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July 31, 2013

2013 D23 Expo - Rapidly Approaching

Deb's Digest Blog

Next week, I'll be on a plane to Anaheim California for the 2013 D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. I'm really excited about going... I mean, where else can you be in Disney heaven between Imagineers, seminars, movies, autographs, costumes, characters, legends, and let's not forget shopping!


Here are my tips for attending the D23 Expo

1) Bring your Patience! The last 2 Expos were famous for long lines and long wait times to attend any of the seminars. D23 has listened and some improvements have been made for 2013. The Stage Pass is like a FastPass for the seminars. You must visit the ticket distribution area to obtain a Stage Pass. There are limitations but at least this offers a viable option! The other improvement is the 2,000-seat overflow simulcast area where guests can watch entire presentations of the D23 arena.

D23 Expo

2) Come Prepared! - attending the D23 Expo without any pre-planning is like, well, arriving at a Disney park for the first time and having no idea where to go or what to see. The D23 website is filled with official information such as the detailed schedule of events. There is also a D23 Expo app, free from ITunes. The D23 folks promise to send out push notifications throughout the expo of seminars that are filled and any changes. The D23 Expo Guide is available to download as well.

D23


3) Have Realistic Expectations - Realize you won't see it all! Despite all your marathon expo training (you did train right?) seminars will fill, you'll get hungry, you'll find a long lost online friend and lose track of time, your at the wrong end of the building and have 5 minutes to try and make your next seminar.... and so on and so on.

D23 Expo

4) While in Line Meet your Line Neighbors -Tired of staring at your phone and/or Ipad? Talk to the folks around you who are also waiting in line. Disney fans love to trade stories and share adventures. It's a great way to pass the time!

D23 2011 Expo

5) Don't miss the Collector's Forum Several exhibitors have autograph guests (some Disney legends), others offer opportunities to buy that Disney trinket you've been searching the internet for, others offer prizes. Also many websites and authors will have booths too .. so meet the folks you read all year long! All Ears Sponsors: MouseFan Travel and Orlando Attractions Magazine both have booths in the Collector's Forum.

6) Shop Early -- If you want that special limited collectable, then your first stop on Friday morning needs to be the Disney Dream Store, followed by a visit to Mickey's of Glendale.

D23 Expo

7) Spend time just soaking it all in!!! - You'll have sensory overload very quickly as you step onto the Expo floor. Instead of rushing off here and there, arrive early and give yourself the opportunity to just walk around and see what's going on. You never know what you'll find!

8) Be sure and say HELLO to the AllEars folks who will be covering the D23 Expo. This year Deb Wills, Debra Martin Koma, Laura Gilbreath, Lee Zimmerman, Jeanine Yama, and Jason Dz will be exploring the expo and seminars to bring you up-to-date coverage. And if you see either Deb Wills or Deb Koma, be sure to ask for your free AllEars Trading Card Sampler Pack! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Deb Willshttps://twitter.com/AllEarsDeb will also be tweeting from her account!!

Ok, got all that? Those are my suggestions. But let's get some tips from the head of D23, Steven Clark.

"First, I'd encourage anyone planning to attend the Expo to download the D23 Expo mobile app, which is available now in both the iTunes and Google Play stores. It allows guests to plan out their Expo experience before they arrive at the Anaheim Convention Center " plus, there's a show floor map, talent bios, trivia and more. When guests arrive, I'd encourage them to use our StagePass system, which works similarly to a FASTPASS; guests will be able to pick up a ticket for a presentation they'd like to see in Stage 23 or Stage 28, and they will be guaranteed a seat up until 15 minutes before the show, which we hope will alleviate some of the time guests spend waiting in lines. And the third is stretch, hydrate and don't forget to eat. OK, those are three things in one, but we really have packed the event with three solid days of outstanding Disney experiences and we want to make sure everyone has a great time!"

steven-clark.jpg

I also asked Steven if there was a "sleeper" exhibit - you know the one that folks may walk past but really should stop and explore. "The great thing about the Expo is that it brings out every type of Disney fan, so one person's "sleeper area" may be another's "must-see." The Expo is a great opportunity for a Disney theme park fan to stop by one of the animation pavilions to see how we're making the next Disney classic. Disney movie lovers can visit Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives to see the actual props and costumes used in some of their favorite films. And I personally can't wait to see the creativity of our guests on display at the "a la mode" Costume Contest on Friday, which I think will be a visual highlight of the weekend."

And if you are still on the fence about attending, Steven's suggestion is to "Check out D23Expo.com just for a glimpse at the celebrity appearances, engaging presentations, once-in-a-lifetime concerts, immersive pavilions and sneak peeks at the latest Disney movie and TV shows. There really is something for everyone."

That's about it for now. I'm Looking foward to a great Expo and meeting many of you! Now what was that about being prepared? Guess I better become familiar with the D23 Expo app!

August 19, 2011

Sneak Peek Treasures of the Disney Archives

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A must do on your D23 expo list is the Treasures of the Disney Archives, located on the 2nd floor of the convention center. Here is a quick look at the amazing artifacts, props and costumes on display at this year's expo.

Stay tune for continous coverage of the D23 Expo.

August 18, 2011

Sneak Peek at the D23 Expo Floor

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Exciting afternoon with a preview of the Archives exhibit (no cameras) and then a tour of the D23 Expo floor with head Steven Clark.

