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September 2009 Archives

September 3, 2009

D23 Expo - Counting Down

The D23 Expo starts this time next week so it's time to start the countdown! The Disney Company has seemingly pulled out all the stops for this event.

On September 10th, things start in high gear with a keynote by Bob Iger followed by the Disney Legends Induction Ceremony, and it keeps rolling after that. This is the first time the Legends ceremony will be open to the public!

There is so much going on it will be difficult to decide what to see and when. If the speaker list doesn't offer you enough to choose from there are also the Pavilions to keep you entertained.

The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, ABC, Disney Consumer Products, Radio Disney, D23 Expo Dream Store, Disney Interactive Media and much more. These Pavilions will be offering exclusive previews and sneak peeks into what's coming for the Disney Company.

Don't forget to visit the Collector's Forum, for Disney fans: "Hunting for that rare bit of Disneyana? Maybe you're looking for a piece of nostalgia that connects you to your favorite Disney memory. Explore our Collectors' Forum where a wide variety of vendors will be presenting unique and delightful items from Disney's past."

This is just the very tip of the jammed packed 4-day schedule for the D23 Expo.

Tips and Notes:

1) If you are attending be sure to check out when photography will be allowed and when it is banned. Notices such as this one: "No photography, filming or recording will be allowed" are now appearing on the official schedule.

2) Be sure to read carefully the Know Before You Go section! This page includes important information you will want to know! Here are just a few things:

Autograph Signing Policy -- We ask that you bring no personal items to be signed. Artist will only sign the event merchandise purchased on the day of the event. Valid D23 Expo receipt may be required as proof of purchase.

D23 members should bring their D23 membership card with them, as well as a valid photo ID for access to early admission to the D23 Expo, to purchase special D23 member exclusive merchandise and for other D23 benefits.

Lockers - There are no lockers available at the D23 Expo. Please keep all your personal belongings with you.

Seminar Seating - The room will be cleared at the end of each seminar on Stage 23. Guests may not remain seated to attend the following seminar.

Be sure to read the AllEars® interview with Steven Clark by Debra Martin Koma

Once the Expo begins on September 10th, there are THREE ways you can follow us! In fact, several of us will be in town early, so look for Pre-Expo posts beginning early next week.

With the new social networking, we plan to do something a little different.

There is a program called "Twitpic" that allows one to send photos via a mobile phone directly to Twitter. The All Ears® Reporters will be posting text, audio and photos to Twitter.

On Twitter:
Deb Wills: http://twitter.com/allearsdeb

AllEars® Team Coverage: http://twitter.com/D23Expo_AllEars

Deb has her twitter account transmitting automatically to her Facebook account. So those of you who are "friends" can follow our updates that way!


At the same time, AllEars® team member Jack Marshall will be back home, copying our Twitter photos and combining them with this daily blog. So, you can follow us either here, on Twitter or on Facebook.

September 5, 2009

Disneyland Pre-D23 - Saturday

Deb Wills is visiting Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. She's roaming the parks and posting photos to Twitter. This is a compilation of all those photos.

Today's photos are from Saturday.

Tower of Terror and DCA wake up
DLR at dawn

Pressed Pennies Everywhere
Pressed Pennies

Happy Birthday from Stitch!! Wow!
Stitch & Deb

Disneyland Now Open
Disneyland Now Open

Love this ride!!
Love this ride

Great snack at new Lucky Fortune Cookery at DCA
Lucky Fortune Cookery snack

In line for Aladdin
In line for Aladdin

The Mariachi Divas were awesome!!
Deb and the Mariachi Divas

Tonight's Dinner
Napa Rose

Linda ponders the Napa Rose selections
Linda looks over menu

Our awesome server at Napa Rose, Becca
Becca and Deb

A final Happy Birthday Wish from Napa Rose
Happy Birthday plate

September 6, 2009

Disneyland/Pre-D23 Expo - Sunday

Deb Wills is visiting Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. She's roaming the parks and posting photos to Twitter. This is a compilation of all those photos.

Today's photos are from Sunday.

Disneyland half marathon runners

Cheering on DL runners

Congrats to every single person who began the half marathon!!!!

Runners still going strong!

AllEars GuestBlogger Cedric and Sis Cindy with Medals!!

Deb cheering the DL 1/2 marathon runners!

Lori in the home stretch DL Half Marathon

More Disney friends Scott and Lynn

Congrats AllEars DL expert Laura and Lee

Standing at DCA entrance looking at DL! They really are that close.

Main Street USA is packed !!!!

Waiting in the masses for DL fireworks show.

September 7, 2009

Disneyland/Pre-D23 Expo - Monday

Deb Wills is visiting Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. As she roams the parks, she's posting photos to Twitter. This is a compilation of all those photos.

These photos are from Monday, September 7:

Good Morning California Adventure

Time for breakfast at Grand Californian

A+ Biscuit Breakfast Sand - 2 fried eggs 3 bacon cheese and Xtra Large Biscuit $7! Yummy! White Water Snacks

Linda LOVED her first Indy Jones ride!

AllEars guest blogger Cedric with Deb at DL
Deb and Cedric

Cedric and Linda in DL ToonTown
Linda and Cedric

Having a Blast in Toon Town - Here's my new car
Toon Town Fun

Great lunch w/ great friends at DL-DD Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen
Lunch with Friends

Just Beautiful. DCA at night

Enjoying the evening on our balcony with this view :)
Evening on the balcony

September 8, 2009

Disneyland Pre-D23 Expo - Tuesday

Deb Wills is visiting Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. As she roams the parks, she's posting photos to Twitter. This is a compilation of all those photos.

