From 19-21 August 2011, the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim CA was home to the D23 Expo. I went down on Sunday to check it out!
D23 Expo is a Disney convention run by The Walt Disney Company so it tends to have a very corporate feel to it. It seems to be running every other year, since the last time it was held was back in 2009.
If you compare this photo with the first photo, you can see that they updated the monochromatic Sorcerer Mickey Mouse banner to a much larger three-part full-color one. They also changed the tagline from “The Ultimate Disney Fan Experience” to “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event”. I’m bummed that they got rid of the Ariel banner among others. :/ I hope they didn’t toss it out!
The 2009 Expo ran for four days, but this year it only ran for three, which may have had some sort of effect on that tagline. Tickets sold out on Saturday, the day I’d originally been planning to go, so I wound up getting to the Expo around 4pm on Sunday, which gave me about two hours in the hall to check out the proceedings.
I checked out the Collectors Forum first, since the main reason I went was to shop. xD As most of the booths were run by secondary market dealers, there were very many cool, hard-to-find, and expensive items!
Some of the booths belonged to artists who are under contract with Disney, so it was kind of cheating. But they were still pretty cool to look at regardless! My wallet was cringing the whole time. xD;
Here are a couple of Noah’s artwerks; I got a print of his version of Ariel during the Ride Product Debut and Signing at Disneyland!
Papercraft of Ariel. This type of art is always impressive to me b/c you can’t really erase your mistakes!
Mickey Mailbox! Like last time, the USPS was selling Disney-related philatelic items and accepting mail. Not sure if they were canceling postage with a special postmark or not.
Paige O’Hara, the voice of Belle from Beauty and the Beast, was at a booth signing autographs and taking pictures. Apparently, I missed Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel, who was at the Expo on Friday for The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure panel and her Disney Legends award ceremony. ;_;
Leaving Collectors Arena, I started hitting some of the other booths/pavilions on the way to Mickey’s of Glendale. Here, they were selling tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween at Disneyland Park.
There was a pretty sizable pavilion featuring props and costumes from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Many maquettes and such at the Animation Studios area. Here are Disney Fairies Tinker Bell, Queen Clarion, and Silvermist the Asian fairy! xD
Finally made it over to Mickey’s of Glendale! Mickey’s of Glendale is the private merchandise store for Walt Disney Imagineering. Only Cast Members and their invited guests can shop there, and most of the merchandise is exclusive to the store. Found some goodies there, but was pretty upset there was no love for Ariel, especially with the new ride that had just opened in Disneyland and still yet to open in Walt Disney World. >:(
After shopping, went next door to the Parks & Resorts pavilion, which gave guests a sneak peek at upcoming projects at the various parks and properties around the world. This is the concept model for the New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. You can barely make out Eric’s Castle from The Little Mermaid in the center. I think it looks much better than the Victorian-style building that Disney California Adventure uses for the attraction.
Disney California Adventure is also getting a makeover. Here’s the statue of Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney that will greet guests on Buena Vista Street (formerly Sunshine Plaza) as they enter the park.
Model of the forthcoming Shanghai Disney Resort. Doesn’t look like much of a park. :3a
Back out in the convention center, there were some vehicles on display. Here’s the Dharma Initiative van from Lost.
Over at the D23 Expo Dream Store were some neat-looking Giclées that kind of reminded me of Nagel’s work. Wish I’d thought to get a better shot of Sleeping Beauty, as Aurora is one of my favorite princesses.
Over at the Disney Store, they were showcasing the limited edition designer dolls. Each had a different edition size and was to be released on successive Mondays. If you pre-ordered the entire set of 10 dolls, you’d get a limited edition set of lithographs. Had I known that these $60 dolls were actually going to sell out, I might have actually done it! :/
Since the Disney Store will be celebrating its silver anniversary, they had many exclusives that could only be found at D23 Expo. Everything was silver for the silver anniversary!
They were also promoting a new series of vinyl figures called Kidadas. There was a big freaking blow-up Kidada Ariel right in back!
While I think Cars is by far the weakest Pixar movie and am still irritated that they’ve been hyping up Carsland for the last two D23 Expos instead of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, I have to admit that this Lightning McQueen made of LEGOs was pretty cool. Mainly because LEGOs are the awesomest toys ever.
Incredibly cutesome Alice cosplayer from Alice in Wonderland (quite possibly Tim Burton’s version, as I don’t remember the animated version having such a detailed dress).
There were many more cosplayers this year than last time! Had to use the flash here because it was after 6 and they’d just shut off the lights in the hall. D:
After the hall closed, I wandered about for a bit and found Tinker Bell and Rosetta outside. I’ve watched some of the Disney Fairies movies with my little cousin and I have to say I like Rosetta just because she’s voiced by the awesome Kristin Chenoweth! After I took this picture, Tinker Bell kept going on about how much she loved my Ariel shirt. ♥ I should’ve offered to make her one, but I was too intimidated — she was one statuesque Tink! (Bonus: see if you can find Traci Hines in this pic!)
After I got home, it was time to go through my loots! The guide book, fans, Pooh lithograph, New Fantasyland postcard, and the Prep & Landing Christmas card were freebies. They were handing out fans by the handful after the hall closed, lol.
The shirts and pins were all from Mickey’s of Glendale. Most of these items will be gifts for my family, but of course I will be keeping one each of the Sebastian and Donald items and also the Fantasmic! pin b/c it has Ariel on it. Prolly should’ve bought an extra Sebastian shirt so I could wear one and keep the other. :/
The only other thing I bought was the 24% lead crystal of Ariel, which I found in the Collectors Forum. I remember when she first came out years ago back when the Disney Store was The Disney Store, and now I’ve finally got her! Cheaper than the price she came out at, even. xD All in all, well worth the trip for a Disney geek like me. Next time I’ll be sure to plan ahead and maybe go for the entire weekend.
As always, many more photos on my Facebook!