Surviving the 2015 D23 Expo - straight talk from Expo veterans

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
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[This article was updated 9:20 a.m. (Pacific), August 11, 2015]

The 2015 D23 Expo begins this Friday at the Anaheim Convention Center, and the social media landscape is full of survival guides and strategies. There's an entire Facebook group filled with people swapping schedules and spreadsheets, and obsessing over the details of the release of the Disney Store dolls.

While some sites have pulled together pretty good common-sense guides for the D23 Expo—we like the parent-friendly advice provided by the Babes in Disneyland blog, for example—others just plagiarized the official Survival Guide published by D23 last week. In 2013 we published a guide to Making the Most of the Expo, and it's worth another read, even if some of the tips were specific to that year's event.

This year, we decided to take a different approach to presenting our advice to Expo-bound readers. Based on our MousePlanet staff members's personal experience from having participated in each of the three previous events as attendees, exhibitors, and credentialled media, and we've gathered some "street savvy" tips to help you get your money's worth.


The 2013 D23 Expo starts Friday, August 14 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Photo © Disney.

Set realistic expectations

Everyone will tell you the same thing—you can't see everything there is to see at the expo. But if this is your first time attending the D23 Expo or any major convention like this, the true scale of the event will be a surprise.

As this article was published, the official convention schedule lists over 100 hours of stage presentations, performances, artist signings, photo opportunities, autograph sessions, trivia challenges, and interactive events.

That's just on Friday.

Saturday and Sunday are equally jam-packed. That doesn't even take into consideration the dozens of other events hosted by third-party exhibitors in the Expo Emporium and around the show floor. Forget trying to be in two places at once; you'd need a TARDIS* to see everything offered from official Disney partners at the expo. You need to know going in that you'll only get to see about 10 percent of what is offered, so that you can avoid that post-expo "what did I miss!?" letdown.

Know how to get inside

This shouldn't be a thing, but it is. Your level of D23 membership, arrival time, and desired first destination all determine where and when you should line up for the expo. Read the "Things to Know" section of the D23 Expo website so you know exactly what to do, whether you want to camp out overnight for the Disney Legends presentation, are a Gold member who wants first shot at the Disney Store, or are a Free member who wants to see the Parks and Resorts pavilion.


Some Expo attendees are obsessed with this collection of Once Upon a Time dolls to be released by the Disney Store. Photo © Disney.

Live for today, and stay flexible

As you make your schedule, focus on the experiences you can only have at the expo. While this differs for everyone, here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

  • Those fortunate enough to live near the Wonderground Gallery can see artists like Jerrod Maruyama and Guy Vasilovich during their appearances there, and free up some expo time.
  • If you live in Southern California, you have plenty of opportunities to see Charles Phoenix's Big Retro Disneyland Slide Show, so you can probably skip that here.
  • Disney parks regulars need not watch the Jedi Training Academy during the expo.

Things you can only do at the D23 Expo include:

  • Visiting the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts pavilion
  • Playing in the Disney Interactive pavilion
  • Attending live concerts and performances
  • Being open to whatever magical experience happens your way. For some people, the absolute highlight of the 2013 Expo was playing the Adventureland Trading Game, something that wasn't on any published schedule.

Choose wisely

As with past years, once you enter Hall D23 for a presentation, are not allowed to exit to visit the expo floor and then return to the hall. This policy includes anyone who opts to wait overnight in Hall E to get a front-row seat for one of the Hall D23 panels. Your entire group must wait together, and you can't leave the area and return.

To ensure a spot in the Hall D23 presentation, you should be there early—however, this confines you inside the hall and unable to leave when the first StagePass distribution block opens at 9:00 a.m. This block covers every presentation that begins before 2:30 p.m., and there's a good chance the StagePass tickets will be distributed before the Legends ceremony ends at noon.

What does this mean for you? Basically, attending the first Hall D23 panel of the day means you probably won't be able to get a StagePass for any presentation that begins before 2:30 that day. It also means that you won't be in line to get a Store Pass when distribution opens at 10:00 a.m.