These photos are from Tuesday, September 8:

Waking and Working on the balcony
Working on the balcony

In line for DL resort guest Magic Morning!
DL Magic Morning

Beautiful DD DL morning
DD DL Morning

Good morning folks at DL
Good morning

Herreeeee we go to Neverland at DL
Peter Pan's Flight

Ever popular Dumbo DL

Where is the white rabbit??
white rabbit?

Lunch at Pacific Wharf at DCA
Lunch at Pacific Wharf

Cool photo op at DCA's Pacific Wharf area
Photo op at Pacific Wharf

DCA construction for World of Color well underway
construction for World of Color

Dinner at Storytellers in Grand Californian

Grand Californian Lobby
Grand Californian Lobby

Awesome pianist in GC lobby
GC pianist

September 9, 2009

D23 Expo - Meet the AllEarsĀ® Reporters!

AllEars® Team Members Deb Wills, Debra Martin Koma and Laura Gilbreath will be joined by a great group of volunteers to bring you extensive coverage of the first D23 Expo! The Expo runs Thursday - Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center.

You can read my D23Expo Counting Down Blog for more background information!

We thought you'd like to see exactly who will be reporting! Plus, you'll know what we look like so you can say hello at the D23 Expo! We will have some free AllEars items each day (while supplies last).

We've created a special twitter account where we will all be posting so be sure to follow us at:
on Twitter at:

Deb Wills
Deb Wills and the Main Street Mayor

Deb Wills is the founder and webmaster of AllEars.net which began in January 1996. She has met Disney fans from all over the world and loves to Share the Magic! For the D23 Expo, "I'm looking forward to the Disney Cruise Line announcements as well as anything to do with the themeparks and imagineering!".

Deb will also make a daily appearance at the MouseFanTravel booth in the Collector's Forum, table #C122 where she will have some AllEars goodies to give away. Watch Twitter for announcements of Deb's appearance times! (d23expo_allears) Be sure to stop by and tell the folks from MouseFanTravel Deb says Hi!!!

During the Expo, you can follow Deb on Twitter at:
on her own Twitter account:

Her Twitters will also appear on her Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/debwills

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Debra Martin Koma
Debra Martin Koma
Debra Martin Koma is Senior Editor of AllEars® and has worked with Deb Wills on all aspects of the AllEars.Net website since 1997. "I'm really looking forward to so many of the activities at the D23 Expo," Debra says, "it's hard to choose just one or two. I will definitely be in attendance for the ABCs of Television, though -- hope to see my teen idol Donny Osmond! And I also don't want to miss the special Muppets presentation on Sunday, as I am a long-time Kermit fan."

During the Expo, you can follow Debra on Twitter at:
on her own Twitter account:

She'll also be posting updates to her Facebook page daily:

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Laura Gilbreath

Laura Gilbreath is the Disneyland correspondent for AllEars.Net. "It's been very interesting to see how the D23 Expo has developed over the last couple of months - the content just keeps getting better and better! I am especially looking forward to the Science of Imagineering presentation on Saturday -- I'm a geek girl at heart."

During the Expo, Laura will be blogging as time allows! http://land.allears.net/blogs/lauragilbreath/

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Our Special D23 Expo Reporters:

Jeanine Yamanaka

Jeanine spends what many consider to be a pathological amount of time, money, and interest on all things Disney. She anticipates hearing Iger, Rasulo, and Lasseter talk about the future of the company just as much as she looks forward to Baxter, RP Disney, and the Legends relate tales of the past."

Follow Jeanine on Twitter at:

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Cedric Ching
Deb and Cedric

Cedric, just having completed the Disneyland half marathon, is very excited about all things Disney at the D23 Expo! He'll be sending lots of photos to our twitter account:

Follow Cedric on Twitter at:

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Sara Varney
Sara Varney

Sara Varney is a Travel Planner for MEI & Mouse Fan Travel as well as PassPorter's Newsletter Editor and Online Coordinator. "I am thrilled to be a part of the AllEars® D23 Expo reporting team! I am especially looking forward to seeing John Lasseter and hearing Disney Cruise Line's announcements." Says Sara. "I'm a big Robin Willams fan and was excited to learn he would be attending as part of the Disney Legends Ceremony."

Follow Sara on Twitter at:

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Beci Mahnken

Beci Mahnken is the Founder and President of Mouse Fan Travel®, the exclusive travel partner of AllEars®.. "I'm excited to see all the magical experiences and surpirses Disney has in store for the fans." Beci goes on to say, "I am really looking forward to hearing about the upcoming plans for the parks and the new DCL itineraries. Its also going to be fun watching for the all the stars they have on the agenda and meeting other fans in person!" Beci and the Mouse Fan Travel team will be at booth #C122 in the collectors forum. Be sure to stop by and tell them you heard about them on AllEars!

Beci will be posting on Twitter at:

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Lee Zimmerman

Lee Zimmerman is a computer systems engineer by day, and a closet imagineer wanna be. Lee's main contribution to AllEars has been providing technical support - and a willing partner for Disney activities - for his wife, Laura Gilbreath. Recently Lee has been providing video coverage of events at Disneyland Resort and will do the same for the D23 Expo.

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And last but not least, please welcome

Don Morin!

Don Morin is the creator and Manager of PNW Mouse Meet in Seattle, Washington. "I am extremely excited about the D23 Expo as it REALLY IS shaping up to be the Ultimate Disney Fan Experience." The programs that I am most looking for to are: Imagineering the Future of Disney Parks; The Future of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation; The Science of Imagineering; Tron Presentation and the opportunity to meet other Disney Fans.

Follow Don on Twitter at:

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As time allows we will upload out photos to this blog!

Please say hello to us at the D23 Expo!
and on Twitter at:

So for those following us at home or here in Anaheim - Happy D23 Expo to all! Let the Magic Begin!!!

- - - -

These photos are from Wednesday, September 9:

Beci: we are in full set up mode. I can't wait to see this place packed with mouse fans!
D23 credential

Jeanine: the booths are mostly up now....

