by Pin Trading Diva
This year’s D23 Expo had over 260 booths, photo ops, panels, special guests, etc to enjoy that there is something for everyone! As I made my way across the show floor these were the most memorable experiences I noticed.
MICECHAT Booth: I think that of all the non-Disney funded booths at the D23 Expo, this had to be my favorite. MICECHAT is a Disney related website that covers all things Disneyland. You can follow them on social media for weekly updates and participate in scavenger hunts and even a Gumball Rally throughout the year. They had tons of free stuff to give out during the weekend (lanyards, cups, pens, bookmarks, etc) and several Disney Guests made appearances! I ended up meeting Mark Silverman (voice of the Tower of Terror), Imagineer Terri Hardin (known for Disneyland Paris’s Big Thunder and Underground Dragon Layer in the castle), and Mike Peraza (Disney Designer) in one day! Terri Hardin even signed a LE 150 Castle pin of her own design for me! These celebrities were available for autographs and meet and greets all through the weekend which made this booth even more special.
Booths Making A Difference: There were two booths at the D23 Expo that did more than just entertain guests. The first of which is the Star Wars Force For Change booth. Partnering with UNICEF, this booth would allow guests to participate in a Star Wars themed obstacle course while wearing a pedometer. Guests would run through asteroids and around planets at warp speed while the pedometer kept track of their steps. At the end of the course if they guests had reached a certain number of steps, Star Wars Force For Change would donate $1 or more to the UNICEF foundation. This was a great way to get exercise and make a difference at the same time!
Another booth giving a helpful hand is the Disney Citizenship: Be Inspired booth. Become an Honorary Disney VoluntEAR (complete with sticker) as you fill a bag with diverse books, notebooks, and writing utensils. There are over 5,000 bags filled a day – all to be sent to various children’s charities after the Expo. It’s a great way to help the community and feel good doing it! And you get a commemorative shopping bag!
D23 Expo 2015 Design Challenge: This year’s Expo challenged artists to create a one of a kind Castle in honor of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary. The winner along with many honorable mentions were featured in a mini gallery at the Expo for all to see. These were some of my favorite designs (the last one being HAND SEWN) – but all were so imaginative!
Pixar Booth: Disney’s Pixar Booth was overflowing with neat displays, concept artwork, and photo ops for guests to experience.You met a lego Woody and Buzz at the entrance behind a picture perfect wall of Pixar Balls. That’s a photo op just right there!
To start off there was John Lasseter’s infamous Hawaiin Shirt Display which featured shirts inspired by every Pixar movie – my favorite being a tossup between the Incredibles and Inside Out.
There were also some neat concept artwork from the movie Inside Out as well. Check out the Creation of Anger here. Bing Bong and the other Feelings were debuted as well.
Photo Ops for upcoming movies were scattered throughout the Pixar Booth too. They had a beanstalk for the movie Gigantic, a boat from Moana, and even a street scene from Zootopia. Plenty of details to spot and get you excited for the future of Pixar!
And last but not least was the one of a kind Pizza Planet Truck featured as an “easter egg” in every Pixar film since its debut in Pixar’s first movie – Toy Story. You can see the Aliens on the dash, Buzz in the front seat, and behind the dirty back window is Woody!
Drawing with Andreas Deja: The most memorable performance for me at the D23 Expo was that of newly inducted Disney Legend and animator Andreas Deja as he used models from the audience to bring some of his previous animations to life on stage. You can watch him provide models with low budget props (providing a comical look) to draw Gaston, Mama Odie, and even Lilo. Below are some shots of him capturing the life of Tigger from a younger model and putting Jafar on paper. His energy and talent really hyped up the crowd and each model got to take home a one of a kind piece of artwork that they helped create. Even Andreas’ drawing of Scar had the addition of glasses to match the model’s!
Walt Disney Archives presents Disneyland: The Exhibit: If you are looking for a history of Disneyland through one of a kind artifacts than this part of the D23 Expo is for you! The Exhibit started from the very beginning showing off the first ever ticket to Disneyland (bought by Roy Disney for $1). Ride props, dated toys, and even costumes from shows and parades amazed guests during the walk through Exhibit. My favorite pieces being the formal Mickey Mouse costumes worn at the park (Black and White pre 70’s and spangly for the 50th Anniversary) including a worn out but still exciting pair of shoes and Maleficent’s Robes and Dragon Head from the awe inspiring show Fantasmic. It really was a once in a lifetime moment to see and take in this Exhibit only available at the D23 Expo. If you couldn’t be there – try to live vicariously through my photos!
D Style: Coming from Japan to the Online Disney Store in October of this year is the much awaited line: D Style. This line includes some one of a kind merchandise like matching Mickey and Friends totes and wallets, a series of rather adorable cell phone cases, an entire Winnie the Pooh collection that’s as fuzzy as the bear himself, and even a series of dinner ware to match your favorite characters! Just the sneak peek D Style booth at the Expo was enough to motivate me to empty my wallet! I’m most excited for the furry Winnie the Pooh inspired cell phone case – complete with honey bee! I’ll be counting down the days until I can log into the Online Disney Store and start shopping!
Wreck It Ralph Area: Hiding on the second floor was a pretty sweet little Wreck It Ralph inspired area. You could take your picture with a giant Ralph figure getting ready to WRECK IT and there was even a real Fix It Felix Jr. Arcade game that you could play! (although I admit it took me a few tries to master the game) This was a small but very memorable part of the Expo for me that I wish would span into a larger area someday.
People Watching: Although this isn’t a booth or a panel presentation, I have to say one of my most memorable moments at the 2015 D23 Expo was simply people watching. Whether it was standing in awe of some of the amazing costumes people had on, watching a my Mom’s face light up when she saw her idol, Dick Van Dyke, watching the crowd as they took selfies in front of the Wall of Balls at the Pixar Booth with their own personal ball or a family posing with Wall*E and Eve, the excitement in their eyes was what stood out to me the most. We were all Disney Freaks at the biggest Disney Freak Expo of the year and we were having a blast! You could feel the happiness around you and it definitely made an impression on me.
These were just some of the many exciting things I experienced at this year’s D23 Expo. Was there something you experienced that I didn’t mention? Feel free to share what you did – we’d love to hear and see all about it!