Those Hall D23 panels come with a big trade-off in terms of missed opportunities to do other things at the Expo. They also overlap other presentations, so you can't, for example, see the Disney Legends presentation in Hall D23, then see the Inside Out panel in Stage 28.

Which brings me to...

Watch some big presentations later on YouTube

With the exception of the handful of panels with photography restrictions, you can expect that a video of almost every other show, panel, and presentation offered at the expo will probably hit YouTube before you make it back to your hotel room that night.

The reality here is that Hall D23 is a large, long, flat room with 7,500 chairs. Members of the media have been told to bring telephoto lenses if we plan to photograph the stage. There will almost certainly be additional monitors set up around the room to improve the view of those who aren't in the first 20 rows, which means you'll be in the room but still watching everything on screen.

Consider your choices:

  • Camping out overnight for a seat in view of the stage
  • Sitting in the back row of a flat auditorium and watching on a monitor
  • Watching online

Which is going to offer you the best experience? If your dream is to be there in person to see Danny Elfman accept his Disney Legends award live on stage, then by all means join the overnight line. If you're just as happy seeing the same thing online the next week, then you can safely skip that presentation and spend your time doing things you can only do in person.

Here are the four panels that we expect will have photo and video restrictions. Disney will certainly add more later, but these are the ones we know about as of press time:

  • In Conversation with the Filmmakers and the Emotion Behind Inside Out (Friday)
  • Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios (Saturday)
  • Welcome to Zootopia! (Saturday)
  • Aladdin – The Making of a Classic (Saturday) [Editor's note: The restriction on this presentation was announced this morning, August 11.]
  • The Shorts of Walt Disney Animation Studios: From Paperman to Prep & Landing, Feast to Frozen Fever (Sunday)


Video cameras won't be allowed inside the Zootopia presentation, so see it in person if you hope to see it at all. Photo © Disney.

Use your smartphone to clone yourself

Speaking of multi-tasking... while you can't be everywhere at once, there are quite a number of websites and blogs, including MousePlanet, attending the expo, too. Any major announcements made during the expo will be online in a matter of seconds.

What's the best way to spend your Saturday afternoon—sitting in the Parks and Resorts panel while Bob Iger talks about Shanghai Disneyland, or spending the same amount of time looking at scale models and concept art inside the Parks and Resorts pavilion?

We note that the "Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives" exhibit prohibits photography, so that's something you'll have to see with your own eyes.

Download the D23 official mobile app; follow @DisneyD23 on Twitter

Even with the recent redesign, the official D23 Expo website is sorely lacking in details about the expo, and missing some useful tools—like maps, floorplans, a single-page schedule or a preview of the Expo Guide Book—offered at past events. However, maps are now available via the app, and the scheduling function allows you to save your chosen events to your phone's calendar and set alarms.

Still, we don't know if the app will send push notifications if scheduled events change, so it's best to follow @DisneyD23 on Twitter for up-to-date announcements. Note: The @D23Expo account used in past years is no longer active, so don't rely on it for notifications.

If you'll be at the expo or just want to experience it with us online, follow MPatD23Expo on Twitter for live updates throughout the show.

If you won't be at the expo and don't want all of the chirping, follow MousePlanet on Facebook or Twitter for currated updates.


Focus on exclusive live performances like Disney on Broadway to make the most of your expo time. Photo © Disney.

Packing list

Here are a few things you should tuck into your day bag:

  • A stiff envelope for storing trading cards, photos, and anything else you don't want to get bent
  • Permanent markers for autographs
  • A notepad and pen for writing notes or trading contact information with other people.
  • A charger for your cell phone. When you need to top off, stop by the MousePlanet booth to recharge.
  • Extra batteries and an extra memory card for your camera.
  • Refillable water bottle. There are water fountains inside the convention center, and you'll save a fortune if you don't have to buy bottles of water on-site.
  • A folding shopping bag or two. You never know which booths are going to have great giveaways. At the same time, you don't want to lug a huge empty bag all day, so those little nylon bags are perfect.
  • Cash – not all of the vendors take credit cards.

