Hi, Disney fans! You may have read my stories on the D23 Web site, the D23 Expo site or in the pages of Disney twenty-three, but I’ve never personally introduced myself to you before — except at some of our D23 Member-exclusive events! And it is my distinct pleasure to say that never could there be a more auspicious occasion to do so than today, on the day before the D23 Expo opens.
All of us who have worked on the D23 project have always known how special, enchanting and magical the ultimate Disney fan experience would be. But I think many of us were awed when we walked into the vast Anaheim Convention Center for the first time and saw the Expo taking shape before our eyes. With every passing minute as we head toward tomorrow morning, our excitement intensifies and our anticipation grows.
The showfloor bristles with a palpable sense of electricity. There are highlights aplenty, including the eye-popping Walt Disney Parks and Resorts pavilion (don’t miss Cars Land and the latest jaw-dropping technology from Walt Disney Imagineering). All the pavilions are impressive — even if they’re not yet ready for primetime — but the Disney Consumer Products pavilion is a cornucopia of marvels (Cinderella’s Coach, the Disney Dream Home, the Top Toys Test Zone and more make this a must-see Expo opportunity), and Lost University enmeshes you in the mystery of this legendary TV hit. Then there’s the Fan Art Gallery, the D23 Expo Store, the interactive Wii® stations in the Disney Interactive Media Group pavilion and, well, I’m writing a blog not an encyclopedia… you get the idea!
The “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” exhibit on the second floor simply cannot be missed. In a comfortable, formal setting, timeless artifacts from our vast Disney Archives shine luminously in the muted light. Breathtaking treasures include the 11-foot shooting model of the Nautilus, used in the shooting of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the original storybook filmed for the opening of Sleeping Beauty and costumes and outfits from a wide range of Disney films — from Mary Poppins’ practically perfect original costume to Hannah Montana’s outfits from Hannah Montana: The Movie. There is something for every age and taste in this one-of-a-kind showcase event, the first public exhibition curated by Walt Disney Archives staff!
Disney fans, that’s really just a start to the magic that’s in store for you at the D23 Expo. There will be screenings, celebrity appearances, amazing presentations in the spectacular D23 Arena and more. I can tell you that we can’t wait ’til we open the doors of the Convention Center to you, our best and most loyal Disney fans. We know you’ll have as much fun as we all had in helping bring the ultimate Disney fan experience to you.
We look forward to seeing you starting tomorrow and over the next four days. We’re going to have a lot of fun together! Check out the pictures below!
Steven Clark, Head of D23, poses with our goodwill ambassador to the world on the eve of the inaugural D23 Expo.
Steven addresses the media in the sun-dappled air of the Anaheim Convention Center entrance lobby.
Who wouldn’t want to get their photos taken on Cinderella’s Coach at the Disney Consumer Products pavilion?
The charming facade outside the ABC House Screening Room will beckon guests to check out ABC’s most-anticipated fall series.
Seeing actual items that Walt Disney had on his desktop is a stirring experience and an opportunity no Disney fan will want to miss.
The gorgeous jewel-encrusted storybook that opened Sleeping Beauty is another one of the most spectacular pieces in the “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” exhibit (if one had to choose!). The 11-foot long shooting miniature of the Nautilus, used during filming of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (the tail of the craft is seen in background), is another.
Annette Funicello’s and Cubby O’Brien’s Mickey Mouse Club Talent Round-up costume ensembles and the bass drum prop used on the show.
Michael Jackson’s Captain Eo costume is a spectacular item, and is lent to the Walt Disney Archives courtesy of Lucasfilm.
The state-of-the-art Walt Disney Studios Theater stands poised to dazzle film lovers every day during the D23 Expo.