Day 1 - Expo and DL
Day 2 - DCA and DL
Day 3 - DCA/DL and Club 33
Day 4 - DL
Link to all 900 pics
We arrived around 7:30 and made it to the Disneyland Hotel around 8:30 for check in. We stayed about ten minutes in our room before heading out to meet up with Steven's Mother and her best friend. They weren't in the mood to do anything, so Steven and I headed out on the DLH grounds to look around, then walked to Downtown Disney to grab a bite to eat and shop a little. Most things were closing early, so luckily we didn't spend much money. We saved that for the remaining four days and boy, did we ever shop.
It was fun updating Facebook every hour or so throughout the day. Not sure if it was very interesting, but a quick photo and caption seemed to be enjoyed by a handful.
Thursday morning, we were up at 6am and to the shuttle for the D23 Expo by 6:30am. By 7am, we were at the front of the convention center. It was already as OrlandoMike puts it, Organized Chaos. For the most part, the CM's knew what to do, where to send people and what was going on. It was all the attendee's who didn't and seemed to wander aimlessly.
We saw two lines immediately upon entering, after receiving our official wrist band for the week. Found out one was for Iger's opening speech and the other.......was for a pin release. They had been there since 4am standing in line. All vouchers for limited pins were gone, so that nixed that idea. Sad thing is they let them in at 8am to stand in a 2nd line. Which they stood there for another hour before being let in to the Arena and the Dream Store to shop.
We decided to look around some to let the lines die down. There was a wonderful Disney Park's and Resorts Future preview area. Very Disney, with an elaborate preshow and grand entrance into the viewing area. Here, we saw the new Abe Lincoln, how animatronics were made/programmed, DVC preview and talk about the new DVC property in Hawaii, preview of the new Disney Cruise Ship and preview of the Hong Kong Disneyland expansion. The best part was seeing Lucky the Dragon and Wall-e. TWo of the most entertaining and elaborate robots I've ever seen. Amazing shows on both of them.
After this, we spent the remaining time getting our pics taken with tons of characters, including a float from the Electric Light Parade. We toured the Disney Dream Home which was nice, but could have been put together better to make it look like an actual home. There were booths and kiosks for every type of Disney product, TV show, music group and whatever else Disney offers, such as DVC, Disney Credit Cards, etc. We signed up for every single raffle, but didn't win anything.
Over all the Expo was ok. Not very "Disney like". Very little "magic" other then the Parks preview center. The rest seemed very sterile and convention like. The crowds were good for a first day, weekday. I heard the weekend was SO crowded. The few presentations we went to were spot on. One of the best things they did at the event. Everything else, seemed to need more work on presenatation. The archives tour had only a few items worth seeing. Sleeping Beauty book which opens the animated feature, Captain EO's outfit, Nautilus ship, etc. The rest were gowns worn in various movies, most of them newer and not that old.
We realized quickly that you can't see the Expo and do the parks at the same time. You need to concentrate 100% on the Expo for a few days, then when it's done, concentrate on the parks. It would take about 6 hours out of your day including going back and forth, waiting for shuttles and standing in long lines, to see what you wanted. Not worth missing out on the parks, so we did the Expo for one full day, then the parks the rest. We learned our lesson and will do it differently next year. Despite the Expo just being OK, I know they will improve and make it better. Comic Con was horrible the first couple years too. These things have to grow and expand. After a couple years at DL, it will be perfect by the time it moves to WDW in about 3-4 years.
But, I wouldn't tell anyone not to go. It's a wonderful experience that any Disneydork should see. Just don't combine it with trying to go to the parks. Pick one or the other for each day.
I got to meet SFBayDon (such a sweetie, wish we could have seen hung out more!) and a handful of other people, including one of my clients employees that I work with on a daily basis was at the Expo too.
The one thing that was a HUGE hit, more then we ever expected, was our Disneydork tshirts. I think we were stopped by every other person (no joke) asking us where we got them. Once we said we made them, people were begging us to make one for them somehow. If we could make a tshirt for every person at the Expo only who wanted one, we could pay for at least two more trips to Disneyland. :rotfl: Seriously! Don't even get me started on the number of people who stopped us when we were at Disneyland.
After 5pm when the Expo was finished for the day, we headed directly to DL and spent the next few hours before closing. We rode the POTC is all and spent the rest of the time shopping. We met our match when it comes to shopping with Steven's mother. We all walked out with bags and bags. The parked closed at 8pm, so it was a short night for us. We did end up eating at Cafe' Orleans for Gumbo and Pomme Frittes. Yummy!
After 8pm, we wandered DTD, which is a minute walk from the gates of DL. Takes about 15 minutes to walk through DTD to our hotel which is nice. We shopped some more, bought some kettle corn then crashed for an early evening.
Day two I'll post tomorrow. Here are a few pics:
Disneyland Hotel. Not bad for a hotel built ni 1955
The workings of the new Abe Lincoln:
Replica of Disneyland created in minature by Bob Ozlewski, which you of course can by each individual piece:
Official D23 painting which you can buy prints and glecee's of:
Mickey in his band costume!
Couple more photopass pics we had taken. LOVED the one with the turtle float from ELP:
Thought it would be funny to get one at the wedding area:
We had to buy D23 ears:
Seeing Lucky and Dinosaur and Wall-e was one of the highlights for us. Two of the most amazing interactive animatronics:
For those wanting to have a Disney Wedding:
Ended the night with a great dinner at Cafe' Orleans with a beautiful sunset in the background. Perfect way to end the night.