August 17, 2011

Heading to Disneyland and the D23 Expo

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Today I am heading to the west coast for a week in Disneyland. Even though I was just there for 2 nights in April (before the Disney Cruise west coast re-positioning cruise), much has changed since my visit!

At Disneyland, the new Star Tours is open - yes, I know just like WDW. But the Mickey's Soundsational Parade also has debuted and getting very positive reviews. I love a good parade and look forward to seeing this one!

Mickey's Soundsational Parade

Over at the Disneyland Hotel, where I wandered in a maze of construction walls on my last visit, the pool and 2 new eateries have opened! Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar are now open. In fact, I'll be having a meet and greet at the Tangaroa Terrace on Thursday morning at 9:30am!


Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Hotel


But the most changes have occurred over the Disney California Adventure. The new entrance (which I hear makes you think you are at Disney's Hollywood Studios) has opened.

The first photo is from my April trip and then you'll see how it looks now. Quite a difference.

Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure

...as has The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure. I'm excited to be seeing the Little Mermaid attraction as it will be opening in WDW next year!

Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Also, the Paradise Pier area has many new areas open including Goofy's Fly School and several eateries.

Goofy's Fly School


WOW -- there is a LOT that is new since just a few months ago. I hope I can see it all.

The reason I'm not sure is because much of my time will be over at the D23 Expo.

The pre-opening festivities include an invitation only special tribute in honor of Betty Taylor & Wally Boag at Disneyland. Plus a media reception that takes place inside the “Carousel of Projects,” the spectacular pavilion created to celebrate all the magic on the horizon for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. We will also get to preview the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.

And, I have a few other things I'll be doing on thursday that I hope to be able to tweet photos and update you on.

The Expo kicks off officially on Friday for 3 days. The AllEars team (Deb Koma, Laura, Lee and Jeanine) will be there covering as many events as we can with a jammed packed schedule.


Here is a list of the celebrities who are supposed to be there over the course of the three days:
Celebrities from both current and classic Disney projects (both on screen and behind the scenes) will be on hand throughout the Expo, and are currently scheduled to include: Jennifer Garner, Dick Van Dyke, Willem Dafoe, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Jason Segel, Marty Sklar, Alice Davis, Michael Giacchino, Tony Baxter, Tom Bergeron, Regis Philbin, Jodi Benson, Lea Salonga, Linda Larkin, Paige O'Hara, Anika Noni Rose, David Arquette, Jason Dolley, Hayley Keyoko, Sterling Knight, Tiffany Thornton, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Kelly MacDonald, Kevin McKidd, Lynn Collins, Taylor Kitsch, Wilmer Valderrama, Sean Astin, Melissa Joan Hart, Sean Astin, Chelsea Kane, Kyle Massey, cast members from Marvel's The Avengers and many more.

Many things I want to see overlap, so hard choices will have to be made. Here are just a few of the events I hope to be at

Friday

2011 Disney Legends Ceremony, 11 a.m. D23 Expo kicks off the first day by honoring the latest recipients in Disney's 24-year tradition.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, 3:30 p.m. Glimpse into some of the exciting projects currently underway at Disney's parks and resorts.

Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix, 8:15 p.m. Hear songs from Dick Van Dyke's varied entertainment career and various Disney classic songs.

Saturday

The Walt Disney Studios, 10:30 a.m. Exclusive video clips, live performances, filmmaker discussions, star appearances, and more!

Michael Giacchino's Music of Pixar, 1:00 p.m. In this musical presentation, Michael Giacchino provides an earful of tunes and tales about his early influences for Pixar's modern-day classic scores.

Legends of Walt Disney Imagineering, 4:30 p.m. Disney Legend Marty Sklar will lead a celebration of Imagineering careers and accomplishments.

Sunday

Imagineering the Dream and the Fantasy Ceremony (D23 Members Only), 9:00 a.m. Imagineers Joe Lanzisero and Bob Zalk talk about the design of Disney's latest cruise ships.

Radiator Springs Reality, 1:30 p.m. Pixar's John Lasseter and Roger Gould join Imagineers for a sneak peek look at Cars Land.

MORE of The Wonderful World of Vintage Disneyland and Walt Disney World, 5:15 p.m. Film preservationist Ed Hobelman and Imagineer Tony Baxter look back at vintage footage. Stage 23

Stay turned.

I will be twittering http://twitter.com/#!/allearsdeb and my twitter feeds to my facebook page.

Deb Koma will be twittering via the http://twitter.com/#!/allearsnet.

The Team will be blogging as time permits.

October 8, 2010

D23's Destination D - Disneyland 55 - Day 1 Part 2

The morning of Day 1 also featured:

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise- Stacia Martin, Paul Anderson, Rob Klein

"From a Mark Twain Riverboat AM radio to a Matterhorn bank, we'll present a treasure trove of timeless trinkets and unique souvenirs. Highlights include the Top 5 Rarest Pieces of Disneyanna and the Top 5 Strangest Items of Disneyland Memorabilia.

You didn't have to be a "collector" to enjoy this session of Disneyland Memorabilia. It was fascinating to see the various souvenirs created from the early days to present. Stacia, Paul and Rob all got to show their favorites too! From strange, to rare, to guidebooks, to tickets, and hats; we saw it all. History, marketing, and even "outsourcing in the 50's" were all part of the Disneyanna history.

