A Day at D23 Expo
Since it’s inauguration in 2009 I’ve attended every D23 Expo. That’s four (it occurs every 2 years) expos for me to experience and ponder over. The first one was disappointing – it was quite small and felt hastily put together – yet I wasn’t discouraged and continued to attend. Event after event I experienced the growth of the expo both in size and popularity. Gone are the days I can wait in line for an hour and still get into a panel. Now, I don’t even bother with panels. I just wander the show floor and soak up the atmosphere. After spending all of last Saturday at this year’s expo I can say one thing – it was the best one yet.
Since I’m a bigger fan of the park than of the films I was super excited the event fell on Disneyland’s 60th anniversary year. Every expo contains a Walt Disney Archives exhibit and this year’s celebrated Disneyland. Having practically grown up in the park I couldn’t wait to see what treasures were on display.
The very first artifacts were from the construction of the park. This was especially touching to me as my grandpa was one of the painters on the project. Family lore has that he painted Sleeping Beauty’s castle and I can never view it without thinking of him.
Now, I wasn’t around in the early days but I can remember when Disneyland often held special events in the park. Micky Mouse Club Days, State Fair and Blast to the Past are fondly remembered outings. As you can imagine the exhibit was quite a stroll down memory lane.
Peter Pan has long been my favorite ride and I love all the others, too. It was quite fun to see elements of them up close. And the Country Bears! I still miss that wonderful stage show.
The Electrical Parade! This was the very best parade the park ever had. In fact, I’ve never been able to sit through another since it went away. It was truly magical.
Most of these restaurants were gone before my time. Except for the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor. That was my jam! Every visit my family would eat there. I know a remnant of it still exists but it just isn’t the same.
Now, I realize I sound like a total oldster boo-hooing about the Disneyland of my youth. Can’t help it. I have too many wonderful memories of long shuttered attractions.
The rest of the expo was haze of cosplayers, Star Wars and sore feet. So much Star Wars. Since I’m not a fan I’ll just share my favorite highlights sans jedis and droids.
Pizza Planet! The Mystery Shack! The People Mover! Dang it Disney! You put together quite a show.