“Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” (“Treasures”) at the D23 Expo 2013 was devoted to three general areas:
- “Mary Poppins,” in anticipation of the movie’s 50th anniversary in 2014 and the upcoming “Saving Mr. Banks,” a film that looks at making of the movie;
- “Disney’s Adventures in the Land of Oz,” a look at Disney’s work with L. Frank Baum’s books and that included props and costumes from both “Return to Oz” (1985) and “Oz The Great and Powerful” (2013); and
- “Storytelling on the Small Screen,” with a look at costumes and props from ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and the Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach Movie.”
With such a focus on three major areas, the 2013 “Treasures” was selectively curated. There was definitely a sense “Treasures” presented a generally cohesive exhibit at Disney’s work by focusing on some of the fantastical worlds realized on Disney screens.
Two additional themed displays were part of the “Treasures” exhibit: the Disney-Harrods presentation of designer gowns inspired by Disney Princess dresses and the “Mary Poppins” Disney fan art submissions. Both added a sense of the Disney’s continuing cultural influence, which has been one of the themes underlying various versions of “Treasures.”
Some fans may have felt “Treasures” too focused or limited in scope – especially compared to “Treasures” at the D23 Expo 2011. After all, the exhibit offered three concentrations from the diversity of materials of the Walt Disney Archives. That said, D23 attendees interested in Disney Parks and Resorts could enjoy many rarely seen materials in the Journey Into Imagineering pavilion, and ride vehicles were on display on the D23 Expo show floor.
As with the entire D23 Expo, the experience of the “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” was best-experienced first-hand, where one could see details, linger over a particular piece and share the experience with other fans.
It’s that reaction D23: The Official Disney Fan Club wants to elicit from Expo attendees – and what it deservedly receives. Waits to see the exhibit consistently exceeded an hour in length, often much longer. Such enthusiastic response from Disney fans is one reason why D23 already has announced the D23 Expo will return in 2015.
D23 has also announced another traveling “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” exhibit to mark 90 years of The Walt Disney Company. “Treasures” will open at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on Oct. 16 and will continue through Feb. 17, 2014. Tickets go on sale Sept. 4.
As the National Disney Travel Examiner I attended the D23 Expo on a media pass to provide first-hand coverage. Look for more recap coverage to come, including photos and video, now that the event has concluded.