Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The 2017 D23 Expo: Highlights, Part 3

Sunday at the 2017 D23 Expo started out much better than Saturday -- if only because we spent our early morning queue time before the show floor opened in the air-conditioned indoors!

My husband bought a day ticket for Sunday; he's a veteran of San Diego Comic Con, but this was his first visit to the D23 Expo. He came in part to see this year's Voices of the Disney Parks panel, where our friend Bob Joles was one of the participants. Bob will be the new voice of the conductor on the Disneyland Railroad when it reopens!

A full-length video of the Voices of the Disney Parks panel is here. I've attended two similar panels in the past, and it's a lot of fun putting faces with the voices one hears on every visit to the parks.

When the doors opened my daughter and I secured ShowPasses for the HERCULES program later that morning and then got in line for the LION KING Celebration. One of this year's improvements was a separate priority seating line for Gold Members for the "big room" panels, who were allowed to bring one guest each. I'm a Gold Member so that was a real plus, and we had great LION KING seats.

The LION KING panel might have been the highlight of my weekend. It began with a jubilant sing-along to "I Just Can't Wait to Be King!"

Participants included producer Don Hahn and co-director Rob Minkoff...

...along with voice actors Ernie Sabella (Pumbaa), seen below with Minkoff, plus Jim Cummings (Ed) and Whoopi Goldberg (Shenzi).

The marvelous climax to the hour was Carmen Twillie, the original movie soundtrack vocalist, coming out to sing "Circle of Life," accompanied by a large choir.

It was simply thrilling. Nothing gets me like great music!

Afterwards we had some time on the show floor. We stopped by this tribute to Fred MacMurray, the first Disney Legend:

And we took a look at this old Disneyland Railroad car:

I spent some birthday money on this limited edition BAMBI print, which I'm going to frame and hang near my computer. Seeing BAMBI at the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival is a very special memory for me.

And then it was time for the HERCULES 20th Anniversary panel! I've only seen HERCULES once, but I found it goofy fun, with some good music like "Go the Distance."

A panel highlight was Susan Egan (Meg) singing one of her numbers while the film rolled with just the instrumental soundtrack.

My fourth panel of the day took place at the smaller Archives stage, with Disney Legend Tony Baxter discussing the creation and history of Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle dioramas. The panel didn't lend itself to photography, but here's the intro card which was onscreen as we entered.

All too soon it was time for the last panel of not only the day but the Expo, a presentation on Oswald the Lucky Rabbit by David Bossert, author of an upcoming book on Oswald.

The hour included the screening of three Oswald cartoon shorts, a great way to end the Expo!

Disney announced at the end of the Expo that the Expo will be returning in 2019. And yes, despite some issues popping up annually, we always have a really good time and plan to be there!


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