As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my wife and I are in Anaheim for Disney’s inaugural D23 Expo. Our Saturday started a little later than our Friday, as we thought we should take advantage of the opportunity to sleep in on at least one of our days out of town, and the first presentation we wanted to see wasn’t until 11. So we made it to the Anaheim Convention Center a little later than we did on Friday.
From what I could tell, Saturday was a whole lot busier than Friday, as the weekend attendees (and more kids, as Geoff Boucher noted) came out. The leisurely pace of Friday was replaced with longer lines and thicker crowds. I should add that it’s still a long way from the chaos of Comic-Con, but there was a noticeable difference between the two days.
The first thing on our agenda was the theme park presentation, where they showcased upcoming additions/changes to their theme parks, cruise line and resorts … these included a new Alaskan cruise that my wife thinks we need to sign up for as soon as we get home, as well as some cool new stuff they’re adding in Hong Kong. In Florida, they plan to expand Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, doubling it in size, supping up their Dumbo ride and adding a Little Mermaid ride, among other changes.
The panel ended with the announcement that Star Tours would close down next October, which brought out a ton of Stormtroopers and Darth Vader, as the Empire “took over” the presentation. Star Tours will be replaced by Star Tours II, and they showed some 3-D podracing footage from the new ride:
After lunch, we spent the rest of the day on the third floor, checking out movie props, watching animators draw and seeing the Princess and the Frog presentation, which started really, really late. So far that’s been the only negative experience here. I didn’t have my cell phone, as they took them away from us before letting us into the theater, but the panel was supposed to start at 3, they didn’t let us into the room until 3:15 and then we sat for quite a long while before it ever started. It was supposed to end at 4:30, but by the time we got our phones back it was 6.
And I should add the presentation itself was well done, as they had all the animators on stage talking about the process of creating the film, and they showed some sequences from it. Anything negative was related to getting in and the delay, not anything that happened on stage.
Here are some photos from the third floor … most should be self-explanatory, but that last one is from the upcoming Sorcerer’s Apprentice film with Nicholas Cage: