Jet lag. Ugh. It's an awful thing.
It's taken me a few days to recover from being on the West Coast, sorry about that.
However, here I go, with a recap of Days 3 and 4 of the D23 Expo.
You already know about the biggest highlight of Day 3 -- Jay Rasulo's Parks and Resorts presentation, in which he announced a huge expansion of Fantasyland at Walt Disney World, as well as the update, finally, of the Star Tours attraction! If you missed that news, be sure to read HERE and view the videos my colleague Laura Gilbreath included in her blog HERE
There's also Disney's official video from that presentation here:
The rest of Day 3 was actually a string of disappointments for me.
I had intended to go to the Princess and the Frog presentation at 3:00 that day, but was shut out -- got over to the line too late, and when I say it was unbelievable, I'm not exaggerating:
When I went up to see if I could sneak in about 45 minutes after the show was supposed to start, I was told they were still trying to seat people -- they had to check bags/cameras and go through security! When I went back up 45 minutes after *that* I was told that they had only just started about 5 minutes before.
I had been planning to go to the Prep & Landing presentation after that, but because of the late start, that show wasn't going to start until
probably 7 p.m.! Prep & Landing is an animated holiday story done
by Disney for ABC -- the first time they've done anything specifically
for TV like that. Previews I saw for it in other presentations
were really cute, so I really did
want to see it... guess I have to wait until December, since I couldn't
stay until 7 p.m. -- I had dinner plans. Ah well.
Instead, I walked around down on the main floor and tried to see some
of the exhibits I'd missed. Most notable was the Storytellers Sandbox,
a cute interactive exhibit that had you getting your hands dirty in the sand, upon which various images were projected.
I eventually wandered back to the room to work a bit, then had a lovely evening with my colleagues Deb, Laura and Lee at Catal in Downtown Disney. But that's the topic of another blog...
Day 4, Sunday. I would be lying to you if I said by Day 4 I wasn't exhausted. Running up and down the length of very long convention center multiple times a day, getting up at 6 a.m. and hitting the hay very late each day -- well, let's just say this convention-going isn't as glamorous as it sounds!
Still, I persevered.
Day 4 saw me over at the convention center early to be sure I had seating for the big John Lasseter presentation at 11 a.m. Not to worry, I managed to secure a good seat. Although we couldn't take photos, Disney did supply some footage from the presentation, at which Lasseter showed lots of clips of upcoming Pixar films, most importantly Toy Story 3 (in 3-D)!
Aside from Toy Story 3, we also heard about the upcoming sequel
to Cars, which has a great storyline featuring Mater the tow truck, as
well as the other original characters. There were also clips of Rapunzel, the new Tinker Bell series, Winnie the Pooh, and Princess and the Frog.
(I have to say, all told I saw about 45 minutes of this film this weekend,
and it only made me want to see the rest -- this looks like such a great
Later in the day, I desperately wanted to see the special Muppets presentation, but again was shut out due the crowds. How long must
those people who got in have waited?! I hear, however, that several
big Muppet announcements were made in this presentation, including that Muppet*Vision 3D was going to be upgraded to digital 3-D, and that there would be a new preshow video for this attraction. Also, they announced a Mobile Electrical Mayhem Band, along the lines of the
Mobile Muppet Lab that was tested in Epcot a while ago. I'm really sorry I missed this presentation, but they did take our names and addresses and promised to send us a "We're Sorry" gift. Maybe it will be a DVD of
the presentation we missed.
Since I couldn't get into the Muppets program, that freed me up to attend the second John Lasseter program of the day, "Imagineering Pixar for the Disney Parks." It was touch and go for a while, but eventually I managed to get in to this presentation, and it was so worthwhile! The Imagineers and Lasseter basically went over the evolution of how Pixar characters have been incorporated into Disney parks -- with some interesting factoids along the way.
Lasseter was as charming as could be but he really won the crowd over when, near the end of the session he spoke a bit about the importance of quality both for Disney and Pixar. After saying that they would rather
not do a project at all if they had to cut too many corners to meet a budget, he added:
"Are you gonna be the one explaining to everyone getting off the ride that it's successful because it's done on time and under budget, but it's a piece of crap?!"
Thunderous applause followed. Talk about tapping into the zeitgeist of the audience!
I believe Deb Wills captured this moment and the following press conference on video and will share it in her D23 Expo blog coming soon. If memory serves, this is where they casually dropped into the conversation that they would be doing an update soon of One Man's Dream in Disney's Hollywood Studios!
While we were in Pixar heaven, elsewhere in the convention center a bevy of Disney Channel stars were holding forth. Though no one from our team attended this event, Disney provided some footage here:
And thus ended my D23 Expo Adventures. I was sad that I wouldn't
be able to attend the debut of the Toy Story 1 and 2 in 3-D double bill, but my red-eye flight back to the East Coast awaited me.
In summary, I really enjoyed the D23 Expo -- every program that I got into was excellent, and overall I thought the whole weekend was extremely well done. In fact, I've written an article expressing my thoughts about the execution of the D23 Expo here: http://allears.net/btp/issue521.htm
Reflecting on it all, I think I would go to the Expo again next year -- I just need some time to recover from the jet lag!
The previous post in this blog was Recap of D23 Expo Day 2.
The next post in this blog is Epcot's Food and Wine Festival Day 1.