Those who attend San Diego Comic Con yearly noticed this year's con had a great big hole in it that could only be filled by the mammoth mouse shoes of the Disney juggernaut! Most notably was the absence of panels for upcoming Marvel films and their crown jewel, The Avengers!!!! This being the case, we made a mad scramble to find out where we could get a taste of that sweet, sweet venger' lovin'. The answer was D23. Initially, we'd guess D23 was the name of the crate "Top Men" were inspecting at the end of Indiana Jones..BUT NO! D23 is Disney's own fan wonderland, packed to the brim with presentations, panels, costumes, and miles of merch all stamped with the mouse's seal of approval. Steve and Chelsea Sievers (of www.level27media.com ) hit the con floor for Idle Hands and at the start, this was a marriage of convenience and one we were very thankful for. Little did we realize the Sievers are UBER DISNEY FANS!! Early on we expected some pretty pictures and funny stories of tattoo'd gentlemen bearing their flesh before their ejection from the show floor. Now we knew we would get MAGIC! Ah yes...the dorkiest of Disney magic only two full grown adults playing like 5 yr olds could conjure. Enjoy.
After day 1, we caught up with Steve via the interwebs and nabbed this report:
Steve: When you first walked in they had some VAN from the TV show LOST (I never got into that show so I don't know how important it was.) Walt Disney's personal limousine was also there and a giant Black Pearl pirate ship which was almost as big the van. The limousine was pretty pimp! Walt would be driven to all his premieres back in the day in this very car. They had this huge stage next to it which had artists from Disney Radio and actors & actresses from Disney Channel TV shows, of which I knew none of them. When I was walking by some guy who worked for Disney Radio asked me if I had an iphone and wanted the Radio Disney App on it I said "do I look like I listen to Radio Disney?"
Me: Were u wearing ur ultra stylish hat?
Steve: Yes I was!
Me: hehehe...Then yes...quite possibly.
Steve: Yea that is true. After that we waited in line to get into the Disney Dream Store. Waiting in line was a theme of the day, similar to SDCC. You to wait in line for panels, wait in line to get into sections of the convention, etc. The Dream Store had a lot of exclusives in there including the 101 Dalmatians Pin, Tron Monorail (only 3,000 made with either blue or yellow light cycle on it), and Vinylmation figure exclusives with a cool Mickey Mouse or Davey Crockett. It was packed and I had to wait in a longer line to check out and buy the merch (another SDCC mad dash for exclusives type moment.)
Me: Did they entertain you while u waited to buy stuff?
Steve: Yes, by coming over and showing you more exclusives pins you should buy! Right by the dream store was this amazing auction where you could bid on a pirate ship from the Peter Pan ride from Disneyland, a huge skull and crossbones standee from Pirates of the Caribbean and more. Next we went to the Disney VoluntEars (get it? EARS? Wokka.) area where we got to fill out postcards to send to the troops overseas and also stuff bags of goodies that will be sent to the troops which had a stuffed Mickey Mouse, DVDs, Camera, Disney Notebooks, Stickers, & Pencils. We then got in the long line to get into the D23 Arena for the "Walt Disney Parks & Resorts" Panel. For Disney Freaks like my wife and I who visit Disneyland 2-3 times a month (A MONTH?!! Holy frik.), it was amazing! It started out with the premiere of the park's new Mickey Mouse Costume worn by someone playing some mean drums (the new costume has an animatronic head with working mouth and eyes!!) SO COOL!!! The 2 hour panel was basically one long Disney commercial for all their parks including vacation spots like the new one opening in Hawaii next week and new cruise ships.
Me: Have they incorporated The Muppets and Marvel into the new plans?
Steve: No, not at all. Rumor is that they are in talks to open a Stark Expo in Tomorrowland at Disneyland & World. I personally think that is amazing, but I know a lot of people don't want to see Marvel Characters at Disney parks. Coolest part was the change of Fantasy Land at Disney World in FL where the new Snow White ride will be a roller coaster built to look like mine carts that sway back and forth as they roll along through the Dwarf's mines with the "Hi HO" song playing! The ride ends at Snow White's cabin. The panel also showed what the Shanghai's Disneyland is going to look like. They just started building it. Their castle will be the biggest one and the first that isn't based on something from a specific movie (as Disneyland's Castle is Sleeping Beauty's and Disney World's is Cinderella's.) After the panel ended, we hit the dealer's area filled with toys and mountains of Disney pins as well as a ton of art work. Even the US Postal Service had a booth. You could buy Disney Stamps and then get them signed by the artist who did the artwork for them...not sure how that works. Did people sign the backs of them? Each stamp got an autograph...some things are best not answered I suppose. After checking out the dealer section, we hit the Mattel booth which had a ton of Cars toys and new Toy Story figures which feature the gang going to outer space. My fav is the toy T-Rex in his space suit! They also had some cute small figures from Toy Story with scenes from the latest film. We got in line for their exclusives and picked up your exclusive Black & White Woody there. (Thanks Steve!!) Then we got in line for the Disney Store exclusives. You have to wait in line just to look at them. The Disney Store exclusives were over priced Christmas ornaments (Just Mickey & Minnie in snow gear and a Mickey from Fantasia) and this huge Crystal Tree with Mickey under it for $150. We ended the day scoring some more Tron Monorails for friends and happily found there was no line at all as the con was about to close. Then we went to Denny's to celebrate our awesome day with pancakes!
Me: YAY Pancakes!
Tune in tomorrow for more coverage and CLICK HERE for some excellent pics snapped by Steve and Chelsea of level27media.com!