This is the point at which I originally abandoned my D23 Expo trip report cuz it was just getting kind of boring (something I’ve obviously had no qualms about in subsequent reports!). Since the latest Expo is coming up in a few days, I thought I’d finish this one up as quickly as possible, if only to get the photos published. It’s gonna be light on commentary, though—two years later, all I have to go on are a few chicken scratches in my journal from each night. Sorry about that!
OK, so after we checked out the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit, we went back downstairs to see the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts presentation in the arena.
This time we only waited in line a short while because we didn’t need to be in the first few rows. We ended up in the balcony area with a decent view.
The Parks & Resorts presentation was the big spectacle I was most looking forward to, but it turned out to be kind of a dud—all the “big” announcements were just confirmation of rumors that had been making the rounds online for at least a month. Actually, now that even Disney seems to have acknowledged how underwhelming those plans for New Fantasyland were by scrapping half of them, this look back at their initial ideas is ironically amusing.
Angular kids rejoice! There will be plenty of characters to run toward in New Fantasyland!
Then there was something about The Disney Dream cruise ship (I know this, because I have these photos!).
And improvements to Castaway Cay…
They showed a clip from the animatic ride-through of Radiator Springs Racers, which was fun.
Uh-oh… Looks like The Empire is about to rain on Rasulo’s parade!
It was pretty exciting to see the sneak preview of the new Star Tours, even though we knew they would announce it. Patrick shot the clip—although most of it’s in 3-D, you can see how it changed in big and little ways between the Expo and the ride’s opening this summer.
After the presentation, we decided to grab lunch at the Arena Grill instead of the sad counter-service places in the exhibit halls. To our surprise, the food was actually quite good! The ingredients were fresher, and there was more choice of interesting take-away items. (Unfortunately, this location will not be open during D23 Expo 2011, so it’s back to water-logged burgers and neon nacho cheese…)
We took our roast beef sandwiches and “Disney” fudge to the D23 Member Lounge again to eat. (Another thing I’ve found out since I started this report: The fudge sold at the Expo was actually made by concessionaire Aramark, not Disney. Which explains why I’ve never been able to find fudge that good at the Disney parks since!)
After lunch, as we made our way toward the Collectors’ Forum, we passed by the candy stand. Naturally, I was compelled to purchase even more fudge (they had so many different and interesting flavors!).
In the Collectors Forum, we stopped by Patrick’s uncle’s booth. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing him again at this year’s Expo because Disney has raised the price of a booth by 150%!
By then it was time to head upstairs to wait in yet another line, this time for the Princess & the Frog presentation. Except that after 45 minutes of waiting and finally being ushered in, we discovered we were in the wrong room! (And if we were able to get “Stage 23” and “Walt Disney Studios Theater” mixed up, just think how bad it’ll be this year when the latter changes its name to “Stage 28″—the numbers even LOOK the same!).
So we dashed upstairs to the correct room and got what we thought was a pretty good place in line. After we’d waited in line for 2 hours, they decided to take our cameras as they let us in. When we finally got inside, we were so far back that we couldn’t really see anything, which meant I fell asleep about three times cuz I had nothing to focus on. Eventually I decided to leave early so I could get my iPhone back ahead of the hordes.
After that the only thing left was the live auction, which we weren’t gonna pay $40 to watch, so we split for the Disneyland Hotel….
…where it was the 1970s!
Before dinner we went to see what all the fuss was about with the hotel fountains, which were scheduled for removal.
Here’s what they eventually replaced them with:
And of course I wanted nighttime shots of the wedding ceremony location, the Rose Court Garden.
One thing about the Disneyland Hotel is they have a lot of great concept art in the public areas, some of which you rarely see. Let’s look at, oh, ALL of it, shall we?
Now where was I…?
Then we had a nice dinner at Steakhouse 55 (née Granville’s Steak House) with Patrick’s aunt and uncle.
For the last shot of the day, I give you… The World’s Sparkliest Stairs!!!