Hang out with MousePlanet

MousePlanet is prominently located in the Expo Emporium—come find us in Hall A, booth 403, directly across from the Store Pass distribution area and the Disney Dream Store. Stop by to meet MousePlanet columnists, Community Leaders, and fellow readers. Top off your electronic devices at or charging station. We also have a host of special opportunities planned for our readers.

Get your free MousePlanet lanyard and wear it to win

Stop by the MousePlanet booth and receive your free MousePlanet lanyard to wear throughout the expo. Your lanyard is your entry into our weekend-long contest, where you can win fantastic prizes from our sponsors just by showing your MousePlanet style. You never know where and when our Swag Squad will strike next!

Meet the authors

Meet some of the people behind the website, and learn some of their favorite theme parks tricks and tips:

  • Mouse Tales' David Koenig – throughout the weekend. David's books will be available for purchase and signing at the Expo.
  • Parenting in the Parks editor Adrienne Krock – Friday morning
  • Newsletter editor and Team MousePlanet columnist Stephanie Wien – throughout the weekend
  • Park Update editor Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix – throughout the weekend

Get the 2015–2016 MousePlanet Community Calendar

Earlier this year, we held a reader photo contest and encouraged everyone to submit their best Disney vacation photos to help create the MousePlanet community calendar. The calendars are ready to share, and will be available at no charge at the 2015 D23 Expo, August 14–17 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

If you already subscribe to the MousePlanet Newsletter, or sign up before August 12, you will receive a voucher in the August 13th Newsletter that you can bring to the Expo and redeem for your free calendar. If you're not a subscriber, you can sign up at the expo and receive the calendar on the spot.


MousePlanet reader Jennifer Dutrow contributed the cover photo for the 2015–16 MousePlanet Community Calendar.

We don't want to spoil the surprise by showing all of the chosen calendar images here, but want to recognize the photographers whose work was included in this project:

  • Cover: Jennifer DutrowTwitter: @juniper8301 | Instagram: @juniper8301
  • Gary FernandoMousePad: RockDoc07 | Twitter: @DrGary32 | Instagram: @drgary32 | Flickr: IlliniDoc32
  • Chris SalataMousePad: GusMan | Twitter: @GusMan90 | Instagram: @gusman_90
  • Nora MartinezTwitter: @norasongbird | Instagram: @noramar
  • Lucy ClarkInstagram: @quackersnaps
  • Tony Dunford
  • Richard J. Hayden, Jr
  • Nikko Shaw Twitter: @NaturallyNikko
  • Christy ZemlerTwitter: @shortpix77
  • Steven Tani
  • Scott Morris
  • Derek LewisTwitter: @MadChatters
  • Elaine Collingwood
  • Jim Knepley
  • Rick DavisonTwitter: @PopsicleRick

Are you an Expo Expert? Share your own advice in the comments below:

 

Comments

  1. By Niwel

    There is also a family area on the second floor with activities for little ones (parental supervision required).

  2. By olegc

    I believe that the Charter Member lounge will be active again this year. Drinks and snacks are available at times throughout each day.

  3. By olegc

    will storepass be handout out in the same spot as stagepass (i was looking at the show floor map). Also, it looks like Stage 23s queue is partially (or mostly?) outdoors. Be advised - its supposed to be VERY HOT this weekend.

  4. By Niwel

    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    will storepass be handout out in the same spot as stagepass (i was looking at the show floor map). Also, it looks like Stage 23s queue is partially (or mostly?) outdoors. Be advised - its supposed to be VERY HOT this weekend.

    I think Stage 23 queue is still inside -- on the same floor as Stage 23 (third) -- just to the right of it.

    From what I've read StorePass is near StagePass - but the queues are different

  5. By olegc

    Quote Originally Posted by Niwel View Post
    I think Stage 23 queue is still inside -- on the same floor as Stage 23 (third) -- just to the right of it.

    there is an indoor portion - and right below it on the map on the phone app it says Outdoor Queue with an arrow pointing right. So - if its a popular event you might find yourself outside.

  6. By tea4two

    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    ...Be advised - its supposed to be VERY HOT this weekend.

    Part of the craziness of Expo is how warm/hot the weather usually is outside and how chilly (very efficient A/C) it can be inside the convention center. We bring packable vests or hoodies. They work well when we've been sitting still in line for a long time and also can be used as cushions (that floor is carpeted, but hard).

