Yesterday was the first day of the 2015 D23 Expo and WOW! This is not my first Expo, but it was my first expo where I was officially representing TMSM, and I would like to start this recap by saying “Thank You!” not only to D23 for giving TMSM media access, but thank you to Michele and Scott for having faith in Drew and I to represent them as they were unable to make it out this year.
The morning started with us getting in the Gold/Silver member entry line, which was full of awesome people, we had a blast making friends. I have to be honest, there was some serious issues with the way entry lines were handled yesterday. There was no split line or set up for guests going to the first major presentation of the day the Legends awards, and guests trying to enter the show floor and attend other talks. Gold and Silver members were suppose to enter the Center at 9am and General Admission guests at 10am. This was an issue to begin with as some talks actually were scheduled to start at 10am, so honestly many of us in line felt they doors should have opened at 8am for Gold and Silver members, and 9am for General Admission so that everyone could then get in line for the 10am talks and be in their seats on time so as not distract the presenters. In 2013 stanchions were used to create set line areas and line directions, and those lines were marked well, the lines were long, but people knew where to go and where to wait.
This year the line wrapped around the Anaheim Convention Center (ACC) then go cut off, moved to the fountain wrapped around that, was cut off, and then moved to another location. At about 9:30am as we stood in the line we learned the original line that wrapped around the ACC had been uncapped and that the people in charge of the the lines didn’t even know that had occurred. Also, for some reason even though the ACC has at least 14 doors in the main entry area, only one set of doors was being used and there was only 3 people scanning bar codes on entry tags and marking them. There was though an additional team handing out the guidebooks and complementary swag bags to speed up the process. To be honest this really was the biggest mess of the whole day that I witnessed, and though we didn’t even get into the ACC until 10:30am while standing in 90+ degree heat I have to say if that was the biggest issue I can’t complain much. I hope that D23 and the ACC take the next 24 months to look into improving entry to avoid this next year.
Upon entering, we were slightly frustrated, so we stopped and took a minute to regroup. I wanted to make sure I was organized to start the day as the convention layout was different this year with Hall D23 having moved from the Arena, to Hall D, and the paying vendors having moved from Hall C to the backs of Halls A-C.We then roamed around the show floor. Hopefully you have been following TMSM on twitter because just the photo ops on the floor, the Shanghai Disney display and the Maker booth blew my mind. I promise I will do a free standing write up on the amazing things we saw at the Shanghai display but I have to tell you, that park is going to be AMAZING!
We had media access to “60 Years of Merchandise Panel” and “Exploring the Past, Present, and Future of Storytelling.” As you saw on TMSM’s twitter yesterday the Merchandise panel showed off some AMAZING new merchandise products coming to the Disney Parks around the world and Cruise Lines in the next year, and they barely touched on some of these amazing items. We also learned that until the 50th anniversary Mickey Ears, ear hats usually came in black or pink. The gold 50th ears sales showed Disney guests want to wear ear hats while celebrating important events in their lives and Disney history as show love for their favorite Disney characters. In the Exploring panel I had the honor of sitting and watching Ridley Pearson and Marty Skylar discuss their careers, storytelling, creativity and more so the importance of fostering and encouraging creativity.
After the Storytelling panel we went down to Hall D23 to see if we would be able to enter the Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios Upcoming Films panel. To our great surprise we were! We walked in during the start of the Moana presentation. Sadly, because the media access bands for this event were a super hot ticket and we were still holding out hope that Michele and Scott would be in attendance with us this week, we weren’t able to record the panel. I will do a better write up on this event a little later tonight or tomorrow, but I will say, the slate of films that are coming are amazing, but right now Moana looks like it is going to be my favorite Disney film in the next few years. Also, the new short “Riley’s First Date?” is HILARIOUS! You guys are going to love it!
After the movie panel we went over to Mickey’s of Glendale. This wonderful pop up shop is on of Drew and I’s favorites as it sells Disney Imagineering items. This year they are also selling limited quantities of some of the first Shanghai Disney parks items to be released to the public. While these items are specially made for the Expo they are still breathtaking.
As we went through the convention center we came across so many amazing Disney Bounds and costumes. Some of them floored me, while others made me smile. You could tell that the people who took the time to dress up truly love Disney, Marvel and Star wars. Throughout the day (which was so busy that I feel I didn’t get a chance to tweet enough photos and for that I apologize) we met some amazing Cast Members, Volunteers, and best of all Main Streeters! At the start of the day I saw the DCP kid Anna, the amazing Mike of OMGiri, Randi Arnold, and her AMAZINGLY talented daughter 15-year old Lauren who MADE the most amazing Cinderella dress. We also made some new friends and shared the TMSM love as we went along. Drew captured a good number of photos of costumes and bounds as you can see in this article, and we are going to put together a larger photo recap at the end of the weekend. After our super busy day, we grabbed some food in Downtown Disney and then crashed early because we were wiped.
Today is another busy day! We will attending the “One Little Spark” panel, the “Originals” and most importantly the “Parks & Resorts” panel. I am going to try and send Drew to the Live Action panel to take notes while I am at the “Disney on Broadway: The Originals” panel. I will also do my best to Periscope parts of the Originals panel for you guys so keep an eye on TMSM’s periscope from 11:30am-12:30pm CT today!
I also have learned that Disney has tried to resolve some of the line issues from yesterday by opening an indoor queue for the Hall D23 Live action presentation to help cut down on the entry chaos for the Show Floor and other presentations so hopefully entry this morning goes smoother than yesterday! Don’t forget if you are at the Expo we will be having a meet-up at 7:30pm to get a group photo for Michele, and if you see Drew or I come say hi! I have special buttons to give out and we love showing Michele all the Main Streeters we had a chance to meet!
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