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Thread: Surviving the 2015 D23 Expo - straight talk from Expo veterans

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    Surviving the 2015 D23 Expo - straight talk from Expo veterans

    Surviving the 2015 D23 Expo - straight talk from Expo veterans by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix

    Tips together to help you get your money's worth

    Read it here!


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

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    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    I believe that the Charter Member lounge will be active again this year. Drinks and snacks are available at times throughout each day.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    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.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    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
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    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    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.
    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    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).

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    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?


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    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.
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    Search on hashtag #D23Expo

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


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    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    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.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    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.
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    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    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.
    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    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.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

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    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.
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    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.

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    CL--DLR Trip Planning and DVC Toocherie's Avatar
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    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.

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    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.
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  21. #20

    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.


  22. #21
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    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
    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

  23. #22

    Ah! Thank you for the clarification.


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