I got home at 3:00 am this morning from D23. I’m coming down from my Disney high, and I wanted to get my 2017 D23 Expo review up while things were fresh on my mind.
After spending three solid days with thousands of Disney fans and participating in a couple of the D23 Facebook groups, my first thought is that the 2017 D23 Expo separated the Mice from the Men.
2017 D23 Expo: The Men
“The Cast Members were clueless. The Expo was a mess. I paid a lot of money for Gold Membership, and I got no perks. First and last time I’m going. Get a clue, Disney. Disney staff is incompetent again. Lines are atrocious. This event has been an absolute joke. DVC members, annual pass holder, charter members, (fill in the blank) should get (fill in the blank). I’m never going through that again.”
Those complaints are just a SMALL sample of what I overheard at the Expo or read in the Facebook groups.
Seriously? Your Disney Privilege is showing.
You only paid $100 for D23 Gold Membership, and for that, you get a nice glossy magazine four times a year and a welcome gift. It also got you $30 off the price of your D23 Expo ticket. Anything beyond that is just icing on the cake.
So for basically $70 you expect to get front-of-the-line access and guaranteed admittance to everything?
Same goes for those who think DVC members, AP holders, and other groups should get privileges.
You are at a DISNEY FAN conference. Do you not get that virtually EVERYONE there is either a Gold Member, DVC Member, Annual Passholder, or a Charter D23 Member?
2017 D23 Expo: The Mice
“I’m getting a Sorcerer Pass next time!”
If this was your response to the 2017 D23 Expo then CONGRATULATIONS!
You are a mouse!
A Mouseketeer to be exact. You are a die-hard Disney super-fan that won’t let long lines and a little chaos stand between you and all things Disney.
You have probably already made a budget for a Sorcerer pass in 2019 and have made notes for next time on what you will do differently
And you are my people.
I big-puffy-heart love you.
2017 D23 Expo Review
I LOVED the Expo! I saw some amazing panels: Disney Live Action Movies, Pixar & Disney Animation, Mousequerade, and the incredible Alan Menken. Strolling through the Expo hall I saw the Pirates retrospective and the model for the new Star Wars Land at Disney World. I took pictures at photo opps and saw the most amazing homemade costumes you could possibly imagine.
And I also stood in line. I got there at 5:45 Friday morning and joined friends in the basement. On Friday night, I lined up at 8:30 pm. I slept on the frigid basement floor to guarantee I got a spot in the Live Action Panel.
And I loved every minute of it. I made new friends and bonded with old ones. I saw 15 freakin’ Marvel stars on stage at the same time. FIFTEEN!
I also missed out on the ONE panel I was there to see – Disney Parks. I didn’t get to shop because of the lines, and I didn’t get to jump in the Scrooge Money Pit.
And you know what? I don’t even care that I missed it! I still had a great time and will be one of the first ones to sign up for 2019.
2017 D23 Expo – It is all about Expectations
Now, I will freely admit that I drink the Dole-Whip-flavored kool-aid and spend my life high on pixie dust.
But with ONE exception (to be discussed in a minute), I thought the Expo was great and ran smoothly. Over 60,000 people attended and I’m sure there were over 1,000 employees (Cast Members and contractors) to execute the show.
I expected long lines. I expected limited-edition merchandise to sell out. I expected freebies from the booths to disappear quickly. I expected not to get into all the panels I wanted. I expected not to see everything on the show floor that I wanted to see. I expected confusion.
Even *I* accidentally ended up in the wrong line and ended up queued up with the first group of shoppers on Friday. (As soon as I figured it out, I left the line.)
However, I will say that I didn’t expect the person in charge of the DuckTales Scrooge McDuck Money Pit Jump to say “Who would have thought people would line up for four hours for this?”
It is INEVITABLE that an event that size is going to have issues.
It is up to YOU to decide how you are going to deal with it. Are you going to gripe? Complain to someone? Throw a fit? Or are you going to figure out how to have a good time despite what is going on around you?
2017 D23 Expo Pixar & Animation Panel: The Heffalump in the room
Now to acknowledge the Heffalump in the room. The weekend did have one major FUBAR. Doors to the Pixar & Disney Animation panel accidentally opened, and people who were not in line got in. Consequently, people that had waited in line for several hours didn’t get seats.
No doubt about it, this sucked. But it was an accident.
It is what happened next that we need to talk about it.
Apparently, all hell broke loose when the people in line found out they weren’t getting in. I’m not talking about a big moan of disappointment. I’m talking so-called grown ups throwing full-blown temper tantrums yelling at employees and knocking things down.
Those people should have been kicked out of the Expo and not allowed to return. Instead, in true Disney fashion, they were compensated.
Now to be fair, it wasn’t just the fit-throwers that received compensation. Anyone that stayed around long enough received a wristband allowing them to attend either of the next day’s Hall D23 sessions without standing in the long lines. There are also rumors that some people received refunds for a one-day expo ticket and some may have received a free one-day park ticket.
The True Heroes of the D23 Expo
My sincerest apologies go out to all the Cast Members and employees that had to endure the deplorable behavior of conference goers.
I want to personally give HUGE thanks to Cast Member Rand who was running lines in the basement Friday night.
I was part of the last group of Gold Members in Group B for the Live Action panel. There wasn’t physical space in the Group B lines for us, so he put us in a separate queue over in the Group C section. He promised we would be seated with Group B, but more importantly he promised not to forget about us.
True to his word, Rand personally escorted us into Group B the next morning.
Rand, you ARE the man!
And the Golden Mickey Goes To . . .
There is also a group of Disney Fans that deserve recognition. They are the ones that didn’t get into the Hall D23 Animation session but left the basement when the atrocious behavior started. They had no desire to be part of the ugliness. Because they left, they missed out on getting special wristbands for the next day’s sessions.
THOSE are the real Disney Fans of the Expo. Sure they were disappointed. But they choose not to let one disappointment cast a shadow over their entire experience.
They were like our line buddies Brenda and Michelle. They were part of the FUBAR but didn’t get the Magic wristband. But they showed up at 8:30 that night to sleep in the basement to make sure they had seats for the Saturday Live Action panel.
To the Disney fans like Brenda and Michelle, I award you the Golden Mickey Award. Walt would be proud.
To all my fellow Mice, I will see you in 2019 at the next Disney D23 Expo!