Beci: anyone want to win a prize at D23? Stop by booth c122
Mouse Fan Travel

Disneyland Pre-D23 Expo - Wednesday

Deb Wills is visiting Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. As she roams the parks, she's posting photos to Twitter. This is a compilation of all those photos.

These photos are from Wednesday, September 9:

Last am on Grand Californian balcony - changing hotels today
Morning on the balcony

Lots of signage at Convention Center
Convention Center signs

Cool Benches at DL - look like bookends
DL benches

Disneyland Railroad
Railroad sign

@touringplans meet at Hungry Bear @allyp @jeff318 @cedriccscfl
@touringplans meet

Cedric Marc and Shaili @touringplans meet at DL
Cedric Marc and Shaili

@touringplans meet This is Henry, Deb and @dcdeb_allears
Henry, Deb & DebK

@marcmantoo has amazing Spreadsheets for D23

@otisney @rick_howard @jeff318 @touringplans meet in Critter Country
Critter Country meet

Greg Ehrbar From Annette to Miley @D23 Expo Sunday 3:30pm
Greg Ehrbar

September 10, 2009

D23 Expo - Day One - September 10, 2009

D23 Expo Logo

(Scroll down for today's annoucements and photographs which will be added throughout the day)

Today is the first official day of the D23 Expo. The AllEars team will be reporting live whenever possible.

Doors open at 8am for D23 members and at 9am for the general public.

The Expo begins with 2 blockbuster events:
10am Bob Iger opens the Expo
11am Disney Legends Ceremony

Other highlights today include (but hardly limited to):The Magic in the Art of Disney Stamps
The World of Vintage Disneyland In Color
ABCs of Disney
Haunted Mansion Sounds and Music
An Afternoon with Imagineering Legends

The All Ears® Reporters will be posting text, audio and photos to Twitter.

AllEars® Team Coverage: http://twitter.com/D23Expo_AllEars

Deb Wills: http://twitter.com/allearsdeb


At the same time, AllEars® team member Jack Marshall will be back home, copying our Twitter photos and combining them with this daily blog. So, you can follow us either here, on Twitter or on Facebook.

And as time allows, our photographs will be posted below. (Remember we are on West Coast Time!)

Today's Photos and announcements:

Cedric: half past 5am and already in a queue.
Line at 5:30 am

Cedric: the sun is out. so is Mickey and Pluto. Line is getting huge.
Sun is out

Cedric: The line still grows
Line still growing

Cedric: in line with voucher for d23 pins
Pin voucher

Sara: 1st Glimpse!!
1st Glimpse

Sara: Vicki and Annette setting up!
Vicki and Annette

Registration is open and the people are headed inside the bldg!
Registration is open

D23Expo Giveaways
D23 giveaways

Around 400 in line for Bob Iger already
Line for Bob Iger

Steve Barrett and Debbie Koma at D23 Expo
Steve and Debbie

Cedric: queueing up to go in the D23 arena. they're going to take our cameras
Cedric in line

Margaret Kerry (Tinkerbell) arrive for D23 Expo
Margaret Kerry

Beci: we just got the 5 min warning for doors and the arena queue is filling up!
5 minute warning

Beci: a little D23 display eye candy!
D23 eye candy

Expo photo op
Photo op

Dmk: mr. Lincoln in parks & resorts area
Abe Lincoln

Dmk: lucky the dino
Lucky the dino

Jeanine: It's time! Expo, baby! Expo!
It's time!

Beci: a hidden Steve Barrett with Stitch
Steve Barrett

Jeanine: Possibly the cutest plush ever. And they're giving out Steamboat Willie keychains!

Dmk: my hero! Wall-E

Sara: Beci and Deb stop NY WDW Radio!
Beci and Deb

I met Wall-E
Wall-E and Deb

Beci: Deb meeting Alison at the Mouse Fan Travel booth
Alison and Deb

Sara: Don Morin from PNW Meet and Deb Wills
Don Morin and Deb

Sara: Steve Barrett of Hidden Mickeys and his lovely wife Vicky
Steve and Vicky Barrett

Beci: Deanna Mongello and I had to check out the technology booth.
Deanna and Beci

Beci: Disney is running a food drive. It was fun to watch them stack the cans at set up
Food drive

Sara: Radio Disney is evil. We are all trying not to do the macarena! Already caved on YMCA on WDW Radio web cam.

Sara: happiness is...
Happiness is

Don: watched imagineer work on programmng the lincoln figure due to premier in december!!

Don: cars land looks to be spectacular, cant wait for 2012!! Ride will have several variations each time you ride...

Sara: Disney Tattoo Hit! Over 2000 Disney tattoos!
Disney tattoo man

Dmk: Cinderella carriage
Cinderella carriage

Sara: Justin Muchoney, former Disney CMO
Justin Muchoney

Jeanine: preview of Princess and the Frog looked really good--live performance by ANR was terrific! Got my phone back


Cedric: redeeming pin vouchers and getting some ears at the dream store.
pin vouchers and ears


Sara: Lou Mongello and Imagineer Jason Surrell
Lou Mongello and Imagineer Jason Surrell

Even PUSH came to the D23 Expo

Free AllEars hats by Deb at MouseFanTravel booth at D23 expo
AllEars Hats

Cedric: line for 2pm vintage disneyland is ridiculous. screening abc's modern fam
Modern fam

DMK: So enjoyed this morning's activities -- seeing Robin Williams and Betty White at the Disney Legends ceremony just

icing on the cake!

Jeanine: watched 20 minutes of Beauty and the Beast in 3D, with Don Hahn, Paige O'Hara, and Glenn Keane.

