Thursday, September 10, 2009

To all who come to this happy place, welcome.

It's no secret, I'm a big Disney fan. So when they announced D23 - an expo just for fans, well I bought my ticket first thing. I chose to only go yesterday (the first day), to avoid the crowds. On the weekend they are showing some amazing things - Toy Story 1 & 2 in 3D, Tron, all kinds of sneak previews. But...I'm not much of a fan of the movies or the characters, as much as I love the parks. Vintage 1955 - beginnings of Disneyland - Walt Disney's dream - that kind of stuff.
What made this con so good was that it was all super fans. Not in a horrible way, but in an appreciative way. Also, the organization. Wow. I understand that it's a big corporation so it's much easier - but as opposed to all the griping at Comic-Con this year, D23 was really organized well. Mostly because the people they had queueing us up and seating us were ALL Disney ride operators! No wonder they knew what they were doing, they do it everyday!

First I went to the opening ceremonies where they showed a whole 1/3 of the new movie Princess and the Frog. I have to admit I wasn't planning on seeing this movie, girlie flicks aren't my thing - but wow, the animation on this. It's Disney's return to old skool hand drawn 2D and man, what a difference. You have to see this movie.

My first panel on my agenda was all about Disney Toys. Despite people's hatred of Disney as a 'greed machine' I have to disagree, especially after seeing this panel. It was so nice to hear the designers talk about their inspiration and the love of toys and see their sketches translate into actual objects. I have to say, there is some cool stuff coming out for Christmas. Those Santa lists are going to be long.

The next panel, I was dying to get into - Vintage Disneyland. This was a one hour panel showcased lost footage of Disneyland being built. I could watch that stuff for hours. That panel along with the Disney Imagineering Legends panel was so inspiring. They had six original Imagineers up there, who designed and built all the rides that we now know and love. I love that they took a concept and just built it. If it wasn't done before, they'd just invent it. It was an old skool way of doing things, very craftsman - paving the way for the future.

As far as the rest of the convention, the floor was a little sparse. This being the first year of the convention I can see it being 1. more crowded this weekend and 2. really turning into something big in a few years. Honestly, if the shopping area was bigger I think they'd make bank. Just sayin'.The thing about Disney is most of these fans have memories of watching Disney on tv, having their families take them to Disneyland - it's a real emotional link for a lot of people. You could feel that at the convention. My mom went to Disneyland the first year it opened. I have home movies of me on Main Street. Maybe when my kids grow up they will tell their kids that I worked for Disney and remember all the times that I took them as well.

D23 runs from now through Sunday. If you go on the other days, let me know how it is. I had a great time, I can't wait til next year, I'm sure it will be even better.

LOTS more D23 pictures, here.

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Blogger Chessie said...

Those Toy Story Legos look awesome. =)

Friday, September 11, 2009 1:01:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

So right about the emotional link. My dad took my brother and me to Disneyland for a vacation when we were tweens and I still look back on that fondly.

Friday, September 11, 2009 6:23:00 AM  
Blogger The Food Librarian said...

Sounds like a great time. Oh, those original much talent and drive. I have to thank them for lots of great memories of DLand!

Friday, September 11, 2009 6:44:00 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...

I worked with Marty Sklar on a project here at the Cerritos Library. What an awesome experiece. We even had the chance to host an exhibit & conference with Ray Bradbury. Complete with lithographs and a people mover! I wish I had known back then that you were a D-fan, I would have extended a personal invite :0)

Friday, September 11, 2009 8:08:00 AM  
Blogger La Pixie said...

I wanted so much to go to this! but between just getting married and trying to buy a house, we really couldnt afford to add ANOTHER trip to CA this year (Ive been to DL twice this year). thanks for giving us a little piece. Im crossing my fingers for next year!

Friday, September 11, 2009 8:20:00 AM  
Blogger justJENN said...

@Valerie Marty Sklar is amazing.

@LaPixie It's booked there for the next 4 years, hold off, it's sure to get even better.

Friday, September 11, 2009 8:29:00 AM  
Anonymous leslie said...

Toy Story Legos?! Sweet Jesus, my kids are going to flip! Awesome!

Friday, September 11, 2009 8:37:00 AM  
Blogger Jodi said...

That convention sounds AWESOME! I have friends who came down from the Bay Area for the whole thing and others going today. I enjoyed reading your and their updates from it!

Sadly, I never went to either Disney park as a kid and it was always a big dream. We heard, "maybe next year." I finally got to go to Disney World (that's where the East Coast folks usually go) when I was 17 as my high school graduation present. I find it wonderful and magical as an adult and can only imagine how amazing that is through your eyes as a child.

At least I did get to see some previews and that Tron cycle up close at Comic-Con. But the toys...aaaahhhhhhh!

Friday, September 11, 2009 1:46:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Man, that event has Jenn written alllll over it! Glad you had a great time!

I'm very much looking forward to Em's first trip there, even if Brent thinks it's lame dash o.

Friday, September 11, 2009 3:13:00 PM  
Blogger The Daily Randi said...

I have Strong Feelings for Walt Disney World and Epcot Center because I was taken there nearly Every Year since I was A Kid. I have seen those Disneyland Movies, of them Building The Park just recently on You Tube. Facinating!


Oh, and Nanette -- I will happily accompany you to Disneyland if Brent doesn't want to go. TAH hates The Place, too.

Friday, September 11, 2009 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger L.A. Story said...

I would have loved to hear the Imagineers talk about building the rides! Friday was great, too. I went to the "Inside the Disney Studios" presentation, and they really trotted out the stars. Very well done!

Saturday, September 12, 2009 7:49:00 PM  

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