  7. By navysargent

    I will not be attending the D23 Expo. Which media outlets/posters do you recommend I follow for up to the minute announcements and video presentations?

  8. By GusMan

    Quote Originally Posted by navysargent View Post
    I will not be attending the D23 Expo. Which media outlets/posters do you recommend I follow for up to the minute announcements and video presentations?

    Not sure of the official hashtags on Twitter for the expo, but I would think that if keep searching on #D23, #D23Expo or the like, you will get a lot of information quickly.
    Of course, you should follow @MousePlanet and @MPatD23Expo on twitter as well.

  9. By stan4d_steph

    Search on hashtag #D23Expo

    I'm tweeting some from my @MPStephanie twitter account, and as stated by Gusman, we have the @MPatD23Expo account also.

  10. By olegc

    To me its obvious now. Lots of folks have said you can't see everything so plan for your favorites. That is a complete understatement for this year. You can pick one big panel and camp out for several hours. If u want to make sure its an overnight. Not 7am. Not 5 am. Overnight. I am currently in a line to get into hall e which is a line to get into halld23. It's crazy. I have been in three 2 hour lines this weekend that have resulted in zero value: no panel, no stagepasa, no merch.

    Of course D23 has a way for you to avoid the lines. It's the Sorcerers package. gold and silver membership don't get you much benefit. The one hour early entry really isn't that when the staff can't get you on the door until 10, and the hall is filled with spillover from Hall E waiters.

    A new venue or a better plan. I am considering not returning.

  11. By cstephens

    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    I have been in three 2 hour lines this weekend that have resulted in zero value: no panel, no stagepasa, no merch.
    What did you wait in line for? Because, yeah, for some of the stuff, 2 hours was definitely not enough time to wait. We did only wait about 2 hours to get onto the show floor on Friday morning because we were in the underground queue, but I did hear from friends that waiting in the line outside was pretty awful. I had read in the program that if you got in line by 7am, you could wait in the underground queue, but after 7, you had to wait outside, so I purposely decided to get in line before 7. The people lined up outside had to wait until everyone in the underground queue was let in before they could enter. We mainly took advantage of being on the show floor relatively early by going to the Disneyland Archives exhibit. It was maybe a 10 minute wait when we did it. I did see that it was an incredibly long line for the rest of the weekend.

    For the animation panel on Friday, we waited about 3 hours. And for the live action panel on Saturday morning, we waited about 5 hours - got in line shortly after 5am.

    We never ended up trying to get a Stage Pass because it didn't fit in our schedule. When we got in line for Mickey's of Glendale on Saturday afternoon, we were told it was almost a two hour wait, but it ended up being only a little over an hour. We went to the Dream Store around 3:30 and there was no line at all. We never ended up going to the Disney Store because that line was insane all weekend.


    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    gold and silver membership don't get you much benefit. The one hour early entry really isn't that when the staff can't get you on the door until 10, and the hall is filled with spillover from Hall E waiters.

    I'm going to disagree with that, because we definitely got in earlier both Friday and Sunday because we were gold members. We got onto the show floor around 9:30 on Sunday and the general membership folk were still waiting outside until 10am to even start coming in.

  12. By olegc

    Quote Originally Posted by cstephens View Post
    What did you wait in line for? Because, yeah, for some of the stuff, 2 hours was definitely not enough time to wait. We did only wait about 2 hours to get onto the show floor on Friday morning because we were in the underground queue, but I did hear from friends that waiting in the line outside was pretty awful. I had read in the program that if you got in line by 7am, you could wait in the underground queue, but after 7, you had to wait outside, so I purposely decided to get in line before 7. The people lined up outside had to wait until everyone in the underground queue was let in before they could enter. We mainly took advantage of being on the show floor relatively early by going to the Disneyland Archives exhibit. It was maybe a 10 minute wait when we did it. I did see that it was an incredibly long line for the rest of the weekend.
    well that's not what we were told outside. We were told that Gold and Silver line outside would enter at 9am and General Entry would enter after we all did. On Friday there were two lines side by side (GS and General) towards katella. Then a third line was created by Buzz balloon. Limited staff on Friday - but we kept getting told we'd get in before others and all GS had entry of 9am - nothing about downstairs all entering first. Nothing official. Of course, that's a joke in and of itself for Friday - there were very limited numbers of CMs outside. and the light blues were just giving standard instructions. By 1030 they started letting all three lines in at the same time.

