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  1. #1

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    Smile D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    I'm attending this year, missed last year's. Have read and heard some horror stories and reports regarding lines, food and MORE LINES.

    But was curious about early entry for D23 members. Exactly how early do D23 members get in. I've read that some people got there at 4am to get in at 9-10am-ish. Does that really happen?

    If one isn't attending for panels and/or presentations in the Arena, then can someone do everything in one day, meaning exhibits, shops, booths.

    Thanks for the responses!
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  2. #2

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    I'm attending this year, missed last year's. Have read and heard some horror stories and reports regarding lines, food and MORE LINES.

    But was curious about early entry for D23 members. Exactly how early do D23 members get in. I've read that some people got there at 4am to get in at 9-10am-ish. Does that really happen?

    If one isn't attending for panels and/or presentations in the Arena, then can someone do everything in one day, meaning exhibits, shops, booths.

    Thanks for the responses!
    I had a great time the first year and not so great a time the second year (partially due to the fact that I got really sick). I went for only one day in 2009 and all three days in 2011. In 2009 I was able to do basically everything I wanted to do in the one day I was there, but I did skip some stuff. One of the panels I wanted to go to was full, but they had an overflow room with a big screen that showed the panel, so it was no big deal. Unfortunately (at least for the panels I wanted to see) they didn't have the overflow room in 2011, so I missed every panel I wanted to see except for one.
    A general rule is to show up about an hour before the panel you want to see, although for the most popular panels that might not be enough.
    For early entry I'm not really sure how early people show up but I got there right about when the early entry was starting in 2011 on the first day and the line snaked around seemingly infinitely. It took about an hour just to get inside. So I guess a lot of people get there really, really early. I think I remember reading about people camping out the night before it started.
    Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

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  3. #3

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    I went in 2011, and the crowd control was poorly managed. We got there around 10ish and the line to get in wrapped around the building, it was insane. I still had fun, though. I was able to meet Paige O' Hara (voice of Belle) and see the panel for Buena Vista Street (in which I waited for 2 hours for). If you didn't plan on seeing any of the panels, then you can definitely see everything in less than a day.

  4. #4

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    GET a D23 membership...its like a FP for the line to get in the Expo and believe me you dont want to have to wait like and 30 mins in that line because you'll miss the first big presentation in the main hall

  5. #5

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    Yeah it did get that bad. If you are not doing any Panels then yes I would say a day is enough. It might still take an hour or more to get in in the morning. But once in the none Panel and talk events were pretty easy to get through in one day.

  6. #6

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    Quote Originally Posted by frollofan View Post
    If you didn't plan on seeing any of the panels, then you can definitely see everything in less than a day.
    That seems to be the answer the OP is looking for.

    If you want to spend a lot of money, you can pay for better access. D23 members get in early, higher level members get special offers $$$$.
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  7. #7

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    There really is a lot of fun to be had at the D23 Expo. Be patient, keep your smile on, and don't freak out at the size of the crowds. They're all Disney fans, too.

    Just keep in mind that there's a lot of stuff going on, and you won't be able to see/do it all. Getting into one of the panel presentations takes a lot of patience and line-waiting, especially for the popular ones (Studios, Disney Legends, etc.) When you see the schedule, pick the two or three things you really want to see, and make sure you're there early for them.

    Also, understand this: If a session you're attending is scheduled from 1:00 - 2:00, the odds of you making a different one that starts at 2:30 are impossible. 3:00? Also unlikely. 4:00? Maybe, if you hurry and get in line. From my past experiences, a lot of shows don't start right on time, and if they do, they tend to run over a bit. Plus, you'll find that others have already camped out in line to get into the other show. So choose wisely.

