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Sunday, August 18, 2013

D23 Expo 2013: The Walt Disney Parks & Resorts - Journey Into Imagineering Pavilion

For the third D23 Expo in a row, my favorite pavilion belonged to the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts! This year to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Walt Disney Imagineering, they held an "Open House" of the Walt Disney Imagineering department. They even recreated the front of the original building at 1400 Flower Street.
They even gave you a Guest sticker like the one they give you when you are a guest at the actual Walt Disney Imagineering campus. The cool bonus about the sticker was that it also served as a return pass to allow you into the exit so you didn't have to wait through the queue again and watch the pre-show video.
The pre-show introduced the various departments of Imagineering
Then the doors magically opened to let us into the "Open House".
One of the first things to greet you was the collection of crates that had been sent here that were en route to Imagineering. Clearly they were carrying items from a galaxy far, far away and Artoo was also here to greet you. I tried to get Artoo to tell me more about some possible Star Wars attractions but he was pretty silent on the matter!
Right next to that was a cubicle set up with items that came from the moon of Pandora. This backpack was mighty heavy!
That backpack was just as heavy as this boot was! I cannot wait to hear and see more about Pandora!
A concept model of a Space Pavilion for EPCOT was recently discovered and put on display.
The Imagineers worked with science fiction writer Ray Bradbury on this idea that never came to be. But I have a feeling as no idea ever dies that this original concept helped with Mission:SPACE.
Next to the Space Pavilion concept was this concept for the Magic Kingdom created by Marc Davis, Western River Expedition. The thought was that since the Magic Kingdom was so close to the actual New Orleans that they did not think people would be interested in a New Orleans Square area or a Pirates of The Caribbean attraction. Western River Expedition was the western version of Pirates and I still have dreams of this concept coming to life one day. But for now we have this model of a show scene to enjoy.
This is a model of International Street, an addition to Main Street at Disneyland. Another idea that never came to life.
Imagineering showed off all of their various disciplines including their painting department. The color maps here are so impressive.
The audio animatronic department showed off a piece of history that may return to the world famous Haunted Mansion, the hatbox ghost. The story is that the head of the ghost would disappear and end up in the hatbox that he would he holding in his left hand and re-appear again where it should be. According to Disney legend the effect did not work the way it should or the technology did not exist yet to make the effect work. But from the looks of things, the hatbox ghost will find a home in the Haunted Mansion soon.
Marvel will be making its way onto the Disney Cruise Line and Captain America will be on hand to greet the children. Here he takes soem time from his busy schedule to meet some of us at the Expo!
There was also some play testing going on to test a new interactive experience. I, of course volunteered to tell my story.
I was awarded this juju for my storytelling skills. This juju is a high quality solid reward!
Then for an additional $5, you could take a quest to find other adventurers on the Expo floor.
The telegram gave me the clues of where to go. I was on the courage expo-dition and had to stick my hand in a box fileld with "live" creatures to find the courage juju!
My reward for my courage was this snake juju! I wish I had time to do all the quests and collect all the jujus! Hopefully this will make its way into the parks.
The model shop had highly detailed models of some of the ride vehicles out in the Disney parks such as this Journey to the Center of the Earth vehicle.
Also on display was Albert, the monkey audio animatronic figure from the newly opened Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Imagineering and Marvel are gearing up to bring us something "weird"! You got this poster for asking the info-neering booth to show you something "weird" and you got the poster. I noticed the AR symbol at the bottom and downloaded the Marvel AR app and placed it over the poster. A video began telling me to stay tuned for more information next month. It felt very mysterious and perhaps more "strange" than "weird"! Sorry bad joke!

This was not even everything in this pavilion! There was so much to see and do! My absolute favorite things were two things we could not take photos of. The Imagineering Art Library brought down to display the original Ryman pencil sketch of Disneyland and the Ellenshaw painting that showed Disneyland by day and with the use of black light, Disneyland at night. Stunning and historic pieces of art that were amazing to look at.

Once again the Theme Parks and Resorts has the best pavilion at the Expo and I cannot wait to see what they show us in 2015!

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