the reason why they are doing this other then the advertising perspective is to get more "families" into the crowd of the Expo rather then just us "fans". Yes we give them the money and the major reason for this Expo in the first place but they are a company and unlike this being a convention this is an Expo, meaning they want to continue to grow as a company and make money. Though it might not be something any of us are really excited about, there is someone that is and is whiling to support it with their money and Disney likes that and will continue to advertise it anyway they can. Such is the entertainment business ::shrugs::
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  9. #9

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    I think one of the hard things that D23 faces and that Disney faces as a whole is that we all feel like we own it. Because we grew up with Disney, and feel so close to it, when the corporation does things we don't like it's a violation of trust. The Disney Channel is one of the most profitable arms. Those kids will fill up the Anaheim Convention Center and help pay the rent. I don't care about how many Disney Channel events there are that I won't attend - and I won't attend them, let's be clear. The conflicts for the panels I do want to attend, are more of a concern. The bottom line is that there is enough here at D23 to interest me. The parks and resorts pavilion and keynote are enough to get me on an airplane. In today's business terms, volume means success, so let the Disney Channel have their events.
    I do wish there was a little more ABC stuff - like a panel on Castle. I do love Castle.

  10. #10

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    Quote Originally Posted by disneylandfan95 View Post
    With that said, once I picked through the presentations that I don't want to see, it became clear that there is a lot of panels and presentations for an older crowd. There are at least 5 or 6 presentation featuring Imagineers, the Disneyland Hotel history presentation, John Lasseter has at least 3 presentations, and Pixar has around 4 or 5 panels.
    ...
    If you look at the map, the Disney Channel pavilion is sort of out of the way and off in the corner. It will be very easy to ignore the teeny-bop presentations and celebrities and focus on the more important panels.
    This.

    Some of the complaints about "not enough Disney parks/history stuff" and "too much Disney channel" are just plain silly. There's far more Disneyana-type panels than anything else at the expo, mixing both nostalgia and upcoming projects. Granted a lot of those complaints came from people who didn't even wait for the full expo schedule to be released, so they were worth nothing to begin with.

    I get that Disney parks die-hards despise anything that isn't 1967 Disneyland, but D23 Expo tries to strike a balance between all demographics, just like Disneyland itself. The Disney Channel stuff is there to appeal to kids and teens. More specifically, it allows families to attend as they can justify bringing the kids and doing things as a family. Imagineer panel for Mom & Dad, Disney channel booth for a bit for the kids, and then everybody comes together at the end of the day for some Lion King 3D.

    The event some of you seem to want, something even more niche than Destination D, would be loved by the very few that bothered to attend, but make no mistake that it wouldn't be the 45,000 projected for D23 Expo or even the few thousand that attended Destination D.

  11. #11

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    Quote Originally Posted by WED View Post
    Some of the complaints about "not enough Disney parks/history stuff" and "too much Disney channel" are just plain silly. There's far more Disneyana-type panels than anything else at the expo, mixing both nostalgia and upcoming projects..
    Yep.


  12. #12

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    Quote Originally Posted by WED View Post
    This.

    Some of the complaints about "not enough Disney parks/history stuff" and "too much Disney channel" are just plain silly. There's far more Disneyana-type panels than anything else at the expo, mixing both nostalgia and upcoming projects. Granted a lot of those complaints came from people who didn't even wait for the full expo schedule to be released, so they were worth nothing to begin with.

    I get that Disney parks die-hards despise anything that isn't 1967 Disneyland, but D23 Expo tries to strike a balance between all demographics, just like Disneyland itself. The Disney Channel stuff is there to appeal to kids and teens. More specifically, it allows families to attend as they can justify bringing the kids and doing things as a family. Imagineer panel for Mom & Dad, Disney channel booth for a bit for the kids, and then everybody comes together at the end of the day for some Lion King 3D.

