D23 Expo Day 3: Saturday, Part 2

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.

Don't get excited—it's just part of the screensaver they ran before the show started…

Jay Rasulo: "Oh man… they are totally gonna egg me when they realize I'm not announcing anything new!"

"So… uh… Who here likes Fantasyland?"

"That's right—Disneyland has one… (counts on fingers) two, three… uh, FOUR lands. And before the advent of Pixar, they were based on these four ideas!"

"Announcing the World's Largest Princess Meet-n-Greet!!! That's right, we're spending $100 million on this hyper-themed backdrop for photos with the princesses and fairies. What's that? 'Photoshop'? Never heard of it…."

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…

"Whew! OK, so far, so good… maybe now I'll pitch yet another DVC property. Everybody loves DVC!"

I don't know what this is, but even the hyperactive Angular Kids don't wanna run toward it!

I think this is (was?) part of the plans for Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland

Apparently they have Angular Kids at Disneyland Paris too!

Oh good—they're flying in Marty Sklar. He always has something interesting to say!

…Orrrrr they're just going to talk about his window on Main Street…

"Up next is a little something I like to call 'How to Fix an Ill-Conceived Theme Park By Spending More Than You Did to Build It'…"

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!

Vader to Rasulo as he suspends him in a Force-induced chokehold: "I find your lack of faith disturbing…"

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%!

"These are not the toys you are looking for…"

I guess even Stormtroopers gotta schlep their stuff somehow…

Just don't tease them about it…

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!).

This might be the line we were supposed to be in

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.

We weren't allowed to take pictures, so, uh here's the poster

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!

I totally wish the lobby still looked like this.

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?

Oooh! Oooh! Real wedding!

Now where was I…?

Then we had a nice dinner at Steakhouse 55 (née Granville’s Steak House) with Patrick’s aunt and uncle.

Asparagus with Hollandaise; Broiled Salmon

Macaroni & Cheese

Porterhouse Steak

Sauteed Green Beans with Applewood-Smoked Bacon

Filet Mignon

For the last shot of the day, I give you… The World’s Sparkliest Stairs!!!

Up Next: Last day of D23 Expo 2009!

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12 Responses
  • Chilly
    August 21, 2011

    For some reason I now have a craving for fudge – odd

    • lurkyloo
      August 21, 2011

      Oh my gosh, so after all my buildup about how great the fudge was at the first D23 Expo, they don’t even have it this year!!! I am SO disappointed…

  • Hope
    August 18, 2011

    So basically what I take away from this is, “whatever I don’t see at Expo, I’ll read about on Carrie’s blog.” 🙂

    • lurkyloo
      August 18, 2011

      There ya go!

  • Elizabeth
    August 18, 2011

    Although I’m still bummed that we lost Mickey and Minnie’s houses…and the Barnstormer. My four year old niece loved those things. WDW needs it’s own ToonTown!

    • lurkyloo
      August 18, 2011

      Yeah, they never quite figured that out in Florida….

      • Elizabeth
        August 18, 2011

        And I meant “its” own ToonTown. D’oh! Those houses were seriously great. And I loved when they were decorated for the holidays. Boo hoo…now I’m sad just thinking about the fact that they are gone!

  • Elizabeth
    August 18, 2011

    Hmmm…that replacement for the fountains is a little underwhelming, huh?

    And the Alice in Wonderland dress…really? Sigh.

    I don’t keep up with all this stuff as closely as some…what were the changes between that Fantasyland expansion presentation and current plans? Cliff’s Notes version. 😉

    • lurkyloo
      August 18, 2011

      Basically, it was super-princess-focused with not a lot to do besides the Little Mermaid ride. It was just meet-n-greets and story time and Pixie Hollow. Now they’ve ditched Pixie Hollow and added the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride to kind of balance it out.

      • Elizabeth
        August 18, 2011

        Cool…I’m on Princess overload as it is!

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