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise


From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise


From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise

From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise


Next up the Afternoon of Day 1

October 7, 2010

D23's Destination D - Disneyland 55 - Day 1 Part 1

Everyone was up bright and early for Day 1 of Destination D. In fact, the first person got in line at 5:30am!

D23 Destination D Line to get into the event

D23 Destination D Line to get into the event


The Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom would be our home for the next 2 days as all events took place here. The ballroom had a main floor and then 2 "wings" that were physically higher. There were multiple HUGE screens to see the action and the photos and video that were being shown.

Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom

Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom

Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom

Day 1 Morning Schedule:
9:00am - 9:30am: Welcome - Steven Clark
9:30am - 10:15am: Weird Disney - Becky Cline and Paul Anderson
10:15am - 11:15am: Mickey Mouse Club 55th Anniversary
11:15am - 12:00pm From Quirky to Collectible - Stacia Martin, Paul Anderson, Rob Klein
12:00pm - 2:00pm: Mouseketeer Signing

Laura Gilbreath also blogeds about Day 1 so I will try not to repeat any of the information or photos that she has. Check out her corresponding blog!

So let's get to it with the Welcome by Steven Clark.

Steven Clark D23

Steven Clark D23

Some of the announcements included:

The D23 Disney Geek podcast, available on iTunes, is a look at what's happening with Disney company around the world.

The new production Armchair Archivists starts in November. Steve and Josh will take us inside the Disney archives for looks at props and other film memorabilia - one of the first episodes will feature items from the original Tron, and from the upcoming Tron Legacy.

Armchair Archivists D23


The very popular Magic and Merriment D23 event will return to Walt Disney World December 2010.
Magic and MerrimentD23

Weird Disney - Becky Cline and Paul Anderson

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

"From the startling visuals of the 1930's Fanchon and Marco "Mickey Mouse Idea" vaudeville shows to Disneyland's "Kap the Kaiser Aluminum Pig" and the "Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow", Disney's history has included some pretty offbeat stuff. Join Archives Director Becky Cline and Disney historian Paul Anderson as they act as your tour guides on a fun-filled, irreverent and often surprising road trip through the wonderfully weird and wacky side of Disney."

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Becky and Paul did an entertaining and informative job of sharing Disney lore and the back-story to many of the photographs.

Weird Disney from the 1930s

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar


Weird Disney from the 1940s

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Weird Disney from the 1950s - Check out some of the Character Costumes!

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar


Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar


Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

The Weird Attractions were quite interesting.


Crane's Bathroom of Tomorrow!
Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar


Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar


The Intimate Apparel Shop!
Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

In addition to the ones listed above, there was also an American Dairy Association attraction, Kaiser the Aluminum Pig, and Monsanto's Hall of Chemistry. Also notable, Aunt Jemima's Restaurant featured an annual pancake race down Main Street

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

The talk ended with a series of photographs of Walt in "weird" hats! Here are just a few:

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar

Weird Disney Destination D D23 Seminar


Mickey Mouse Club 55th Anniversary hosted by Tim O'Day
"Join original Mouseketeers Sharon Baird, Doreen Tracey, Bobby Burgess, Karen Pendleton, Sherry Van Meter, Tommy Cole, Cubby O'Brien and Mary Geoff for a magical walk down memory land as they recall their favorite behind-the-scenes stories from the classic Disneyland attraction Mickey Mouse Club Circus."

This was a very special hour listening to these Mouseketeers tell story after heart-felt story about their experiences on the Mickey Mouse Club. Special tributes were also shared for Annette, Roy and Jimmie. This was a not to be missed presentation! Seeing the Mouseketeers brought back SO many fond memories and getting to meet them in person, was priceless.

Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar


Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar


Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar


Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar


Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar


Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar


Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar

Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar


Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar


Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar

Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar

Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar

Mouseketeers Destination D D23 Seminar


Mouseketeer Signing
A special opportunity to meet the Mouseketeers in person and they all autographed a D23 commemorative item for us!

mouseketeers.jpg

Next up - From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise!

Photographs are copyright AllEars® and taken by either Deb Wills or Mari May.

May 28, 2010

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 4

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Logo

This blog will cover the final evening of D23's Flower and Fireworks Celebration.

After the morning sessions, we had free time to roam the parks and catch the last day of the Flower and Garden Festival.

I enjoyed dinner with some friends and then went over to Epcot for the final 2 events of the D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration.

First off, reserved seating for the Flower Power Concert with Chubby Checker and the Wildcats. I'll let the photos speak for themselves except to say, this was a VERY entertaining, high energy show. The time went way to quickly!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Chubby invited the ladies in the audience to come on stage and sing and dance with him. Many D23 members as well others in the audience went up and had a blast.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Back to the "regular" show ....

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

...Then the men were invited up on stage!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

A great time was had by all! The time flew by!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Chubby Checker

Next, our final event, a private IllumiNations Dessert party in the Italy Isola. We weren't sure if the rain would hold off, but it did, mostly. The one time it started to drizzle, out came all the rain ponchos so we would stay dry.

Desserts were great!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration IllumiNations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations

IllumiNations is the perfect way to end a day at Disney!


