Saturday, August 10, 2013

Return to Disney's D23 Expo in 2013 for some fantastic costumes and prop exhibits...

Two years ago I discovered the delights of Disney's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, and yesterday I returned to see what wonderful sights awaited. I've said before that I like Disney movies and visiting the theme parks, but I'm not a die-hard fan (that honour will forever be taken by Marvel Comics), so my main reason for attending the three day fan event is to see what costumes, props and screen-used memorabilia were on display from the Walt Disney vaults.

Disney's D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center
Disney D23 Expo 2013 Anaheim Convention Center
I'm delighted to say I wasn't disappointed with amazing original costumes and props on display from Oz The Great and Powerful, Return to Oz, Mary Poppins and ABC's Once Upon A Time TV series being real treats from The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.

Return to Oz movie costumes and props
Return to Oz movie costumes
I'm glad we chose Friday to visit as Saturday had already sold-out, and if Friday morning was any indication it was only going to get busier and more manic. Fortunately the early bird catches the worm and we got to enjoy the archives exhibit in relative calm and without having to queue an hour like last time.

Harrods Once Upon a Dream fairytale fashion
Harrods Once Upon a Dream fairytale fashion D23 Expo
If we did have wait, we'd have had some great scenery to entertain us, as visitors are greeted in the waiting area for the archives by this fabulous collection of glamorous gowns inspired by Disney Princesses. Their classic looks had been reinterpreted by world-leading fashion designers and displayed in the windows of London's infamous Harrods store in Knightsbridge, and they'd been flown in especially for the D23 Expo. The magical dresses will return to the U.K. to be auctioned off for charity, the Great Ormond Street Hospital, a leading children's hospital.
Disney D23 Expo Mickey Mouse
Inside the Treasures exhibit the first set of costumes to catch my eye were these elaborate outfits from ABC Studios Once Upon a Time, which is basically a soap opera drama with a fairytale twist (or two). Pictured here are costumes worn by Snow White, The Huntsman, The Mad Hatter and their version of the Queen of Hearts (also on display were props from the show, plus Red Riding Hood and Prince Charming costumes).

Original Once Upon a Time TV costumes
Original Once Upon a Time TV costumes
Eduardo Castro is Costumer Designer on the series and you have to give him credit for creating such fantastic designs, and giving them a new spin, for what is essentially a weekly television show.

Around the corner and you'll glimpse a fantastic selection of original costumes from Disney's recent Oz The Great and Powerful, which starred James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as the titular 'Wizard' and the feuding witches of the land of Oz.

Oz The Great and Powerful movie costumes
Oz The Great and Powerful movie costumes
I'd seen several of these costumes from Oz The Great and Powerful on display at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, but it's always refreshing to see these stunning pieces from out behind a display case (even if the moody and dramatic lighting to help preserve the garments, made it slightly harder to photograph them).

This really was a celebration of all things Oz, with costumes and props from two Disney movies from 1985 and 2013 in one place (the gleaming golden robot Tik-Tok from Return to Oz was a real highlight for me).

Meanwhile in anticipation of Disney's new movie about the story behind the making of Mary Poppins, Saving Mr. Banks, they had a fantastic assortment of original outfits worn by Julie Andrews as the infamous magical nanny and the rest of the cast.

Original costumes and props from Mary Poppins 
on display at Disney's D23 Expo
Mary Poppins costume exhibit Disney D23 Expo
Mary Poppins carousel horses Disney D23 Expo
It was a real delight to see these outfits, alongside props and even these fantastic carousel horses used in the making of the iconic hit musical.

I think my camera finger needed some serious rest after all the photographs I took in the exhibit, so be sure to check out my Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props blog in the days to come for even more fantastic coverage from this year's D23 Expo.
Disney Infinity castle D23 Expo
Downstairs in the rest of the exhibition halls, fans were queuing to try out new games, buy exclusive merchandise and find out the very latest happenings in the world of Disney with special presentations and screenings. I'm not a huge fan of crowds, so I'm glad we were there on one of the quieter days.

Disney Animation Frozen exhibit
Disney Animation Frozen exhibit D23 Expo
Disney Frozen hula Snowman
One fun thing that caught my eye as I walked the floor was this dancing hula snowman from the new Disney animated feature Frozen, which comes to cinemas this November.

Just like two years ago when Marvel was bought by Disney, another noticeable addition this year was all the Star Wars characters and fans dressed in costume at the event, like this concept helmet replica for Darth Vader himself, now that the Star Wars Universe is part of the Disney family.

Star Wars made its presence felt at Disney's D23 Expo
Darth Vader concept helmet Star Wars
I have to say though, I was a bit disappointed not to have seen some Marvel movie costumes and props at the event, especially with Thor and Captain America sequels coming to the big screen soon (plus they were included in the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit at The Reagan Library last year).

Nevertheless I still enjoyed the was the event had to offer this year, you just can't beat seeing amazing costumes and props up close and in person.
Disney D23 Expo 2013
For die-hard Disney fans I'm sure they'll be in heaven this weekend and I wouldn't be surprised if more than a few of them headed over to nearby Disneyland afterwards to enjoy their favourite rides in the parks too.

Last time I attended this event my wish list was for Mary Poppins and Return to Oz exhibits and look what happened. Next time I'd still like to see displays from Disney's The Black Hole, One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, Escape to Witch Mountain and the forthcoming Maleficent...

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