Monday, July 17, 2017

Long lines and marvelous costumes at Disney's D23 Expo 2017...

I have a confession to make, I'm not a fan of huge crowds and I'm not that keen on expos and conventions (I think because I used to man stands at busy exhibition events in soul-destroying indoor convention centres when I used to work in the magazine industry). I'm also not one who likes to wait for hours in queues and it's probably why I've never quite made it to San Diego Comic-Con either.

Disney's biennial D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center
Disney D23 Expo 2017
However, this past Friday I did make it to Disney's latest D23 Expo in Anaheim, California for the third time to see what surprises the entertainment giant has coming our way in the next few months and years.
Cinderella's carriage
Cinderella carriage D23 Expo 2017
We arrived mid-morning to find that some people had been waiting to get in for over two hours in the sun and heat, which would have killed me. Fortunately we didn't wait that long to get inside.

Regular visitors to this blog will know that I love seeing original costumes and props up close, and the D23 Expo never disappoints in that (wardrobe) department.

Amazing fairytale gowns on display from the Walt Disney Archives
Fantastical Fashions costume exhibit D23 Expo
This time around they were showcasing stunning gowns and costumes from live-action films like Enchanted, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and 102 Dalmatians.
Fantastical Fashions costume exhibit D23 Expo 2017
I'd seen most of these glamorous outfits on display at previous exhibits, but I always love seeing costumes out of reflective display case, and why keep these works of art locked up in some vault gathering dust when you can show off some cinematic history.

Thor: Ragnarok movie costume exhibit
Thor Ragnarok movie costumes D23 Expo
In addition to movie classics, there were also plenty of costumes from forthcoming films, like Marvel Studios Thor: Ragnarok (out in November) and Black Panther (released next February 2018).

Black Panther movie costume exhibit
Black Panther movie costumes D23 Expo
I'm a huge Marvel Comics fan, so it's always a thrill to see original costumes and props for my favourite characters brought to life, but the Marvel booth was always so crowded that it proved hard to get to see them without bumping into people.

If you are also a fan, be sure to check out all these cosmic Thor: Ragnarok movie costumes and these supercool African tribal-influenced Black Panther movie costumes on display.

Star Wars costumes, models and props on display
Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet props D23 Expo
There was also a huge pirates retrospective exhibit featuring costumes, props and memorabilia from films, TV and Disney Parks, but as I'm not a fan of pirates (or cowboys for that matter), I didn't want to waste hours waiting for something that I don't enjoy that much (and I've seen my share of Pirates of the Caribbean costumes and props).
Star Wars First Order Leiutenant uniform D23 Expo
I did meander into the Star Wars exhibit, which was showing off Disney's plans to integrate the outer space franchise into their theme parks.
Star Wars Millennium Falcon model D23
There were some cool costumes, props and models display, but I couldn't tell whether they were screen-used originals, or if they had been specially made replicas for use in the parks. they were still pretty cool to see nonetheless.
Star Wars musical instrument props D23
Again there were huge lines to get into this exhibit, unless you just wanted to look at the items on display and then you could just wander in.
Star Wars Ithorian hammerhead D23 Expo
In fact there seemed to be a line for everything - to get in, to buy a cup of coffee or food, to get a ticket for an event later in the day (which you'd also with in line for), lining up for a free poster or an autograph, to me that's my own personal hell and I'd rather spend my time doing something else.

Star Wars Landspeeder replica welcoming crowds to the D23 Expo 2017
Star Wars replica Landspeeder D23 Expo
Regardless of my own foibles, people seemed to be enjoying themselves and it was like a Disney, Marvel and Star Wars feeding frenzy for limited-edition products, with people buying bags and bags of merchandise.

I know some people think I didn't really experience the expo properly (and the exciting news seemed to be coming thick and fast throughout the weekend), but I got what I came for, glimpses of fabulous new and classic costumes, and that made me happy.

Maybe one day I'll stick around and wait a while, but I wouldn't count on it...

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