Cedric: layout for the upcoming mystic manor at hong kong disneyland.
Mystic Manor layout

Deb: Big surprise to see Disney Legend Art Linkletter in the audience -- sadly didn't get a photo.

DMK: Was also thrilled to watch 30 mins of Princess & the Frog -- really hooked me, can't wait to see the rest of the movie!

Artist Willardson in Collectors forum D23Expo
Artist Willardson

Mari and Alexander (from Australia) at D23expo
Mari and Alexander

DMK: Back to the convention -- this afternoon? Donny Osmond, Joseph Fienne, Kelsey Grammer and lots more Disney stuff!

Disney Fairytale Weddings at D23Expo
Disney Fairytale Weddings

Sara: Annette in her Volunt-ears

Artist signing by Ron Velasco and Anthony Whitfield
Ron Velasco and Anthony Whitfield

Cody Linley signs autographs
Cody Linley

In a long line for 4:30 Imagineering Legends
Line for Imagineering Legends

SO much to see and do! Carsland model at Themeparks area
Carsland model

Sara: Kevin Robinson the winner of our first drawing!
Kevin Robinson

Don: Wonderful World of Vintage Disneyland was excellent!! Tony Baxter & Ed Hobelman did a GREAT job. Many color

footage never seen before

Cedric: both sessions at storyteller's theatre filled up fast.

DMK: as close as i got to Donny Osmond
Donny Osmond

An afternoon with imagineering legends
imagineering legends

September 11, 2009

D23 Expo - Day Two - September 11, 2009

D23 Expo Logo

(Scroll down for today's annoucements and photographs which will be added throughout the day)

Day Two begins for the D23 Expo!

Today's big event is the 9:00am announcement by the Disney Cruise Line about upcoming itineraries for the ship!

Other highlights today include (but hardly limited to):
Disney Movie Magic - Dick Cook
The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D screening
Making the World of Color - Steven Davidson
The Making of Toy Story the Musical
Signing sessions with: Randy Thortno, Robert Olszewski, Ridkly Pearson, Jason Surrell, and Margaret Kerry

The All Ears® Reporters will be posting text, audio and photos to Twitter.

AllEars® Team Coverage: http://twitter.com/D23Expo_AllEars

Deb Wills: http://twitter.com/allearsdeb


Photo loading on the blog will be very sporadic today, if at all. Best to follow us on Twitter.

Today's Photos:

Deb: We're here! Laura G and Lee Z had a quick trip from San Diego and are looking forward to a great day of D23 events.

Sara: Today's Voluntears project- video msgs for the troops
Voluntears Project

Sara: Herbie the Love Bug

Sara: was just in girly girl heaven in the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit

Waiting for the DCL Presentation
Waiting for DCL

Karl Holtz opens DCL presentation
Karl Holtz

Sara: 2011 7 nts Alaska cruise 2011 15 nts Panama canal cruise!!

Jeanine: I have my own row at the Dave Barry/Ridley Pearson talk.
Dave Barry/Ridley Pearson talk

Sara: 7 nts Mexican Riviera wonder 10 & 11 nts holiday cruises on magic

Karl also talks Adventures by Disney
Adventures by Disney

DCL Alaska

Sara: cool Rocketeer costume!

80 huge pieces combine to make Disney Dream
Disney Dream

Vickie Barrett at the Hidden Mickey booth
Vickie Barrett

Learn to draw Disney characters
Learn to Draw Disney characters

Sara: Charlie Bridgeway, worked with Walt himself
Charlie Bridgeway

Beci: Annette and I tracked down the Dreams Donald statue
Dreams Donald statue

Sara: Deb handing out lanyards and pins!
Deb handing out pins

DMK: Ridley Pearson/Dave Barry talk on Kingdom Keepers/Peter books very entertaining, even though Barry was remote from Miami

Dave Barry coming live from Miami at his talk with Ridley Pearson
Dave Barry

Sara: the coolest Tigger cane!
Tigger cane

Cedric: hardly a line for 12:30pm haunted mansion w/Jason Surrell.
Line for Jason Surrell

Jeanine: Deppster as Sparrow! Like, the actual article!

Don: Disney movies presentation included Tim Burton, John Travolta and family, Nick Cage, Jerry Bruckhiemer, Miley Syrus and Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow

No wait to see Minnie Mouse at D23Expo
Minnie Mouse

Don: Cook announced a new Disney movie label in cooperation with Del Tormo called - Disney's Double Dare You. Story based scary films!!

Ridley Person Autographing at D23 Expo
Ridley Person

Jeanine: In line for Making of World of Color. They have gone to a voucher system to ward off mob riots.
Making a World of Color

Lee: at Studios presentation - LOVED the 20+ min tribute reel to Disney movies with live orchestra and choir

D23Expo Store
D23Expo Store

Sara: the red queen interacting with the WDW Radio team
The Red Queen

Sara: The Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter

Deb and Laura pose with the new DCL Dream - Donald Icon
Den and Laura

Dave Smith and @marcmantoo outside the Disney Archives exhibit
Dave Smith and @marcmantoo

Jeanine: Amy Grant will be the signature voice of World of Color.

Steven explains the World of Color coming to DCA
Explaining the World of Color

Jeanine: a minor miracle, as the theme park music panel appears to have accomodated the whole standby line.

Sara: Annette & Sara's masterpiece
the masterpiece

Steve Barrett of the Hidden Mickeys books at D23expo
Steve Barrett

DMK: We make the music w/Valerie Vigoda
We make the music

Beci: sing along and dancing at the radio disney stage. Love the van!
Radio Disney van

Beci: might be Sept but Hallmark has 3 decorated trees for auction for boys & girls clubs
Decorated tree for auction

Don: Tron Legacy presentation- quick q & a with panel- no big reveals- now showing original Tron in digital 3D

Sara: Done at D23 for the day. Park time tonight!

