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D23 Expo Revisited – Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

The 2013 D23 Expo was last weekend, and it truly a a magical event for all Disney fans who attended!  This was my first D23 Expo and I enjoyed every minute of it: I met Disney Legends, new friends, and learned what being a true Disney Fan was all about!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Once we got into the convention center, the first day’s main event was the Animation Session hosted by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer for Pixar and Walt Disney Studios as well as Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering.  We were given glimpses into the next several movies in the pipeline for Pixar, Walt Disney Animation, and Disneytoons Studios.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories
We were even treated to guest appearances from voice actors Dane Cook from Planes, Bill Hader from Monsters University, and Josh Gad and Kristen Bell from Frozen, the much anticipated new animated feature from Walt Disney Studios.  We even got a special appearance from John Ratzenberger!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Bill Hader from Monsters University and Pixar Veteran, John Ratzenberger

At the end of the session Broadway great Idina Menzel sang “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen and brought the house down!

After the main session, which ran five hours, we were all hungry and headed outside to the row of food trucks that D23 had brought in. I enjoyed a meatball sandwich that was incredible.

After lunch, it was time for walking around the Collector’s Gallery, where Disneyana collectors from all over the world were gathered to buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles from vinylmations to animation cells from classic Disney features.

Pat Carrol, the voice of Ursula from Disney’s Little Mermaid, Imagianeer and Disney Legend Bob Gurr were also there signing autographs and taking pictures, it was incredible.  There were also some amazing collector’s items that were available for sale.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Disney Legend Bob Gurr

The next day was filled with smaller sessions in the morning until it was time for the Walt Disney Studios Live Action Feature Movies panel.  We were treated to previews from Marvel’s Thor: Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, and even Captain America.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Angelina Jolie for Maleficent at D23

The highlight of the day was the presentation for Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, the story of Wait Disney and P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins.  It was a great preview and concluded with an appearance from Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak who portrayed the Sherman Brothers in the movie.  Schwartzman and Novak were accompanied by Richard Sherman, one half of the legendary Sherman Brothers songwriting team.  They sang “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” from Mary Poppins as they were surrounded by kite flying dancers.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

Disney Legend Richard Sherman, B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman

On the final day, we were able to sit in a session with Disney Legends, Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar, Alice Davis, and X Atencio called Working with Walt.  These are some of the very Imagineers who actually worked with Walt Disney.  It was an incredible experience to listen to their stories and learn more about some of the great Disney movies and the creation of Disneyland.

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent walking around the vendor booths and some of the incredible Disney Consumer Products.  We got to experience some of the upcoming Disney products before they were released.  We even got some signed lithographs from Disney Consumer Product Artists!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

 One thing we learned was to divide and conquer.  One of us would wait in line for whatever main event we wanted to see, while the rest of us were able to walk around or sit in on other smaller sessions.  If you attend the next D23 event, don’t forget to bring tons of patience, the lines are super long, but it does give you the opportunity to make new friends and read all those emails you have been meaning to get to!

D23 Expo Revisited - Celebrities, Legends, Long Lines, and Magical Memories

D23 was an incredible event.  We are already looking to the next one in 2015.  We discovered that we were not alone in our love and passion for Walt Disney and all of his wonderful creations.

Disney Parks Blog Exclusive: Pixar Presenters on California Coastal Disney Cruises

You’ve probably heard by now that guests aboard Disney Cruise Line’s special Pixar-inspired California Coast cruises will get to enjoy behind-the-scenes presentations from Pixar Animation Studios filmmakers.

John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios; Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering

Excitement has been brewing and fan sites are abuzz about this added bonus to an already spectacular voyage. And today, Disney Parks Blog fans, you’ll be the first to find out which brilliant and creative minds from Pixar will be presenting on these cruises. Drum roll, please…

September 16

John LasseterChief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios; Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering

Jay WardCARS Franchise Guardian, Pixar Animation Studios – Ward contributes his enthusiasm for cars and his artistic passions to the creation of anything and everything within the “Cars” Franchise, including the production of “Cars” as character team manager and consultant to the film’s director and co-director, John Lasseter and Joe Ranft.

September 23

Roger GouldCreative Director, Theme Parks, Pixar Animation Studios – Gould collaborates with Walt Disney Imagineering in the creation of theme park attractions and lands inspired by Pixar’s films, most recently the creation and opening of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park.

Tia KratterShading Art Director, Pixar Animation Studios – Kratter served as the shading art director on “Brave,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars,” where she was responsible for specifying the color and texture of every object modeled for a film.

September 30

Harley JessupProduction Designer, Pixar Animation Studios – Jessup leads teams of artists who create and design the sets and characters for films, including “Monster’s Inc.,” and “Ratatouille.” He recently finished working as production designer for “Cars 2.”

Jeremy LaskyDirector of Photography/ Camera, Pixar Animation Studios – Lasky served as director of photography/camera on “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E” and “Toy Story 3.” His most recent project was as director of photography/camera on “Cars 2.”

October 7

Rob GibbsDirector, Pixar Animation Studios – Gibbs has contributed his story talents to a number of Disney•Pixar films, including “Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E,” “Up” and “Cars.” He has also directed and co-directed several of the studio’s “Cars Toons.”

Sharon CalahanDirector of Photography/Lighting, Pixar Animation Studios – Calahan served as director of photography/lighting on “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille” and “Cars 2.” She previously served as lighting supervisor on the studio’s first feature film, “Toy Story.”

The schedule and presenters are subject to change, but from this list, it’s clear these sailings are going to be jam-packed with fun, creativity and imagination!

Lastly, in case you missed it, earlier this week John Lasseter gave Disney Cruise Line Facebook fans a special video message about these cruises. Check it out…

 

Enjoy the Lasseter Family Winery Port Adventure on Disney California Coastal Cruises

Excitement has been brewing since Disney Cruise Line announced Pixar-inspired California Coastal cruises sailing this fall. Aboard the Disney Wonder, Pixar characters like Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear will visit with guests, and artists and filmmakers from Pixar Animation Studios will make special presentations, including sneak peeks of future Pixar films.

What’s more, special Port Adventures will allow you to see the best of California, and as a wine lover, one I am particularly excited about is the excursion out of San Francisco to the Lasseter Family Winery in Sonoma Valley.

 Lasseter Family Winery in Sonoma Valley

Guests will explore the family’s private vineyard, owned by Nancy and John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios), and sample some of the unique red wine blends offered under the Lasseter label. With Nancy as your host, you will be granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the heart of the winery and into the vineyards to taste different grape varietals right from the vines.

Lake Serendipity, a rarely-seen jewel of the estate

After tasting five Lasseter Family wines you will have leisure time at the beautiful Lake Serendipity, a rarely-seen jewel of the estate.

 

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