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Trip Report Disneyland and D23 Expo 2017 Completed

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Reports' started by ajrwdwgirl, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    We checked out the Animation display. Honestly we thought it would have a little more or be interactive but it really wasn't. They did have some people giving little talks from time to time but we never saw one.
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    Nick & Judy with animators tee shirts.
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    The one the Frozen team made. I liked this one a lot. Although I felt Hans should be more front and center.
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    Then over to Pixar. This one didn't have much for interaction either. I don't know what we were expecting from these areas but since animated movies are really the backbone of Disney we just expected a little more of something to do. We never timed it right with the Pixar give aways either, so no Pixar ball for us. Which is fine, I don't need one my dog doesn't play with balls, so I probably would have taken it to my classroom for students to use when we do the gravity calculations and they have to drop stuff.
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    I don't think Edna is a fan of my wardrobe.
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  2. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Then we decided that we would attempt to get a Stage Pass again for the Kiss Goodnight presentation with Floyd Norman and Richard Sherman. We both agreed that since it was in that little arena we would probably be okay without it and if the Stage Pass line was too long we wouldn't stand in line.

    On the way we to the Stage Pass distribution area we got distracted by a droid.
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    Some Cinderella art work. Cindy is my favorite classic princess and I have a fairly large Cinderella collection at home. Sadly this painting did not come home with me but at least I have pictures (much cheaper!)
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    Brad thought about some new grilling equipment and plates.
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    Then we passed by some photo ops that were fun.
    I am satisfied with this photo, Baymax.
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    There was a line for this photo but only about 4 groups deep. When it was our turn a Dad that been over to the side and NOT in line rushed (ran actually) his kid in front of us to get into the photo op. Man, that made me mad. He had been watching for awhile and there was clearly a line. So I said some sort of remark to him about the line and cutting in front of others. He looked surprised that I said anything and actually so was Brad because I usually don't. I kept saying comments to him as he took his picture too. Since he had a child with him I kept my remarks G rated. But this guy made me mad because he clearly was looking to cut in on someone because I saw him watching from the side.

    Anyway when we were able to actually take our turn we got a couple nice photos. The people behind us in line took some good photos. And because they were so concerned about taking good photos we took theirs and I stayed inside the photo op until they came in so no one would jump in front of them.
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  3. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Another Pirates photo op picture
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    We made it over to the Stage Pass area and even though we didn't think we would need one the line was super short, only about 20 people. So Brad too my lanyard with ticket and went into the line to get the Stage Pass and I went in the D23 Gold member line to get my free gift because that line was short now too. All I needed for the free gift was my gold card.

    It's important to note that the windows of the Stage Pass distribution were adjacent to the line for the Gold member gift. They however were not connected and just because you were in the line for the gold member gift did not mean you were also in line for a Stage Pass.

    The people in front of me in the Gold member line were weird and discussing something very heatedly. Then finally the older lady (the mom?) broke away grabbed the other peoples lanyards and broke over to the Stage Pass distribution. She completely skipped everyone that was standing in line for Stage Pass including Brad and walked up to a window, cutting off someone that was headed to it! OMG! What is with people and skipping people waiting in line!?! I think I muttered to myself about the lady cutting in front of everyone in line and the people that had been with her turned and looked at me and I just stared back at them.

    Here you can see the line and how the windows were set up. I will say that it was easy for the lady to cut the line especially since the attendant running the front of the Stage Pass line was really slow about sending people to the Stage Pass windows. There was a nice board above the area letting people know if passes were still available or not.
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    After we got the Stage Pass we were at loss at what to do we weren't hungry we had already eaten our lunch. We had seen a lot of the show floor and stuff we thought about doing again had long lines. So I looked at the schedule, in the arena steps away there was a panel about the show Once Upon a Time. We watch the show and like it so I asked hubby if he wanted to go to that. Another panel that might have been interesting was at the Archives stage but we wouldn't have time to make it to that one as it was starting in a couple minutes. And Parks and Resorts was starting but we definitely weren't getting into that.

    So hubs agreed to go to this panel. As I said I thought it would be interesting since we watch the show, but I also thought it would be a good place to sit and rest. Since it wasn't a must do for us, I also thought if we wanted to nap it would be a nice dark place for that. The panel turned out to be very interesting and we both stayed awake. The guy who plays Hook was there and he is cute and kind of funny. he also sang his song from the musical episode and that was enjoyable. The producers on the panel were cryptic about information on the new season but whatever. We were both surprised at the amount of people that were super fans of the show in there. We didn't realize the large fan base it had. There was a lot of whooohoos in there.
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    When we got out of the panel we found a spot to sit and catch up on the announcements from Parks and Resorts which was finishing up. I'm sure everyone reading this has already seen the announcements so no need to rehash. Some were quite exciting. We ended up being near the exit area of the Parks panel when it got over and were a little disappointed when we saw what had been given to attendants, a pass for the seating area at the soft open of Fantastic for either that night or Sunday night. Booo! But we consoled ourselves that we had a dining package already lined up for it on official opening night on July 17 (Monday). All the attendants also got a green Mickey balloon.

