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8/23/2011 10:13 AM
Loren
Peter Pan
Loren

Posts: 313
I am setting this up as a placeholder for my upcoming report on the D23 Expo 2011. It was a crazy weekend and I'm still working on posting my photos so I can share them with you all. Did anybody else here attend the Expo? If so, were there any characters that were out that you got to meet?

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8/23/2011 8:54 PM
asianway
Mickey Mouse
asianway

Posts: 17
Big negative-just Jake, talking Mickey and rock star Mickey. We saw Oso and assume Perry made it but didn't line up since we met them in FL
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8/24/2011 2:24 PM
Loren
Peter Pan
Loren

Posts: 313
As promised, here is my report from the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center from August 19-21, 2011.


D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center by Loren Javier, on Flickr

By now, people have heard many of the complaints of over crowding, long lines and people not being able to get into see panels without lining up 3-4 hours in advance. I will definitely agree with those complaints. For some reason, this year's event seemed smaller scale and less organized than it did during the first D23 Expo in 2009. I'm not quite sure how that happened. I don't want to disparage all the people who worked very hard on this event and, ultimately, while I didn't get to go to ANY panels or presentations, I still had a blast. But, I would imagine that Disney will have to figure out a way to fix some of these problems if they want long term viability for this convention. That's all I'll say about that.

In terms of characters, it was a mixed bag. The Disney Channel Pavillion got an A+ for being the most organized in terms of character meet-and-greets. They had their character meet-and-greets clearly advertised not only in the program schedule, but at their booth. On Friday, they had Jake, Captain Hook and Smee from Disney Junior's Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Jake met for the first half hour while Captain Hook and Smee met the second half hour. I ALMOST missed Jake, though, as I was waiting in the massive line at the Disney Dream Store getting my exclusive Vinylmation. Jake left literally five people after me. Phew!


Meeting Jake of the Never Land Pirates at the Disney Channel Pavilion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Meeting Jake of the Never Land Pirates at the Disney Channel Pavilion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Captain Hook and Smee arrive at the Disney Channel Pavilion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Jake searches for the other Never Land Pirates at the Disney Channel Pavilion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr

On Saturday, Phineas, Ferb and Agent P met at the Disney Channel Pavillion. I didn't go to meet them as the line was out of control, I had to meet friends and, fortunately, I had met them a few times at San Diego Comic-Con.


Phineas and Ferb meet at the Disney Channel Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Phineas and Ferb meet at the Disney Channel Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr

I was kind of glad I didn't go meet them because, as I was snapping a few shots of Phineas and Ferb on stage, I saw Agent P sneak up and spy on them from the bushes. So, if I had been in line, I would have missed getting some cute photos of him doing that.


Agent P spies on Phineas and Ferb at the Disney Channel Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Agent P spies on Phineas and Ferb at the Disney Channel Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Agent P meets guests at the Disney Channel Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr

Then, on Sunday, they had some unique character meet-and-greets at the Disney Channel Pavillion. First, Handy Manny was meeting with Wilmer Valderama, who provides his voice on the Disney Junior show. Then, Secret Agent Oso met with Sean Astin who provided Oso's voice. I managed to get my photo with Handy Manny and Wilmer Valderama fairly easily.


Meeting Handy Manny and Wilmer Valderama at the Disney Channel Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Meeting Handy Manny and Wilmer Valderama at the Disney Channel Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr

But, as I made my way up to see Secret Agent Oso and Sean Astin, they announced that Secret Agent Oso was going to leave for 20 minutes. Now, I wanted to meet Sean Astin, but, I really wanted to meet him WITH Secret Agent Oso. So, I asked if I could wait until he came back. This started a wave of irrate parents and grandparents who were upset that Secret Agent Oso left as their kids really wanted to meet him more than Sean Astin. LOL! The people at the Disney Channel Pavillion, while they made me get back in line, were kind of enough to let me enter the line half way through so that I was in line fairly early on when Secret Agent Oso came back.


Meeting Secret Agent Oso and Sean Astin at the Disney Channel Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Meeting Secret Agent Oso and Sean Astin at the Disney Channel Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr

Unfortunately, the rest of the D23 Expo was a wonder where all the characters were. In fact, I just filled out the survey and one of the questions was about how I felt about the ease in finding characters...to which I replied, outside of the Disney Channel Pavillion, what characters were there?

I did manage to be in the right place at the right time to meet Rock Star Mickey who was headed to the Mattel booth to promote the new Rock Star Mickey toy.


Rock Star Mickey heads to the Mattel Booth at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Meeting Rock Star Mickey at the Mattel Booth at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr

And, the only other character meet-and-greet, if you can really call it that, was meeting Big Red at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavillion. I'm counting him as a character because, even though he had no friend with him, we still count Lightning McQueen and Mater as characters and this was a similar experience. I'm hoping they have these characters available for meets all throughout Cars Land when it opens.


Meeting Big Red at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Meeting Big Red at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavillion at the D23 Expo by Loren Javier, on Flickr

Again, thankfully, the Disney Channel provided several of their star characters at their pavillion. Otherwise, it would have been sparse. It's sad because there were many other opportunities at the last convention. In fact, they even had an area where you could meet Band Leader Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. Granted, we've met these characters before, but, at least you could find them. Also, last year you could meet WALL-E, Lucky the Dinosaur, Push, and a Princess telling a story at the Disney Store.
I'm hoping, given the immense popularity of meeting the characters at the Disney Channel Pavillion this year, that Disney will consider bringing more to the next one.

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8/24/2011 7:24 PM
PeterPanFan
Sorcerer
PeterPanFan

Posts: 1107
Thank you for the report and great photos Loren!! Sorry to hear the characters were sparse hopefully they will improve it for the next convention... it sounds like there are lots of things they need to improve if they continue these... hopefully they will learn their lessons from this one and have a much better experience next time

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