This year I’ll be attending my second D23 Expo … for the first expo in 2009, there wasn’t a whole lot of information released ahead of time, and I decided to take a pass. When I saw updates from the Expo as it was happening, I realized I’d made a bad call … there was some amazing stuff going on, and I was missing out!
So for the 2011 Expo I was there for all 3 days. I absolutely loved what I saw — but what I saw was only a small fraction of what I wanted to see. Unlike most of the other D23 events, where a ticket guarantees you a seat at every presentation, an Expo ticket only grants you the right to stand in line to get into the presentations. Many of the most popular presentations filled up well ahead of their starting time, so anyone showing up a few minutes before a presentation was not going to find a seat. So, if you wanted to see a 2 pm presentation, you pretty much had to forgo any presentations at 1 pm and start lining up between noon and 1 pm for the 2 o’clock. For the main arena presentations, typically held first thing in the morning, lining up outside the convention center 2 hours ahead of doors opening was pretty much the minimum … for a while on Saturday we actually believed we were going to be the very last people admitted to the Studios presentation (they cut off the line behind us, but later let through about 100 more people).
So, this year I wanted to maximize my chances to see as much as I could … which means Sorcerer. A very limited number of Sorcerer tickets are sold, and each ticket guarantees a seat at any presentation (it appears we will be asked to register for the presentations we plan to attend just before the expo, so that they’ll have an exact count of how many seats to set aside in each presentation). It’s a pricey indulgence, but for a once-every-two-years event, with a lot of content that will never be repeated anywhere at any price, I thought it would be worth it. I hope they prove me right.
So I’m watching the schedule as it fills in on the web site (D23 doesn’t announce everything at once, but trickles out the content in the weeks leading up to the Expo). Already I see some tough choices … Friday morning at 10 am is the Animation presentation, with John Lassiter, covering all the upcoming Disney and Pixar animated features. I have to be there for that … but that means I’ll miss Dave Smith (Disney Archivist Emeritus) discussing the making of Mary Poppins, and the Imagineers discussing the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland. If only I had a few clones to send to those other presentations!
Things got a little more real this week when the Expo credentials arrived … it’s very exciting to have my tickets in hand, but seriously … couldn’t they have run this through a spell checker and found the correct spelling of Sorcerer?
I think the things I’m looking forward to most at this point are the evening concerts .. Friday night we get “Broadway and Beyond”, featuring current and previous cast members of Disney Theatrical Group’s Broadway productions. Then on Saturday, Alan Menken and Richard Sherman take the stage together for the first time … I saw Menken perform at the Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Feature Animation event and it was a highlight. I’m sure this will be an equally memorable evening.
If you’re at the Expo this year, look for me and say hi … and comment below with what you’re most looking forward to at this year’s Expo.