    We did walk around the show floor again and talked to some people that were selling books and a couple of podcasters I listen to.
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    I found a cool new dining room table. Although the chairs, even though expensive, were really plasticy and seemed of cheap quality.
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  4. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    It was soon time to head over to the Kiss Goodnight panel. It was a panel that was explaining the development of the book based on Richard Sherman's song "Kiss Goodnight" that was written for Disneyland's 60th and artwork mostly by Floyd Norman and some by his wife as well. I was interested in the book, but I mostly wanted to go in case Richard Sherman decided to sing or play the piano for us.

    So as you know we had Stage Passes and as we walked up to the arena area the doors hadn't opened yet and I noticed that there was still space available in the Gold Members line (which would be let in before the stage passers), so we decided to keep our stage pass as a souvenir and get in the gold member line. We had pretty good seats for the panel and I checked out the stage right away and I was super pumped to see a piano on stage!!!!

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    Floyd Norman
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    Floyd's wife (I forgot her name) and artwork used in the book.
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    By the way the book is being released this month and includes a cd of the song "Kiss Goodnight", it is a beautiful song. I loved it and recorded it last year at Disneyland when it was played after the fireworks so I'm looking forward to getting a clean copy of it. It is on my Christmas list so I may have to wait for Santa to bring it.

    Then he played. :inlove: Richard Sherman had a lady sing (I can't remember her name either, but I have it written down somewhere) with him. There were three songs performed, "Kiss Goodnight", "Feed the Birds", and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". The lady sang mostly on the first two songs, but Richard Sherman did most of the singing and playing on Super. It was AMAZING!!! This man and his brother wrote a lot of the Disney songs I love, not to mention Walt's favorite song, and I was just in awe. I felt so lucky to be experiencing everything I had yesterday and today I was just speechless at the end. Brad tried to talk to me when it was over, but I needed some time to gather myself. I don't think I was the only one who felt that way because I noticed some other people with wet eyes on the way out.

    Once I got my speech back on the walk back to the hotel, because this had been the last session of the day, I kept referring to it as our private concert with Richard Sherman and a few hundred of our closest friends. I did an audio recording when he started playing and I think I have listened to it a few times since and it still makes me a little teary.

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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  5. LisaBelle

    LisaBelle Well-Known Member

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    Wow! What an amazing experience to hear Richard Sherman perform those classic Disney songs that he (and his brother) wrote! I would have been a pool of goo after seeing that. My daughter and I would LOVE to have an experience like that!
     
  6. riverside

    riverside Active Member

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    What an awesome experience!! My eyes teared up a little just reading this......
     
  7. MinnieM123

    MinnieM123 Well-Known Member

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    Oh my, "Feed the Birds" would have been emotional to listen to, with Richard Sherman up there on stage. Amazing.
     
  8. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    It was pretty amazing. We were both getting a little tired before the panel and thought about leaving and I am so glad we stayed. It may sound bad but both of these guys are getting older and who know how long we will have the opportunities to see them. Like with Marty Sklar. :(
     
  9. figmentfan423

    figmentfan423 Well-Known Member

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    I love the quilt. Disney and postage stamp quilts are 2 of my favorite things
     
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  10. figmentfan423

    figmentfan423 Well-Known Member

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    Those dresses are all amazing but Cinderella has to be my favorite.
     
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  11. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    End of D23 Expo Day 2
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    We left the Convention Center and there were food trucks line up all along the area where people line up outside in the morning. They smelled so good and we were really tempted but we had other ideas for dinner tonight. So we walked back to the hotel and repacked our backpacks for tomorrow and headed across the street to Disneyland.

    As we walked onto Main Street an announcement was being made that tonight there would be a special performance a sneak peak at the new Fantasmic. We already knew it was open to the the people who went to Parks and Resorts at the Expo but I guess it was open to all. Only the people from the Expo with their pass from the P & R panel had the special area normally reserved for dining packages for the shows. We thought about trying to see it but decided just to wait until Monday night.

