The 2017 D23 Expo delivered everything you would expect. From cosplay and panels to celebrity sightings and free swag, there was as much wonderfully scheduled things to do as there were surprises around every corner!
Here are just a few of my favorite cosplays I ran into at the Expo. CLICK HERE for my top ten list.
There was also chances to meet artists and get prints signed. We ran into Heather Theurer signing some prints of her stunningly realistic Disney character artwork.
There were also amazing panels. I was able to get into my two top choices. The first was honoring the 50th Anniversary of Pirates of the Caribbean and second was a panel on women in animation feating the new book by Mindy Johnson, Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation. I was surprised of how emotional I was during the panel. I ended up crying multiple times as they talked about only half of the story of animation being told. I own dozens of books on animation and they all feature men. It was the first time that realization truly hit me.
There was also plenty of opportunities to see some of the professional animators. I first went to a panel with Britney Lee in 2011 and ever since have been following her work religiously. She has influenced the entire genre of paper art and you can see tons of artists imitating her style. Britney Lee, Lorelay Bove, and Naysa Bove did a talk about character design that was just amazing. These ladies really shaped the look and feel of modern animated masterpieces like Frozen, Wreck-it Ralph, Tangled, and Moana.
I also sat in a Q&A and drawing demo with Jay Shuster. He has worked on movies such as Cars, Wall-E, The Incredibles, and more. He has worked for Pixar for more than a decade now which is almost unheard of in the animation industry.
I also gave out some of my own swag at the Expo. I handed out some free prints of my fairy tale book artwork.
One of the best parts of the Expo is getting to see old friends and meeting people who love Disney as much as you do. All three of us worked at Walt Disney World in marketing!
You also might get a chance to meet one of your idols! I finally got a picture with the legendary Bob Gurr.
The main reason I made the trek to the Expo this year was to see my artwork on display as a finalist in the Design Challenge. The display was stunning and was right across from the Archives exhibit. My work celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
And of course there was amazing shopping and all sorts of free giveaways. Along with the Alice in Wonderland screen print I also picked up these few things.
If you plan to attend the D23 Expo in 2018 be sure to plan what you want to see and be ready to go with the flow. I found many people were unprepared for the amount of lines and waiting. Waiting in lines is the majority of your time and you should BE PREPARED (pun intended)!