Friday, June 28, 2013

D23 Expo Parks and Resorts Presentation of WDI Projects Cancelled

This surely will be a very bad news for Disney fans who were highly awaiting Tom Staggs presentation of Disney parks projects but according to Imagineer Dave Fisher - Producer for the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts D23 Expo Pavilion - in a Mice Age article posted today, there will be no announcements of upcoming WDI projects at the D23 Expo this August.

Instead WDI who is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year will organize several panels with "Disney Legends and the creative minds of today and tomorrow to celebrate this momentous occasion". And the highly popular Parks and Resorts pavillion will also be dedicated to Walt DisneyImagineering 60th Anniversary with "Imagineers on hand, demonstrations of some of our core disciplines, the technologies and techniques we use in our work… Plus we will be showcasing several pieces from our Art Library, many of them rarely seen outside the walls of Walt Disney Imagineering" says Dave Fisher.

All this looks pretty good and Dave reveals more in the Mice Age article HERE, but what is the reason why the Tom Staggs presentation of future projects has been cancelled? It sounds really surprising considering the many projects we know WDI is working on - Avatar Land, Star Wars Land, WDS Ratatouille ride, Monsters Inc land, Shanghaî Disneyland, etc...

Well, from what i've been told the Avatar project is not yet finalized and any designs about it are so classified that no Imagineer not working on the project is allowed in the Avatar design room, the Star Wars land project is not ready yet to be presented as well as anything about Shanghaî Disneyland until everything about SDL will be approved by the Chinese as Disney is afraid that any bad comments could make the Chinese asking for major changes in the project. With the impossibility to announce or release more infos on these three major projects there was not a lot of major things to be announced, at least for the U.S parks as the Ratatouille ride already officially announced is for Disneyland Paris.

Fans surely will be upset but even if this is surely disappointing all these projects if not announced at D23 Expo will have an official announcement anyway, so we just need to be a bit more patient... In the meantime jump to Mice Age to read the full Dave Ficher answers to Mice Age questions as there is more in the interview that will surely interest you.

That said, now that we know what will NOT happen, may be you want to know a bit more of what WILL happen, and this press release will answer the question:

"D23 Expo guests will get an up-close look at an eclectic array of Imagineering’s creative minds – ride engineers, model builders, pre-visualization artists, special effects designers, inventors, and show animators. You’ll also have the chance to glimpse the “workspaces” of several project teams from around Disney’s global portfolio of parks and resorts.

And for the first time at the D23 Expo, Walt Disney Imagineering will be showcasing some of its most historical and revered concept art from its Art Library, including Herb Ryman’s original drawing of Disneyland park. In the Disney Parks pavilion, D23 Expo guests will have the chance to explore Mickey’s of Glendale, an outlet of Walt Disney Imagineering’s employee-only store, to shop for unique souvenirs and collectibles and Walt Disney Imagineering merchandise not available anywhere else.

D23 Expo attendees will also be able to attend 12 unique presentations and panel discussions that will take fans on the incredible journey behind the latest Disney resorts, attractions, and entertainment including:

The Art and Artistry of Aulani – Imagineers Joe Rohde and Jeanette Lomboy will share the authentic tapestry of art and stories found at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa.

Mayhem, Mischief, and Monkeys: The Magic of Mystic Manor – Join Imagineers Joe Lanzisero and others for the strange stories behind Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Manor, the newest and one of the most sophisticated attractions ever built.

Undiscovered Disneyland – Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter shares rare and never-before-seen footage of the early days of Disneyland park, from design and construction through opening day.

Broadcasts from Buena Vista Street – Enjoy the latest “soundtrack” from Buena Vista Street, featuring a live performance of Scary Symphony from radio station KBVS and a panel discussion led by Imagineers.

Disney Ambassadors – Join current Disney Parks Ambassadors from around the world as they discuss this renowned program and share insights about its rich heritage, current outreach efforts, and the importance of sharing Disney goodwill.

Voices of the Disney Parks – Back by popular demand, this panel of famous Disney voices will gather for an encore panel discussion, including recreations of some unforgettable Disney Parks sayings.

Charles Phoenix Presents – Noted humorist and self-proclaimed “retro daddy” Charles Phoenix shares some of his favorite images from around Disney, featuring classic kitsch, clashing color schemes, and hairdos that truly defy gravity.

Disney’s D23 Expo is August 9-11 in Anaheim and tickets are now on sale. On Sunday, August 11, there will be a full day dedicated to the celebration of Walt Disney Imagineering’s 60th anniversary. The presentations in the 2,000-seat Stage 23 Theater with current and former Imagineers will explore a wide range of topics from working with Walt Disney himself, to the exploration of creativity, innovation, and humor in the parks, to a lively discussion of what it’s like to lead one of the world’s most creative organizations." Picture: copyright Disney


Matt said...

God I wish I could go to this!!!

Anonymous said...

I think this is a bluff. There will be a major announcement.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

That's a huge disappointment!

WDI really needed to announce something big to show that they are at least trying to keep up with Universal, especially in Florida.

Instead they will just show how they used to be great...

Anonymous said...

I agree that there is a strong possibility of this being a bluff (I hope so). However, there is no shortage of hubris at WDI. I have no doubt that they will take every opportunity they can to talk how great that they THINK they are, particularly if the likes of Baxter or some of the other Eisner era "con artists" (get it ;) )are there to pat themselves on the back.

Anonymous said...

After reading this, I believe I've completely lost interest in attending the event this time.

Anonymous said...

I am so disappointed in this news, the only reason for attending was to be apart of something speacial and at least give the fans a little something. instead they will wait 3 weeks after the Expo and announce something major the same way they did for Avatarland. They have a venue for these announceents and yet they choose to let their fans down!

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I'm sorry Anonymous, but I disagree, I think that Tony Baxter and many other Eisner era imagineers are great imagineers and artists.

Just look at the many great attractions they have built.

darthmaz314 said...

Great blog and great article. I recently posted on my blog that I expected an announcement about the rumored Star Wars Land at D23. I wonder if the other commenters are right and it is a bluff. I will be adding your blog to my blog reading list (just building it.)

If you have a chance, check out my blog at:

I publish Disney posts but not least for now!