Probably the most magical and happiest place on Earth (next to Disneyland itself of course) would definitely be this weekend’s D23 Expo held at the Anaheim Convention Center in sunny Southern California. The most epic Disney fan event, held right next to Disneyland Resort, attracted thousands of fans from around the nation who wanted to experience the most “Disney-fied” convention, which included Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and of course newly added Lucasfilm.
All things princesses, superheroes and jedis awaited guests who attended the convention and many other companies aligned with Disney such as Vans, Target and Maker Studios were there to show their Disney spirit.
Since D23 Expo is held bi-annually, this year it fell on a very special year for Disney, the 60th anniversary of Disneyland Resort. In honor of this milestone year for the company, there was a special Disney Archives Disneyland Exhibit which featured special clothing, resort memorabilia and also a miniature scale model of the park that featured the splendid Main Street Electrical Parade, Disney’s most popular and famous parade.
Among the other special items to observe in the archive exhibit were costumes worn by the original Mickey Mouse Club mousketeers such as Annette Funicello as well as special pendants and broaches from the various past Disneyland anniversary celebrations. Also in a special glass, rotating case was the first admission ticket to the park, which was purchased by Walt Disney’s brother, Roy.
Some of the other exclusives for the event were special dolls resembling Snow White and the Evil Queen Regina from ABC’s Once Upon A Time. The dolls were over $100 but if one was lucky enough to get a doll then they would be admitted into the signing in which the actresses Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parilla would be signing.
Another big exclusive was a Golden Book story called The Little Man Of Disneyland which came out of the Disney vault for the Expo. Back in 1955 Golden Books released the book about a Leprechaun who lived in Disneyland. Shortly after it was released the book was no longer printed. Finally this year it became back in print and its big debut was at the expo on Friday and books were being sold for $5 each.
Throughout the convention floor, large pop-up-shops were constructed which offered not only exclusive D23 Expo merchandise but also products worthy of actual Disney Stores and Disneyland Resort stores. The lines to get in the stores were also worthy of Disneyland itself as there were non-stop relentless lines to get into each store. However, despite the crowds, Disney did an excellent job of containing people and keeping organization a key priority; something that one often finds missing at other conventions as throngs of people create chaos.
Disney Consumer Products offered a fun experience in a section of the convention floor as they showed off some of their most inspired and fantastic products. There was a Star Wars section which showed off some great merchandise such as a clone army piece and of course a great Disney Princess section which offered takes on various famous Princess dresses which were modernized and on display.
A few more of the larger exhibits on the main floor included a walk through area that showed off what is to come for the newest Disney park, Shanghai Disney. In this exhibit guests were able to look at blue prints and models of rides that will be there as well as the individual lands that are going to be in the new theme park.
There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on Pirates of the Caribbean for this theme park as there will be a whole Pirates land and Pirates ride which will feature Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones. Another major ride to appear there will be a Tron ride which seemed to be interactive. For a more classic attraction, Shanghai Disney will be home to a Fantasia Carousel which will have horses from the film' as the carousel horses.
Next to this exhibit was live-action films portion where guests could go up to an interactive Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass portion where they could get on a video screen and transform their faces into character faces from the film such as the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat and Mad Hatter. Costumes from the new movie were also on display such as a Mandarin Alice costume and a young Mad Hatter costume.
For the Star Wars and Marvel fans, there was an Antman suit on display and a large Star Wars: The Force Awakens display that featured some of the main characters' outfits, Storm Trooper and Shock Trooper suits and even the the new circular droid that is featured in the trailer.
All of this and more was included at this year’s D23 Expo and this was only about the main exhibit floor. The announcements and reveals at this expo were incredible, especially when it came to Disney’s upcoming live action films. Fans of all ages were able to enjoy this magical experience and hopefully two years from now the next D23 Expo will be just as amazing.