Over the weekend Patrick and I went to the D23 Expo, a three day event that is best described as Disney convention, but it’s all things Disney, including Star Wars and Marvel. There are exhibits to view, places to shop, and many panels to attend. Some are massive, and cover big announcements for upcoming films or projects at Disney parks, while others are small, and focus on unique small tales related to the Company. Most of these smaller, detailed oriented panels are put on by the Disney Archives, which is where we spent most of our time. However the biggest downside to the Archives panels is that photography, videography, or audio recording is not allowed. So, I got to see and heard a lot of great information, but often walk out empty handed with things to share with you. However, there were many amazing exhibits, most of which were costumes, and one panel on the Haunted Mansion did allow photography!
Each D23 the Disney Archives puts together an exhibit, and this year it was all about costumes, showcasing many costumes from the various live action movies and television shows over the decades, however most focused on the more recent films. In the first part of the exhibit they took the character of Cinderella as a case study and showed the different interpretations of her, from the 1997 made-for-TV version to the 2011 show Once Upon a Time to the version from film musical Into the Woods, and the live action version in 2015.
Many of the other booths also featured a variety of costumes, including the Marvel and Star Wars areas, and even the upcoming streaming service Disney+, which will be producing its own content, and they showcased costumes from The Mandelorian and live action version of Lady and the Tramp.
As this year marked the 50th anniversary of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, there were many panels dedicated to the ghostly attraction, including one hosted by Christopher Merritt. While Merritt has written many books about Disney, he also co-authored the amazing Knott’s Berry Farm book, Knott’s Preserved.
While I love looking at the past, and valued the various exhibits and panels about Disney’s history, the Walt Disney Company, especially the Parks and Resorts team is always looking toward the future, and takes D23 as an opportunity to announce and showcase what is coming. The main focus this year was really on EPCOT, but here in Anaheim, they released plenty of details of the upcoming Marvel area, named Avengers Campus, which will feature a Spider-Man ride, and a Black Panther ride, as well as an Ant-Man themed restaurant.
D23 is also a time for people to create amazing cosplays, and even offers a “Mousequerade” for those to show off their unique creations. I chose to whip together a quick and extremely obscure cosplay for Friday, which I’ll share in my next post!
The great bummer to D23 is that it only happens every other year. But at least between now and then we have Star Wars celebration to look forward to next summer!