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by Loren G. Edelstein | August 21, 2013

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of joining a group of Disney meeting clients and a few media members for the D23 Expo, very aptly described by one in our group as "Comic Con for Disney fanatics." About 50,000 enthusiastic fans filed in and out of the Anaheim Convention Center over the course of the three-day event - many dressed as their favorite Disney characters. The event included sneak-peak presentations about upcoming animated films, along with lots of Disney history and paraphernalia. 

Fun fact: D23 was named for the year 1923, when Walt Disney opened what would become Disney Studios in Los Angeles. The inaugural D23 Expo was held in 2009; the event takes place every two years, so those who missed it will need to wait until 2015. 

Disney's group of 53 clients, media and guests not only had access to all D23 activities, but experienced many of the unique meeting and event venues in Disneyland Resort. Here's a slide show with highlights.

All photos by Jenna Henderson.

 

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    The Anaheim Convention Center, adjacent to Disneyland Resort, welcomed the D23 Expo — billed as “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event,” Aug. 9-11, 2013.
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    Mickey Mouse offered the group a private greeting in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
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    Mickey posed for photos with fans. (Pictured, M&C’s Loren Edelstein, left, and daughter Rachel)
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    Participants enjoyed an opening reception in the Brisa Courtyard at host hotel Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, which accommodates up to 500 for cocktails.
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    Fantasy Faire at Disneyland Park provided the setting for a dessert party and fireworks viewing.
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    The iconic attraction “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln” provided a stately setting for an evening reception.
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    Members-only Club 33 in Disneyland Park welcomed our group for breakfast. Walt Disney created the club to host corporate sponsors and visiting dignitaries.
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    Disney Legend Dave Smith gave a history lesson on the Disney film classic "Mary Poppins," the making of which is the subject of "Saving Mr. Banks," a Disney film opening in December.
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    The new Carthay Circle Theater at Disney California Adventure, evocative of Hollywood’s golden age, can host private group events of up to 253 people (and the food is excellent!).
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    A kid-inspired breakfast at the new Cars Land at Disney California Adventure offered three kinds of milk to those who like to drink from the bottom of the cereal bowl.
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    Another breakfast treat at Cars Land’s diner: Mickey-shaped red-velvet waffles with cream cheese frosting. Delicious!