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration  IllumiNations

Thanks to Sharon Sipple for photographing the D23 event for AllEars®. I would also like to thank D23, Barry and all the presenters who made the entire event very special. Highlights for me were the talks by ... I started to list my favorites and then realized I enjoyed all the presentations. Each one was unique and interesting.

A number of your have asked if I felt it was worth the price of $195. Realizing that special events have an expensive price tag everywhere at Disney - I did feel it was worth the money and very glad I attended the Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010.

It was great meeting so many fellow D23 members and also many AllEars® fans!

I look forward to the announcement of another D23 event at Walt Disney World!

Hey, see this little green button? Well, it allows you to share this blog with your family and friends quite easily. Give it a try; it's pretty neat!


May 27, 2010

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 3

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Logo

Yesterday's blog covered the talk from Epcot Vice President Dan Cockrell.

This blog will cover talks by:

WDW Parks Events Content Development Operations Manager, Michael Jenner
Twinings Tea's Daniel Wasilick
Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival Horticulture Manager, Eric Darden



Michael Jenner, WDW Parks Events Content Development Operations Manager


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Michael shared a history of the Food and Wine Festival...

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

and some very interesting tidbits ....

-- Just 2 items have remained on the menu for all past Festivals; Sushi in Japan and Kielbasa and Pierogies in Poland

-- Only 9 Marketplaces have participated in all 14 Festivals: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, UK, Mexico and USA. 4 Marketplaces have made 13 of the 14 years: Australia, Greece, New Zealand and South Africa.

-- 7 of the top 25 food menu items from 2009 were brand new to the Festival; Fishersman's Pie #2 (Ireland), Beef Tenderloin #7 (South Africa), Chicken Souvlaki #11 (Greece), Tostado Pollo #15 (Mexico), Chocolate Lava Cake #19 (Ireland), Ribs #20 (France), and Cannelloin #24 (Italy).

-- Over 600,000 folks are used each year and it takes 750,000 beer cups and 338,000 wine glasses.

-- Guests enjoyed over 100,000 miniature desserts.

-- 1,500 pounds of fresh strawberries are used.

There was also a lot of news concerning the 2010 Food and Wine Festival:

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

-- This year's theme will be "Delicious Discoveries."

-- Two big new events were announced:

1) Delicious Discoveries First Bites, to be held on September 30, is a sneak peek before the festival opens with food and beverage samplings from the marketplaces, wine seminars, culinary demos, and entertainment. This will be a "hard ticket" event at the Festival Center, but there is no price info as yet;

2) 3D Delicious Dessert Discovery will be held every Thursday evening. This will be a dessert reception featuring both "action and prepared stations of sweet enticements" paired with wine, cordials, and coffee, followed by exclusive IllumiNations viewing. Cost will be approximately $50 per person.

-- New in the International Marketplaces this year will be: Belgium, featuring steamed mussels; Singapore featuring Shirmp Cake on Sugarcane Skewer; and South Korea featuring "Bo Ssam" Lettuce wraps with roast pork and kimchi slaw.

Also new this year will be a Marketplace Discovery Passport that can be picked up at the Festival Center. It will allow you to jot down tasting notes and keep track of where you visited. Each marketplace booth will have its own unique stamp for the book.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

-- Returning celebrity chefs this year include Cat Cora, Jamie Dean, and Robert Irvine, among others.

-- France will have Grand Marnier tastings.

-- There will be an entrance display featuring cakes; while World Showcase Plaza's display will have champagne to mark the festival's 15-year celebration.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

-- Wine Pairings return to the France, Italy, Morocco and Japan pavilions.

-- The Party for the Senses will continue with the VIP experience, but will eliminate the weekly themes, which were not popular with guests. Cirque du Soleil is in discussions to return as the entertainment for the events, but there is no contract yet.


Daniel Wasilick from Twinings of London was next.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Daniel shared a brief history of tea and how Twinings have been part of Epcot for 28 years!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Daniel's big announcement was that Twinings will be introducing a full lime of organics and fair trade teas in partnership with Whole Foods. The Twining products are 100% organic and there will be 12 different varieties. The teas will be released in August of this year and they will be for sale in the Epcot shop as well as Whole Foods.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

The last official presenter was Eric Darden, Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival Horticulture Manager.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Eric gave a great presentation showing how the Flower and Garden Festival has evolved over the years. He had numerous photos of festival components from the early days and compared them to today's festival.


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

The park's history with horticulture goes back to Walt Disney. Imagine today's parks with no landscaping?!

Bill Evans worked for Walt and designed his estate. When Walt decided to build Disneyland, he brought Bill on board. Bill Evans had his hands in the landscaping of every single park through Disneyland Hong Kong. Eric reflected on some of Bill's story's about Walt Disney.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


At the end of the final presentation, all 4 gentlemen returned to the stage to answer audience questions.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Afterward, they stayed around for a while and chatted with D23 members.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Thank you all for a great informative morning! This made the D23 event for me!


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Food Presentation by the Patina Group and Via Napoli!!!

Here is an artist rendering of Via Napoli!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

We were in for an unexpected treat! The team from Via Napoli prepared samples of a number of the items that will be at the restaurant. In addition to pasta, zucchini, and focacccio, there were several dessert samples.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Benito and team from Italy!
Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

On the way out, we were handed a Flower and Garden Festival bag with some additional items: wine glass from the 2009 Food and Wine Festival, a DVD on the Making of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, samplings of Twinings Teas, a Captain EO button (from Disneyland) and perfume samples.


