Tag Archives: D23 Expo 2011

D23: The People

Final D23 post! Don’t forget to enter the Bag O’Swag giveaway if you haven’t already! Tell your friends!

Since I only spent the one day at D23, this post is going to wrap it all up, and I want to talk about the people. I have to say, Disney fans are some of the funnest, most approachable, easiest people to talk to. I mean, I think that’s a bit of a no-brainer, given that the one thing we all have in common is a love of an animated mouse, but still. D23 was all about waiting in lines, but I had no problems striking up a conversation with people around me. Particularly these two lovely ladies:

If you guys are reading this, you BETTER leave me a comment!!

There’s a lot of bonding you can do when you’re waiting in line for 3 hours together. This is Sharon and Gina and they are true Disney fanatics and tons of fun.

Also fun are the people who dress up! I actually expected more, but there were some great costumes out there. My favorite was:

Are these walls actually stretching?

Haunted Mansion. Awesome.

And this is Ashley–she made her own costume.

Buy a Bride!

It was a gorgeous costume. She must have taken a lot of pictures on Pirates to get the details so perfectly.

Over in the Bag O’Swag, you get cards for the t-shirt contest:

I keep misreading this as "Ugly"

Without our favorite guy perched above:

This was totally cute

I didn’t see any characters out for meet and greets except this one

Rock Star Mickey? You're pushing it here, folks.

There were some celebrities signing items, like Jack Lindquist who I failed to get a picture of, and Belle herself, Paige O’Hara.

I didn't have anything to get signed so I just took this picture over some guy's shoulder

She was really very sweet

I have no idea who these people are, but everyone else was taking pictures so I felt like I should too.


And finally, if you were following my Facebook entries that day, I mentioned that I completely forgot to bring a pencil or pen of any kind, but when I dug around my purse I did find a set of crayons from Red Robin, in that “You know you’re a mom when…” sense. This one booth selling pens was having an ugly pen contest. I entered said blue crayon in the contest, but I didn’t win.

It seriously should have won

And that was my D23 Expo 2011 day!


D23 Bag O’Swag Giveaway!

Is it time for a D23 Bag O’Swag giveaway?

Yes! Yes it is!

Now you can feel like you attended D23 too! Without the lines! And lots of exclamation points!!!

I’m sure you’re dying to know what you will be winning. Keep in mind that I scoured the floor of the Expo looking for free stuff just for you, because I love you that much. You’re welcome.

First up, a reusable bag from Little Golden Books. Did you know Disney owns Little Golden Books? Well they do, and you can shop in style with this save-the-world shopping bag. This complementary two-tone jute bag features a flat bottom for easy loading and two securely attached handles for carrying in the hand or over the shoulder. The people behind you in line at Target will seethe with jealousy as you get your 5 cent discount with this bag.

The G knows how to read--I'm impressed!


Next up, also from the Little Golden Books booth, a set of three cards with the covers of Disney Little Golden Books, suitable for framing. They also come with a bonus coupon code on the back, and that my friends, is worth winning the contest just by itself. If you are in the market for Little Golden Books.

Extremely cute

Thinking of traveling out into the grasslands? Well it will be impossible to lose your bags with these D23 commemorative 3D Lion King luggage tags! Say “hakuna matata” to all your lost luggage worries with these tags, rendered in spectacular 3D with a secure sleeve for your personal information. If you just can’t wait to be king, you’ll travel in style with these bad boys. “But Shelby, there’s only one in the picture!” FEAR NOT dear readers, there are two of them and YOU will be getting them both.

It's our problem-free philosophy!

If the Lion King luggage tag wasn’t enough to satisfy your inner hyena, the Disney Movie Rewards club gives you a Lion King limited edition lithograph! I don’t know how limited this edition was, but I’m pretty sure it’s very special. Suitable for framing, this lithograph features Simba and Nala feeling the love tonight. And you’ll feel the love too!

Wait, that kind of came out wrong

Is it possible that there could be even MORE amazing stuff? YES!!! Straight from the UT Grand Prix 2011 Mickey By the World Mickey t-shirt design contest–four cards of winning entries! I know that sounded confusing, so I’ll translate–there was a t-shirt design contest and these cards are the designs that won.

But wait–there’s more!

Each card is signed by the artist. No way? I KNOW!!! These heirloom quality cards depict the depth of potential in Mickey Mouse art. Suitable for framing.