Jeanine: Michael Giacchino talks about scoring Space Mountain and Luxo Jr.
Michael Giacchin

Storytellers Theatre is home to many of the talks!
Storytellers Theatre

Finally seated for the show! Been a long wait!
The Making of Toy Story the Musical

A very magical moment for a very special 10 year anniversary
Lou and Deanna

Cedric: made it into the making of Toy Story the Musical. Deb W is in the front
Toy Story the Musical

Don: GREAT Day at D23!! Many many freebies from stickers to toys to candy. Many daily drawings as well. Worth the trip!

Deb: We Make the Music program ran late, but was so interesting -- Bruce Broughton, Joel McNeely, Michael Giacchino and more. Really enjoyed it!

Composers Joel McNeely, Valerie Vigoda, Brendan Milburn do song from Toy Story musical.
Joel McNeely, Valerie Vigoda, Brendan Milburn

Musical team for Toy Story the Musical
Musical team for Toy Story the Musical

Jeanine: A rare break in scheduling allows for a quick park trip.
Quick park trip

Lee: in hotel starting to edit video from today's events and saw sunset over D23 site

Jeanine: watching Walt & El Grupo with Jim Hill and panelists.
Walt & El Grupo

Jeanine: waiting for the Tommy Kirk panel.Will probably not stay for film, as without some sleep soon, I may die.
Tommy Kirk panel

Cedric: done w/walt and el grupo panel/saludos amigos. Been up since 5am.

September 12, 2009

D23 Expo - Day Three - September 12, 2009

D23 Expo Logo

(Scroll down for today's annoucements and photographs which will be added throughout the day)

Day Three begins for the D23 Expo!

Today's block buster session will be Imagineering The Future of Disney Theme Parks - Jay Rasulo

Other highlights include (but hardly limited to):
So You Want to be an Imagineer
Disneynature Presentation
Growing up with Roy P. Disney
Refreshing a Classic - its a small world remake
Princess and the Frog Screening
The Making of US Presidents
D23 Expo Auction!

Signing sessions with: Russell Schroeder, Dan Hahn, Ted Thomas and JB Kaufman, Marty Sklar, and Thomas Kinkade.

The All Ears® Reporters will be posting text, audio and photos to Twitter.

AllEars® Team Coverage: http://twitter.com/D23Expo_AllEars

Deb Wills: http://twitter.com/allearsdeb


At the same time, AllEars® team member Jack Marshall will be back home, copying our Twitter photos and combining them with this daily blog. So, you can follow us either here, on Twitter or on Facebook.

And as time allows, our photographs will be posted below. (Remember we are on West Coast Time!)

Today's Photos and Announcements:

Deb: Day 3 of D23 Expo will begin soon. Jay Rasulo speaks! Hope there is a exciting announcement.

D23 members come to PookaLooz booth at 8 for cool steamboat willie key chain
PookaLooz booth

Jeanine: Making Memories, blasting in the lobby. Welcome back to Expo!

EKSuccess Brands Booth Make a Free mini Scrapbook this am!!
Make a mini scrapbook

Todays VoluntEAR project: Grow Green
VoluntEAR project

My finished Scrapbook!
Deb's scrapbook

Momma and Mari at the Pookalooz Booth
Momma and Mari

Gary at NFFC Booth Paige O'hara appearing today 2-4

Beci: the line for general admission is around the bldg... Wow!
General admission line

Jeanine: now loading for Who Wants To Be An Imagineer. The line was fairly sizeable, and the vouchers seemed largely irrelevant.

Beci: Deb Wills meeting and greeting at the Mouse Fan Travel booth

Lots of Costumes today at the Expo
People in costume

Jeanine: Dex Tanksley, Imagineer on Indiana Jones and ToT, talks about his career start.
Dex Tanksley

In a very long line for Jay Rasula 75 minutes before talk
line for Jay Rasula talk

Lee Zimmerman of AllEars ready to video Jay Rasulo talk
Lee Zimmerman

Waiting for Jay Rasulo talk
Waiting for Jay Rasulo talk

Sara: I just met John Tartaglia from Johnny & the Sprites!!!

Jeanine: did the big sprint down to the arena for the Rasulo talk.

Beci: most impressive queue line... Ever. Jay is a popular guy!
Queue for Jay Rasulo talk

Beci: the canned food drive is going well. The castle is almost done!
Canned food drive

Beci: today VoluntEARS Project planting for schools

Arena filling for Jay Rasulo Talk @disneyd23
Rasulo crowd

Rasulo on stage
Rasulo on stage

Fantasyland WDW Rumors TRUE
WDW Fantasyland

Ariel ride ETicket! WDW
Ariel ride

Expanded Dumbo attraction
Dumbo ride

WDW New Fantasyland 2012
Jay Rasulo

Cedric: just met Mark Silverman voice talent for Rod Sterling for the Tower of Terror
Mark Silverman

3 new lands Hong Kong DL
Hong Kong DL

Future of theme parks - more guest interaction with the attraction.

Sharing thoughts on new Carsland for DL

Another Dream Suite giveaway
Dream Suite giveaway

New 3d Star Tours for DL
3d Star Tours

Cedric: Storyteller Theatre's queue now on 1st floor for 12:30pm show
Storyteller Theatre's queue

Press conference 2 phases; 2012 for most; 2013 for Fairies
press conference

Toon town will completely go away at MK
press conference 2

Jay Rasulo joins press conference
press conference 3

Star Tours will visit new destinations. Lots of changes. Fantasyland will be targeted to whole families including the boys.
press conference 4

Looking at major rehab for One Mans Dream in the future.. New artifacts, costumes etc
press conference 5

Ariel attraction Q and setup will be diff in DCA and WDW but actually ride the same.
press conference 6

Packed house for Roy P. Disney
Roy P. Disney

Jeanine: Neal Gabler sounds a lot like Regis Philbin

Beci: The storm troopers invaded the Mouse Fan Travel booth!
Storm Troopers and Beci

Storm Troopers are all around the Expo
Storm Troopers and Laura

Much more crowded today. Queue lines for Mickey!