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Once again, I must comment about how wonderful this portion of the D23 event was. I really enjoyed the speakers, they were interesting and had some great slides. I felt as though we received some information not previously made public. The food was outstanding and overall a A++ experience!

That's it for Part 3. The last blog will report on Chubby Checker's concert and the IllumiNations dessert party!

May 26, 2010

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 2

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Logo

Today we were in for a very special experience as part of the D23 Flowers and Fireworks event.

Once again folks arrived very early. D23 provided coffee and tea while we waited!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

In addition to breakfast in the Yacht Club's Grand Harbor Ballroom, we would be having a series of presentations by:

Epcot Vice President, Dan Cockrell
WDW Parks Events Content Development Operations Manager, Michael Jenner
Twinings Tea's Daniel Wasilick
Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival Horticulture Manager, Eric Darden

I was very much looking forward to this portion of the event and it far exceeded my expectations!

Walking into the ballroom was a huge wow!!! The large room was elegant and inviting.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

The smells of breakfast were in the air and it would be hard to decide where to begin!

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Breakfast

Mad Hatter Scrambled Eggs
Snow (Egg) White Vegetable Fritata
Mickey Waffle "sandwiches" with strawberry compote, pecans, whipped cream and syrup
August Gusteau's Smoked Pork Loin
Turkey Bacon
Mickey Cut Breakfast Sausage Patties
Breakfast Parfaits
Pocahontas Color of the Wind Potatoes - red, yellow and green peppers
Warm Cinnamon Loaf and assorted pastries
August Gusteau's Charcuterie Bratwurst
Spicy Apple Compote
Fresh cut fruits

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

After enjoying a scrumptious breakfast that featured both the sweet and savory -- it was time for the presentations.

Walt Disney World Ambassador Vanessa Rosas opened the session by welcoming everyone!

First to speak, Epcot Vice President, Dan Cockrell who shared a great deal of information with us, some announced publicly for the very first time.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Topics included the new restaurants in Epcot's World Showcase - Hacienda de San Angel coming to the Mexico Pavilion and Via Napoli, a full service restaurant coming to the Italy Pavilion. Both restaurants are scheduled to open in September 2010 and should be added to the Dining Reservation System in July or August.


Hacienda de San Angel - Mexico
Dan spent a great deal of time sharing some insights that went into the story and theming for the Hacienda de San Angel. Dan and some of the restaurant chefs went to Mexico and visited the original San Angel Inn. Art and food are Mexico's most important cultural gifts and the restaurant will reflect that.


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

The restaurant will have indoor and outdoor seating. It will be a dual purpose, flex restaurant. There will be 150 seats outside and 250 seats inside. During lunch the Cantina (quick service) is very busy, but there is not as much seating as desired. Therefore a portion of the sit down restaurant will be blocked off for Cantina guests to also enjoy the air conditioning..

Around 4pm, the Cantina will still be working, but the whole inside will open as the full working table service restaurant. None of the seats will have backs to the windows so you can enjoy the lagoon and IllumiNations.

Via Napoli - a full service pizzeria
The construction will create a whole new look, the area has been extended back another 50-60 feet and there will be a new piazza. Again, Dan spent a great deal of time sharing some insights that went into the story and theming of the new restaurant. In Europe there is often one building with different facades out front and that's what you will see in Via Napoli.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


The 3 pizza ovens are inspired by the 3 famous volcanoes in Italy: Mount Etna (Sicily), Stromboli (Aeolian Islands), and Mount Vesuvius (near Naples). The 3 oven "mouths" where the pizzas go in are inspired by Italy's Park of Monsters sculptures. Very thin crust pizza and when it's ready it will be served quickly and hot.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Restaurant will reflect both traditional and modern Italy. Costumes will be burgundy and muted olive colors.


Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations


Dan also announced that The Germany pavilion will be getting a new Werther's Candy Shop. It will replace the Glas Und Porzellan shop, and fresh candy will be made on site.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

We learned that an original Captain EO sign had been saved and will be part of the attraction when it reopens in July, in Epcot's Imagination pavilion.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

Lastly, Le Plume et Pallet in France will be carrying exclusive fragrances beginning July 2010.

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Epcot Presentations

That's it for Part 2. Check back tomorrow for the remaining presentations from Sunday Morning's event!

May 25, 2010

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Celebration 2010 - Part 1

Flower and Fireworks Celebration Logo

The Flowers and Fireworks D23 event began on Saturday evening, May 15th and ended Sunday evening, May 16th. It was announced earlier this year as one of the Walt Disney World D23 events.

Tickets went on sale April 8th and I was ready at the computer. The March 2010 First Anniversary Party sold out in moments, as did the December Magic and Merriment D23 event.

I was a bit concerned with the $195 price tag but decided to go ahead and purchase 2 tickets. My order went right through and it later turned out the event never did sell out.

The D23 website had event information so I knew ahead of time the general schedule of events.

