As many of you have read online or heard Lou Mongello discussing, the 2015 D23 Expo is just days away, and I am excited to be attending again this year! My husband, Brandon, and I attended the 2013 D23 Expo and loved every minute!
One once-in-a-lifetime experience that occurred at the last Expo was Frozen related. The movie had not been released yet; we had only seen one or two trailers and not heard any of the music. They introduced Idina Menzel who came out to sing a song titled “Let it Go.” While many of us were moved to tears, we did not have any idea that the song would be an instant chart topper and eventually we would see, and hear, Frozen in every aspect of Disney!! I know we get sick of the darn song being played everywhere life takes us, but it was absolutely magical, and I truly believe Disney did not know the phenomenon the movie would become! To read more about our 2013 experiences, please see my blog post here.
This year is going to bring its own set of touring challenges as our 10 month son will be with us (You didn’t really expect me to leave him home and not take him visit Disneyland!!) for the trip. Everything we had learned last Expo will be tossed out the window, and we will have to figure out what all we can do with our time there.
Last Expo, we only attended the two key presentations, Disney/Pixar Animation, where they discussed upcoming movies and gave fans sneak peeks of the movies (think the dinner scene from Inside Out not fully animated). We got hear from the animators, directors, and celebrities involved in each movie.
The second presentation was the Walt Disney Studios Live Action presentation, and it was much like the animation presentation, only with many many more celebrities (like Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, and Chris Hemsworth, to name a few). They primarily discussed the upcoming Disney and MARVEL films, not quite giving details of the Star Wars/Lucasfilm branch since it had just been acquired.
This year, we would love to attend these again, but our son probably won’t handle a 3-hour wait in line and an over 3-hour presentation! So, we are going to focus on the show floor and what that has to offer and possibly attempt to get into the Disney Parks and Resorts presentation on Saturday. Our goal is to not wait in a huge line, but with a bigger venue this year, maybe it will be possible to still grab a seat. If not, we will still see some wonderful plans and exhibits during the weekend.
We will possibly attempt to get a StagePass (Like a Fastpass, this is offered for some of the presentations. This is not offered for anything before 10:00 a.m. or for the stadium presentations) for one or two of the smaller presentations. I have heard from several attendees that sometimes these are more valuable than sitting in the 4,000 seat arena to hear about upcoming movies. I would love to hear from some of the older Disney Legends which we were not able to do last time because we spent time waiting in line for so long!
This was my favorite activity during the last Expo! Believe it or not, we were never able to make it into the Disney Store which was like your typical one you would find at your local mall. They had lots of collector dolls (We saw grown men walking around with 3-4 dolls to later sell on eBay which makes me mad.), and other retail items. I think this time, with the release of StorePass (exactly like a Fastpass – giving you a window to return in for entry,) I will be able to get into this store to see what they have!
Aside from the main Disney Stores, they also have pop-up shops that carry Disney merchandise like Hallmark, Target, Party City, and Jelly Belly. They do sell a few items, but they also have their displays showing upcoming merchandise in production. Last Expo, these stores were my favorites because they allowed you to see what Christmas ornaments were going to be released over the next few years and also which Halloween costumes would be offered that year. You go into the holidays looking for the items you want instead of having to wait to see and decide as well!
Even if you are not attending the Expo, but are interested to see what is being offered, you should download the D23 Expo App. You can see just how much convention space this Expo requires, and also what they are offering with autograph sessions, prize giveaways, panels, and exhibits.
Just remember that, looking at the schedules, you would think that fitting in two or even three presentations in a day shouldn’t be an issue, but remember there is an entire Expo Emporium with interactive exhibits that have their own lines and experiences that are not to be missed and just as exciting! It is often at the smaller exhibits and booths that you see items or people you would never otherwise have the opportunity to meet!
Just remember that no matter how you would choose to tour an event like this, you will have fun and see lots of Disney areas that you would not have access to unless you are Cast Member! They are giving us an inside look at their company and doing it in a very fun way.
That is all I have for now, but as I am typing this final section, we are about an hour away from landing in California, and then, we should be seeing signs of the Expo and gaining some new information within the next few days!! Please make sure to follow me on Twitter @ajwiseman09 as I will be tweeting out as much information as I am able. You will likely find more updates via official Disney twitter handles, as they will be tweeting while the general public is not allowed access to mobile devices. If there is anything specific you would like to see pictures of, tweet me, and I will do my best to cover it!
Alyssa Wiseman (also known as ajwiseman09 in the box), her husband Brandon, and infant son, Walt, reside in central Indiana (too far from Disney). 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.