I’ve been a charter member of D23 since it started back in 2009. I’ve also been to all the D23 conventions. This year was the 4th installment. And this one was the best. Here is a day by day break down of the activities I attended.
DAY 1: I got to Hall E at 4:40am. There was a section for people wanting merchandise and a section for those waiting for the first D23 Arena show. A lot of people camped out overnight. They could line up at 10:30pm the night before. The area for merchandise was crowded. So I waited in the for the Lengends Show. At about 6am, my friend Ken W. Showed up. I met Ken and Sandra W. At the last D23 convention, waiting outside in line. They have been good friends ever since. At about 6:30am my friend Heather H. met us in line. She only got a 1 day pass. Then around 7:30, Ken’s cousin Chet S. met us in line. He came all the way from New York. The first thing he said to me was he was happy to meet, thee Jon Hale. They escorted the group upstairs at about 9:30am. They created a 7500 seat arena in Hall D of the convention Center. Among the group that became Disney Legends were Susan Lucci, Danny Elfman, and George Lucas. They all were grateful for the honor. We all thought George Lucas was the last one honored. But we got a surprise when the told us they also made Johnny Depp a Legend. The place went crazy. He was great in his speech.
After the panel, we walked the floor and started collecting the D23 trading cards. They gave a starter pack with each show booklet. They had a few locations in the convention center to get cards. The full set was 30 cards. They passed out new cards each day.
At about 4pm, Sandra, Ken, Chet and got ready to go over to Disneyland. A friend of a friend of Sandra, got us a reservation to eat at Club 33. This is a private club in Disneyland above New Orleans Square. You either have to have a membership or know someone that has one, to get you in. It was a treat. I can now knock off an item on my bucket list. A great end to Day one.
DAY 2: I got in line at 4:30am in Hall E to line up for the Marvel, Disney Studios and Lucasfilm Show. Ken got there at 5 and Chet just got in line with us at 6, right before our area was filled up. I saw my friend Amos in the standby line. But he was able to get in also.
For Marvel, actor Chris Evans came out to show a clip for the new Captain America movie coming out next year. Disney Studios plugged a bunch of new movies coming out. Including live action film versions of Jungle Book, Beauty and The Beast, and Pete’s Dragon among others. Some of the actors were also there from the various films.
Then the new cast and director of Star Wars: the Force Awakens took over the stage. The place went nuts. Especially when Harrison Ford came out. He was very humble and grateful for Star Wars starting his film career. He was also thankful to Disney for taking over the franchise. But there was one more surprise. Johnny Depp dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow came onto the stage to plug the latest Pirates movie: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He was great. He was totally in character as Jack. The rest of the day we got more cards and traded for a few more.
But then I got the Racing itch. So I went to Racers at 5:00pm. I was able to turn 5 laps. I’m now at 4263. I met Sandra, Ken and Chet there. Chet was able to get in the same car as me. He thought that was great. He is a true fan of what I’m doing.
Most of today was spent shopping. It took 1 hour and 49 minutes to get in the Mickeys of Glendale store. I got a couple hats and shirt. Besides seeing the Mickey Mouse Club panel, the rest of the day I took Selfies with cast members, walking the convention floor and trying to get the 5 trading cards I did not have. It came down to one missing card. I needed a Lauchpad card to get the Small World Hippo card I needed. Chet gave me his only Launchpad card and I got the Hippo card I needed to complete the 30 card set. I’m very thankful he did that for me.
I’m also very thankful the cast members allowed me to take photos with them. That was a big highlight of the Convention for me. I can’t wait for the next Convention in 2 years. Maybe I can get a Sorcerers pass for that one.
Now it’s back to Racers to race towards 5000 laps. I need 37 to reach 4300. You can now also follow the journey on Instagram. I’m on there as Racers5000. Some of my favorite photos are there.
Heather, Ken and me
In wall of charter D23 members
In Club 33 with Ken, Sandra and Chet
Waiting for Films panel with Chet and Ken
Teresa and Aleesa
Eddie and Marc
Cristian and Elise