View Poll Results: What did you think of the D23 Expo

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  • I loved it!

    35 46.67%
  • I liked it

    16 21.33%
  • I'm in the middle

    15 20.00%
  • I didn't like it

    7 9.33%
  • I hated it!

    2 2.67%
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  1. #1

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    Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    Greetings fellow MiceChatters!

    As a long time Disney fan, and as a writer for MiceChat, it will probably come as a surprise to you that this was my first time at a D23 Expo.

    I had heard a lot of things about the past two expos, both good and bad, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect stepping foot into this one.

    I'll go more in depth about my experience later, but overall, I had a positive experience, but I was curious as to if there were any of you who were also visiting the expo for the first time and what your thoughts on the entire experience were!

    So, please, share your thoughts below! Let us know what you liked and what do you did not like. Even if you are a seasoned veteran of the expos now, let me know what your thoughts are!

  2. #2

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    re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    Here's what I posted in another thread in this forum.

    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 enjoyed the 2013 D23 expo, and I felt that it was better than the 2011 one, but there is lots of room for improvement.

  3. #3

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    re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    I only went on Sunday, and it was my first D23 Expo. Surprisingly, I actually had a blast!

    I always thought the D23 Expo was something that wouldn't interest me, despite the fact that I love Disney. I'm not really sure why but the D23 Expo just didn't seem interesting to me. I actually wasn't planning on going this year's either but decided last Thursday to give it a try!

    One thing I was really surprised about was the size of the D23 Expo. I always thought it was really small! I only got to do like half the things I wanted to do (Sadly, I didn't make it the MiceChat booth )! I mean, it wasn't a SUPER big expo and I don't think the crowds helped either, but still, color me surprised!

    I kind of have a love/hate relationship with the StagePass system. I loved the fact that I was able to 'reserve' my spot for a panel ahead of time and freely enjoy the Expo until it was show time. It was awesome that I didn't need to waste time in a line for 2-3 hours for a CHANCE to get into a panel. However, I really hated the fact that I was only limited to MAX two StagePasses -- one between the hours 11AM-3PM, and one after 3PM. You know how many awesome panels were between 11AM-3PM that I would have LOVED to have been in? Too many. There were three Imagineering panels between 11AM-3PM on Sunday, and I could only get a StagePass for one and take my chances in a StandBy line for the other ones. I understand the need to make sure everyone has a chance to attend these panels, but at least make the timeframe a little smaller or at least let the remaining tickets be up for grabs 30 minutes before the panel.

    I had a not so great experience towards the end of the Expo with the Disney Infinity booth. My friend and I tried all day Sunday to get a Disney Infinity figurine from the booth, but due to the panels that we had StagePasses for, we weren't able to wait in the line the whole time. We decided after the "Leave 'em Laughing" panel (which ended at 5:30PM, BTW), that we would try to wait in line at the Disney Infinity booth again since we were free to do whatever we wanted until 7PM (when the Expo was over). So we got to the line only to be rejected by the Disney Infinity employee stationed at the end of the line. He rudely said to me "the line is closed" in which I responded, 'But it's only 5:30PM.'

    Then he told me, "Well, we closed at 3:30PM."

    Confused, I told him the D23 Expo ends at 7PM and everyone else was still open, and in which he responded, "Well, we're closed.'

    I was really angry how rude he was to me that I left without saying another word to him. He was totally full of it because there was no way they closed at 3:30PM by looking at where the end of the line was. We were familiar with the line (since we tried a couple of times earlier) so we knew what the pace of the line was like. From the beginning of the line to where the end of the line was would've taken 30-40 minutes to reach. There was NO WAY it took the last person in line 2 hours to reach the point of where he was! Closing your booth 3.5 hours before the Expo is over is ridiculous if what he told me was true. I guess I know what game I'm not going to be purchasing!

    Other than that experience, overall the D23 Expo was pretty awesome. We surprisingly got a lot of free things, which is always cool in my book, and the panels were pretty awesome. I think I may be a return visitor!

    Also, I should mention that I am in the process of writing out my notes that I took for three of the Imagineering panels. It's taking me a little longer than I expected but I hope to have them up soon!
    Last edited by KiMcHeEfOrLiFe; 08-12-2013 at 07:01 PM.

  4. #4

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    D23 - First Timer's Perspective from a Family With Little Kids

    My wife and I were thrilled at the prospect of attending the 2013 D23 (Saturday the 10th) convention this year because it was the first convention that we would be attending with our two daughters (6 & 2yrs). We attend Comic Con religiously but we always either get a babysitter or just swap a single pass back & forth while one or the other watches the kids, which has helped out a lot budget-wise. Comic Con is no place for small children because of the crowds and because the way that the displays are designed people never look lower than eye level and that's resulted in people knocking over strollers, stepping on kids, etc.