    The event some of you seem to want, something even more niche than Destination D, would be loved by the very few that bothered to attend, but make no mistake that it wouldn't be the 45,000 projected for D23 Expo or even the few thousand that attended Destination D.
    Like I stated in the original post, I understand representing the Disney Channel, despite my distaste for it. I know why it's there, I just think there's too much of it for the type of crowd drawn by a 3 day expo with the long lines, the waiting, etc. Those sacrifices are one thing when you're in an amusement park, with fresh air, fast passes, better food options, and a lot to distract and entertain your child. (Not to mention when the pay-off is a ride, as opposed to a panel.) It's a different story when you're in a terribly-bland-by-comparison convention center. If you were at the Expo in '09, you know there weren't many children in attendance. Now that they've beefed up the offerings for the younger set, there will be more, but let's wait and see if enough of them show up to justify tipping the scales as they have. Expos and conventions appeal far more to groups of passionate "die-hards", than casual tourists or curious families. (See ComicCon or any other successful convention as an example.) Children usually fall on the casual side of things and don't have the patience or the level of interest in the type of entertainment offered. In the end, it's really nothing like the Disney theme park experience that most families would opt for right across the street, so the comparison to Disneyland is just plain silly.

    As far as old vs. new, obviously old Disney did it better than new Disney in many respects -- but that doesn't mean I'm not excited by or downright pleased by some of the things they've done recently or are planning for the future. I like the previews, I like the announcements and the buzz. I just think because there is a wealth of past successes to celebrate and shine light on in a unique atmosphere, the Expo should focus as much on the past as the future. Plain and simple (even while factoring in the shorter schedule) there's not as much dedicated to vintage or nostalgia as there was in '09. There's definitely a big audience to support more of what I'm looking for and I find it unfortunate that they seem to have cut back to provide for the tweens, which in this environment, shouldn't be their target.

    Overall, the content this year is weaker. The scheduling is terrible. If you forget the Disney Channel stuff, they represented the broad spectrum of Disney art and entertainment better last time. I don't see the same level of quality or an improvement upon it, unless you're impressed by all these lazy "Story Times". This is the opinion of many people I've talked to and seems to be the consensus of the writers previewing it, as well.

    It was the inaugural Expo ALONE that raised my expectations and resulted in my disappointment this time around. We do have something to directly compare this event with and the previous one was balanced the way it should have been. It obviously drew way more people than Destination D, and I'd say the numbers were respectable for a first-year convention that didn't get a lot of help in the form of competent advertising. It's also yet to be seen if the crowds for this Expo will even surpass the numbers from '09. From what I'm reading, it certainly doesn't look like a guarantee.

  13. #13

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomBlot View Post
    Overall, the content this year is weaker. The scheduling is terrible. If you forget the Disney Channel stuff, they represented the broad spectrum of Disney art and entertainment better last time. I don't see the same level of quality or an improvement upon it, unless you're impressed by all these lazy "Story Times". This is the opinion of many people I've talked to and seems to be the consensus of the writers previewing it, as well.

    It was the inaugural Expo ALONE that raised my expectations and resulted in my disappointment this time around. We do have something to directly compare this event with and the previous one was balanced the way it should have been. It obviously drew way more people than Destination D, and I'd say the numbers were respectable for a first-year convention that didn't get a lot of help in the form of competent advertising. It's also yet to be seen if the crowds for this Expo will even surpass the numbers from '09. From what I'm reading, it certainly doesn't look like a guarantee.
    I agree. I think this year's Expo will have attendees leaving*disappointed. The Parks & Resorts exhibit was the keystone of the last Expo. People will be expecting them to provide something better this year. That's just the way that people view Disney. But, half of what will be exhibited this year will be a recap of the last Expo (Disney Vacation Club, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani Hotel/Vacation Resort, etc.). They won't be having the whiz-bang R&D presentation, Wall-E or Lucky. And while they will have the new WDW Fantasyland model, it won't be nearly as spectacular as the Carsland model.

    Yes, there will be ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel and Consumer Products. A LOT of Consumer Products. There will be a lot of merchandising being done there this time. However, people don't cross the country to see stuff about television or buy merchandise. The Studio/Pixar portion will be a draw, but that's pretty much limited to the big presentations. Not much beyond that.*

    Generally, I believe that the Parks & Resorts portion will be the key draw for the show and if people aren't satisfied with what the are shown, it may have an impact on future D23 Expos.

    I'll be interested to see what the responses will be here after the Expo.

  14. #14

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    Re: Expo Line-Up Skews Too Current, Too Young

    Quote Originally Posted by bfdf55 View Post
    I'll be interested to see what the responses will be here after the Expo.
    Oh? It seems that you already told us what everyone's response will be.

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