This was my, Skulldouggary, first time attending D23. Not being a huge Disney fan, or let me rephrase that, not being a fan AT ALL of Disney that was not a huge surprise. But since the acquisition of Star Wars and Marvel (two of my favorite fandoms) and the Mouse’s kind offer of a press pass I couldn’t miss this year’s show. I had little to no idea what to expect, D23 is far more an industry show than a convention and that just makes it a slightly different animal is all. We showed up Thursday to pick up our passes and get some time in at the Park before the convention started. It was simple enough to get checked in, thanks to the overly helpful and cheerful event staff. This would sort of set the tone for the rest of the show. We found all the staff to be absolutely amazing. They seemed to truly be happy to help and just as glad to be there as any fan. That is one of Disney’s strengths, their employees are fans…they LOVE working for the Mouse and it shows in how they do their jobs.
I decided that I would just cover the event as a fan…I really didn’t want to register for all the panels or reserve interview time with any of the celebrities in attendance. We promise that next time if you want that type of coverage we will include some talks with the stars and panel reviews. I was much more interested in seeing D23 from the eyes of a first time attendee and a fan. I was as disappointed as everyone else was when Marvel announced their absence from this year’s SDCC. Everyone, myself included, expected them to be at D23 in force. Unfortunately that was NOT the case. Except for a few obligatory displays and a single panel there was almost NO Marvel presence onsite…no dedicated booth or exhibit. The same could be said for Star Wars. Disney certainly used them for window dressing at the Infinity exhibit, and there were some nice costume displays up for Star Wars (with a single mannequin dressed in the Ant-Man suit repping Marvel) I’m hoping that gets rectified by the next D23. Disney needs to show us die-heard Marvel Zombies that they didn’t just buy Marvel as a cash cow and that they respect what Marvel has to offer and represent that to the fans in the convention circuit.
The hall looked amazing, with grand exhibits, full size stores, and lots of booths with activities to keep you busy. We certainly appreciated all the cool swag (stay tuned for our Super Swag Giveaway coming soon!) The floor was completely carpeted and there were several lounge areas set up with comfortable places to sit…please take note of this Wonder-Con! They had a main stage set up as the first thing you see when you walk in. They had musical performances and other presentations throughout the day. Just to the right of that was Radio Disney who set up a live interview stage where you could see some of your favorite Disney personalities. Outside the gourmet food trucks were out in force with the added bonus of picnic style tables with shade umbrellas down the middle…again, please take note Wonder-Con.
This con still had its fair share of cosplay, although for the size of the show there were not as many as you would expect. I was struck by the ingenuity of the Disney cosplayers, many of whom created outfits inspired by rides or attractions at Disneyland/world.
This was certainly the con I walked the most at…I don’t know why, but my feet were DONE by the end of the day. I’m glad our hotel was relatively close.
As for me, Kitten Speaks Geek, this was my second D23, last year I went dressed as Kevin from UP and had a blast. This year I took the route of fan with Skulldouggary since the year before I had spent most of my time doing stuff for Disney in costume. I had a lot of fun running around enjoying the convention and seeing all the new things for sale and all the displays.
I enjoyed all of the different cosplayers, events and the ways the different booths tried to make things interactive. I will write a post shortly about the Trading Card Quest that we participated in during the Expo. Overall, I enjoyed myself. I had a lot of fun with my friends, got to take fun photos (even a photo on Asgard with Stitch) and got to spend the weekend with other Disney fans. I will be going again for sure.
All Photos Taken By Danny “Dviouz1″ DeLuna