    The first thing we noticed about the Anaheim convention center is that there is plenty of on-site parking and despite parking in lot 4 it still wasn't that bad of a walk to the main entrance. The next thing that impressed me was that there were organized lines of people waiting to get in and everyone was in a jolly & anticipatory mood and generally pleasant to hang out with. The staff doing the crowd control handled things very well and the event planners even arranged for staff to hand out lanyards and plastic pass holders.

    When we got into the show floor I was amazed by the size of it. The San Diego Convention Center is extremely long but is not very deep, which means that booths tend to horde real estate and that leaves little room for a walking path. This is why you'll often see pictures of people packed uncomfortably like sardines in Comic Con photos. But the Anaheim Convention Center is much different in that it is almost as wide as it is long, and that's a good thing for crowds. D23 only took up about 60% of all the available floor space yet it never had that "sold out" feeling. Going from place to place pushing a stroller around was no problem at all, and my 6 year old was happy that she didn't have to hold our hand the whole time as there really wasn't a crowd for her to get lost in.

    Booths were run by the staff exceptionally well. In the morning the Parks & Resorts booth only took 15 minutes to get into, about 25 minutes for the Tomorrowland booth, and 10 minutes to get into Mickey's of Glendale & the Dream Store. These are wait times our kids could easily handle given they usually wait with us for 45 minutes or more to get into their favorite attractions. My daughters were treated really well by the booth staff and especially the imagineers who did not bypass my daughter for being a 6 year old and instead invited her to the front of the demonstration nearly everywhere we went in the Parks & Resorts booth.

    My wife does all the shopping and had nothing bad to say about the experience. She did wait however in a 45 minute line for the Disney Store but clearly it was worth it judging by all the great stuff she brought back. Her favorite store was the dream store because there were artists peppered all over the place and she got to meet a few and get some autographed pieces. I heard in a pre-event thread that lines to check out last D23 were horrible because merch wasn't bar coded but thankfully this year they were and there was little to no wait to check out. The collector's corner wasn't her favorite because people were tightly packed in, a spitting image of Comic Con's collector's floor. She wanted to stop by some booths to get a closer look at their pieces but there wasn't much room to do anything so she skipped out.

    I was dreading the Arena events (Disney Legends Ceremony & The Sherman/Menken Concert) but for us they were a must-see. I had flashbacks of Comic Con seeing fights break out over spots for Hall H, and this sort of thing happens over and over every year. So when I saw that the big events were going to the arena I put on my skeptics hat and kept a weary eye out for the drama. But really it was FANTASTIC! There were several access points to the queue for the Arena which was great given that my wife & I would exchange kid-sitting duties while waiting for our event. You waited in a big air conditioned hall and if that wasn't enough you sat down on carpet that had like an inch of padding underneath it!! At Comic Con nearly every big hall event you have to wait outside, sometimes in the July sun, and the only soft place to put your butt is on the grass in the planters that are full of ants. If you asked the staff whether you'd get in or not they would look at where you are in line and be able to give you a yes or no. While waiting around there was a HUGE empty area of carpeted nothing that the kids ran around endlessly which was proved to be great later on when in the event the 6 year old sat calmly and watched intently to the performances and the 2 year old took a nap.

    Oh.. and last thing, there are family restrooms everywhere!

    So was there anything negative that happened? I guess I should mention that if you're the type of parent that gets nervous around other people who look at you like you're strange for bringing your kids then D23 might not be very comfortable for you. It's funny to me because I get the same looks at the park from people who just can't stand that I would bring a stroller to Disneyland. The awesome thing is that the staff were totally kid friendly, many of whom wen't out of their way to make sure our wait times weren't uncomfortable and would make sure the kids had all the freebies they could give out to them. The highlight was when a rep from the InfINity booth pulled my 6 year old out the line a little early so she could get her demo & free character, in all fairness we did wait in a 40 minute line prior to that. Really good Karma was in the building.

    Overall D23 2013 was a great event for us! We definitely will be back in 2015 with the kids. If there was any highlight (I mean besides the arena events, the Parks & Resorts booth, and the InfINity thing of course) to put a big spotlight on I would give it to the event staff, the guys and gals in red. The reason why is because they were the ones who really helped keep the good vibe of the event going by being polite, and professional, and respectful of the fact that we helped pay their salary. I can give you ten pages of the horror stories that I have about "Elite Security & Events" and how they run Comic Con, they are quite literally the exact opposite of what I saw in these D23 workers and I was really blown away.