Included with the cost of your ticket:

Private dinner on the beach at Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel & Spa
Private viewing of the Electrical Water Pageant and Wishes
Presentation on the Magic Kingdom's fireworks spectaculars
Continental breakfast at Disney's Beach Club Resort
Exclusive presentations from Dan Cockrell, Michael Jenner, Eric Darden, and Daniel Wasilick
Private VIP seating at Chubby Checker's Flower Power concert
Private dessert party and viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Commemorative gift (one per guest)


CHECK IN

Check in for the D23 event was held just off the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. I arrived right at 9am and check-in went smoothly.

Barry Jacobson was on hand to greet D23 members and assist in giving out our "goody bags".

Barry Jacobson

I chatted with Barry for a few moments and asked where the other D23 folks were, like Steven, Jeffrey and the ladies. For a variety of reasons each was unable to attend. Several folks commented throughout the event that an additional D23 Cast Member would have been nice. Barry did a great job, but I agreed that additional D23 folks would have added to the event.

Contents of the D23 Bag:

-- A Wide Brim straw hat with the D23 Flowers and Fireworks ban in green.
-- D23 beverage coozie
-- Credentials and lanyard for the events
-- D23 Welcome Letter
-- D23 Event Itinerary
-- D23 bag


D23 Goody Bag Contents

Accompanying me to the D23 event is Sharon Sipple who would be doing the All Ears photography.


Itinerary

Saturday May 15

9am - 5pm - Check in and receive packet at Grand Floridian

7:30pm Cookout on the beach at the Grand Floridian with a special fireworks presentation and special viewing of the Electric Water Pageant and Wishes

Sunday, May 16

8am - Begin check-in for morning presentations at the Grand Harbor Ballroom at Disney's Yacht Club

8:45am Breakfast is served

9:30am - 11:00am Morning Presentations from Epcot Vice President, Dan Cockrell, WDW Parks Events Content Development Operations Manager, Michael Jenner, Twinings Tea's Daniel Wasilick and Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival Horticulture Manager, Eric Darden.

11:00am - Free time to explore the Flower and Garden Festival

7:15pm - Check-in for Flower Power Concert featuring Chubby Checker and the Wildcats.
7:45pm - Concert begins

8:30 - Dessert party at Italy Isola with viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

First Official Event was the Cookout on the beach at the Grand Floridian with a special fireworks presentation and special viewing of the Electric Water Pageant and Wishes

While the day was quite warm, the evening was amazing with a cool breeze and perfect sky.
I headed over to the Grand Floridian around 6:15pm to check out where the event would take place. The lobby had a number of D23 folks relaxing and enjoying the orchestra. I walked over to the beach area (behind the themed pool) and found that set up was still going on. I spoke to one of the Cast Members who told me no one would be allowed in until 7:30, the official start time. Back to the lobby I went to relax in the air conditioning.

Around 7pm Sharon and I went back to the BBQ area and found that folks had indeed been allowed to go ahead and sit down at the tables while setup continued.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

As we looked around for a table, Brenda and Ron waved us down and had some seats saved for us (thanks!). Steve and Vickie Barrett also joined us at the table along with 3 D23 event regulars!

There were lots of Disney figurines for decor on the buffet tables:


D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

The grills were going strong and the smells filled the air.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

But before dinner was served, 2 very special surprise guests arrived and gladly posed with everyone for photos!

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

If the evening had one negative it was the fact that the only beverages that were complimentary were lemonade and an herbal, caffeinated tea.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

The charge for adult beverages, I totally understand. However, paying $4 for a bottle of water (when the event cost $195) was over the top. I know a number of folks, including myself, were not happy about this. Eventually a couple of iced water coolers were brought out for everyone.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ


Now, onto the food itself!

Grilled Beef Burgers
Vegetarian Burgers
Grilled Chicken Breast with Floridian Citrus Barbecue Glaze
Grilled Bratwurst
Green Leafy Salad
Multi-grain Salad
Slow Cooked Vegetarian Baked Beans
Baked Mac N Fine Cheeses
Caramelized Onions
Sauerkraut

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

While the lines looked long, they actually moved at a steady pace. There were two separate buffets set up and each had 2 sides for serving.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

Dessert included a chocolate delight, Mickey Shaped vanilla cake with a strawberry topping.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ


D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

After dinner, Mickey and Minnie appeared again. Here is Barry enjoying the photo op.

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

Several special treats were in store for us once the sun went down.

First, we had our own private showing of the Electric Water Pageant.

The pageant consists of two strings of seven barges, each carrying a 25-foot-tall screen of lights. The pageant features King Triton and creatures from under the sea -- turtles, whales, seahorses, even a sea monster; all set to Disney music. The pageant concludes with Flags and Stars set to a patriotic musical medley of God Bless America, Yankee Doodle, and You're a Grand Old Flag. It debuted October 21, 1971 and has been basically the same show ever since.



D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ


Next up were Chris Oyen and Brad Ciccotti, fireworks magicians extraordinaire! Both have been involved with Walt Disney World fireworks shows for a very long time!

Chris spoke first about his experiences with Disney and fireworks shows. Brad then joined him to present us with a very special version of "Fireworks 101, Disney Style", complete with examples of the types fireworks they were explaining. At the end of the presentation, we had our own private fireworks display (brief) which combined the effects we had just learned about. Chris and Brad were great presenters! This entire segment was AWESOME!

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

D23 Flowers and Fireworks Grand Floridian BBQ

Afterward, folks moved further down the beach and enjoyed WISHES.

