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  1. #1

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    Report from Friday, please?!

    Surely someone can give a report from today? Crowds, lines. When did lines reach max length for Arena 23?

    And something more than generalities. Some specifics for tips for Saturday.

    Jason

  2. #2

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    I would also appreciate any news and tips about how today went. Please post

  3. #3

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    Any info about how D23 is going is much appreciated!

    One of the things I'm wondering about is the rule about no outside food or drinks? Does anyone know how strict they are about this? Would they be against me bringing couple water bottles and a sandwich?

    Also, I went to pick up my Sunday ticket at Will Call today but I didn't receive a lanyard or a plastic cover. Anyone know where they're handing those out?

  4. #4

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    To answer the food question, they didn't search bags. We took snacks and sandwiches. No problems.

    The Good
    StagePass improved the panel experience. I only went to the Undiscovered Disneyland one, but it was much nicer not having to wait in line for hours to just do a panel. I don't know how it worked for the AM ones, but if you're not there early, no hope of getting into an AM one since you may not even make it through the doors on time. Don't count on getting into a 23/28 panel without StafePass (outside of the AM maybe). My friend barely got into Undiscovered DL and he was not far into the standby line.

    The capacity was also increased for the panel room we were in, so I think this process, while it requires some planning on your part, is improved from 2011.

    The Bad
    The whole thing feels more like a way for Disney to separate you from your wallet than 2011. Outside of maybe Imagineering, there seems to be less to see and do overall. There's not much merchandise to buy, and what is there seems pretty mediocre.

    The Ugly
    The line and overall process to get in was in my opinion definitely worse than 2011 did. At least in 2011 you had a clue as to where you were. And they did not seem to be enforcing the member vs. non-member (sad to say), and definitely didn't make a distinction between paid members and the new free level which depending on whether you paid to be a D23 member is good or bad.

    If you want to get into any panel or the arena presentations in the AM, get there early. Don't expect if you show up after 7 you'll be in on time.

    The lines to get into most things (Disney Store, Dream Store, Mickey's of Glendale) were worse than expected based on 2011. All day (except if you got in pretty early) the wait for the Disney Store seemed to be an hour or more, and they ran out of their allotment of the limited edition stuff by about 11AM. My friend was trying to get the Snow White set.

    Some items, like the Sephora Ariel compact, are gone. They were not rationed and apparently let people buy multiples. At least the Disney Store is rationing a bit to give people a chance every day (if you get there early).

  5. #5

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    Thank you FenderP for your report! I really wanted to go to every Imagineering panel but with the StagePass restrictions, I guess that won't be possible, right? Do you happen to know how fast the StagePasses were out for the popular panels?

  6. #6

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    I showed up a little before 8 am and headed directly to the Arena line and made it into queue #4. No problem getting in on time. Animation began a half hour later than the scheduled time and ran over 3 hours in length making it impossible to get a stagepass for an afternoon panel; only the Art of Aulani panel was left.

    Like FenderP mentioned there isn't much to see or do outside of the Imagineering pavilion.The exhibit hall was kind of barren, actually. Mickey's of Glendale had a huge line throughout the entire day so I did not bother waiting. What I saw in the Dream store left me unimpressed.

    Didn't make it into Treasures because I opted to wait in the Broadway panel standby line instead. Got there around five and made it inside Stage 23 with a seat. Standing room was available for latecomers.

  7. #7

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    Quote Originally Posted by malice View Post
    I showed up a little before 8 am and headed directly to the Arena line and made it into queue #4. No problem getting in on time. Animation began a half hour later than the scheduled time and ran over 3 hours in length making it impossible to get a stagepass for an afternoon panel; only the Art of Aulani panel was left.
    I can only speak to the non-arena line. It definitely took longer than 2011. I also think that there will be more interest in the Studios panel, especially with both Star Wars and Marvel movies on the docket.

    I went into this year's Expo with low expectations. The lines overall for most things seemed worse (see: Disney Store) with little payoff at the end. I think if you plan tings right and get to see the panels you want, it will be OK. Just brace yourself for lots of waiting and some non direction. For example, asking where StagePass waiting was for Undiscovered Disneyland, not all of the staff knew, let alone what SP was. It would be very easy to get into the standby line if you didn't have some initiative.


    Quote Originally Posted by malice View Post
    Like FenderP mentioned there isn't much to see or do outside of the Imagineering pavilion.The exhibit hall was kind of barren, actually. Mickey's of Glendale had a huge line throughout the entire day so I did not bother waiting. What I saw in the Dream store left me unimpressed.
    There's more interesting stuff in the Collectors area, but I spent very little overall.

    Quote Originally Posted by malice View Post
    Didn't make it into Treasures because I opted to wait in the Broadway panel standby line instead. Got there around five and made it inside Stage 23 with a seat. Standing room was available for latecomers.
    I heard Treasures was pretty small and D23 didn't bring any merch themselves, so no store associated with it.
    Last edited by FenderP; 08-09-2013 at 11:37 PM.

