It’s been too long since there’s been a special Disney D23 Expo update and we have too much to share with you, so there’s a good chance stuff will be forgotten here and for that, we apologize. That said, here are a bunch of mouse-cellaneous updates you will be sure to appreciate knowing when visiting the Disney D23 Expo next weekend, August 19-21.
First, the Dumbo in the room. The official Disney D23 mobile-app that we were first to report was ‘released’ last night. It’s basically a web-app (or really, a mobile-friendly website) which can be found at D23Mobile.com. The app currently offers maps of all three floors (found under the Things to Know section) and allows you to create an account to identify the panels and presentations you are interested in attending (this is strictly for your benefit, not a reservation system!). It also has links to Twitter feeds as well as a way to keep on top of last minute announcements during the Expo. The best part is, it works on a normal web browser, so you can feel free to check it out yourself at home, print out the maps, or whatever.
What it doesn’t have (as it will be part of the full program guide which will hopefully be online soon) is a better layout of the Collectors Forum. Fortunately, exhibitors have been mailed a packet which contains a layout (pictured above) which can help attendees get an idea of where things are. Unfortunately the scan is a bit low-res so some exhibitors are illegible, but it’s pretty clear where Microsoft will be demonstrating XBox Kinect Disneyland Adventures. This map, by the way, came courtesy of exhibitor and comic artist James Silvani, who we mentioned in a previous update.
Speaking of James, now’s a good time to remind you that he is still accepting pre-orders for commissioned art featuring your favorite Disney, Disney/Pixar and Marvel characters. Unfortunately Amy Mebberson, who will be joining James along with Allen Gladfelter, has been fully booked with her pre-orders, but now is the time to hit James up. I speak from Con experience when I tell you that you can either pay now and pick up later, or wait in indefinite lines for your opportunity to request a drawing because these guys are extremely talented and once their work is visible to the public, the demand will grow substantially. So be sure to visit James’ site at SilvaniArt.com for more information on how to order a commissioned piece as well as check out some samples of his work.
Speaking of art for sale, the bad news is that while Mr. Billy Dee Williams will still be attending, his D23 Expo exclusive art will not be. It was previously announced that Mr. Williams had created a jazz-inspired piece featuring the Fab 5 that would be available in limited quantities at the Expo for $99.50 (or thereabouts). No word on what will the availaibility of the piece will eventually be.
On semi-related tangent, Coolwaters Productions, which is bringing Billy Dee Williams and actors from the TRON and Pirates of the Caribbean films amongst others has announced that TRON Legacy star Anis Cheurfa will be unable to attend the event and that any pre-orders for his autograph have been canceled and refunded.
But on a happier note, Coolwaters has also made available online all of the photos (including D23 Member exclusives) that will be available for purchase at the event (and pre-order, for which you will not need to attend) here. In addition, Coolwaters has posted information about separate photo-ops with the celebrities in pre-set configurations. For example, here is your opportunity to have your group (1-4 people) take a photo with both Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan from TRON. For more information, see this page (at this time, the photo op schedule has yet to be determined).
If you’re looking to find even more amazing celebrities to meet, mostly of the Disney kind, the Disneyana booth has an impressive array of talent from the past several decades who will be appearing. You can check out their full schedule here.
Disney Fine Artist and 2009′s official artist, Tim Rogerson, has made his appearance schedule known on his blog.
If you’re a Disney trading pin collector, you’ll want to check out this list of all the pins being released at the Expo including a limited edition set of just 10 pieces that sells for $700. If you’re a Vinylmation collector, you probably know about them all already, but Vinylmation.com has a list of the pieces being released at Disney D23 Expo on their events page. This should be common knowledge by now as well, but Disney Store has announced that they are no longer releasing just 500 of their 25th Anniversary 3″ figures at the Expo, but will instead be making all 2,500 pieces available.
Lastly, to save yourself some time, today is the last day to put in pre-orders for Mattel’s MattyCollector.com D23 Expo exclusives, both of which are still available. Save yourself the time now and be able to pick up your merchandise any time during the event without the fear of them selling out. You can do so here.
Now that we’ve talked about some mementos you get to pay for (and remember, we have already previewed Disney Store and Robert Olszewski items amongst others), let’s talk about freebies. There should be plenty to go around at the Disney D23 Expo. Earlier this week, a press release went out stating that Disney Publishing Worldwide would be offering exclusive Mary Blair prints at their booth. Also joining in is Disney Movie Rewards which is giving away a free The Lion King lithograph at their booth, while supplies last, as announced in their monthly newsletter to members.
But back on the topic of paying for stuff, according to DisneyStore.com, it looks like those seeking the D23 Exclusive Steamboat Willie and Lotso POP! Vinyls by Funko will have to wait until Sunday morning for their release. It also looks like the new Kidada for Disney Store collection featuring Tinker Bell, Jasmine, Ariel and Alice will also be available for purchase then.
Retro 51, a Disney licensee and a manufacturer of some spectacular pens (I am pleased to personally own a couple of them), has announced an Ugly Pen contest in which attendees can trade in their ‘ugly pen’ for a daily chance to win a new Retro 51 pen. There’s even a grand prize which includes a pen inspired by “it’s a small world.” Details can be found here.
Around the web, we have some special updates we’d love to point out if you haven’t found them already. First is an amazing guide to the eats in and around the Disney D23 Expo by the Disney Food Blog. Also, Jim Hill Media recently posted an eleventh hour interview with D23 head Steven Clark who offers up some additional info on the items being displayed at the Expo.