    So we headed to our dinner destination....the red wagon of goodness....corndogs!!!! We planed to also go to Bengal BBQ for some skewers so we did not get chips with the corn dogs but we each got our own dog. They were....DELICIOUS!!!
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    On our way to Bengal BBQ we detours around the castle which was closed off because they were getting the area set up for fireworks already. It sure made for some great pictures though.
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    As we walked over towards Adventureland, we heard music, but not the normal background music it was swing music. I remembered it was Saturday night and on Saturdays there is always swing dancing. Even though we have been there on Saturdays we have always forgotten about it or timed it wrong. We were steps away so we decided to watch. Brad knows how to swing dance quite well, he went swing dancing with friends in college and in seminary. I do not know how to swing dance, but I enjoy the music.

    We watched for awhile and the dancers out there were terrific and knew there stuff. We had watched swing dancers at DCA when we were there for New Years Eve and I think I remembered some of them. Oh, the people dancing are just locals that come to the park for the night and there was a variety of ages. After watching for a bit Brad thought we should dance. Like I said I am not a dancer (except for maniac style in my kitchen when I'm cooking) and the people dancing were really good. So I agreed and we started okay and then because Brad has the skills he wanted to go more advanced and started to "coach" me. It just made me self-conscious and made me feel silly and suddenly it wasn't fun. He didn't seem to understand why it was making me self-conscious and that made me more upset (I might have also been getting too tired as well). After he realized I was getting upset he went back to beginner level dancing that I could handle. I would like to learn and haven't wanted to take lessons but I didn't think Disneyland was the place to be coached when I just wanted to dance a little and not stand out. Luckily a slower song came on and we had a nice dance and then sat and watched again until the band took a break.

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    Then we went to Bengal BBQ and shared some skewers. Yummy!
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    We got the chicken and the special pork belly skewer. Both were good.
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    We decided to go over to Pirates because it seemed like we had learned so much about Pirates the last couple days we wanted to review the attraction again. Plus with Fantasmic starting in the area soon we thought the line would be short. The line was short and we heard part of the opening as we walked into the building, we really like the start, and as we exited the attraction and made our way out of the park we caught glimpses of the finale and the dragon & the fire part!

    Then we went over to DCA quick because I wanted to get the Baby Groot sipper but I hadn't wanted to carry it around other days. So it was perfect since we were headed back to the hotel for the night. I didn't want any soda and thought about just getting it empty but I had them put Coke in it for Brad. I got there just in time because Award Weiners, the place closest to the front of the park that sold them, was closing up shop for the day. He also got some popcorn and we bought toffee to take home and chocolate covered peanut butter candy sandwiches for our breakfast in the morning.
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    Coming up: Day 3 of the the Expo, also the last day of the Expo.
     
  12. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I thought the quilt should have been the winner. I think there is a lot of beauty in quilting and needlework and some people just don't realize how difficult it is to do. Or how much work it takes to do well.

    The dresses were very pretty, if I was able to wear one Cinderella would be my choice too.
     
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  13. blgauger

    blgauger Well-Known Member

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    I would have died if I had the chance to meet Paige O'Hara :inlove: I love all of the Minnie costumes and live action dresses! Displays like that intrigue me.

    Also.. I would 100% drive that Minnie van down the road and feel no shame. :p
     
  14. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    July 16, Day 3 of D23 Expo...Last day of the Expo

    The Expo/Convention Center wasn't allowing any overnights for today because there weren't any of the HUGE panels today. Word on the Disney Street was that officially attendees wouldn't be allowed into the Convention Center until 6 am but we knew people would be lining up outside early anyway. And even though Sunday wasn't having any of the big announcement panels, this was the day we were waiting for. The two must do's for us were today.

    Must do #1: Alan Menken in concert. He had 2 concerts scheduled and our 2nd must do (really my #1) was scheduled at the same time as the second Menken concert so we had to get spots for the 1st concert.

    Must do #2: Legends of Imagineering with Tony Baxter & Marty Sklar (new Legend Wayne Jackson came out towards the end) and it was hosted by John Stamos. If I have any celebrity crush it would be John Stamos. We really have a lot in common...he was on Full House and I like Full House, he is cute and I like cute things, he loves Disney and I love Disney. He is the person I keep an eye out for at Disneyland and when we went to WDW in March I was crushed to find out he was there too and we didn't see him. Also, Tony Baxter and Marty Sklar....AWESOME!!! When this panel was announced, I think in early June, I saw it on the internet and Brad was napping on the couch nearby, and I literally had to stop myself from squeeeing with delight. I was the nice wife and waited until he woke up to tell him.

    So anyway, that was the must do for today, now to make it happen. Since we knew people would be waiting earlier than doors were supposed to open we still got up at 4am and left by 4:40. We took our last morning walk to the Convention Center. It was really strange because we usually saw people not just Expo goers around on our walk. It was deserted this morning, we didn't see anyone until we got to the Convention Center. Luckily the Center was open and we went through security and inside.

