At the 2013 D23 Expo, Walt Disney Imagineering will be celebrating its 60th anniversary with a series of panel discussions and presentations and an elaborate show floor presence, bringing fans a “behind the magic” look at classic and recent projects.
But fans expecting a big Disney Parks and Resorts presentation in the D23 Arena will be surprised to learn there will not be one this year, replaced by this series of smaller, more in-depth looks at specific projects in lieu of an overview of what’s to come.
Update – In 2011, the Disney Parks presentation in the D23 Arena took place beginning at 3:30pm on the first day of the event. This year, it’s been announced a screening of Disney’s film “Planes” will be offered in that time slot and location, beginning at 3pm, featuring “special guests.”
When asked about the change, D23’s Jeffrey Epstein explained the shift in their approach. “Based on guest feedback, we are doing more panels/presentations in the other venues, which will enable parks to focus on specific topics while also catering to an overall larger crowd over the three days,” said Epstein.
Splitting the theme park topics up between different smaller presentations instead of one big one in the Arena gives Disney a chance to spread the information and entertainment out across multiple audiences, according to Epstein. “As for ‘smaller’ — please keep in mind Stage 23, where many of these presentations are happening, is 2,000 seats, which means on Sunday alone, there’s a capacity of 10,000 — more than double the arena,” he said.
After the 2009 D23 Expo brought the huge announcements of Star Tours 2 and New Fantasyland (both now open), attendees left the Parks & Resorts presentation disappointed in 2011 when nothing major was revealed, short of a few updates to the Fantasyland project and the announcement of Fantasy Faire. So this time, in 2013, Disney is taking a different approach, offering closer, often one-on-one, access to Imagineers.
Throughout the Expo, August 9-11, the Disney Parks and Resorts booth on the floor of the Anaheim Convention Center will offer an up close look at an array of Imagineering’s creative minds – ride engineers, model builders, pre-visualization artists, special effects designers, inventors, and show animators – as they share the skills and talents behind Imagineering’s creative process. Guests will have the chance to glimpse at the “workspaces” of several project teams from around Disney’s global portfolio of parks and resorts, including a few clues into coming attractions along the way.