Over the weekend, Disney revealed a variety of projects at its biennial, company-sanctioned D23 Expo, “the ultimate Disney fan event.” Viewing as the home entertainment huge controls fully half of the present pop culture– Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm are all owned subsidiaries, as are transmitted entities ABC and ESPN– it wasn’t just Disney fans crowding the floor at the Anaheim Convention Center; there were hopeful Generals Leia, Captains America and whatever you call fans of As soon as Upon a Time.
I was there for 3 Disney-related reasons: Due to the fact that I have actually never ever been to a D23 Exposition, due to the fact that they were kind enough to offer me a press credential and since I care a lot– maybe too much– about what takes place to Disneyland, EPCOT and Disney’s other amusement park. That’s my fandom: I love Disneyland with all my heart. I’m a Disnerd; I’m a themepunk. And I wanted to endure the crowds of cosplayers, Disneybounders and flat-out Disney geeks– a few of whom reminded me so much of myself that I could hardly stand it– to discover in person What Is Up With Disneyland. As it turns out, there’s quite a bit.
A Star Wars-themed land, called Galaxy’s Edge, is currently being built in a previous backstage area nearby to Frontierland and Fantasyland, with an opening prepared for 2019. It will have 2 major destinations– one that permits you to pilot the Millennium Falcon and one that puts you in the middle of a ground battle in between the First Order and the Resistance– plus a range of dining establishments, stores and selfie opportunities peopled by cast members performing in character. (Supposedly, you’ll be able to create a “track record” within Galaxy’s Edge that follows you around all the time; you could be targeted by bounty hunters, and so on)
Throughout the esplanade at Disney California Adventure, Disney is preparing for a Marvel-themed set of attractions, though they were reticent to offer information. The park’s Paradise Pier location, a throwback to seaside carnivals, is being rethemed as “Pixar Pier,” with all that indicates. And across the nation at Walt Disney World, tourist attractions based upon Tron, Ratatouille and Guardians of the Galaxy are in the works. There’s much more to report, but I don’t wish to check non-geek perseverance. Just getting the above info, which is now readily available in other places on the Web, sorely tested mine.
Thing is, I don’t do well with crowds anymore, and D23 draws an enormous crowd. That theme-parks panel, held in a 7,000-seat room, needed a four-hour wait. (I missed out on the animation and live-action film panels for comparable factors.) There were prolonged queues for all the panels, for the exhibits (and there was an especially nice one that detailed the 50-year history of Pirates of the Caribbean), and for the merchandise, which I resisted because I’ve already got excessive stuff. More than once, I found myself waiting in a line that would just give me a space in another line. And if not for the generosity of a family that held my area for that amusement park panel– they even bought me lunch!– I would not have actually seen any of the major panels at all. It was all excessive.
However the stuff I did see I completely enjoyed. I took a look at panels on the forgotten Disney animated character Ludwig Von Drake and his voice star, Paul Releases (Google both of them) and on Disney’s midcentury modern-day impacts. I saw the design of Galaxy’s Edge– impressive is barely the word– and video from Disney/Pixar’s upcoming Dia de los Muertos movie Coco, which thoroughly charmed me even glimpsed in quick.
But most significantly, I got to see fans, lots of them. I saw millennials dressed up as Fantasia characters, a film that came out years prior to even I was born. I saw princesses in frilly dresses, not all which were worn by women. I saw older fans who ‘d changed their motorized wheelchairs into pirate ships and starships. And I saw every almost among them smiling automatically, as if they ‘d gotten each thing they ‘d ever desired for Christmas. If I could have taken a look at myself, I most likely would have had that look on my face, too.
As I’ve discussed, the D23 Exposition takes place every 2 years, so I’ve got up until 2020 to choose if I wish to go back. By then Galaxy’s Edge will be open, and Walt Disney World will be well into preparing its 50th anniversary event in 2021. I don’t know exactly what I’ll see there, but I do understand that if I go, I’m bringing 3 things: a friend, an outfit and a damn cushion to rest on.