    So that's my review, feel free to ask any questions or share your experience. I hope you all had a great time as well and had at least a few memorable moments.
    Last edited by G24T; 08-12-2013 at 11:49 PM.
    Many Bothans died to bring you these fastpasses.

  5. #5

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    Re: D23 - First Timer's Perspective from a Family With Little Kids

    I too have ten pages worth of horror stories regarding SDCC's Elite though I do feel they have improved in recent years but that's another discussion altogether.

    However, what I saw from the D23 reds and their line management left a lot to be desired. When they would move segments of a line over to the next segment, potential trouble spots for cutters, they would often seem indifferent or inattentive to people trying to join that segment of the line that weren't originally there. "I can't do anything about it" was a common response I heard from them.

    I still had some great experiences but at times was wishing Elite was running this event. D23 members were to be let into the show floor at 9 am but depending on how far back in line you were, it could have been until 9:30-45 until you were let in and they seemed to slow the entries to a much, much slower trickle than at Comic Con.

  6. #6

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    re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    I put 'I Loved It,' but it'd moreso be 'I Liked It.'

    I had heard good things about the Expo, from a few persons I met at the Destination D event last year at the Disneyland Hotel.

    They were so friendly and made me feel like a member of the group that was formed, that I came back this year because of them.

    I will admit that the Expo did have quite alot to take in, and I only ended up doing 3 panels (Animation, Live-Action, and the Legends Panel). I wanted to do a few others, but spent most of my time on the main convention floor.

    I would like to go on record, and felt that people were expecting too much regarding a Star Wars announcement. There were some foul cries that Disney 'tricked' the public into expecting Star Wars stuff. Though personally, people are so starved for news about Episode VII, that it seems they are downright gullible sometimes.

    Anyways, the floor had some interesting demos, like the new Fantasia game. I didn't get in the long line for Infinity (feel I'm a bit beyond the age where that game is targeted at).

    Merchandise-wise, I was mainly interested in the Convoy Brothers 4-pack and Small Fry figures from the Mattel section. Though I think Mattel needs to stop underestimating the fandom of adult collectors for Cars. Word was they only made 1000 sets of the 4-pack, and started the day with no-limit. One of the first people in line was said to have bought 160+ of them. By the time I got in line after the animation panel on Friday morning, they had implemented an 8-per-person limit, and were dipping into the resources for the next few days.

    The Disney Store was in a constant state of lines, and I just walked on by. The Dream Store held a bit more sway, when I found out about the special Tomorrowland-related shirts.

    I mainly gravitated towards the Animation booth, and stood in on some of the discussions regarding Paperman. I was hoping there'd be more time to see stuff regarding Frozen, but most of what I saw was related to the Animation Presentation's Friday morning info.

    One thing that kept me from going to some panels, was the chance to see and get autographs from Ron Clements and John Musker, not to mention the Director/Producer of Paperman.

    I got to see a few 'celeb' sightings.
    -While I was cruising the Tomorrowland booth on Sunday afternoon, Bob Gurr entered with a mother and son, and showed them some of the stuff he had done.

    -I attempted to say 'Hi' to Glen Keane at the Legends ceremony, and found myself standing next to Burney Mattinson. I said Hi, and thanked Burney for making Mickey's Christmas Carol (which is one of the earliest Disney things I can recall seeing).

    - Nik Ranieri was at the MiceChat booth, and I had a fun discussion about his characters, as well as his animation style. I brought forth my 'Art of Animation: From Mickey Mouse to Beauty and the Beast' that I've had since I was 12 (and that I had signed by Don Hahn and Peter Schneider). Nik found one page, and informed me I had a first edition, as some edits were made to following ones. He signed his name on the page about Lumiere (naturally).

  7. #7

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    Re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    The only part that sucked was meeting Jeff Heimbuch.

  8. #8

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    Re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by WDWFigment View Post
    The only part that sucked was meeting Jeff Heimbuch.
    He's here til Thursday, ladies and germs. Tip your waitress!

  9. #9

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    Re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    Honestly there where moments of brilliance, but I don't think they delivered on the hype IMHO... For example the absence of LucasFilm visavis Marvel is disappointing. I do not think they know what they got. Outside that - no land mark revelations. Seemed like standard operating procedure for most departments, not enough news just cautious "optimism."