Storm Troopers planting seeds for environment
Storm Troopers

Disney Channel stars Chelsea Staub and Tiffany Thornton sign for fans
Chelsea Staub and Tiffany Thornton

Disney Princess Storytime and Royal Manners show
Disney Princess Storytime

Sara: Busiest day by far! Lots of costumes. The excitement is palpable!

Jeanine: Toshio Kagami seen touring the Parks and Resorts booth!

Disney Fairytale Wedding Models
Disney Fairytale Wedding Models

Thomas Kincade talks to a packed crowd!
Thomas Kincade

Next: Wait Line for 4:30 Making of US Presidents
Wait line

Princess & the Frog delayed 45 minutes
Princess & the Frog queue

The Making of the U.S. Presidents talk
Making of Presidents talk

Hall of Presidents
Hall of Presidents

More from Making of Hall of Presidents
Hall of Presidents 2

Imagineers visit the White House to meet with Pres-elect Obama and record his voice.
Imagineers meet Obama

DMK: Princess & the Frog show started 90 minutes late! Delays Prep & Landing show until 6:30 or 7 p.m. -- guess I won't see that now :-(

DMK: Guess I'll go to the Lost Chords program instead... or not...

Tony Baxter talks about the new Mr. Lincoln show at Disneyland
Tony Baxter

The Song "Two Brothers" will return to DL Mr. Lincoln
Two brothers

Lee: only Disney could turn an empty room into a ride, I mean show, que. :-)

Stopped by Storytellers Sandbox
Storytellers Sandbox

After Mr Lincoln show ends there will be a 2.5 minute photo montage with Golden Dreams Song that audience can sit and watch
Mr Lincoln

Lee: Lost Chords room is not full if anyone wants to show up late

Jeanine: The Disney Employee Choir sing deleted songs from the movies in Lost Chords
Disney Employee Choir

September 13, 2009

D23 Expo - Day Four - September 13, 2009

D23 Expo Logo

(Scroll down for today's annoucements and photographs which will be added throughout the day)

Day Four - The Final Day of the D23 Expo!

Today's block buster session will be The Future of Disney and Pixar Animation with John Lasseter

Other highlights include (but hardly limited to):
The Making of Toy Story Midway Mania
Special Muppets Presentation
A Magical Afternoon with the Cast of Wizards of Waverly Place
Imagineering Pixar for the Parks
From Annette to Miley: How Disney Pop Changed the World
Toy Story 3

Signing sessions with: David Pacheco, the Wizards of Waverly Place Cast, Harrison Ellenshaw, Manny Hernandez, Mike Kungl and Tim Rogerson

The All Ears® Reporters will be posting text, audio and photos to Twitter.

AllEars® Team Coverage: http://twitter.com/D23Expo_AllEars

Deb Wills: http://twitter.com/allearsdeb


At the same time, AllEars® team member Jack Marshall will be back home, copying our Twitter photos and combining them with this daily blog. So, you can follow us either here, on Twitter or on Facebook.

And as time allows, our photographs will be posted below. (Remember we are on West Coast Time!)

Today's Photos and Announcements:

Storytellers Theatre Q moved!!
Queue moved

Visit Belle (Paige O'hara) today at the NFFC booth at D23expo
Page O'hara info

Sara: Last day of D23! It's been a wonderful event

Fans arrive for the final day of D23Expo
Fans arrive

Several schedule changes for today
schedule change

Sara: Justin Muchoney and the Storm Troopers!
Justin Muchoney and the Storm Troopers!

Sara: Annette and WDWToday fans Carolyn and Ricky
Annette and WDWToday fans

Beci: proof that I made it to the 2nd floor! The archives exhibit was great
archives exhibit

Jeanine: back in line for the Toy Story Mania talk. Seems like I never left.

Today's first presentation!
Toy Story Midway Mania

DMK: Are my eyes closed? It is Day 4!
DMK and Mickey

Making of Toy Story Mania - got green lighted very fast
Making of Toy Story Midway Mania

DMK: Food drive canned goods castle done
Food drive castle

Cedric: completed the R U 23 Trivia Challenge (with some help from friends)

Jeanine: Lasseter was charming as always, with a lot of clips but no big revelations in his talk.

DMK: Shut out of Muppets presentation -- but they had us leave our info so they can send us a "We're Sorry" gift, something cute they say.

Don: just left D23. Actually very sad to be leaving. Was an excellent event and i will definately be sure to attend next year!

Jeanine: Pixar lines today=extra dose of waiting. Think Epcot Soarin' on a bad day.

Jeanine: After being denied at Muppets, now settled in for a 1.5 hr wait in the next Pixar talk queue. On the upside, have obtained voucher.

Sara: Moving into the last few hours of D23. It's been a great event!

Cedric: the finished Lego mural
Lego mural

Getting ready for Pixar and the parks
Pixar and the parks

John Lassiter and imagineers
John Lassiter and imagineers

Jeanine: Pixar in the house.
Pixar seminar

Sara: Tara Schmidt of CA won a trip to WDW from Mouse Fan Travel!

John Lassiter after ground breaking ceremony at DCA Carsland
John Lassiter

Jeanine: waiting outside for the Toy Story screening. They will apparently take our phones in case we want a blurry copy of TS I & II.