Our special evening gift was a light bulb from the Electric Water Pageant. A nice souvenir, unfortunately it was simply a bulb wrapped in tissue paper, no card or otherwise identifying notation as to it's origin.

Electric Water Pageant Light bulb

Soon, it was time to head home and rest up for Sunday's early morning at the Yacht Club Convention Center.

Check back for Part 2.

October 6, 2009

D23 Expo Day 4

Day 4, Sunday " Did I say it was Day FOUR?

Sunday morning when the alarm went off at 5:30am, I laid in bed for a few moments (after bounding out of bed the previous 3 mornings) and set the alarm for a 10 minute snooze. I was about out of steam after going full throttle the previous 3 days. My body wanted more sleep but my mind had started racing! Ok time to get up, big doings going on, as our friend Mickey likes to say.

I was inside the expo at 8am when it opened and got to watch the folks enter and disperse in a variety of directions. A crowd headed for the Arena Queue line where John Lassiter would speak at 11am.

Here's just a part of the queue area for the arena presentations:

Arena Queue Area


Laura Gilbreath and I headed to the line for the Making of Toy Story Mania attraction. This presentation alone was well worth the flight to California.

Making of Toy Story Mania

Again, Laura did such a fantastic job reporting on this session, I'll just link to her blog entry.


Disney imagineers and Pixar animators entertained us with their energy and excitement as they went thru the various phases of developing the attraction (Music, vehicles…..).


I was thrilled when I had read that the Disney Archives would have an exihibit at the Expo. I must now admit, I was a bit disappointed in the scope of the exhibit. While I loved the vintage artifacts ( like the jewels from Sleeping Beauty and seeing Herbie the Love Bug), there seemed to be an over abundance of costumes especially from recent years. I am very grateful for what was on display, but I hope that at future expos the Archives exhibit will be expanded.

Next up, the Arena Presentation by John Lassiter, The Future of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation. Once again, all electronics had to be checked. Did I mention we also were “wanded” by secturity after handing in our electronics? On to the presentation! We got to see preview after preview of new Pixar films, shorts and feature length. It was great to see so many new and exciting films on the horizon!

After lunch, Imagineering Pixar for the Disney Parks was the hot “ticket”. A very informal setting with John Lasseter, Roger Gould, Liz Gazzano, Bruce Vaughn, Eric Jacobson, and others sharing their involvement with each of the Pixar park attractions.

But the key to the whole presentation, was Lasseter offering his very frank comments about Imagineering past and present. He talked about how, in the past, the budget really controlled the imagineering of an attraction. The budget is set, design a ride and then all kinds of things start to chip away at the budget. So then it's one less audio anamatronic here and perhaps this one doesn't move and on and on so that the attraction gets compromised.

John Lasseter

Lasseter explained, “I was in one meeting once… one of the finance guys said how something needed to be cut out and I said Ok are you going to be the one at the exit of the ride and explain to everyone getting off the ride why it's successful because it's on time and on budget when it's a piece of crap?” At which point the entire audience burst into cheers and applause! He continued, “The simple goal is … once you've stood in line for a long time, you ride the ride and you want to get right back in line, that ride was so much fun!” HIs comments continued to energize me about the future of Disney parks.

A small press conference with some of the same imagineers where we were given glimpses into upcoming Pixar attractions. This was the perfect ending to my D23 Expo experience!

I had a red-eye flight home that night so rushed back to the hotel to pack and head to the airport. What an amazing time!

In Summary -- Overall the quality of the sessions were exceptional! In fact I only heard some mumbling about one session that folks were disappointed in. Mainly, folks were raving about the sessions. I thought the ones I attended were awesome!

Early on at the Expo Cast Members were asking guests to fill out cards for a post Expo Survey. I'm sure they will receive plenty of feedback. Here's hoping that they pay attention and work on the big things!

I did as many things as I could during the 4 days but my energy level never made it to any of the evening activities. I returned to the hotel each evening totally exhausted but with a huge smile on my face. After it was all over, I felt like I had spent 4 days in Disney Fantasy Camp. Imagineers could easily be found in the Parks and Resorts area and also could be found walking the Expo floor. It was like being in a candy store as a kid. Of course, part of me was a kid walking around the Expo.

Sometimes I was torn with what to attend and do; the personal side of me wanted to get some autographs, attend different seminars, and spent more time seeing what cool merchandise I could add to my varied Disney collection. At least the lack of that time saved me money LOL.

Well, I could go on and on, but I hope between all the coverage of the AllEars Team and my personal thoughts you have a good idea what the Expo was all about. I want to once again thank everyone who worked for AllEars to bring you live coverage of the D23Expo, from the team members who attended, Debra, Laura, Lee; to our band of roving Twitters and the folks back home. Thank you one and all.

When the D23 Expo was first announced, it was stated that the first 4 years of the Expo would be in Anaheim. I had hoped that a date for the next expo would be announced prior to the official end of the inaugural one, but that didn't happen.

Was it worth being a D23 member at the Expo? Oh Yes! The biggest reason was that members were able to enter the Expo one full hour before non-members. For some, this meant having the opportunity for first dibs on the Limited Edition merchandise sold in the Disney Dream Expo store. For others it meant getting in line early for particular sessions and for others, it meant being able to stroll through the Expo will smaller crowds.