  8. #8

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    Quote Originally Posted by KiMcHeEfOrLiFe View Post
    Thank you FenderP for your report! I really wanted to go to every Imagineering panel but with the StagePass restrictions, I guess that won't be possible, right? Do you happen to know how fast the StagePasses were out for the popular panels?
    Every Imagineering panel will be nigh on impossible. The way things are structured you're just going to have to prioritize.

    In the AM, they started StagePass late. I didn't bother with anything in the afternoon, so I couldn't tell you how fast those went since they were only available starting at 12:30, but I heard the ones for,say, Undiscovered DL ran out somewhere between 11 and 11:30. I would say it's going to vary depending on popularity.

    Quite honestly, I think most people didn't know about StagePass.

  9. #9

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    They hand out the lanyards in line that morning!

  10. #10

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    Excellent:
    The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion was by far my favorite area in the expo. There was a lot to see imo and you could see old AA's and a new Hatbox ghost which was amazing. I also loved the special effects area with the machinery that creates the special effects. There were original Disneyland concept maps in this covered building where the staff would walk you through and talk about them. Overall, this exhibit is a must see for any Disneyland fan. Way better than the 2011 one. In addition to this exhibit, the Collectors Forum was just as overwhelming as the 2011 one.

    Good:
    My friend and I got to meet Paige O' Hara which was pretty cool, but the only problem I had was that the handlers were being pushy and trying to get us out of there. I guess they probably should be because there were a lot of people for Paige O'Hara to meet. I heard that she met at the MiceChat booth as well, but I wasn't aware of that at the time. I guess it would have be better to meet her in the Collectors Forum. I liked looking at the artwork in the Dream Store, especially the Haunted Mansion stuff.

    Iffy:
    The lines. We first got there right about when it opened, and the line stretched out very long. I was getting a bit worried by the monstrous line, but luckily it moved at a steady pace when people were admitted in. I did not see any panels, but there was a long line just to get into the DreamStore, which I thought was insane. Overall, it was the lines that scared me away from doing some things that I wanted to do. My friend wanted to meet the voice actors for Gravity Falls, but I looked at the gigantic line and told him "No."

    Terrible:
    The consumer product area had nothing interesting to offer in my opinion. While the Collectors Forum and the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion were literally filled with exciting things to look at, the consumer products area felt empty to me. Not much to see except what I dislike about modern Disney.

    Overall, I felt that this expo was better than the 2011 one, but there is lots of room for improvement.

  11. #11

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    The lack of reports and photos gives me a good feeling that I stayed home. The few poor images I saw included a WDW shopping mall miniature and a presentation on a timeshare in Hawaii. The Hat Box ghost is a Cooool exhibit though(he needs to get back in the mansion ASAP!)

  12. #12

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    Video Games, Wikis, Cheats, Walkthroughs, Reviews, News & Videos - IGN

    IGN has several updates if you sift through their articles; strangely enough, they are reporting on D23 much better than Micechat so far, which really surprises me

  13. #13

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    Thanks everyone for your tips and reports! It's going to be very helpful when I go to the expo tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to get into at least 3 of the panels that I really want to be in. But I'll definitely make lots of backup plans!

    How was the expo today? Was it any worse than yesterday?

  14. #14

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    Re: Report from Friday, please?!

    I went on Saturday, so I guess this would be as good a place as any to give my writeup on the day. The entire set of pics (over 400) are here: Rick R. 1's photosets on Flickr

    Got there about 9:15, parked in the Toy Story lot. Compared to two years back, they didn't complain that we were parking there to go to the Expo. Walked up and got in line with a brunette in a Buzz Lightyear dress. We were talking and I noticed the Micechat sticker on her badge. I was in line with Sarah! She's cool. She told me there wasn't much actually announced at the show, and we talked about the things that were there to do.



    Since it was a long wait, I went up and down the line taking pics of cosplayers.



    The line ended up going round the building. They let in D23 members at 9 and the rest of us at around 10:30 since there were so many D23 members. For an all-day convention, that was really kinda late.

    So I got in and headed straight to the Imagineering Pavillion, because it seemed to be the coolest thing there. It was. They had building mockups from the Western River Expedition, the Disney Springs makeover of Florida's Downtown Disney, and a room with very special treasures from the vaults, which was a public display of the original drawings and paintings for Disneyland. I don't have pics of those because they didn't allow cameras in that area, but seeing the blacklit PS Ellenshaw painting that Walt showed off on TV in 1955 was really amazing to behold.

    Of interest to the Hatbox Ghost, they mentioned the HBG in the intro room that set the stage for getting in, they had an artist making a maquette of the Hatbox Ghost, and oh yeah, a fullsize brand-spanking new Hatbox Ghost animatronic! The official word was, they are not trying to bring him back, but c'mon... I believe the line from Goldfinger was "one is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and the third time is enemy action." I do believe they are trying to being him back. I just can't see the sharp pencil boys say, "Enh, go ahead and spend large amounts of money for no reason." Can you?



