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By D’land Diva

Wow. Just wow. Rare Disney merchandise, check. Legendary Imagineers, check. Disneyland and Walt Disney World park stories, check. Future theme park ideas, check. Demonstrations of animatronics, check. Film clips about future Disney animated and live action films complete with the film stars and directors, check. Never seen film footage from classic Disney movies, check. Fun for the whole family, check plus!

Let’s start at the beginning. D23 is a an Official Disney Fan Club. Information about D23 can be found at

The D23 Expo 2013 is actually the third expo the group has held. The expo is open to D23 members and non-members alike. Members of D23, however, were able to receive a discount on tickets and were allowed early access to the expo. ( From the Disney Press Packet)

Guests visiting the D23 Expo 2013 did so from 48 states and 21 countries. There was plenty of room for all those visitors because the Expo took up more than 750,000 square feet. There were 230 presentations, panels, concerts, demonstrations, meet and greets, screenings and sneak peeks of future Disney endeavors. (From the Disney Press Packet)

Phineas and Ferb Waffle-inator Challenge
I arrived before the 10 a.m. opening of the D23 Expo on Friday morning and the line to enter the Expo was two hours long. With my Press Pass, I was able to check out the Phineas and Ferb Waffle-inator machine at the front of the Expo building. My adorable D’land Diva son was chosen from the crowd to test it out and was filmed by the local news crew (did I mention he’s adorable?). This machine game had guests aiming an waffle-inator at a digital screen, trying to stop the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz. The machines literally blasted rubber waffles at the screen. Much to the delight of D’land Diva son, after the game, he was given a Phineas and Ferb bracelet and a Marvels Avengers poster. Score!

The Shopping, the Pavilions and the Exhibitors

Once guests walk through the doors of the Expo Center, everything changes. There’s the smell of pretzels, a huge Jolly Roger Pirate Ship waiting for guests to board, a volunteer experience, a Disney store, musicians performing Disney songs on stage and an Imagineers Meet and Greet. As a lifelong Disney fan, all I could do was be giddy with excitement at what to check out first!

Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios all had set ups with some props and information about upcoming film releases. This is where guests could check out information on Frozen, Big Hero 6 and even check out some demos on recent films like Wreck-it- Ralph. Disney’s Planes and a Pixie Hollow set up (More Disney Fairies films coming soon!) provided some fun photo opportunities and games for the kids.

Disney Interactive set up a mini-play station of sorts, allowing guests to try out their newest game Disney Infinity and demonstrated the fabulous new interactive game Fantasia: Music Evolved. Fantasia: Music Evolved will not be released until 2014. Both games look amazing! The Disney Animated app was also available for demonstration.

There were, of course, many Disney consumer products to explore- everything from art, to bicycles, to dolls. It was a great deal of fun to look through all the new merchandise, but my favorite was the Minnie Mouse Collection. There were also several Disney stores selling merchandise unique to the D23 Expo.

The Collectibles Pavilion was simply a Disney fan’s shopping paradise. Here, I saw: signed art, Disney dolls, pins and some rare vintage Disney items. It is safe to say that I could have spent all day in this pavilion exploring. I probably also could have maxed out my credit card.

Near the collectibles portion of the Expo Center were some of the Disney items up for Silent Auction. I saw tea cups, a Disneyland sign and many other items that had been in the park at one time or another. I would have loved to bid, but very quickly, most items were up in the two hundred dollar range. Oh, did I really want that Matterhorn Bobsled! I was imagining putting some cushions in there and turning it into a two person chair…

 Disney Channel Pavilion

The Expo Center also housed the very popular Disney Channel Pavilion.

The Disney Channel Pavilion had musical performances, giveaways, cast member meet and greets and Radio Disney music. Much of what I experienced in this pavilion was from a distance. The lines were tremendously long, and in some cases, rather pushy. My five year old is a HUGE fan of Teen Beach Movie. When the cast came up on stage he was so excited! Then, the folks behind us started pushing us and screaming “Ross!” and my son started crying. I’m sorry to say that I could have stuck around, but I chose to take my son to a less crowded section of the expo and let him play. When we returned about an hour later, the meet and greet line was long, but he was able to see them better. Actor Garrett Clayton, who played Tanner in the movie, saw us way in the back and he gave a smile to him with a little wave and my son was super excited. To their credit, most of the actors were still signing objects as handlers were pulling them off stage. A handler literally had Ross Lynch by the arm and he was signing a beach ball with his other hand.

Other Disney casts were also on stage over the weekend: Crash and Bernstein, Jessie, Shake it Up, Gravity Falls, Phineas and Ferb, and Dog with a Blog to name a few. On Sunday, the cast of Sofia the First was there (hello funny man Wayne Brady!) and we got a look at the Doc McStuffins character for the first time.

D23 Expo Wrap Up Part 2 will take a look at the Journey Into Imagineering and Disney Treasures exhibits. Part 2 is coming soon!