Countdown to the 2011 D23 Expo: Closing Day

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer

With the 2011 D23 Expo happening next weekend (August 19 to 21) at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, we present the last of our "Countdown to D23" series, with a preview of the major presentations scheduled for final day of the convention, Sunday, August 21. While there are only two arena events scheduled for Sunday, there are several interesting panels slated for the smaller Stage 23.

Imagineering the Dream and the Fantasy

Stage 23, 9:00 – 9:45 a.m.

Disney Cruise Line fans—especially those who have yet to sail on the new Disney Dream—will enjoy this presentation by Imagineers Joe Lanzisero and Bob Zalk. The pair will discuss the design of the Disney Dream, which launched earlier this year, and the Disney Fantasy, scheduled to set sail in 2012. It would be interesting if Lanzisero and Zalk discuss whether Imagineering applied lessons learned from the construction of the Dream to improve the design of the Fantasy, and how recent changes in the cruise line industry—with a trend towards bigger ships, more amenities (shopping malls, rock climbing walls, water slides, and so on), and an emphasis on high-end dining—have influenced Disney's plans for its newest ship.

Marvel: The House of Ideas

Arena, 10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

Marvel's Chief Creative Officer (and former editor-in-chief) Joe Quesada hosts this presentation, which might be the first real introduction some Disney fans have to the Marvel universe. Quesada will provide a historical overview of Marvel—from its origins as Timely Publications in 1939, all the way through its acquisition by Disney in 2009, to modern-day successes like Captain America—as well as a look ahead to future plans and projects.

Disney says that the presentation will include "interactive Q&A segments," but has given no hints if anyone will join Quesada on stage. Marvel’s President of Production Kevin Feige is scheduled to participate in Saturday's Walt Disney Studios panel, where he is expected to preview The Avengers—hopefully the folks at the House of Ideas are keeping a few surprises in store for Sunday's presentation.

The Art of Brave

Stage 23, 11:30 a.m.  – 12:30 p.m.

If you've been enchanted by the stunning images Disney has released from the upcoming animated feature Brave (formerly The Bear and the Bow), this is your opportunity to meet two of the Pixar artists working on the film. According to the panel description, Production Designer Steve Pilcher and Shading Art Director Tia Kratter will "uncover the secrets behind Pixar's detailed process." I'm just hoping to find out how animators created Merida's amazing hair.

Radiator Springs Reality

Stage 23, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Stage 23 may not be large enough to hold the crowd seeking to hear John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios; Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering), Roger Gould (Creative Director of Theme Parks), and Disney Imagineers give a sneak peek of Cars Land, the new 12-acre addition to Disney California Adventure. While an enormous scale model of the Cadillac Range was on display during the 2009 D23 Expo and much of the DCA construction site is visible to anyone visiting that park, fans can't seem to get enough detail about the new land and its new rides, stores, and restaurants.

Disney Channel

Arena, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

While Disney has announced a series of celebrity appearances by stars of Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior productions throughout the Expo, the Disney Channel's Arena presentation looks to be completely centered around the hit show Shake it Up. The 90-minute production is expected to include a live dance performance by the show's cast, followed by a question-and-answer session, a Disney Consumer Products commercial (cleverly disguised as a back-to-school fashion show), and a screening of an upcoming episode of the show. If that won't provide your Shake it Up fix, the stars of the show will also be outside the Arena from 1:30 to 2:30 for a photo opportunity, and will be back at the Radio Disney booth from 4:00 to 6:00 for a meet-and-greet session.

Purchase Expo tickets

Tickets are still available for the 2011 D23 Expo via the event website. One-day tickets are available, and D23 members receive a discount on admission. The early discount period is now over, and advance purchase tickets cost the same as you'll pay at the event, but by purchasing in advance you'll save time at the Expo, and avoid the possibility that the day(s) you want to visit might sell out.

Follow MousePlanet for D23 Expo updates

Expo organizers will likely keep announcing new events, screenings, artist signings and presentations for the 2011 D23 Expo right up until the doors open Friday morning. To help our readers who are attending the Expo, we've set up a special Twitter account just for the show. Follow @ on Twitter for live updates, announcements and contests throughout D23 weekend. MousePlanet will provide coverage of the event, and will once again have a booth in the Collectors Forum.

While it won't help you plan for this upcoming Expo, the 2009 Guide Book is still available online, and first-time visitors might find the schedules and maps helpful in understanding the scope of the Expo.

Disney has also launched a mobile event site for D23 attendees. The site includes maps of the show floor, lets you create a personal schedule, and promises live updates. Free registration is required.

Visit the MousePlanet LOUNGE during the Expo

The MousePlanet LOUNGE is the place to come mix and mingle with MousePlanet readers and staff, and meet your fellow MousePad members and Community Leaders.

Kick up your feet and relax in our comfortable LOUNGE, check your e-mail, browse MousePad, and even print your boarding passes for the flight home. While you're there, be sure to pick up your MousePlanet and MouseAdventure buttons and decals.

Our Prize Squad will wander the exhibit floor throughout the Expo looking for readers wearing MousePlanet buttons, hats or stickers—show your MousePlanet style, and you could win fantastic prizes from our MousePlanet sponsors!

Mouse Tales author and MousePlanet columnist David Koenig will be at the MousePlanet LOUNGE on Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21 to meet readers and sign copies of his books (books will be available to purchase at the event, or you can bring your own copies).

MousePlanet columnist J. Jeff Kober will be at the MousePlanet LOUNGE on Friday, August 19 to meet readers and sign copies of his book, The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney (books will be available to purchase at the event, or you can bring your own copies).

We will once again offer our popular Camera Check service, where you can safely leave your electronics before you head into any presentations where cameras and phones may be prohibited.

MouseAdventure players, be sure to stop by the booth each day for a new challenge. Bring your "A" game, and you can win cool MouseAdventure prizes! Walt Disney World players, bring your World Explorers sash and receive a special MouseAdventure gift.