    This time we were not sent to the 2nd floor, what we would later refer to as the "lap of luxury". This time we were sent to the Hall E area where the overnighters and people earlier than us on the other days had been send. We ended up referring to this as the dungeon. It was the basement and no carpet down here, just the cement floor. At least there was access to bathrooms. and it was cold!!! I was so thankful for my blanket.

    The waiting area was designated as show floor, but later they started pulling people out who wanted to go to the first panels of the day. We were given two wristbands, the wristbands allowed us a spot in line for the 1st concert and the second was a gold band for the gold member line. And we were in told our wristband colors meant that as long as we got there by a certain time we would be in the gold middle section, great seats we were told.

    Here's where we were sent to wait.
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    At about 8:35am we were brought up out of the dungeon and into the lobby and in a new queuing section. It was so nice to see the world and sunshine! We felt a little sensory deprived down there. While we were waiting in the new space in the lobby Brad decided he had to go to the bathroom and he was gone a long time. I was getting nervous he wouldn't make it back to me by the time we were moved into the show floor. But he made it back and he brought me coffee! I hadn't had more morning coffee all Expo! It was tasty and helped warm me up.

    Since we had seen most of the show floor already and I like to buy pins we decided to go to the Mickey's of Glendale pin store, the store that only allowed 7 people in at a time. Even with 7 people going in at a time we thought we would still be at the front of the line. It took us still about 50 minutes in line until we got in. We had hope to do a food of the magic kingdom panel that morning, but we missed it. By going in the pin store we were able to go into the regular part of Mickey's of Glendale again and it was really picked over but we bought a couple things we had regretted not purchasing the first time.
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    After shopping we cruised past the Star Wars exhibit and now that Stars Land officially had a name, announced the previous day, there was a new banner up reflecting the name of the new land.
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    We saw another mini parade, but the celeb this time was some Disney channel star. I didn't know who it was so I didn't even bother to take a picture of him.
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    A phot op
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    A replica of the Legends statue, which I thought looked familiar .....
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    when I got home it hit me where I'd seen it before. It was in front of the Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris. Here it is at DLP, although I cut off the star in the picture.
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    Anyway, like I said today we had two things we really want to see and we were willing to wait if needed and to get good seats so we went back down into the dungeon and waited for the Alan Menken concert. This time we had a pillar to lean on and it had an active outlet for charging. Sorry the picture is blurry, but we can blame Brad since he took it. Lunch again was pringles, beef sticks, and Kind bars. We could have bought something but we already had these and I didn't want to take them home or throw them away. You can't see them but in this side of the waiting space (beyond the pillars) there were tvs that played movies. Unfortunately the volume wasn't loud, and even though people asked for the volume to be turned up it never was.
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  15. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    She seemed to interact well with people from what I observed and her Belle paintings were really well done.

    I like those dresses/fashion types of displays too, even though I am not considered very fashionable. And I would drive that Minnie van too!
     
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  16. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Time for the concert....
    When the time came to move up into the Hall I thought about packing away my blanket but I was thinking I might get cold without it in the Hall. So I kept it wrapped around my shoulders, and it was still freezing in that room. Brad was super cold too and he doesn't get cold easy, and even later John Stamos remarked at how cold it had been at the Alan Menken concert.

    We had been told when we got our wristbands that our section would have excellent seats and it was no lie. It kind of looks like we were far away but we were right in the middle and in the first seating section that was not the Sorcerer level (a special $2000 pass that had lots of perks) seating.

    The concert turned out to be excellent and highly enjoyable. He really took us through the songs of his career from the beginning to present day. Tons of good music! If that Legends panel at the end of the day hadn't been a must do we would have been tempted to go to the second concert too.
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    Zachary Levi (voice of Flynn Rider, my cartoon boyfriend) introduced him so that was a fun treat.
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    Then he sang....even though I was so cold I felt so lucky that I had not only heard Richard Sherman sing but now this icon of Disney music too!
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    Brad enjoying the music. And no, he isn't turning blue from the cold, it was the lighting.
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  17. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    After the concert we bummed around the show floor. We had a meet up with some online Disney friends at 3:30 so we really didn't have time for another panel if we wanted to meet them. And I wanted to get into line for the Legends of Imagineering panel to get a good spot to see Tony, Marty, and John.

