Thursday, September 8, 2022

#tbt 2017 D23 Expo Memories

The 2022 D23 Expo officially kicks off tomorrow in Anaheim and I couldn't be more excited!  I can't wait to see all of the booths, the costumes, the cosplays, the panels, the merchandise, the shows, and everything else there is to experience!

I'm sure it's going to be an amazing weekend.  And to get into the spirit, today I thought that I'd share some of my favorite moments from the 2017 D23 Expo.  

Before I dive in, I want to preface the rest of this post by letting you all know that I've never written much about the 2017 D23 Expo because I had a lot of mixed feelings about it.  Don't get me wrong, Eliot and I had an amazing time, but at the time, that was overshadowed by the amount of complete chaos and disorganization.  I left the expo completely in awe at everything I'd experienced, both the positive and the negative.

But now that five years have passed since our last expo experience, the bad parts aren't so fresh and raw... and I'd rather focus on all of the positive.  So these are all the positive memories that I have from the 2017 D23 Expo.

One of the coolest moments that Eliot and I had at the D23 Expo was something that almost didn't even happen.  I don't want to get into the disaster that was trying to get into the Descendants cast meet and greet, but somehow, a miracle happened.  Being kind matters, and Elissa was able to get in with a complete stranger's group, then she squeezed us in so Eliot and I got to meet and take a quick photo with the Descendants 2 cast.  (That's when Cameron Boyce gave me the biggest hug- which I'll never forget.)

Another cool celebrity moment was when I saw Colin O'Donoghue who played Captain Hook in Once Upon a Time.  I was trying to get a picture with him, but again, the talent lines were a hot mess at this event.  Eliot and I tried our best, but I couldn't get in the line.  I also didn't get a selfie with him, but I did see him and take a few pictures of him.

I did however get to take a picture with his costume at the Walt Disney Archives "A Pirate's Life For Me" exhibit at the expo.  (Read more about the exhibit here.)

The Pirates Exhibit was actually one of my favorite parts of the event.  Each year, they make a museum on the show floor that showcases Disney props and costumes.  Since it was the 50th anniversary of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, that was the chosen theme for this year's expo.  The exhibit had displays from anything related to pirates- from Once Upon A Time, Jake and the Neverland Pirates cartoon on Disney Junior, Descendants and props from both the the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and all of the movies.  It was really cool to see everything.

We saw Captain Jack Sparrow's iconic outfit, as well as Will and Elizabeth's wedding attire.  I love these types of exhibits because I'm always astounded by the costumes!

The theme for 2017's D23 Design Challenge was also Pirates of the Caribbean.  The top 23 pieces of artwork were selected to be displayed at the event.  I really enjoyed seeing all of the finalists creativity and artistic talents!

Another thing that I loved from this event was the display of costumes, specifically the princess gowns.  Ella's blue gown from the live action Cinderella and Belle's yellow gown from the live action Beauty and the Beast were my favorites!

Although it wasn't officially part of the D23 expo, another thing we stumbled across was the Pizza Planet truck parked outside of the expo at a hotel next door.  A Toy Story fan decorated an old Toyota truck to look like the iconic truck, and they had it parked for Disney fans to enjoy.  It even had a Buzz Lightyear toy sitting in the front seat!

One of the things that Eliot and I enjoyed most was all of the merchandise available at the event.  We lucked out and got let into the Mickey's of Glendale Imagineering store without waiting in the insane lines for it.  We also checked out the Disney Store and the D23 store.  We found a lot of cool things.  I was especially excited when Eliot was able to get me the Tsum Tsum Pixar Shorts set that I really wanted!

The only session that I went to at this D23 Expo was the The Power of the Princess Panel.  Elissa, Sara and I all went in early to stand in line because we really wanted to see this one.  Thankfully, we were able to get in.  It was pretty tight security and we weren't sure why at the time.  We even had to put our cell phones into a ziplock bag and then in our backpacks.  The princess panel had two female animators leading the discussion... with four actual Disney princesses on the panel!  Auli'i Cravalho (Moana), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Paige O'Hara (Belle) and Jodi Benson (Ariel) graced all of us with their presence and it was the coolest thing.  (Read more about it here.)

Part of the way through the panel, we were shown a rough cut of the new Wreck-it-Ralph 2 movie.  Some of the cuts were actually animated, and some were still in the rough sketch stage. Now we knew why we couldn't video tape any of it.  It was so cool!

Finally, the iconic princesses were all asked their favorite lines from their movies.  They all ended up singing instead... and I swear Elissa and I were going to slap each others thighs off from excitement.  It was a truly magical experience!

Finally, the part that sticks out most in my mind was the thing Eliot and I loved so much that we did it twice Sunday afternoon... the Alan Menken Concert.  The concert was Alan Menken taking us through his own personal story through song.  It included fan favorites from the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Tangled, Hercules, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame and Aladdin.  Some of the songs he wrote for Broadway and the live action movies even made an appearance.  It was absolutely incredible... like I said, it was so good we went back for the second showing of it.

As you can see, there were a lot of cool experiences that Eliot and I got to do at the 2017 D23 Expo that some Disney fans can only dream of.  The D23 Expos events are definitely the place to go for fans!  While there were a lot of things that weren't so great during this weekend, overall, it really was incredible!  Hopefully, all of us will get to experience more fun things at this year's event!

Happy 2022 D23 Expo Weekend Disney Fans!!!  °o°

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