But I can tell you this -- even with the long lines and long waits - I have every intention of attending the next D23 Expo and will savor every moment, every sound, every visual, every possible part of Disney, that I did from this first one. It was not to be missed and I am VERY glad I attended!!! See you next time?

October 1, 2009

D23 Expo Day 3

Day 3, Saturday " lots of attendees today!

This was the day all Disney Park folks were most interested in, a talk by Jay Rasulo entitled Imagineering the Future of Disney Parks.

Jay Rasulo


His presentation did not disappoint as major announcements and previews were shown including Star Tours 2 in 3D and doubling the size of Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom. Towards the end of the presentation Stormtroopers filled the stage and were soon joined by Darth Vader on the HUGE screen. At Rasulo announced that Star Tours in DL and WDW would receive a new 3D movie that would be ready in 2015, Vader boomed that “Mr. Chairman that is not acceptable”. At that point, Rasulo said the new Star Tours would debut in 2011! It was a very impressive show!


Jay Rasulo Announcing Star Tours Update

Each attendee received a limited edition Star Tours posting announcing the new attraction coming in 2011! One question left to be answered is when in 2011 will the new show be online and will this have any impact of the Star Wars Weekends traditionally held at Disney's Hollywood Studios in May and June.

Laura's blog has some great video (Thank you Lee) of the Parks announcements!


The giveaways on the Expo floor were not in great abundance, but were those that were handed out were quality. One of my favorites was from the "Mickey By" booth. Twice a day, contemporary artists that Disney has commissioned to create their impressions of the mouse were available for autographs. They each had a 5x7 glossy print of their creation to autograph. The artists changed at almost every session and one of my most treasured souveniers is a collection of these prints.

Contemporary Artists of Mickey Mouse

Contemporary Artists of Mickey Mouse


Another fantastic interactive area was the Alice in Wonderland Movie setup. The Queen of Hearts, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and Alice were on hand to share a tea party with you, and engage in great conversation. I stopped by to watch a couple times each day. They occasionally roamed the Expo floor too!

Alice is Wonderland


Photopass Photographers were at all the right locations throughout the Expo floor and there was also a 2nd Cast Member who would take photos with your camera as well! Very nice! Photopass photo ops included Lucky and Wall-E, Cinderella's Carriage, a Turtle from the Electric Light Parade, characters like Mickey in his Band Uniform (I've never seen him in that costume before).

PhotoPass Opportunities


My last presentation of the day was called The Making of US Presidents which included the newly reopened Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World and the currently rehabbed Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Again, there were long waits. My colleague Laura Gil breath did such a great job describing this session I'll just link to her blog for the details. Once again, this was a first rate seminar and one full of information!

I had hoped to attend the “Refreshing it's a small world attraction” as well as the “Prep and Landing” presentation but there wasn't time. I did see a clip from Prep and Landing, a holiday special coming to ABC later this year and it looked very cute!

Day 3 was coming to an end. I had a wonderful dinner at Catal some friends. One day left.

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.

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.

WOW!


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 greated 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 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

TWITTER
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

BLOGS

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)
certificate


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
costumes


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 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.


TWITTER
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

BLOGS

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
Gary


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
Deb


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
VoluntEARS


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.
Tomorrow


Sharing thoughts on new Carsland for DL
Carsland


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!
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. :-)
queue


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 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

TWITTER
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

BLOGS

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
Herbie


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 2011 ALASKA
DCL Alaska


Sara: cool Rocketeer costume!
Rocketeer


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
sunset


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.
goodnight

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

TWITTER
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

BLOGS

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!
plush


Dmk: my hero! Wall-E
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

after=win.


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


Deb:
D23-0910_34.jpg


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

width="450" height="338" />


Even PUSH came to the D23 Expo
PUSH


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
Annette


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

height="338" />


Cody Linley signs autographs
Cody Linley


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

height="338" />


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.
D23-0910_49.jpg


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


An afternoon with imagineering legends
imagineering legends


September 9, 2009

D23 Expo - Meet the AllEars® 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:
http://twitter.com/D23Expo_allears


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:
http://twitter.com/D23Expo_allears
on her own Twitter account:
http://twitter.com/allearsdeb

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


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:
http://twitter.com/D23Expo_allears
on her own Twitter account:
http://twitter.com/dcdeb_allears

She'll also be posting updates to her Facebook page daily:
http://www.facebook.com/DebraMartinKoma

Laura Gilbreath

l_tigger.jpg

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/

Our Special D23 Expo Reporters:

Jeanine Yamanaka

JYamanaka-1.jpg

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:
http://twitter.com/D23Expo_allears


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:
http://twitter.com/D23Expo_allears

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:
http://twitter.com/D23Expo_allears

Beci Mahnken

Beci_200.jpg


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:
http://twitter.com/D23Expo_allears

Lee Zimmerman

dlmara9.jpg


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.


And last but not least, please welcome

Don Morin!

donmorinTweetPic.jpg

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:
http://twitter.com/D23Expo_allears

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

Please say hello to us at the D23 Expo!
and on Twitter at:
http://twitter.com/D23Expo_allears

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....
Booth


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


Return to Blog Central

About D23 The Official Community for Disney Fans

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Deb's Digest in the D23 The Official Community for Disney Fans category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is the previous category.

Deb's Mailbag is the next category.

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