Beci: what an amazing four days made even more magical when Margaret Kerry stopped to say goodbye.
Beci and Margaret Kerry

Press Conference with Pixar animators and Disney Imagineers
Pixar press conference

Lots more costumes at D23Expo today

Another pic from today's Pixar parks talk
Pixar pic

Jill and Carolyn stop by the MFT booth at D23expo
Jill and Carolyn

Artwork shown at PixarParks talk
Pixar artwork

The Making of Toy Story Mania talk was fantastic
Toy Story Mania panel

Imagineer Alex was roaming the D23 Expo Floor
Deb and Alex

At least 2 Arena presentations gave away a night in the DL Dream Suite
DL Dream Suite

Jeanine: the last few people wait for their cell phones after the Toy Story double feature. Bye, Expo!

September 21, 2009

D23 Expo Intro and Day 1

D23 Expo Welcome Center

The highly anticipated and heavily "hyped" D23 Expo has come and gone. The D23Expo was four jammed packed days of keynotes, meeting fans from all over the world, unique opportunities, summer "themepark" type lines/waits, movie and attraction announcements and previews, celebrities, imagineers, amazing presentations and once in a life time experiences.


I decided fairly early after the initial announcement not to get an AllEars® table in the Collector's Forum. I was actually quite surprised by the limited number of unofficial sites that did get a table and there were even a smaller number of Disney related book authors present in the Collector's Area. Perhaps a bit of that had to do with the $500+ price tag for 4 days or the fact that the table had to be maintained from 8am to 5pm each day.

With three AllEars® team members expressing interest in attending; I felt it was best if we covered the events from the media perspective. Once the full schedule was made available, Debra Martin Koma, Laura Gilbreath and myself each selected items we were interested in seeing. That list, combined with my core list of Theme Park and Disney Cruise Line related sessions because our guide for the Expo. In addition, we enlisted the help of several "Roving Reporters" who assisted with Twitters, Photos and Videos, not to mention our outstanding support back home (Thanks Jack!)

Posting live updates via Twitter, Facebook and AllEars' Blog Central became our focus. When time allowed we uploaded video. We wanted to provide everyone back home with first hand, real time information on the expo. AllEars even had a great team of Roving Reports to Twitter from different areas of the Expo. We are so grateful to the hundreds of folks that followed us throughout the 4 days.

Entering the Expo I was greeted with bright colors, white Mickey Balloons, a wonderfully comfortable area for relaxing and the Disney Parks and Resorts Area!

Expo Entrance Area

Each day of the D23Expo featured a special presentation by a well known Disney official in the main arena. Counts on the number of attendees at these premiere sessions seemed to be in the low 4,000s. And while the waits were long to enter, I can say I didn't hear anyone complain about the quality of what they saw and heard once the lights dimmed.

Bob Iger gave us a 30 minute preview of the new Princess and the Frog movie (which totally drew me in); Dick Cook paraded star after star on stage as he announced upcoming movies; Jay Rasulo officially debuted what new attractions were in the works and John Lasseter gave us sneak peaks of well, MANY new things from Pixar including the 3D Toy Story movies and Toy Story 3. And those were just the arena Keynotes each day!

Bob Iger Presents at D23 Expo

But even with all this glitz and glamour, the most special presentation I attended in the arena was the Disney Legends Ceremony. This event had always been presented at the Disney Studios and for the first time was held open to the general public. Seated in the arena were over 30 previous awardees including Art Linkletter.

2009 Disney Legends

The stage was illuminated not by the lights but by the presence of shining stars such as Betty White, who upstaged her own introduction, Don Iwerks, Tony Anselmo, Leota Toombs Thomas, and Robin Williams. It was most touching when Robin went into a Walter Cronkite impression and then accepted his award on behalf of recently passed Mr. Cronkite. I'm sure I wasn't alone when a few tears full down my cheeks.

Betty White, Robin Williams and Mickey Mouse

WOW, again!

So let me attempt to recap for you my adventures at the D23Expo.

Day 1, Thursday -- the least attended of all the days. Many folks were working and others used that as a travel day. For attendees this provided several short lived, "we don't have to wait in line for over an hour" opportunities. AllEars colleague Debra Martin Koma and I spent quality time in the Disney Parks and Resort pavilion. This area was lush with photos and models of upcoming attractions and was staff by more imagineers then I ever imagined would be there. We could actually talk to the folks are are working on the attractions that were presented in the pavilion.

Carsland in the Disney Parks and Resorts Area

Carsland in the Disney Parks and Resorts Area

The low attendance on day 1, also meant we didn't have to wait but a few moments for some time with Lucky the Dinosaur and Wall-E, both "living characters" audio-animatronics!

Deb and Lucky

But very soon, D23 officials learned just how enthusiastic Disney fans would be for the special opportunities available. The first D23Epxo presentation in the Storytellers Theatre quickly filled to capacity. There were disappointed fans who were closed out of the Wonderful World of Vintage Disneyland presentation. We also each learned very quickly that it would be impossible to do everything we wanted to do on the schedule. Waits for these special seminars would get longer and longer as the Expo continued.

Waiting to get into Storytellers Theatre

Later on Day 1, I attended "An Afternoon with Imagineering Legends".

An Afternoon with Imagineering Legends

This was another personal highlight for me. Sitting in the same room with imagineers such as Marty Sklar, Alice Davis, X Atencio -- all folks who knew and worked WITH Walt Disney! Facilitated by Marty, this session turned into a wonderful reminiscing exchange between all the panelists who shared great stories and memories with each other. It was truly a once in a life time experience. Afterwards, as part of the media team, I was able to attend a much more intimate press conference with these same folks and learn even more about their experiences as Imagineers!

