At the D23 Expo 2013, attendees took an active part of the “show” element of the show floor. Throughout the three-day billed as “the ultimate Disney fan event,” D23 attendees appeared in costumes inspired by Disney as well as Marvel, “Star Wars,” Muppets and, well, all thing Disney.
Disney encouraged costumes and cosplay with this years D23 Expo with the inaugural à la Mode Costume Contest. The contest was themed to “Heroes and Villains” and offered five categories of competition: Original Design (or inspired by…) , Re-creation , Craftsmanship , Young Fan , and, naturally, Best in Show. Attendees submitted photos of their creations in advance, and were selected as finalists before the D23 Expo started.
But the 2013 à la Mode Costume Contest were just one small part of the costumed fun. D23 attendees showed up, and showed off their costumed and cosplay creativity throughout the three days of the event. Disney
Among the highlights of costumes at this year’s D23 Expo:
- Haunted Mansion characters, including the Hatbox Ghost cult figure and the young woman with a parasol who features in the stretching-portrait gallery;
- Captain Jack Sparrow, the character made more convincing by the cosplayer who never broke character;
- Several trios of costumed characters – including Mickey, Minnie and Donald of the Fab Five, a Tiana, young Prince Naveen and Mama Odie, and a Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and a Lost Boy – just three of the group costumes that created more impact through numbers;
- Salleh and companions from “Indiana Jones;”
- The house from Disney-Pixar’s “Up” atop a young girl’s head, and a full-sized Kevin from the film; and
- Jack Skellington, operated by a puppeteer clothed in black.
While there were plenty of classic Disney characters, including a full court and more of Disney Princesses, and an evil assortment of Disney Villains, there were also examples from the wider Disney canon. Guests might see a Belle talking to Jack Sparrow, or a member of the Fab Five talking with some of the gang from “Monsters University.”
Other Disney-related brands were present, with Jedi Knights and Avengers offering their heroic interpretations of such famous figures. Some attendees channeled some of favorite cult figures, such as Darkwing Duck or Jim Henson, who accompanied his friend Kermit the Frog.
Cosplayers also demonstrated their ability to immerse themselves into characters, some even offering liberal interpretations or mash-ups costumes. There was the usual assortment of “sexy” Disney Princess. But there was also the "Avengers"-inspired female superheroes and a Jedi Tink (Tinker Bell) who wielded her light saber with skill.
2013 à la Mode Costume Contest at D23 Expo
The 2013 à la Mode Costume Contest announced the winners Friday at Stage 23, with a celebratory runway walk and talk being part of the ceremony. Disney host Jim Babcock oversaw the honors, which was attended by guest judges Costume Designer Mona May (“Enchanted”), actor Jai Rodriguez (“Malibu Country”), and actress Devon Odessa (“My So-Called Life”).
Winners of the 2013 à la Mode Costume Contest were as follows:
- Best in Show: Dawn Bright, Queen Amidala of “Star Wars.”
- Craftsmanship: Jimmy Sherfy and Katie Scarlett, as Prince Edward and Giselle from “Enchanted.”
- Best Re-creation: Sara Callesto, as Merida costume from Disney-Pixar’s “Brave.”
- Best Original Design: Talina Lindsey, a Disney Tagonista costume that represented the contest theme by offering both Disney heroes and villains in a down-the-middle design.
- Best Young Fan: Mark Galindo, as a young version of “The Rocketeer.”
As part of this year’s focus on costumes, D23 attendees appeared on stage to talk about their decisions, designs and craftsmanship. For instance, Queen Amidala, who won the Best in Show category, spent 14 hours on her dress. And a Disney fan dressed as Vanellope von Schweetz (from “Wreck-It Ralph”) talked about the process of re-dying her leggings multiple times so that the colors of both legs matched.
As the National Disney Travel Examiner I attended the D23 Expo on a media pass to provide first-hand coverage. Look for more coverage now that the event has concluded.