    Elsewhere in the animatronics area, they had a full size Captain Rex from Star Tours, one of the dolls from It's a Small World, and tons of others. They also had a demo of a work in progress where they are trying to get two figures to hold hands while dancing for an undisclosed project. In other areas, they had El Phantasmo the fortune teller back for an updated test, a 3D room where they can test new rides in an IMAX/Simulator type environment, a room for race vehicles where they showed off Autopia cars (which made they think it may be updated with new, more environmentally friendly vehicles but Autopia is probably sticking around), an office with prototyping and sketches of the Avatar project for Florida (which is still in development), an Avengers training room concept for the cruise lines with a Marvel character photo-op area, and a new training concept with wordplay that looked like it might be for Jungle Cruise or something they are planning for the new Florida DTD area. There was also a special effects area, but the line seemed really long, so I skipped it. (The pics are the flickr set, I promise!)

    After leaving, I checked out Mickey's of Glendale, but this time, it didn't seem to have much that interested me.



    After leaving there, I walked over and tried to get into the StagePass line, but that was so long by that time (only 12:15) and there were so few StagePasses left it seemed pointless to join the line.

    I did end up seeing the end of the Disney live action panel in an overflow room, which was a new concept this year and a good idea, IMO. I saw a teaser for Tomorrowland, which is was about Edison, Tesla and others getting together to make a bright new beautiful tomorrow (looked animated, from what we saw), and several lengthy clips from Saving Mr. Banks, which is the story of the making of Mary Poppins. Tom Hanks didn't look that much like Walt, but the mannerisms and such were fine, and I will be looking for that movie when it comes out.

    Leaving that panel, the line didn't look bad for the Disney Legends ceremony, so I went ahead and got in line. Several of us in line ran off and got food (verdict: not bad, but really expensive, as in $15 for a burger.) The line management for the arena was pretty well done, and I got a good seat for taking really good pics.

    The Legends ceremony was worth seeing. The narrators were Bob Iger and Tom Bergeron from America's Funniest Home Videos.

    They had Tony Baxter, Ed Wynn (voice of the Mad Hatter, given to his grand daughter), Imagineer Collin Campbell (accepted by his son), John Goodman (best line: "And thank you for not putting me on AFTER Billy"), Billy Crystal (who was warm and funny, coz that's just who Billy Crystal is), Dick Clark (accepted by his widow Kari), Glen Keane (lead animator from the Rescuers, who also was lead animator for Ariel, the Beast, and his last project was Rapunzel in Tangled), and the highlight presentation for Steve Jobs, which was accepted very emotionally by John Lassiter. John was choked up when he started to talk, but he related his decades of friendship with Steve: how when John wanted to make Tin Toy, Steve asked him directly to do something, one of the few times Steve ever made a direct request. He told him, "Make it great." And the film won the Academy Award that year, so he believes he did what Steve asked. He also spoke of how John asked him if it was okay to merge with Disney, and John gave his blessings. The ceremony was a class act.



    After that, I wandered around the floor for a couple of hours. Got to go into the Disney Dream Store, which happily didn't have much of a line, and made my one purchase of the day. I have always wanted a nice statue of Jessica Rabbit, and they had a spectacular one of her and Roger together for $85 after my passholder discount...



    So yeah, I had a box to haul around after that point. I then looked around the "Collector's Forum", which was their name for the Dealer's Room, and saw plenty of stuff for sale, and came across the MiceChat booth, where Dusty was doing manning the booth and talking with folks. I said hello and moved on.



    Stood in line for a few minutes for the Tomorrowland film pavilion, but the line seemed way too long. However, while waiting, I did get to see the most imaginative cosplay of the day, two couples dressed up as dancers in the ballroom scene of Haunted Mansion.



    After that, being a fan of Phineas and Ferb, I hadda go find the Waffle-inator outside before it closed. The Waffleinator is a huge structure where kids shoot foam waffles at a projection and when they hit Professor Doofenshmirtz, he goes OW and you could see this being used in a Disney TV show somehow.



    Went back in, and went up stairs to the Archives. There are fewer pics in there than I took, mainly because it was so dark I decided to delete Blurryvision(TM) pics that I did rather than share them. The line was kinda deceptive, because they put you in a cattle call room first, then a line in a room with designer dress versions of the Disney heroines, and then finally you could see the Treasures room. It had stuff from Teen Beach movie, various Oz projects they've done (including costumes from the Oz movie this year) and lots of Mary Poppins stuff.

    After that, I took the Toy Story shuttle over the park, had dinner at Carnation Gardens, went on Pirates, and came home. It was a good day, and I am glad I went.
    Last edited by QuiGonJ; 08-11-2013 at 03:16 PM.

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