    My 2 hour lines were Friday morning outside, StagePass line to get 60th imagineering panel (which they ran out before I got to front), Disneyland exhibit, and Disney Store (for the Lasseter shirt, which they ran out of too). I had to wait standby for a couple of panels but that's a given if you're standby. By standing in lines and getting nothing (stagepass, etc) when you think you've given enough time is disheartening.

    Interesting sidebar - they would not let me upstairs for the Toy Story 20th panel (I was 5 min late) because the lines for Once Upon a Time were so crazy they could not maintain control of who was in which line so they simply barred people from coming upstairs to Stage 23. I ended up using a stairway and waiting for a chance to move.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstephens View Post
    For the animation panel on Friday, we waited about 3 hours. And for the live action panel on Saturday morning, we waited about 5 hours - got in line shortly after 5am.
    this kind of goes to one point I made in my full text (not what you quoted) - was that if there are specific things you must attend - you have to commit a lot more time. I was not prepared - you were - but its exactly what I was saying. 5 hours early - so 4 in the morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstephens View Post
    We never ended up trying to get a Stage Pass because it didn't fit in our schedule. When we got in line for Mickey's of Glendale on Saturday afternoon, we were told it was almost a two hour wait, but it ended up being only a little over an hour. We went to the Dream Store around 3:30 and there was no line at all. We never ended up going to the Disney Store because that line was insane all weekend.
    I agree on the MoG line (though Sunday morning was quite crowded). I thought for sure the Disneyland exhibit would be shorter by Sunday afternoon because most had seen it. I was wrong.




    Quote Originally Posted by cstephens View Post
    I'm going to disagree with that, because we definitely got in earlier both Friday and Sunday because we were gold members. We got onto the show floor around 9:30 on Sunday and the general membership folk were still waiting outside until 10am to even start coming in.

    Well you did add multiple hours to your front end. If they tell me we have gold and silver, and we will start entering at 9am, and then we don't do that? then there is not a benefit to it. I don't expect to walk in right away at 9am if I am 500 people back, but I don't expect to wait until 1130am to get in the door. Again - no one told us that downstairs gets in first. All that was said is that Gold and Silver come in at 9am. If its implied - that's wrong and it should be explicitly stated. So what I will concede is there is a marginal benefit - but with so many gold and silver members, not that much more.

    And StorePass while a nice concept was not that great. Again - you had to come way early (not just early) to make it worthwhile.

    These are my observations and experiences. I don't expect everyone to agree with me - but I also don't expect people to use their experience and somehow state I did something not well. It just happened.

  13. By olegc

    oh - and after speaking with several folks in lines - going solo like me is harder than ever... Again - just my experience.

    but I did get Marty Skalr's signature on his new book - personalized for our shared experience as UCLA alums. Nice way to end the weekend.

  14. By cstephens

    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    well that's not what we were told outside. We were told that Gold and Silver line outside would enter at 9am and General Entry would enter after we all did.
    That's too bad that they gave everyone wrong information outside, but I'm sorry to say I'm not that surprised. There were lots of people with "staff" shirts who didn't know anything and would say whatever they thought you wanted to hear. Some of that arose because they basically pulled CMs from the resort, sent them to the convention center, put "staff" shirts on them and left them there without giving them any information. But to me, "I don't know" is better than giving someone a wrong answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    this kind of goes to one point I made in my full text (not what you quoted) - was that if there are specific things you must attend - you have to commit a lot more time. I was not prepared - you were - but its exactly what I was saying. 5 hours early - so 4 in the morning.
    The panel started at 10:30, so we got in line shortly after 5. And yes, it's really a matter of how badly you wanted to do something. I had some friends who did wait in line overnight for the live action panel, because it meant that much to them. I took the risk that coming at 5am was enough time for me to just get into the room, but I was prepared that there was a possibility I could have miscalculated and would not make it into the panel. The regular queue was probably about 3/4 full when I got in line, and the guaranteed seating queue was full by a little after 6. They did have a standby line after that, but they made it very clear that there was no guarantee people in standby would make it in. I had friends in standby who did make it into the panel, but I don't know if everyone did. I ended up talking to a stranger on Friday who was in standby for the animation panel but didn't get in because it filled up before they got to him.

