Shopping, Animation, and the Black Panther: Day One at D23 Expo 2017 – A Sorcerer’s Journey Pt. 4

Snow White wears glasses.

That wasn’t the only reveal at the Animation presentation, but it was one of many that happened the first day of D23 Expo 2017.  Friday was another exciting and fun-filled day.  One of the big perks of having the Sorcerer package is being able to get some sleep.  Those who wanted to make sure they got into their favorite panels or go shopping on the floor for those exclusive items had to sleep overnight downstairs in Hall E.  Some even camped out since the afternoon of the day before, but as a Sorcerer we just had to show up before 9am.  Of course the earlier you showed up the closer you were to the front of a very small line, so some did but I arrived about 7:30am or 8 each morning and was happy to do so.  If I wasn’t first, that was okay with me.

Bonus shopping time at the Disney Store pavilion? Yes, please!

Because of a problem the day before, Disney Store offered to open 15 minutes early for Sorcerer package guests and boy did I take advantage of it!  About half of us lined up for the Disney Store and half waited to go in to the Show Floor.  We were told with early access we were allowed to buy just two different items.  When I got in, I made a beeline for the items I wanted and then headed for the checkout.  The people at Disney Store were fast and got us out of there quickly, in time for me to get a wristband to meet Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman and director Ryan Coogler.  I then made a mad dash for the Mickey’s of Glendale Pin Store since that wasn’t open the day before.  Wise decision.

Being a big pin-addict I was chomping at the bit to see what they had.  They didn’t disappoint.  A line of “Disney Cats” and “Disney Horses” were available along with Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars pins.  The mystery pin collection for the Expo was the Pirates Pieces of Eight set – each one limited to 300!  There was also a series of character masks that upon reflection I should have purchased but there were so many it was already putting a hole in my budget.  Plus they had these rolling pin bags with a special limited edition pin that were very nice.  Finally, they had a series of Royal Windows for six different princesses where you could open up the front and see the princess’ castle behind it.  SUPER nice.  Except for the masks I got a little of each.

OMG, this was so good. Lobster, crab, and brie panini served with the best sweet potato fries

I decided to skip the Legends ceremony to go shopping.  My thought was nothing big would be announced and basically it was just a chance to honor some cool people.  Shopping, however, was a must – especially on the first day when the most stuff would be out there.  So instead I hit the two big stores, dropped off my bags in the hotel room, and had some lunch with my family.  They had a series of food trucks out in front which not only helped with traffic inside the convention building, but offered some nice options.  Emma got the Lobster, Crab, and Brie Panini with sweet potato fries – it was the best!  I had the Loaded Carnitas Fries – good but not as good as Emma’s.  And they had tons of other great options including pizza, burgers, bowls, and more.  Definitely food trucks are the way to go. They get busy so try to go at odd times.

About to step up to talk to Chadwick and Ryan about Black Panther

After lunch, I headed in and lined up for the Black Panther signing.  Black Panther was one of my favorite Marvel characters growing up and pretty much the only significant superhero of color.  I was excited, not only to meet Chadwick and Ryan, but for this movie to be made.  I got in line (and believe me there was a HUGE crowd even though only wristband people were guaranteed an autograph).  Thankfully, I was one of the first to go up and I had the chance to tell Chadwick how much it meant to me that he was playing this role.  If you didn’t already know, he played Jackie Robinson in 42 and that film resonated with me deeply.  Then I’m not sure why, but I extended my hand to him as I told him “thank you” for playing this part and he shook my hand and I think said, “thank you” back, but it was all a blur.  So cool. Ryan was equally gracious and said thank you to me and said that’s why they made these films.  Wow.

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Afterward I headed to the Walt Disney Animation Studios / Pixar Animation Presentation.  More wow.  I had never gone before.  I never wanted to wait three hours in line just to see something I’d hear about on the Internet about five minutes after it happened.  But it was so amazing!  First of all, I was running behind because of the signing.  When things are back-to-back you just have to go for it and I took a chance.  Because I’m a Sorcerer, I didn’t have to wait or anything.  I just walked right in and found the reserved spaces they had for us.  Sure I didn’t sit in the front row.  Instead I was in the 10th row – smack in the center of the entire hall!  When it started, just surprise after surprise after surprise.  But it wasn’t just the announcements of different films that made it special.  You can find that anywhere on the Internet.  It was the little moments of fun and laughter (like Josh Gad teasing Kristen Bell), the live performances (like when Benjamin Bratt came out and belted out “Remember Me” with Anthony Gonzalez), and the big moments (like when nearly every living princess came out on stage and welcomed the newest Disney princess – Vanellope Von Schweetz played by Sarah Silverman).  It was those moments that made it special and worth being there in person.  Oh, and the exclusive Coco promotional poster that was made just for us in attendance!

After the Animation presentation, I wandered the floor.  I had reserved a seat for Melodies in Walt’s Time and I’m sure it was spectacular, but I was so pooped I had dinner with the family and just got ready for the next day!  And another exciting day it was…

  • More on the Animation presentation to come!
  • Read our past A Sorcerer’s Journey stories including preparation for it, choosing the schedule, and our preview day

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2 thoughts on “Shopping, Animation, and the Black Panther: Day One at D23 Expo 2017 – A Sorcerer’s Journey Pt. 4

  1. Craig: This is SO very interesting, having experienced D23 as a regular attendee and not a Sorcerer. One question though: Why did you hit up the stores on Day #1 of the Expo when you already had access to the store on Preview Day the day before? Thanks!

    1. Great question, Josh! Preview Day did give us access to the stores, BUT we didn’t get a chance to shop at the pin store at MOG (which was closed). That was a big deal for me as a pin fan. Also, I thought they might have new stuff at Disney Store since it was the first official day, but they didn’t. There was a mix up on Preview Night and they allowed us to get in early to the Disney Store and get any two items we wanted, so I took advantage of the opportunity. Just those two stores took up the time I would have spent going to the Legends show. But I am SO glad I did! Please feel free to ask any other questions.

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