We’re back in our hotel room after a day at Disney’s big D23 event in Anaheim, and what a day it was … you can check out some pictures from it after the jump.
D23, Disney’s fan convention, came back to Anaheim after its debut in 2009. It was noticeably busier this time around than it was two years ago, and by the time we made it to the convention center, there were already massive lines for the big arena presentation and, of course, for the “dream store” where you could spend money on all sorts of Disney stuff. This is a very well-run show, as the Disney staff was always on point, pleasant and helpful as they moved mass quantities of folks in and out of auditoriums and other areas, and everything, for the most part, is set up to give you room to move. There were a couple of times today when I got that about-to-be-crushed, floor-of-Comic-Con feeling (particularly in the shops), but they were few and far between — for the most part the crowds never felt overwhelming.
I guess the biggest disappointment of the day was the fact that Marvel doesn’t have a booth at the show. They’ll be represented Saturday at the movie presentation and Sunday at the Marvel-specific presentation featuring Joe Quesada, but I was hoping maybe they’d show up full force and set up something on the floor. Ah well; maybe they’re still dipping their toes into being part of the bigger Disney family, and the next D23 will feature a bigger presence.
Anyway, onto the pics …
Pirates of the Caribbean was well represented at the show, both in the form of a giant version of the Black Pearl and an area where they showcased props from the film (and of course pushed the upcoming Blu-Ray/DVD release):
One of the highlights on the show floor was the Parks and Resorts area, where they showed off some of the upcoming additions to their theme parks. For instance, next summer brings an expansion to Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. It’ll include new rides, like a mine train featuring Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. They had a miniature set up showing the additions:
… as well as one of the prototypes of the mine train cars:
There’s also a new Cars Land that’s opening at Disney’s California Adventure, and they had some of the Cars that’ll live there:
We also went to the Disney Parks arena presentation, where they showed additional details and a lot of CGI demonstrations of the new rides and attractions. Unfortunately they didn’t announce anything major there, like a new ride or park, like they did in 2009. Instead they mainly gave updates on the progress of all the stuff they announced last time, sharing more details now that a lot of this stuff is close to being finished.
Walt Disney Animation Studios had a booth, where they were promoting a new Prep and Landing Christmas special and a new film due in 2012 called Wreck-it Ralph, about a video game bad guy who wants to be good.
The Collectors Forum area most resembled the dealer’s room at a comic convention, where various vendors set up to sell collectibles, artwork, T-shirts and a whole lot more. Several of the artists who worked on BOOM!’s Disney books, including Allen Gladfelter and Amy Mebberson, had a booth where they were quite busy doing sketches. Most of the dealers in the area were Disney-centric, but a few of them had Marvel merchandise, including the very cool T-shirt sellers Mighty Fine:
Probably my favorite T-shirt purchase of the day — and there were many — was this 20th anniversary Rocketeer shirt:
… celebrating the film that featured Dave Stevens’ famous creation. These are branded with D23 on the back, but I think they were probably made for the 20th anniversary event they held earlier this summer. This is one of two Rocketeer shirts I bought; the other one featured a Bull Dog Cafe logo.