    There were a number of panels and other things I would have wanted to do, but they would have possibly jeopardized my chances of getting into the animation panel and other things I really wanted to do, so I made my choices. And it's all guesswork. For me, it was important to get into the animation and live action panels, so I gave up other stuff to be able to do that. There were two products in the Dream Store that I really wanted, but I didn't want them more than going to those panels, so I didn't attempt the Dream Store until Saturday afternoon. Luckily, I got the second-to-last of one of the items that I wanted, but I knew there was a chance I wouldn't get either by waiting that long.


    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    I thought for sure the Disneyland exhibit would be shorter by Sunday afternoon because most had seen it. I was wrong.
    Yeah, I was surprised that the line was still so long, but then I realized that a lot of people had spent Friday and Saturday in line waiting for the big panels and so wouldn't necessarily have had a lot of time to do the stuff on the show floor. And every day, there were people who were only attending for that day, so all of those new people were having their first opportunity to do everything.


    Quote Originally Posted by olegc View Post
    I don't expect everyone to agree with me - but I also don't expect people to use their experience and somehow state I did something not well. It just happened.

    If that's intended as a shot at me, I'm going to pretend I didn't see it. I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to have a civil disagreement, so I'm going to proceed as such. I think that newbies and returning attendees alike get caught up in the madness, and it's always a fluid, changing situation when you're trying to figure out how much time is enough time to wait. Do I regret not waiting overnight for the live action panel? Not really. I'm glad my friends got a really good view of the stage for having stayed overnight, but I'm not sure the trade-off would have been worth it for me. Do I regret waiting 5 hours for that panel? I'm still sore from sitting on the concrete ground as much as I did over the past three days, but it was definitely worth it to have been in the live action panel for me. There were some panels I would have liked to have seen, and even with some of the snafus that arose over the weekend, I still had a good time. YMMV. But like with any convention, the tricky part is always about how badly you want to see/do something vs. how long you're willing to wait for it.

  15. By Toocherie

    I was at a booth a lot of Friday and Saturday and elected not to go in on Sunday at all -- but based on discussions with friends I think the observation that you had to choose a big panel and just concentrate on getting into that--no matter how long you had to wait--was the way to go. The only thing that I really wanted to see (and was the only panel I saw) was the "Once" presentation on Saturday. Luckily, while I was at the booth some other friends took my ticket and got me a Stage Pass when they got theirs. However, there was still a lot of waiting in line--when I went upstairs to the third floor to get in line it actually went outside to the roof, because they were late seating the Toy Story panel and there was no place to put the Once line. After the Toy Story panel was moved in we came inside to line up, but because they were already running late, the 6 p.m. Once panel didn't start seating until about 6:15 and I believe it started around 6:45. Not a huge problem OTHER THAN they told us at 5:15 that we were going to be seating at 5:30 so I chose not to go to the ladies' room. Luckily there were no accidents (TMI) but being on a scooter trying to get to a bathroom that wasn't jammed and/or an elevator to go down to a lower floor to find an available restroom was crazy. They really needed a staff person at the elevators to monitor that situation.

