Disney kicked off their D23 Expo this evening with an advance sneak peek for the media. A small group of press from around the world gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center tonight for an advance tour of the Disney Parks and Resorts pavilion. Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts Tom Staggs welcomed the group with opening remarks, while Imagineers, cast members and Executives talked-up the exciting new attractions and technology coming soon.
Guests to “The Carousel of Projects” pavilion are first ushered into a standing screening room. Vintage clips from the Disney parks play over sound bites and music from Disney Parks’ rich history. But before you can get too nostalgic, curtains part and you’re lead into the future.
Looming large at the presentation was the Carsland expansion at Disney California Adventure. A life-size model of Red the fire truck was on hand for photos and to show off some really great animated eye effects. Close by was one of the ride vehicles to be used in the Radiator Springs Racers. Imagineer Jim Kearns was available and eager to talk about all the details that went into each new attraction of the massive expansion. One small projection room was dedicated to showing the current state of construction on the new land currently in progress. From the looks of it, Radiator Springs Racers will not only be the show piece for Carsland but a rather impressive and elaborately detailed E-ticket attraction for the entire park. Here’s some fun facts we learned…
- The ride vehicles are not supposed to be Lightning McQueen.
- Riders will race against other riders in different cars with slightly different outcomes.
- There are two different body styles for the ride vehicles with 4 different color schemes.
- The ride starts out as a leisurely drive through Radiator Springs before entering a show building with lots of character interactions.
But it wasn’t all about the cars. There were lots of images of the Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion. Most impressive was the highly detailed scale model of the new and improved Fantasyland. It looks enormous and impressive when viewed in relative space. If all of these proposed projects actually make it to reality, it will rival Disneyland’s charming but small version. There was also a scale model of the new Buena Vista street and Carthay Circle Theater coming to Disney California Adventure. Add to that The Disney Cruise line, the new Aulani Resort in Hawaii and some pretty fascinating technology along the lines of the living character initiative and you’ve got one great pavilion. It’s a must-see if you’re here for the expo!
The only thing you won’t see at the presentation that we were most fortunate to experience was the mini Monte Cristo finger sandwiches that were served as an appetizer. In an evening of memorable presentations, those little guys were stand-outs.
Click here to view a ton of images from the media preview event.