/ Friday, August 23rd, 2013
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by Alyssa and Brandon Wiseman

expoloozaIn Wednesday’s blog, we started detailing the difference between our plans and the reality of our D23 Expo experience.  Today, we conclude our thoughts and provide some advice we would offer anyone contemplating attending future D23 Expos.

Day 2 (Saturday):

Saturday we were in line by 6:00am and the line at this point was actually longer than it had been the day before.  Brandon and I were both tired so I decided to walk around the convention center to the Hilton and get Starbucks.  Everyone else had this same idea and I ended up waiting in that line for over an hour (again, sorry your espresso shot was cold, Mark!!), and as soon as I got up to the counter, Brandon called to tell me that the first line was beginning to move.  Having been through the first line the day before, I knew that I had enough time to finish getting the drinks and make it into the building, and I did.

The live action presentation was just as amazing as the animation one and had so many more actors that they brought in for the presentation.  I think the highlight of my trip was seeing Anthony Hopkins walk out on the stage!

We knew that the next morning we had a very early flight and knew that time was not on our side, so staying until the show floor closed wouldn’t be an option.  Upon exiting the arena at [12:30] and seeing that there was already a huge, and growing, line for the legends ceremony, we decided to just finish visiting the booths on the floor and go hang out at the WDW Radio booth.

I had several booths that I wanted to visit, including Mickeys of Glendale, before we called it a wrap, so off to the show floor we went again.  We could tell there was a major increase in attendance this day and doing anything required a wait.  Getting into Mickeys of Glendale took about 25 minutes, but it was worth every single one (please see my shopDisney blog for more information about that store)!  I had also heard that they had several book titles that I wanted to see in the Disney Consumer Product area, but by Josh Gad - Voice in Frozenthe time we got there everything was gone!

After spending another hour in the WDW Radio booth listening to Lou talk about food, food, and more food, we were getting hungry and decided it was just worth calling it a day and heading back to our hotel to pack, have one last vacation dinner, and get ready to leave for LAX the next morning.

Overall it was an amazing time at the Expo and, while I thought it was worth the money to attend, Brandon said that it was not something that he felt like he needed to attend each time.  We enjoyed seeing members of the WDW Radio group and being able to hear from people that I never imagined I would ever see in person (Bob Iger and John Lasseter), but was able to during this unique event.

After attending our first event, Brandon and I would like to share some tips and ideas with you if you are thinking of attending the Expo in 2015 (and you might just see me there):

  • Bring snacks and drinks with you that you can eat throughout the day.  Not many places are open (there is a Starbucks in the hotel next door, but I waited over an hour to get my drinks) at 6am when you are lining up and the food that they had in the convention center was not super good and was pretty expensive.
  • Curb your expectations.  You will be waiting in lines for everything you do.  Brandon and I did the Volunteer booth and had to wait in a 10 minute line to help them make an activity pack for kids.
  • Bring a physical book or something to keep you entertained while you are waiting in line, especially if you know your phones and other electronics will be sealed.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open because you never know who you will see walking around the show floor!
  • If you want to get the exclusive and very limited merchandise (which we didn’t do), make sure that you do not plan on attending any of the morning sessions and can go right to the shopping area.  The lines at the Disney Store, which were different from the Dream Store where they sold the D23 Expo merchandise, at many points during the weekend reached over 2 hours long.
  • Odds are that you will be given bags, but if you want your hands free, make sure you wear a backpack.
  • Wear a watch.
  • Although they put carpet down on the convention floor, this does not mean your feet will not get sore, so wear comfortable shoes.
  • If you are the type of person who would like to dress-up, do it!  It was really fun to see the variety of costumes that people wore.
  • Manage your expectations, do you want to spend time waiting in line or would you rather visit the show floor and see one or two presentations each day?

We hope that you have enjoyed our overview of what we experienced during the Expo weekend, please feel free to leave us a comment or ask a question in the comments section below.

Alyssa Wiseman (also known as ajwiseman09 in the box) and her husband Brandon reside in central Indiana (too far from Disney) with their 4 year shih tzu London Bridget and brand new Bulldog, Maggie Mae.  Alyssa and Brandon enjoy traveling to Disney several times a year to see what is new and enjoy classic Disney.  While traveling, and at home, Alyssa is frequently shopping for Disney products and making a list of items to buy while in the parks.  Please follow Alyssa on twitter @ajwiseman09.