Started off the morning waking up way too early. I tried to sleep in a bit but was still up by 6am. Ate breakfast and did some emails and was on my way over to the convention center by 7:30am. Roamed the floor for a while stopping by the Parks and Resorts area to see Avatar World of Pandora and then the Disney Studios area. Then grabbed a StagePass for the Broadway performance. Continued to roam the floor including a stop in the Dream Store. Then headed up to the Charter Member Lounge and continued up to the Stage 23 area for the Broadway show. After the show went to grab lunch at the food trucks and then back into the Expo and roamed the floor a while. Went to check in for the Parks and Resorts presentation. After the session caught up with some friends and walked around the show floor for a while before going to dinner with them and then over to Disneyland to catch Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever. Along the way saw the new Princess and the Frog Emporium window. Then hiked back to my hotel to call it a night.
Thoughts & Observations:
- I started my day on the Expo floor roaming around. It was a little more quiet the first hour or so due to so many guests at the Hall D23 Studios presentation and the store queues.
- Went through the Pandora area of the Parks and Resort exhibit. It featured a short video and then a model of the area. At the end is a photo op too and Joe Rhode happened to be there when I went through. The model was interesting to see the scale of what is being built and at night it looks like it will truly be amazing. Still not a lot of details.
- Nothing else jumps to mind from my time on the floor. I did get a StagePass early in the morning and had a 10 minute wait or so only. The StorePass queue which was nearby looked to be a completely different story.
- Spent a few minutes photographing the Dream Store and it was a bit crazy inside. The queue was moving quickly this morning.
- The Disney on Broadway the Originals was my entertainment for the morning. It was a great performance with three Broadway stars accompanied by some truly talented musicians. The show was very similar to the one from the last Expo. They went through most of the Disney Broadway shows with a few pieces from each. They included some history and video clips as they progressed through. The presentation ended with a confirmation that Frozen is in the works.
- While in the Broadway presentation news broke of the Star Wars Land additions to Disneyland and the Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. Bob Iger announced it during the Studios presentation in the morning vs waiting for the parks and resorts one in the afternoon. This seemed to suck some air out of the afternoon session in my mind. And for us theme park fans missing it was a little disappointing.
- I ventured outside for lunch at the Food Trucks. The lines were short and it was nice to get some fresh air. Prices seemed high to me but the food was much better than inside.
- The afternoon was taken up with the Parks and Resort Presentation. As I mentioned before the big announcement/confirmation came in the morning with the Star Wars Land additions to both coasts. They did fill in some details on the Star Wars additions, Toy Story Playland at the Studios, Iron Man in Hong Kong and more as they traveled around the globe. Most of the items had been rumored and nothing really jumped out to me. They did confirm that a new Soarin film was heading to both coasts next year. The Star Wars Launch bay is coming this year. Also more Star Wars in the spring. They also flushed out more of Avatar the World of Pandora. Check out the press release for full details.
- I was a little disappointed with the Star Wars announcement. It seems as if Anaheim and Orlando are getting the same thing. I am sure there will be some differences but I was really hoping for two really different offerings to make the destinations more unique.
- I did find it interesting the new Toy Story Play Land has new attractions and not just the same ones as the previous ones. The Coaster will be a focal point which is too bad.. since I am not a coaster fan.
- I was surprised they did not announce the new name for the Studios park. They talked about the new direction and new lands but nothing else.
- Also missing from most of the announcements are any sort of timeframe. So no idea if these are 2-10 years out.. guessing more mid range but nothing was really communicated.
Some pictures/highlights from the day (these are cell phone pictures, full picture sets with the SLR will be up next week check the summary page for more information). I apologize in advance for the poor quality… the SLR shots next week will be better.