Disney’s 2013 D23 Expo Photo Blog “It’s What I LIVE For!”

The third biennial D23 Expo kicks off Friday, August 9th, and Adventures by Daddy was on hand for a sneak peek inside the Walt Disney Imagineering Disney Parks pavilion, as well as the Walt Disney Archives exhibit.  Continue reading for a detailed look inside these exciting experiences!  For all the news, press releases, and details about the 2013 D23 Expo, follow this link.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion

This year’s Parks and Resorts Pavilion is titled “Journey Into Imagineering,” celebrating the 60th anniversary of Walt Disney Imagineering.  As you approach the pavilion, the exterior is designed to mimic the famed 1401 Flower St., which is where the magic actually happens in Glendale, CA.

Journey Into Imagineering Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Pavilion


Once inside, you’re taken on a tour of Imagineering past, present and future, with displays featuring original concept art for Disneyland drawn by Disney Legend Herb Ryman (which unfortunately could not be photographed), concept model for the never-built Western River Expedition, a detailed look into the creation of Hong Kong Disneyland’s newly-opened Mystic Point, as well as a model of Disney Springs planned for Walt Disney World, early concept designs for Pandora/Avatar land coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and even a few teases of the possibility of the long-rumored Star Wars additions to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Orange Harvest anyone?).  There are also exhibits inside that highlight various fields within Imagineering, with displays on special effects, modeling & sculpture, animatronics, painting, ride vehicles, and more!  There was also a special Avengers meet & greet with Marvel’s Captain America, in promotion of the new Avengers Academy coming to Disney Cruise Line.

1/16 Model of Disney Springs planned for Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney

Display featuring early concept designs for the planned Pandora from AVATAR coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom park

Marvel's Captain America saluting his fans


One of the coolest items featured in the Parks & Resorts Pavilion is an animatronic Hatbox Ghost!  He looks incredible, and his movement is impeccable.  If you’re unfamiliar with this character, he was a part of the original Disneyland attraction when it opened in 1969, but was quickly removed, never to be seen again.  He was rumored to be myth for years until someone posted footage of him in the attraction, proving that he actually existed.  I tried to pry to find out if/when he was being installed into the attraction, but of course nothing could be confirmed.  Although, I really wouldn’t be surprised if he see his ghostly presence in the not so distant future.  Personally, I can’t wait!

Haunted Mansion's famed Hatbox Ghost is brought back to life!


Here’s a quick video to see what he looks like when he moves.

For more photos from this pavilion, check out the gallery below.  Note: photo gallery requires Flash Player, click here to view all the photos from the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion if your device is not Flash equipped.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

With a large focus on Mary Poppins’ 50th anniversary, Disney’s ties to the Wizard of Oz, and costumes in various forms, this year’s exhibit is definitely a must see (whether you’re planning to be there in person, or following along from home).

The queue features Harrod’s new Disney princess dresses, each designed by a different designer, including Ellie Saab, Oscar de la Renta, Missoni, Versace, and more!  Once inside, there are costumes from ABC’s Once Upon a Time, early concept ideas for a Disney/Wizard of Oz collaboration, items from the 80’s film Return to Oz, along with costumes and props from this year’s Oz The Great and Powerful.

Harrod's Disney Princess dresses

Some of the props on display from "Once Upon a Time"

Costumes and props from Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful


The second room of the exhibit is solely dedicated to the beloved classic film, Mary Poppins.  Celebrating it’s 50th anniversary, here they have concept art, storyboards, movie props, ephemera, costumes, and merchandise on display.  Just some of the props include Mary’s carpet bag and talking umbrella, the children’s building blocks, a sweep’s sweep, and so much more.

Mary Poppins costume, including the umbrella seen in the film

Mary Poppins' carpet bag featured in the Archives


As you leave the exhibit, there are several photos that were taken during the filming of the movie; including quite a few candid behind-the-scenes shots.  There is also a fan art gallery showcasing some incredibly talented folks.

The gallery below includes many more photos from the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.  Note: photo gallery requires Flash Player, click here to view all the photos from the Walt Disney Archives exhibit if your device is not Flash equipped.

The 2013 D23 Expo is just getting started, and we’ll be attending all three days.  You can follow along with all the posts, news, and updates on Twitter.  For more family entertainment news be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Chrysty Summers

Growing up in southern California, Disneyland has always been a staple for my family. Today, my husband and I spend most of our free time at the parks, where you can usually find us soaking up the atmosphere of Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. We also love traveling to Walt Disney World as often as we can, especially during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival in the Fall! Find me on Twitter @PenelopePeach for live updates from around the parks.