Sunday, July 23, 2017

The 2017 D23 Expo: Highlights, Part 2

Saturday at the 2017 D23 Expo was a day which was initially challenging but ended up being pretty wonderful.

As I wrote a few days ago, my day began in a three-hour line in the sun which was crowded and uncomfortable.

I was feeling fairly frustrated by the time I finally made it into the convention center, around 20 minutes after the show floor opened, but I felt better when I headed for the Disney DreamStore and found a short line. The DreamStore carries Expo-branded merchandise, and I was able to quickly pick up the items I wanted.

My daughter at this point was still in line for and later attending that morning's Live Action panel. I spent the rest of the morning exploring the show floor, starting with the giant model of Star Wars Land:

The Star Wars Land model was huge. (Click any photo to enlarge for a closer look.) During the weekend it was announced the land's official name will be Galaxy's Edge.

Cutouts provided a look at what the visual perspective will be entering the land at various points:

I also visited the Marvel Studios Pavilion, which featured costumes from upcoming films including BLACK PANTHER (2018):

After that it was time for another huge basement line, this time for Parks and Resorts. Due to the crowds still outside waiting to get in the building, it had been impossible to leave for lunch first, but thankfully my daughter was able to round up pretzels, which had to last us until dinnertime! After all these years I'm resigned to the fact that Disney ignores how bad the convention center food is and doesn't attempt to offer alternatives, but it really reflects poorly on the company that they hold their event in a venue with inedible food.

There weren't any particularly big surprises announced during the Parks and Resorts panel, which can be seen on YouTube. That said, I was perplexed to learn that DCA's Paradise Pier is being renamed and rethemed to "Pixar Pier." Disney just did a beautiful retheming job in the last few years which has been very successful, so I'm not sure what they're thinking. Hopefully it doesn't mean the end of the charmingly redone Silly Symphony Swings.

I was most intrigued by the retheming of Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris to an IRON MAN/Avengers theme. An ultra-immersive STAR WARS hotel was also announced for Florida, but I think it might be a little too interactive (and expensive) to appeal to me.

The best part of the Parks and Resorts panel came at the end, when it was announced that everyone present would receive a pass for a weekend sneak preview of the remodeled Fantasmic! show, which was officially reopening two days later. Many people left the panel with green balloons (it's a long story), which meant the line to receive wristbands for seating at Fantasmic! was rather colorful:

And so, instead of heading home at 7:00, we were off to Disneyland! It meant for a long day but we were able to grab a good meal there and had a really wonderful evening alongside the Rivers of America.

My one criticism of the rehabbed, slightly tweaked show is that changing out PETER PAN for Captain Jack Sparrow and PIRATES was a loser, especially a woman endlessly screaming "Jack!" during the fighting.

Otherwise it looked great and it was wonderful to see the show again now that the river has reopened after a lengthy closure due work on Star Wars Land. It was an unexpected and delightful way to end the day.

Coming soon: The final day of the 2017 D23 Expo.


Blogger KC said...

I love you for sharing this Laura, because I don't think I could handle all the crowds and waiting myself! Very interesting to see what it was like.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, KC! You definitely have to go into the Expo with a certain mindset in order to enjoy it (and also well-prepared with snacks and books) -- and even then, as I wrote, sometimes it does get to be a bit much. But then the cool stuff is so much fun they keep reeling us back in! I really enjoy the time spent with my daughter here every other year.

Best wishes,

8:03 PM  

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