  10. #10

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    Re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    The Expo itself, I loved. However, D23 still doesn't seem to know how to deal with the queues. Especially the ones in the morning to get in. The first day it took over 2 hours to get in. And, for over 1 1/2 hours of it the line didn't move at all. So, even though I was there a couple hours early I still didn't get into the morning show I wanted. The D23 CMs gave conflicting instructions for both the queues and just about everything else. There really has to be a better way to see something like the Sherman/Menken concert without waiting for over 3 hours in line. Why not use the whole arena instead of only half for big shows like that?
    Mike



  11. #11

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    Re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    For those talking about the staff running the event, I wanted to point out that not all red shirts were the same. The ones with "expo staff" across the front were either hired by the Convention Center or D23 to run the event, and were not Disney employees. The ones with the "D23 Team" embroidered on one side of the shirt were actual Disney Cast Members who were helping out. You could usually tell who were the Convention Center staff and who were the CMs based on whether or not you got a "I'm not sure but I can help you find out" or "there's nothing I can do for you".

    He rudely said to me "the line is closed" in which I responded, 'But it's only 5:30PM.'

    Then he told me, "Well, we closed at 3:30PM."

    Confused, I told him the D23 Expo ends at 7PM and everyone else was still open, and in which he responded, "Well, we're closed.'

    I was really angry how rude he was to me that I left without saying another word to him. [...] I guess I know what game I'm not going to be purchasing!
    I'm not sure who you were talking to, but I'm going to bet that it was someone with "expo staff" across their shirt, and therefore not a Disney or Disney Interactive employee. I wouldn't base my decision on what game to purchase/not purchase based on a poor interaction with a non-Disney employee.
    *I am an employee of The Walt Disney Company*
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  12. #12

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    Re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by oo_nrb View Post
    I'm not sure who you were talking to, but I'm going to bet that it was someone with "expo staff" across their shirt, and therefore not a Disney or Disney Interactive employee. I wouldn't base my decision on what game to purchase/not purchase based on a poor interaction with a non-Disney employee.
    It was the employees wearing the white Infinity shirts. Regardless if it was actually a Disney CM or not, if I feel like I wasn't treated respectfully by an employee representing a product, I'm not going to further explore what you're trying to sell. In the end, somebody put those employees at that booth, gave them a Disney Infinity shirt, and told them to represent their product on Disney Infinity's behalf. It doesn't matter who I talked to because if I or somebody else feels like they had a bad experience, it's going to leave a bad taste in our mouths.

  13. #13

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    Talking Re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    I posted this in another area, but since the question was asked this was my experience with d23 as a first-timer.

    I realize that it seems like all the cool kids hate the Expo but as I’ve never been one of the cool kids I can say that I actually had a fun (but not perfect) time overall. Now granted, my experience may have been different in that I’m a veteran of many years (like 20!) of Comic Con so when I hear complaints about lines, and lines for lines, and one panel being on opposite of the panel you had to see or die, I can only smile.

    Disney did some things very well and failed miserably on others. But the totality for me was a good experience. So to get this out of the way: Was it corporate? Well, duh….yeah. But here the the main upsides and downsides I personally experienced:

    Upside: The line wrangling inside the Expo and outside for Arena 23. Everyone freaking hates lines, myself included. But I thought the line wrangling for the Arena 23 events were handled pretty well (there’s always room for improvement) as were the lines for panels and shopping. For the most part the Red-shirted Expo folks were helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly.

    Downside: On the other hand, a few of the “pro staff” convention center guys in the blue jackets working the Arena 23 doors were not. (in fairness, others in different areas were) But at Arena 23 for the animation & live action panels they wanted you to place your electronics in a bag. Fair enough. But there was no one outside the entrance doors preparing people and telling them to have your stuff out of your purses and backpacks and ready to place in the bag. So this caused unnecessary delay and frustration. The aggravating party is that this would have been EASILY resolved if even just one of the blue jackets had taken some ownership of their job and got someone out there making that announcement, but it didn’t happen.

    Upside: The overflow room for the Arena 23 was a good idea. The Stage Pass also worked for me, and I got passes to the events I wanted. The only event I couldn’t get into the whole weekend was the Charles Phoenix panel because I arrived late to the party. But otherwise, the stage-pass hand out worked well for me for other panels and events.

    Downside: The costume event. After going to the effort of creating a really cool award trophy, the rest of the event was very haphazard, badly organized, badly executed, and ultimately disrespectful to the contestants. It was saved somewhat by two of the judges, Mona and Jai, who essentially took over from the completely inept MC from Disney who was both clueless and tasteless. But the upside of the fabulous creativity of some of the contestants ameliorated some of the downside.