Don Iwerks

Don Iwerks - An Afternoon with Imagineering Legends

Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar and X Atencio

Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar and X Atencio - An Afternoon with Imagineering Legends

Marty, X, Alice Davis

Marty, X, Alice Davis - An Afternoon with Imagineering Legends

X Atencio

X Atencio - An Afternoon with Imagineering Legends

Bob Gurr

Bob Gurr - An Afternoon with Imagineering Legends

Bob and Marty

Bob and Marty - An Afternoon with Imagineering Legends

There was still more on the schedule but by this time I needed to have dinner, download photos and video and get ready for Day Two!

September 28, 2009

D23 Expo Day 2

Day 2, Friday - the crowds were picking up.

For Disney Cruise Line fans, Friday was the much anticipated announcement by Karl Holz!

I meandered around the queue line before we entered the theatre to see what folks thought would be announced. Most folks were hoping for news on the 2 new ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, but others were hoping for new itinerary announcements and they seemed to be evenly divided between Hawaii and Alaksa.

Disney Cruise Line Alaska Announcement

Disney Cruise Line Alaska Announcement

Once inside, we didn't wait long before the announcement was made that the Disney Wonder would undergo a rehab and head to Vancouver Canada for 7-night sailings to Alaska beginning May 3, 2011! The room cheered with excitement and thousands of paper snowflakes filled the air! In the "off season", the Wonder will have 7 night Mexican Riveria cruises.

Disney Cruise Line Alaska Announcement

There was one news item about the new Disney Dream - the atrium icon will be Admiral Donald Duck (the Disney Magic has Captain Mickey and the Disney Wonder has Ariel). A replica of the statue was unveiled for all to see.

Disney Cruise Line Admiral Donald Duck

For more information on the DCL Announcement here are two links:
Official Press Release and Video
All Ears Announcement Coverage

I spent the rest of the morning enjoying the expo floor.

Mickey Diner at the Expo

The outside of the Disney Parks and Resorts area was a magnificant mural of Attraction Posters from vintage to new. As I walked along the wall I recalled many fond memories of the days gone by attractions.

Disney Parks and Resorts Attraction Poster Mural

Disney Parks and Resorts Attraction Poster Mural

Disney Parks and Resorts Attraction Poster Mural

Inside there was the AA from the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln on display as well as the suit for President Obama in the Hall of Presidents.

Disney Parks and Resorts Mr. Lincoln

I visited the Fan Art Gallery to see all the paintings that were finalists in Donald Duck 75th Anniversary Portrait contest.

Donald Duck Fan Art

Collector's Forum

While in the Collector's Forum, I happened upon a booth that had Paige O'Hara (Belle) signing autographs. I didn't have anything for her to sign, but I did get a photo with her. I only wish there had been better publicity of the Disney Celebrities in attendance in the Collector's Forum. The NFFC had at least one signing opportunity each day, Tommy Kirk had his own table, and at one point I remember seeing a sign for Eddie Carroll, the voice of Jiminy Cricket since 1975! If these had been better publicized I would have loved to spend a few minutes with these folks and get their autographs.

Paige O'Hara

Time passes way to quickly when you are having fun and I soon realized I better head upstairs to get in line for the Wonderful World of Color seminar with Steven Davison.

Steven Davison

I arrived at the queue about 90 minutes early and the line had already made it's way up and down both sides of the 2nd floor. After about 45 minutes, a Cast Member came by and said our section was considered the standby standby area and it was very doubtful we would get in, so figured why wait any longer!
Laura did get in so check out her blog for details!

Before I go on, I want to note that I only had a couple issues with the D23 Expo which says a lot especially considering it was the very first one. The biggest issue I had was the combined timeliness and logistics, or lack thereof. The Bob Iger kickoff began 30 minutes late, which made the Legends Ceremony late, which cascaded through the afternoon schedule. I'm sure the arena delay had to do with everyone checking all their electronics. Ok, I understood that; but what I didn't get was how disorganized the lines were to check things. Also, there was no apparent line for those of us who did not need to check electronics; you know like the no bag lines at the parks? And worse, when the presentation was over, everyone just piled out into one huge mass of people trying to find the right color line to get in to claim their items. Again, there was no identifiable line/exit for those who did not check anything. I mentioned timeliness and there were several time that I was experienced a delayed start of at least 30 minutes and heard from others delays over 1 hour to start a presentation.

As I mentioned in my Day 1 blog, even on Thursday there were long lines by afternoon which translated into long waits for sessions which meant some folks were closed out. I will say that the D23 folks tried to make improvements on this. Sometime on Friday, the wait queue for the Storytellers Theatre was moved downstairs into a new area on the Expo floor. This actually worked pretty well, although it didn't change how long we waited. Also, they began handing out vouchers which were supposed to mean you would probably get in to the given session. That worked most but not all of the time. By Sunday D23 folks were getting a better handle on what talks would be more popular and were flip flopping locations. So at least they were making changes as they could.

The bottom line was that the D23Expo folks really underestimated how popular many of the sessions would be. I spent a LOT of time waiting on two different occasions and made it into one session and not the other. I felt if I didn't have to wait in such long lines, I could have attended more sessions.

Ok, enough of my vent about logistics.

The last thing on my agenda for the day was to go to the Making of Toy Story the Musical seminar. I really felt my energy level diminishing by this point so sat on the floor for a good long time waiting to get into this session.

Toy Story the Musical debuted on the Disney Wonder in 2008. Creative Director Matt Almos and composers Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn did a fantastic job retelling the creative process of bringing the Toy Story characters to life on the stage and all that went into developing the show. We even got to hear Vigoda and Milburn perform!

The Making of Toy Story the Musical

The Making of Toy Story the Musical

The Making of Toy Story the Musical

The Making of Toy Story the Musical

The Making of Toy Story the Musical

The Making of Toy Story the Musical

The Making of Toy Story the Musical

It was time for me to head back to the hotel for dinner and to get ready for Day 3.

Return to Blog Central

About September 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in September 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2009 is the previous archive.

October 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.