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.
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.
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.
I spent the rest of the morning enjoying the expo floor.
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.
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.
I visited the Fan Art Gallery to see all the paintings that were finalists in Donald Duck 75th Anniversary Portrait contest.
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.
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.
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!
It was time for me to head back to the hotel for dinner and to get ready for Day 3.
The previous post in this blog was D23 Expo Intro and Day 1.
The next post in this blog is D23 Expo Day 3.