by: Chris Eaton
The Comic Con of Disney?
Well, D23 has come and gone. The big deal convention that is thrown by Disney for their fan club, aptly named: D23. This is their second go at the convention, the first one happened back in the summer of 09. That show came out of no where to many, and it featured a metric ton of news and surprises that, at the time, rivaled the previous months Comic Con. At that show, projects like Pirates 4, Lone Ranger, Cars 2, the new Star Tours and much more where announced with footage shown. All in all, the show seemed to be a big success. For their 2011 show, things were different, a lot had been done in two years and expectations where heightened As a avid convention goer myself, I expected great things. The reality of it though, not so great.
Well, I could begin with my arrival. The show is held at the Anaheim Convention Center. A great venue that’s located about ten minutes from my house. Knowing the convention means and ways, I arrived around 830 in the am to try to get in line. Upon my arrival, I saw a massive line snaked around the front of the arena and convention center. Now I hadn’t picked up my passes yet, and unfortunately, the dude at the door wouldn’t let me grab them from will call. I had to line up in what I found to be the General Admission line. It here I learned that I could have showed up at 4 am and well, I wasn’t getting into the thing I had hoped to see. The Disney Studio panel. Turns out that D23 members got to go in first. Now, these people pay to be part of the club, and this is part of the perk. I get that. But when a convention center has a mass of doors and your the only show there, don’t snake everyone in through one set. Myself and our editor George didn’t get inside till a little after ten. That, is sloppy.
Now, nit picking aside about line failure and not getting into a panel, lets talk the show it’s self. D23 sells it’s self as the Ultimate Disney Fan Event. They even hold the event across the street from Disneyland. They have the whole convention center to themselves. They have the Disney Channel, the studio, theme parks, Marvel, Disney XD, ABC and god knows how many other things. You’d expect them to have all of this stuff on display? No?
Well, that’s the thing. A lot of this stuff wasn’t there. This years show took up about 3/4th of the convention center, yet, there was SPACE to be had. Sure, there was pops on display. A Pirates 4 pop display, a silent auction of Disney memorabilia, There was a Phineas and Ferb display, but it was the same one that was at Comic Con. Then you had the Carousel of Projects. A room that showed the evolution of Disneyland and World through out the years. This lead to a back room area that show cased the new rides and attractions come to various Disney parks across the globe. An interactive area showcasing some upcoming Disney games. A store to buy some merch. A kids area, some random booths and an area for dealers. It seems like a lot, but to be honest, George and I walked the floor in under an hour.
Here’s the thing. Disney made a big stink about not having Marvel Studios at Comic Con to promote the Avengers. They also didn’t have their own studio there to pimp stuff as well. They saved everything for this show. Thing was, you’d figure that there would be some floor promotion as well. There wasn’t any. No Marvel booth, a bit of a shock if you ask me. Nothing really from Disney Studios either. The Disney XD and Disney Channel stuff seemed light at best. Sure, there were some panels, and an art gallery upstairs, but lets be honest here. D23 is suppose to be this UBER Disney convention. Instead, it looked a lot like your average Wizard World show. That’s not a knock on WW by any means, but besides their Chicago show, their conventions aren’t that big. With a company like Disney, who has millions of fans and material up the ass, this was a limp dick of a presentation.
Now you might say “Hey, don’t bitch you go in free”. I’ll say nay to that. The Realmcast did not attend this convention under the guise of press. We paid. Tickets, as we’re non D23 members at the point we bought them, were close to $50 bucks a pop. Even the cheaper tickets still were well above $30. Paying that much for a show like this kinda felt like we got shived a little. Look, I complain because, following the Comic Con noise and the push Disney made this event out to be, I was expecting some sort of extravaganza. This it wasn’t. Now I’m not a die hard Disney fan, and I know that many of the people attending are, even by those standards this show has to be a bit of a let down.
Now, the I complain about execution and content, but the show still had it’s merritts. The people that were attending were friendly as can be. The staff was remarkable helpful, and there were still some cool things to see. Check out our photo gallery to see what I mean. Oh, and as for missing that panel, in the end, it seems like we didn’t miss much. Sure, there were celebs there, and footage was shows for Brave, and image for Monsters University, and the long sought Avengers footage, but from what I gathered from people who attended, it was.. Ok at best. Apparently, Comic Con still knows what they’re doing and do it best.
Here’s the thing. I complain because I care. I would expect Disney, who is apparently moving into the convention circuit, wants this show to be a big deal. They want people from around the world to attend and make it something comparable to Comic Con. They have the resources to do so. They have a WHOLE convention center to themselves, yet, they dropped the ball. I hope, given that Saturday was sold out (mostly due to the studio panel) that they evolve from here. It’s only their second year, but come on, they’re Disney! They should already know better. There’s always next year I guess.
Hopefully Power-Con is far more awesome than this show was.[Album not found]