D23 Expo 2017

Scott and I went to D23 for the first time this July courtesy of Amy Mebberson and James Silvani’s fantastic booth of officially-licensed Disney artwork. Although I was at the booth selling through most of the show, I saw plenty of the floor, and experienced the panels and media events I couldn’t miss. I sold out of Frozen single issues and 10 copies of the first Frozen trade collection a Joe Books editor graciously brought me from Toronto. I met a lot of attendees who weren’t aware a Frozen comic existed but were happy to pick some out now that they knew.

The Media Event

I only attended one of these, which was held on the first night we were there. Whoopi Goldberg interviewed a string of guests about the four musicals made while Walt Disney was still alive, along with some additional questions about The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, because Leslie Ann Warren was there so why not? It was fun to see Leonard Maltin discussing Disney history in person, but even better to see Joyce Bulifant come onstage and tell stories about The Happiest Millionaire’s “Bye-Yum-Pum-Pum” number and traveling to Europe with Helen Hayes. I was in a stadium full of people who have heard of Summer Magic and seemed to genuinely like it, and that in itself was worth waiting in line for.

The Panel

I’ve always been fascinated by the Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough in Disneyland’s castle. The version I was familiar with was open in the 1980s and featured scenes from the movie that were three-dimensional, much like the windows at the Emporium. I loved the final scene, a pair of spinning dolls on a ballroom floor with an effect that changed Aurora’s dress from pink to blue and back again. It was a dark, cool place to duck into that most people seemed to overlook.

The version I knew is preserved by Yesterland.

This version was closed, and the next time it re-opened it was changed to a series of two-dimensional effects. I didn’t know the reason for the change until I went to Chris Merritt’s panel and learned about the attraction’s original vision. I can’t wait to pick up his book on Knott’s Berry Farm!

The Conclusion

I’m hooked. One way or another I will find a way to get to future D23 Expos. It looks like I’m not done with Disney Publishing so I hope there will be plenty of good reasons to be there.

Author of Strawberry Shortcake: Return of the Purple Pie Man, Disney’s Frozen Comic Collection, Transformers: Robots in Disguise Animated and Littlest Pet Shop: Open for Business. She’s written for IDW Publishing, Hasbro, Lion Forge, American Greetings and Scholastic, and her work has been discussed in Comics Beat and The Washington Post. Subscribe to the newsletter

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