These were actually super-cool


Also from the Disney Movie Club, two tattoos (temporary) of Mickey and Pluto going all wild on their skateboards. Mickey is appropriately wearing his helmet, but you’ll have to have a talk with your child about how Pluto is a dog and doesn’t need his helmet but if I ever catch you riding a skateboard without yours you’ll never see the skateboard again, got it Mister? Also, there’s a pirate elephant decal! No safety lesson in that one.

Stickers, tattoos, and a safety lesson

Dying to know what the Mouse-in-Law’s Fantasyland expansion will look like when its done? Just feast your eyes on this snazzy extra-long postcard. It probably costs more to mail than a regular sized postcard, but that won’t matter because you won’t want to let this one go! Suitable for framing.

Limited Edition! (not really)

And now, the pièce de résistance. Drumroll please……………

At the toy booths for Princesses and Cars, there were two raffles for real prizes. Princess dolls and Cars figures were raffled off to many lucky visitors. And because I love you so much, I give you…


That’s right–not one, but TWO raffle tickets that were complete losers! You’ll feel like a real car-driving princess* as you gaze upon these two non-winning tickets, suitable for framing. Approximate retail value: $0.00.

This Bag O’Swag prize will surely make you the envy of whoever cares about this kind of thing, and I know you will want to get your hands on it ASAP.

*Your mileage may vary


There are multiple ways to win!

1) Leave a comment on this entry telling me what you would like to see me blog about next.

2) Like MYWTM on Facebook and leave a comment here, if you already like MYWTM, leave a comment saying so.

3) Harass and bully  Encourage your friends into liking MYWTM on Facebook. They must leave a comment there or here with your name.

4) Post about MYWTM on your Facebook page including a link to this site or to any specific entry. Report back here when you’re done–Mouse’s honor on this one!

That’s it! Good luck!

Contest ends Thursday, August 25th, 11:59pm Pacific time.

D23: Carousel of Projects

One of the things I liked most about the D23 Expo was the Carousel of Projects. It’s like the Carousel of Progress, except it’s projects, and it’s not defunct like the Carousel of Progress, and it didn’t move. And it wasn’t sponsored by GE.  So basically the only thing it had in common was the name.

ANYway, this was the pavilion for Parks and Resorts. It was all shrouded in curtains and had an eerie glow and stuff.

Dude, whoa!

You had to wait in line outside (shocking!) and they brought you into the curtained area in groups. It reminded me a bit of that “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” part in Wizard of Oz.

Once inside, you were in a circular area with movie screens arching across half of the room. My immediate thought was “Oh dear God, it’s going to be like Circlevision!” Which as you may recall, is the only ride that has actually made me throw up. Fortunately it was just a big slide show thingy with different pictures of the parks and various projects. It actually made me really nostalgic.

Then you threw nostalgia aside and entered the World Of Tomorrow-ish!

There were lots of models, like this one of the now-being-built Shanghai Disneyland:

Looking a little sparse there, folks.

It was small and not very satisfying, since most of the attractions are either top secret or haven’t been decided on and designed yet.

On the other hand, the model of the Mouse-in-Law’s new Fantasyland expansion looks abso-frickin’-lutely AMAZING!!!

This one was big.

I mean seriously people, this looks incredible.


We plan to go back when Theo’s around 5, and I truly cannot wait. They even had a prototype and computer-generated simulation of the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (not to be confused with the Mine Train at Knott’s). Here’s the ride vehicle:

I assume they're going to paint this or something. Heh.

The coolest part is that the end arm is actually a joint for the passenger compartment to freely swing on its own. So rather than having the track do all of the car movement, your seats will actually swing back and forth on their own.

Seriously. I want to ride that like right now.

And speaking of new and awesome things I want to ride right now…

This fabulous convertible seats six!

Yep, it’s the Lightning McQueen ride vehicle for the upcoming Radiator Springs Racers in the currently-being-constructed Cars Land at the Mouse-Next-Door! This ride is going to be massively awesome.

It's like the real Lightning McQueen!

It’s based on the technology used in the Test Track attraction at Epcot, which was one of my favorite rides there.

He's cute too!

They also had some of Lightning’s friends.

Theo LOVES fire trucks. He's going to go absolutely ape when he finally sees the movie.

His eyes even move, just like Mater on the floor outside.

Who knew a fire truck could be so adorable?

I wasn’t a huge fan of the original Mouse-Next-Door, but I am excited about all of the new construction and stuff they’ll have, like Buena Vista Street.