    Upside: The Imagineering pavilion was very enjoyable, probably my favorite. All of the Disney folks I ran into manning the various booths and displays seemed happy to talk about their work and answer questions. And I enjoyed the panels I attended (standouts were the women of Pixar, which was especially interesting for me, and having grown up in the area, the Disneyland hotel presentation was great fun).

    On the showroom floor I thought the Tomorrowland area was a good promo for the film. Yes, I understand fanboys who somehow don’t get that they’re being punk’d may be pissy when they finally figure it out, but if you’re willing to roll with it and be in on the joke, I thought it was fun. Hopefully, it won’t lose its way as “Lost” did ( I’m lookin’ at YOU Damon Lindelof.)

    Downside: Getting in the Expo. The line wrangling here was challenged at best. Seriously, once the door is open that line should just be moving constantly.

    Also D23 members with a paid membership should have had a priority line. The non-paying D23 members should have been mixed in with the general admissions folks. Yes, paid membership should have its privileges, and separate early entry should have been one of them. There I said it, sorry freebie members, but that's the way I feel.

    Upsides: The big presentations for animation and live action. Being a geek, if it’s Marvel or Pixar, I’m there. But in terms of getting me interest in other other upcoming films, Saving Mr. Banks looks like it will be great fun. While Tom Hanks doesn’t look a thing like Walt, he has his Midwestern accent, his spirit, and mannerisms down. Emma Thompson can do no wrong. Sorry Angelina, not feelin’ it on Maleficent. But I’m willing to keep an open mind. I know that some have expressed disappointment at the lack of big star wars announcements, but I figured with JJ Abrams and his love on no spoilers, we were lucky that they even acknowledged the fact that there was even going to be a star wars movie...

    Also, loved the legends of Disney presentation. Always glad to see the Animators and Imagineers get the credit they deserve. Didn’t know that Billy Crystal’s mom was one of the voices of Minnie in some of the early cartoons! And yes, I cried when John Lasseter starting crying during the Steve Jobs presentation.

    Had a great time at the Collectors Area, spent more money than I needed to. It was great seeing the MiceChat gang and the fabulous folks they had at the booth.

    So in the weighing of the good and the bad, all in all, I got my money’s worth over the three days. Met some nice folks -- perhaps the only up side of having to wait in line!. I had fun at the MiceChat cocktail party at the Anabella and who know, in two years when my feet have recovered, I’d consider doing it again.

    Cathy
    Last edited by ktfaye; 08-13-2013 at 02:27 PM.

  14. #14

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    Re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    I had been to the Expo in 2011, and I feel that this year's version was vastly improved in organization but somewhat diminished in content. My wife and I (based on our experience of line after line after line in 2011) decided to cut out most of the panels, and concentrate instead on the show floor, Imagineering Pavilion, Collectors Forum, and shopping. I think this was a wise idea, as we felt much better about our experience over what we went through in terms of rushing around to wait in 2011. We managed to fit in the Animation presentation on the first day, and the Sherman/Menken concert on the second (highlight of the whole Expo for us both!). We saw no panels on the third day - instead opting to bring our toddler for a half day to see the Disney Junior offerings. We had a wonderful time! In addition to the Sherman/Menken concert, other highlights for us included the interactive game at the Adventure Outpost in the Imagineering Pavilion (we got hooked on this game and thoroughly enjoyed it - I'm surprised no one else has mentioned it so far), meeting Rolly Crump (and Jeff!) at the Micechat booth, and playing "I Spy" for various Disney celebs throughout the Expo. "There's Dave Smith! Hey, is that Charles Phoenix! Tim Gunn - he's great!" I will say that the lines for the stores and exhibits could have moved faster, but there were a ton of people, so what can you expect? It was an improvement over last time. I wish there had been more to see in the consumer area as well as the Treasures exhibit - both were lacking when compared to last time. Overall, though, I feel the Expo took a big step forward in organization, while taking a small step back in terms of content. I'd rate it a B+!

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    Re: Overall Reviews of D23 Expo 2013

    I felt they made improvements over the previous D23. The one issue that stood out for me was that the people that were in the red shirts had no idea what was going on. I was standing next to a person that had a press pass and they kept telling him that he had to stand in line with everyone else until I guess a Disney red shirt came by and they sent him to where he was supposed to be. I am okay with people not knowing but they seemed to not know who to ask when an issue came up. I was able to get to most things but I think they can do better at having staff know what is going on. I also felt like I missed so much but thanks to the MiceChat and other internet sites, I was able to fill in the blanks. It sounds like it was a great success over the previous years so I hope to make it to the next one.


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