#D23Expo Day 3 – Thoughts & Observations

Today marked the third and final day of the D23 Expo for 2013. If you missed any of my other roundups or want to keep track of future postings from the event use the Coverage Link on the right hand side or click here or visit our D23 Section at http://disneygeek.com/d23 I will have a more complete write up on each panel/day/etc.. later in the week once I have time to try and decipher my notes and go through my pictures/video clips. But for now a quick run down of the day with some first thoughts & observations.

Today was Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) day to celebrate their 60th Anniversary. There were 5 panels taking place in Stage 23 today. I managed to make it to four of them which I thought was pretty good. Today was my first experience with the ShowPass system the D23 folks put in place this time around and it worked great for me. Not sure if it was because of the sessions I wanted, the fact that it was Friday, or what.. but I was pleased with the results. I decided to skip the Disney Interactive Arena presentation to maximize the odds of seeing the WDI panels and it paid off, but meant I had to miss the large presentation of the day.

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I arrived at the convention center around 8am again. There were healthy lines outside but nothing like the madness from the first two days. The arena presentation started later today, noon, so that helped. I entered the show floor just after 9am and made my way over to the ShowPass distribution area. It was really quiet and I walked right up and got my ShowPass for the 1:00pm WDI 60th: Craft of Creativity session.

Then I took the escalators up to the third floor to try for standby for the WDI 60th: Working With Walt panel and as luck would have it there were plenty of seats. I think the early start time was a challenge for people to get to because of how long it took to get through the doors. They almost needed a separate line and to start the load process a bit earlier to allow more guests to make it upstairs by 9:30. So when the video started at 9:30 the room was probably no more than half full. Guests kept filtering in and by the end it was maybe 2/3 the way full.

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This panel featured X Atencio, Alice Davis, Bob Gurr with Marty Sklar moderating. Over the years I have seen several panels with this Disney Legends but I try never to miss one.. you never know what kind of nugget they will include. Most of the answers this time around seemed to mirror those I had heard previously.

After the panel I had a choice of getting in the standby line for the WDI 60th: The DNA of Innovation or grabbing a few moments on the show floor, lunch, and a StagePass for a later panel. I opted for lunch since I promised myself this Expo I would try to eat and not get stuck at the end of the day having eaten nothing! One advantage to visiting the floor and eating early while many are in the arena was no line and hot food today!

While exploring the floor I stopped by the Disney Animation booth and a couple of others I had not spent time at.

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Then a little after 12 I got in line for the 12:30 StagePass distribution. The line moved very quickly starting around 12:30 and I had no problem securing a ticket for myself and the rest of our group for the Leave ’em Laughing Panel later today.

I think headed back upstairs to use my first StagePass of the Expo (hard to believe I did not have one till the last day) for the WDI 60th: Craft of Creativity Panel. This panel featured moderator Chris Montan with Tom Fitzgerald, Eric Jacobson, Daniel Jue, Joe Lanzisero, Kathy Mangum, and Joe Rohde. Having all these Imagineers on the stage together was great but with only an hour meant they did not have that much time each to speak, plus throw in introductions and some Q&A and their time is very short.

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After the panel I went in search of some friends down on the floor then we all headed up to the WDI 60th: Leading a Legacy session. This was a discussion between Marty Sklar and Bruce Vaughn about leading Imagineering.

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After the session I visited with some friends and then returned for the 4:30pm WDI 60th: Leave ’em Laughing session. This session featured DAve Fisher, Joe Lanzisero, Kevin Rafferty, Jason Surrell, and George Scribner.

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After the session I headed back to the show floor. I had about an hour till the Expo ended so made a final pass through Journey Into Imagineering and the show floor.

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I exited the convention center about 10 minutes to 7:00pm to head to my car and home to wrap up a very busy four days in Anaheim.

Look for several posting in the coming days with pictures from the Expo.

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