    The other thing that happened to my friends (and I don't remember which presentation) is that originally they were lined up inside the convention center for a panel, and then at some point the staff moved the line outside the convention center. Ok, not a big deal EXCEPT when the staff went to bring the line back inside they insisted you had to show your admission media again--now remember--the "stage pass instructions" specifically said that one person in your party could take the party's passes and go get stage passes--and that is what had happened with my friends. Someone else in their party (who was not going to the panel they were lined up for) had taken their admission media to get everyone a stage pass for something later while they were still in the convention center, then the staff moved them outside and the STAFF WOULD NOT LET THEM BACK IN. One friend had taken a picture of her ticket on her phone and that wouldn't even suffice. It was insane. They asked to see a supervisor and they were told that that the supervisors were "busy" and didn't have time to come and resolve the issue. I guess the friend with the passes finally came to the door (in response to texts) and they were allowed back in but it was a complete stupid situation that was caused by the staff. And, at the same time, apparently a 10-year old kid had somehow gotten separated from his parents (who were in the part of the line which was still inside) and the same jerky staff member basically told the kid to go to the back of the line and "maybe" he would be able to join his family later. Seriously, I would have been filming all of this because whoever the staff member was needs some lessons in customer service and liability issues.

  16. By Toocherie

    The other thing I'm thinking--is that there needs to be a ticket level between "general" and the $2000 Sorcerer package. Either a package where you can pre-select one "big" panel a day (or even one for the entire convention would help), or get a fastpass for the stores/exhibits in advance or something. Because someone I know got the Sorcerer package and of course she had a "wonderful" time because she got into every panel she wanted to see (as long as no time conflicts) and the stores and exhibits with little to no difficulty as opposed to many general admission ticket holders who didn't realize that they needed to have a game plan up front on what they were going to do and not do and even then their plan could go awry and they would not end up seeing nearly all that they wanted to see. The contrast of Facebook posts between my friend with the Sorcerer's package and everyone else are markedly different in content and tone. I would also think that would help the various vendors who were in the halls because while someone is waiting in a line for 5 hours they are not out on the floor looking at things to buy (and actually buying).

    Also, in prior Expos--didn't the panels go later? I remember one year that there was a presentation with Dick Van Dyke it happened at around 9 p.m.? So I'm wondering why the panels and floor were scheduled to end/close earlier (I think the floor closed at 7 p.m.?) Some panels ended up going later because they were running late but I think all panels were scheduled originally to be done by 7 p.m. too. Some of the food vendors closed at 4 p.m. (a friend tried to buy a bottle of water at 4:05 from one vendor and was told they were "closed").

    And, I know that the Broadway panel was given twice, I'm wondering why they couldn't use an extra hour or two at the end of the day to repeat some of the more popular panels? (Yes, I know it would cost money and for some the excitement of "announcements" would be lost.) I can't imagine they would have had to pay Johnny Depp more (if they paid him at all) to walk out a third time onto a stage. But definitely the parks and resorts presentations wouldn't be that hard to give again as an example.

  17. By olegc

    I agree on the pre-select. They may not be able to do that with Hall D23 panels - but others for sure. I wonder, though, do they not want to lock out folks and then end of having empty seats if pre-ticketed attendees for panels don't make it. Though I am sure there is a way.

    I think the DvD show last time just started late for a number of reasons -and they sang A LOT of songs - so it ran long as well. I don't recall it being scheduled for 9pm.

  18. By cstephens

    Quote Originally Posted by Toocherie View Post
    Also, in prior Expos--didn't the panels go later? I remember one year that there was a presentation with Dick Van Dyke it happened at around 9 p.m.?

    They had some events that went later than the show floor hours. The Dick Van Dyke event was a show, I believe, with the acapella (I think) group that he sometimes performs with. The Broadway show last year was in the evening as well, as was the Alan Menken/Richard Sherman show. I was disappointed that they had the Broadway shows during the day this year. I was glad to have seen it last year but wasn't willing to give up time at the Expo during the day to see a portion of it again.

  19. By tea4two

    Feeling dumb here, but what was the "underground queue" to get onto the show floor? We waited outside each day, although on Sunday, D23 CMs finally allowed some of us to queue inside the arena while waiting to enter.

  20. By olegc

    Quote Originally Posted by tea4two View Post
    Feeling dumb here, but what was the "underground queue" to get onto the show floor? We waited outside each day, although on Sunday, D23 CMs finally allowed some of us to queue inside the arena while waiting to enter.

    If u arrived to line up before 7am they put u in hall e which was under hall D23. Used for afternoon lineups too

  21. By tea4two

    Ah! Thank you for the clarification.

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