The models were just so cool. Except for Shanghai Disneyland which was a little barren.

Buena Vista Street is part of the massive overhaul of the Mouse-Next-Door. It’s to be the first “land” of the MND and will be similar to Main Street. It represents the city of Los Angeles the way it looked in the 1920s when Walt first arrived. It features the Carthay Circle Theater, which apparently hosted the world premier of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Models are awesome!

If you were at the MND previously, you may remember the giant letters spelling out CALIFORNIA. Those are gone. But funny story there–one time a friend was coming in from out of town and I went to meet her at the park. I picked the most prominent thing on the Esplanade I could think of to meet her at, and told her I’d be by the “A” at the MND.

Seriously, it wasn’t until I was actually walking up to the letters before I realized that California has two As. Dude.

Anyway, there were booths for the Disney Vacation Club, the new Aulani resort in Hawaii, and the Disney Cruise Line. Since we’ll be taking a Disney cruise of our own next month, I skipped all of those to see …

The Amazing Destini!

The Amazing Destini is a prototype of the latest technology in audio-animatronic figures. You had to wait in line to see Destini, so of course I did. He was a fortune teller in a booth and spoke to each person individually.

He was all curtained off too. The Carousel of Projects was really big on the Dramatic Curtain front.

What made Destini so special was his ability to see and respond to people. Through the magical use of technology, Destini could sense your face and the faces of many people around you. He could recognize when you were smiling or pulling some other kind of face, or dancing, or whatever, and respond appropriately.

This looks like it should be a part of Tomorrowland, but it's actually real!

After waiting my half hour or so, I got in to see The Amazing Destini!

Who looked quite a bit like Pepe the Shrimp in the Muppets.

He was very fun and told my fortune, which is that I’m going to be rich. It also takes your picture and prints it out for you, though mine did not turn out well. Apparently Destini has a ways to go on the photograph front. But still, it was super cool. I can’t wait to see it actually integrated into the park, though that seems like several years away. For now it was just a lot of fun.

There was also a small room with pictures of the construction of Cars Land but I was running short on time so I skipped it.

And this is what I took pictures of at the Carousel of Projects!


D23: The Show Floor

Hey, guess where I was on Saturday?

(hint: if you have to guess, then you need to friend MYWTM on Facebook! Or read the title of this post!)

That’s right! The Ultimate Disney Fan Event: D23 Expo 2011!


It was very fun! But if I had to pick one word to describe my day, it would be “Lines.” Lots of people and lots and lots of lines. In fact, pretty much the only thing that didn’t have a line was the ladies restroom.

Oh, the irony!

I had been warned ahead of time by my friend who attended on Friday (it was a 3-day event, I did Saturday only) to either get there really really early, or get there late. Since I’m always so bright and chipper in the morning, I chose late. The general public was allowed in at 10:00 but had lined up hours earlier. I got there at about 11:00 and only had about 50 people in front of me, so it wasn’t bad at all.

Did I mention this event was huge? This event was huge. Like 50,000 people over the course of 3 days. And Saturday was sold out.

Like any convention, D23 had a number of seminars, panel discussions, and presentations. There was so much to see and do, but there was really only one panel discussion I really, REALLY wanted to see, and I just wanted to soak in everything else. That turned out to be a good plan, because the lines for the presentations and panels were 3 hours, or longer in some cases.

I told you there were a lot of lines.

Tons o' people

I didn’t (couldn’t!) photograph everything, so I picked out some things I found cool. Like the Black Pearl–actually used for several scenes in the movie.

The "waves" it's sitting on are SO authentic!

I couldn’t resist the Cars stuff, particularly in anticipation of Cars Land at the Mouse-Next-Door (California Adventure) opening next summer.

It's Mater! He never leaks oil.

The cool part about Mater was his animated eyes.

He's not as dumb as he looks.

On a side note, I know a lot of people didn’t, but I really liked Cars 2. Sure it wasn’t the emotional developed storyline that the original was, but I thought for a James Bond action-adventure type movie it was great.

There was a pin and Vinylmation trading area that I thought would be more crowded, but it wasn’t given the rest of the expo.

The number of pins some people have kind of blows my mind

That section also had some new mouse ears being released in October. I thought these two were particularly cute.

Theo will love this one

This one is for Anderson and Annika!