    We went through the Voluntears line again and filled more bags for kids.
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    Then on center stage Jim Cummings was on stage. I really didn't know who he was, I had heard the name but it turns out he is the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Ray (from Princess and the Frog) and some other stuff. It was an interview/mini-concert. He seemed like a fun and talented guy.
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    I had been hoping that some vendors would have some fun stuff for sale for dogs but there was nothing. I only saw this little display from the Disney Store. But if I wanted any of it I had to order it on-line and not here. There wasn't anything I thought my dog, Kapono, would be interested in. She might like the hive type of beds but they were pricey so I didn't feel like buying it if I didn't think she would use it.
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    I looked at the Lu Lu Roe (or whatever it's called) stand. I'm not really into their stuff but I was intrigued by the Disney line. There is a lady at work who sells it so I may or may not talk to her. I'm not really into that home sales kind of stuff though, I feel pressured into buying stuff because I know the people and awkward about returning stuff. Some patterns are cool though.
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    We wandered past the Duck Tales money bin again and the line was closed to people who didn't have wristbands. Oh well, I guess I missed my chance to jump into a vat of plastic coins coated in bacteria.
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    Coming up: the final panel of our Expo.
     
  18. LisaBelle

    LisaBelle Well-Known Member

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    I can't wait to hear about your panel with Marty Sklar!
     
  19. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    After we met up with some Disney friends Brad and I headed to the line for the Legends of Imagineering. After the Alan Menken concert we had gotten a Stage Pass for it, and it relieved me to know I had a guaranteed spot. It was also being held in the arena, so I knew there were lots of seats but I wanted a good one. We also didn't wait long for the Stage Pass, it was a two minute wait. In the end even that two minute wait was unnecessary, when we got over to the line area (it was still over an hour until the panel) there were only about 20 people in the Gold Member line, so we got in that and waited. I was so excited!

    We got in and were front and center a few rows behind those Sorcerers. And I was on the end so I could stick out into the aisle if needed and I did need to. The lady in front of me was short and had a nice small head but the guy in front of her was tall with a big head and I needed to see around him.

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    An announcement was made at the start that there should be no audio or video recording. But they said nothing about photos, in the end I guess they meant photos too. They were telling a bunch of people around us to put away their cameras once the presentation got going, but I snuck a few pictures. I also was a rule breaker and I made an audio recording of it on my phone. And guess what you can watch the whole thing now on Youtube, D23 even put out a link to their recording. :rolleyes: I knew I needed to make a recording of it, because I knew that Tony Baxter and Marty Sklar would share great stories and I knew in my excited state I wouldn't be able to process it all and wanted to be able to listen to it again later. So I figured since I wasn't recording to profit from the presentation, it made it a little better to break the rules.

    My first couple pictures turned out blurry because of my excitement but I soon calmed down.
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    Hello handsome! Do you need someone to go on the Space Mountain or the tea cups with you? I'm available!
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    Okay back on track. Then the rock stars, as John called them came out. Even though I saw them at the Pirates panel it was still a thrill to see these guys. Sadly, it was also Marty Sklar's last public appearance before he passed away. I must say I was really sad about his passing, I didn't know him personally but he seemed like a wonderful man from all I had heard or read about him and he was really committed to preserving Walt's dream.:(
    Okay, let's lighten it up.
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  20. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    The panel was wonderful! The guys shared stories about themselves but mostly focused on sharing the stories of other lengendary Imgineers. Others that they had worked with and admired. There were some stories I had heard from other places, but many new ones too. But with storytellers like Tony and Marty it was a pleasure to hear the ones I knew over again. And John Stamos did a great job of hosting the panel, he asked questions that put the spotlight on the Imagineers and not on himself. And I could tell that he was excited to be with these men and hear their stories as well. Being present at this panel really was like being in Disney heaven, at least for me. It really was the perfect way to end the Expo.

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    Wayne Jackson came out towards the end of the panel. I really don't know much about him and I am planning on learning more, it sounds like he has an interesting story.
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    So with the end of the panel it was the end of the Expo. I was in such a conflicted state when the Expo ended. I was so jubilant of all I had experienced and I felt a huge sense of relief and accomplishment for all I had seen, done, and learned, but I was also sad. Sad because it was over and now I had to wait two more years to do it again. Going in we both felt apprehension about it, we had questions on if it would be worth it, would we see what we wanted, would it just be a waste of money, were we wasting time not being at the parks. Losing park time was a big concern. Well, we certainly lost park time but I think we gained so much more, we were able to experience Disney in a different way. So to us the Expo was WORTH IT!!! I hope it all works out that we can go again in 2019 and that if we do go again it will live up to expectations. But I guess if it doesn't Disneyland is right next door!

    We took our last walk back to the hotel from the Convention Center and got ready to go to DCA and get some grub!
     

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