Tuesday, September 06, 2011
OUR D23/DISNEYLAND ADVENTURE: PART 1 THE EXPO
This year we were having trouble trying to decide where to go for our vacation. We hemmed and hawed over a bunch of fun destinations, but we finally decided on a repeat trip and visit the second D23 Expo. We had such a swell time at the first expo in 2009, our choice was an easy one. The “first lady” and yours truly jumped on a jet plane and zoomed out to Anaheim.
We had three days at D23, which we eventually nicknamed Disneyline because of the super long lines for everything. Long lines for the panels, the stores, the booths, the displays and even for cupcakes!
Yes, we really waited in line for a cupcake and it was yummy! Worth the wait!
We attended the Legends ceremony where a deserving group of folks were added to Disney’s version of a hall of fame. One highlight was seeing the much deserved entry for Guy Williams, the amazing actor who is best known in the title role for Disney’s Zorro and as Professor John Robinson in the cult TV show Lost in Space. With Guy’s Zorro sword in hand, Guy Williams Jr. and family accepted for the late actor.
After the ceremony, we had the pleasure of briefly meeting Guy Williams Jr. It was a nice and unexpected opportunity to give a much deserving congrats.
Another highlight from the Legend ceremony was the honoring of Jim Henson. Both of us grew up watching the Muppets and Jim Henson has always been one of my heroes. It was a real treat watching his son Brian recreate Jim’s famous “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face” bit.
You can view Brian’s performance here.
Hey check it out! We met Disney Legend Bob Gurr after the Legends ceremony!
It was an honor to meet the imagineer behind so many important Disneyland attractions. Such a super-nice guy!
The big draw for us and what sealed the deal to attend D23, was the chance to see Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix perform.
The performance was, well...nothing short of Vantastic!!! It was worth the three hour wait in line! Watch the complete performance here.
We met television royalty! A big surprise was that funny lady Rose Marie was in the audience.
After the performance, the Dick Van Dyke Show alum started holding court for a small group of folks in the hall. We could have listened to her talk all night as she still can bring the funny!
The next day we visited the Carousel of Projects, an exhibit that shows off the latest developments for Disney’s parks and various resorts. Neat stuff inside for sure, but we thought it fell short compared to the display back in 2009. The best part was the nifty sign!
I'm excited to see they're going to build a replica of the old Carthay Circle Theatre, the theater where Snow White premiered. The photo below is a model they had on display inside the Carousel of Projects.
The Expo could have easily been called PixarCon as the studio had a huge presence at D23. It was nice seeing all the Pixar love and it was exciting to learn more about the new projects.
We almost got run over by Mater! Whew, that was a close one!
Wreck-It Ralph looks like it might be a fun movie. I’m loving all the nostalgia related to classic arcade games nowadays and this movie looks to be a love letter to the arcades of my youth.
Not sure who the kid is here, but it looks like he’s enjoying the game. (Shh...don’t tell him the game was only a demo and wasn’t set up for people to play.) Click here to watch a video of the game.
This zebra was supposed to be part of the Jungle Cruise, but he never made it to the attraction. Nevertheless, he was sold for $6,000 at the auction.
Uncle Walt had a sweet ride back in the day! A couple of shots of his 1962 Cadillac Fleetwood limo.
My favorite thing of the expo was viewing the Disney Treasures. Last year we weren’t allowed to snap photos. This year we could snap away! The first shot and the first thing when you enter the Treasures room is this plush Engineer Mickey, who rode with Walt on the train during Disneyland’s opening day back 1955.
Next is a close-up of Annette’s Mousketeer Special Deputy badge.
Hero costumes from one of my favorite films, The Rocketeer.
I snapped a close-up of the jet pack and I’m now using it as my new desktop wallpaper. Click on the photo below and give it the old right-click if you want to use it for wallpaper.
Tron got its own special room complete with ambient lighting and sound effects.
This mayor program was geeking out standing in the room and didn’t want to leave. Basically, the “first lady” had to drag me out.
It was nice to see some Who Framed Roger Rabbit props!
The Acme Disappearing & Re-Appearing Ink was my favorite!
Z is for Zorro! The Zorro collection of costumes and memorabilia was also a treat to see.
Since we’ve been back we’ve been on a Zorro kick watching the old TV show.
A special exhibit of props from the latest Pirates of Caribbean movie were on display on the Expo floor. Here’s the Black Pearl stuck in a bottle.
Wow, a booth filled with animatronics. Oh wait, these are TropiTronics!
There was a lot of cool stuff to buy and we did our share and bought a few souvenirs to take home. One item I wished I could have purchased was this replica of the Bulldog Cafe Set Director’s Model. It was left over from the 20th Anniversary Rocketeer event at the El Capitan.
That’s it for my D23 report, but that’s not all from our vacation. I have two more parts to share! A Disneyland/California Adventure post followed by a Tron post! Also, I’ll try to upload more D23 photos over on flickr.