Over in the “Disney Living” section, there were booths from various Disney consumer products. They had everything from Little Golden Books

Sorry for the unflattering picture, whoever you two people are

to Winnie the Pooh art,

Theo says "Pooh Bear HOME. Pooh Bear HOME."

to making balloon centerpieces.

No joke, this guy was demonstrating making balloon structures. It looked surprisingly easy.

That was part of the “Disney Celebration” section from Hallmark, DecoPac, and Party City/AMSCAN (you’ll have to google those yourself). There were very elaborate birthday party setups you can get:

I love seeing Mickey stuff--seems like the other characters are so emphasized these days

but I do like Cars a lot

although if you were a true nerd parent, you’d throw a storybook party.

I loved seeing a demo and meet and greet with ACME artist David Willardson.

Yes, that's Mickey on the canvas

He casually painted as he spoke to us. I’m always amazed by artists because I just can’t draw or paint, let alone talk at the same time.

As he was painting, he told us he started his art career at Disneyland...as a dishwasher

There were places for the kids to play, which was probably a godsend for the parents

General playing

A number of them were themed, like Cars, princesses, and


There were even a couple of games you could play for prizes, like “bowling”

Bowling for dollars! Well, not dollars.

I played the bean bag toss, which I rather pathetically failed to win.

I got two out of three, okay?

I missed out on the main prize, which was stickers, but got the consolation prize, which was one of those mini-mylar balloons on a stick. Theo was a fan.

And funny story about my t-shirt. At the last minute I thought hey, I’ll make a t-shirt that says “Ask me about My Year With The Mouse”! How hard can it be? So I went to Michaels to get those iron-on transfers, and while I was there I realized that all of the transfers were for ink jet printers, and our shiny new color printer happens to be  a fancy laser printer. So I end up calling and texting my friends to see if any had an ink jet printer I can borrow, and one of my fabulous friends did! The packaging of the transfers said to print on “the coated side” but it was entirely unclear which side was the coated side. To be safe, we printed two, one on each side of the paper. When I went to iron it on, I was certain I would pick the wrong one and stick it to my iron.

And I did.


Anyway, I did get the adhesive off of the iron and successfully finish the shirt, although nobody did ask me about MYWTM. *sigh* But back to D23…

My favorite part of the Disney Living area was the Small World Village. As you know (and any new readers are about to find out),” it’s a small world” is a particular favorite of mine. They had some of the original doll costumes on display:

Simply gorgeous

The attention to detail is phenomenal. Only Disney would get every thread right on a doll you see from several feet away while you float on by. They also had one of the geese on display.

I love these guys

The Small World Village had a Nordstrom’s pop-up store, selling a new line of Small World baby and kid’s clothes. They were actually super-cute, but, you know, it’s Nordstrom’s and they weren’t exactly on sale.

I also had fun at the Disney Corporate Citizenship pavilion. We all got to be honorary VoluntEARS and do a project. They had two to choose from. One was building boxes for–I don’t know, actually. I didn’t ask about it. But the program guide said it was for comfort kits for children and families in need. Each guest/group got to paint one square of wood, like this:

Hard at work VoluntEARing

Did I mention I can’t paint or draw? The other project was to get a cute little pot, fill it with soil, and plant two miniscule broccoli seeds in it.

See, now THIS is something I can do!

Now I happen to not have a green thumb. I have more like the Thumb of Death. Plants wither and die just looking at me. I killed two cacti once. One I over-watered, one I under-watered. I didn’t even know it was possible to under-water a cactus until I actually did it. I mean, I couldn’t even get my Chia pet to grow. So I was a little worried about this poor broccoli plant, but I think that it spent so little time in my hands it just might possibly live. Let’s hope so. I’d hate to be the one who failed Disney Corporate Citizenship.

After you did your project, you got a free reusable shopping bag with like green stuff on it and everything. And by the way–stay tuned to MYWTM because I’m going to be doing a giveaway of a Bag O’Swag. That’s right–they give me stuff for free and I send it to you! Everyone wins! I guess!

The highlight of the day, though, was getting to meet Disneyland’s first President, Jack Lindquist. We’d just gotten his book In Service to The Mouse: My Unexpected Journey to Becoming Disneyland’s First President but I didn’t bring it along to be autographed because I thought we weren’t supposed to bring anything from home to be autographed. Instead I got to shake his hand and he signed my name badge. The super-cool thing is that he agreed to be interviewed for my little project here! Woo hoo! Stay tuned for that one too!


And that was the Show Floor of D23!

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