  8. #8

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    I have been to the Expo twice. The first year (2009) my friend and I only went one day and missed a lot because we waited in a huge line to see the real Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, and Pepe the King Prawn Muppets.
    In 2011, I went all three days. The lines were insane and I missed out on three Pixar-related panels I really wanted to see. Once it was because I was trying to check out of the Disney Archives store. They had to hand-type everything into the system, they had no sku's on anything. As a result, the checkout time was about an hour and half. BAD! I let Disney know in the survey they sent afterward just how poorly executed that store was. (In contrast, the WDI store was very efficient.)
    I also waited for several hours in line to secure good seats for the Lion King 3-D screening they were having on Saturday. My friend could only attend Saturday, so I waited in line for the movie while she looked around. I guess that was payback for the Muppet line. LOL
    Do go and have a good time. There is a lot of great stuff to see and do beyond the panels. The best was probably WDI's showcase area. They made it feel like a mini attraction.
    I also recommend a tablet or a Kindle to pass the time while waiting in line during the panels. I know I am bringing mine.

  9. #9

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    2009 was the best, not a ton of crowds, legends where just wondering around meeting people. We got to do everything we wanted. It was the first year people didnt really know about it, it was great. However good news spreads and 2011 brought the crowds as others have stated. I got to do about half of what I wanted to see, but we had to sit and wait... and wait. You know crowds, dont really bother me, at all. I was bummed but fine.
    Im at the point of debating if I want to do it this year based on a very poor interaction I had with the head of the D23 expo. I had my sleeping son in my arms and I was trying to escape the crowds of the Dick Van Dyke concert, we had gotten sat up close by luck (which original I thought a good thing) Needless to say everyone thronged to the celebs that watched in the front. I was pinned against the stage and people couldnt even turn around to try another way. Then He, wanting to get his celebs out, starts shouting and pushing people (like a big lost kid). Yelling things like "rosemary rosemary!" "TONY TOny oh there you ." Come I have something to show you" *shove, shove shove* One of them was in a wheelchair unsafe for them too!! It was those rock and a hard place moments. He comes pompously through and shoved my side and I almost lost my grip on my son, which would have put him in a teleprompter. Someone tried to point out what he was doing and shrugged it off. I wasnt the only person pushed it was like thanks glad to know where your regular guest stand. It was rude. Please ask people to make a way, get more CMs to help create a way to get them out, dont get them out against traffic, and dont SHOVE! This goes along with the fact guest control was poor.
    This was just one incident, but it was a big one to me. You are the head of something this big, act appropriate. Im sitting towards the back if anything this year if I do indeed go. Please dont let this get you down, get there early and if you do get sucked into the crowds be careful and be patiance.
    Last edited by karebear286; 03-28-2013 at 03:03 PM.
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  10. #10

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    I would like to point out Richard Sherman was amazing and kind both years.
    "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

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  11. #11

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    Quote Originally Posted by JerrodDRagon View Post
    GET a D23 membership...its like a FP for the line to get in the Expo and believe me you dont want to have to wait like and 30 mins in that line because you'll miss the first big presentation in the main hall
    Uh... in 2011, Having a D23 (Charter) Membership didn't do much, yes you got in the first line, but it was so poorly managed that so many non-d23 people got into it, that it didn't help.

    I got there an hour early, and once the Staff figured out which line was which, and yet still entered with "x is closed".

    Hopefully they push some of the presentations out an hour after they open the doors, which is common in most conventions I've been to.

    IE: 8am Floor Opens
    9am : Keynote...

    etc.

    The Anaheim Convention Center Staff was clueless and not prepared.

  12. #12

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    Another thing (hopefully Disney is reading this). Please, oh Please, have a pre-registration... IE: allow people to pickup the credentials and swag at a hotel (Hilton?) the day/night before...

    This reaaaally helps on the first day getting crowds in the door.

    FYI: I had such a bad time last time, I'm not going to make the trip this year... if things are better, I'll think about it next time. But it really was poorly ran last time. (and yes, I've been to many Conventions/Expos... I'm an IT Professional, we practically live at them).

  13. #13

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    Re: D23 Expo. The Good & the Bad. Share your tips, experiences with future attendees.

    I really hope the Disney Archives store tickets their merchandise this year instead of having the cashiers thumb through a sku book and scan items. That was so inefficient and backwards!
    I have a D23 membership this time around, but I really don't think it's going to help me get into any of the popular panels. I couldn't afford the Sorcerer's package. $1500? Too steep for me.
    Pre-registration would be a godsend.

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