D23 Expo August 9, 2013 – Journey Into Imagineering Pavilion


In deference to previous D23 Expos held in 2009 and 2011 there is no "Parks and Resorts" presentation scheduled in the Arena for 2013. However, Disney Imagineering still has a large presence as they celebrate their 60th anniversary. The theme of the Imagineering Pavilion is that the Imagineers are hosting an open house for Disney fans where they can see what goes in inside the halls of Imagineering.

Journey Into Imagineering Introduction

I was unable to cover the entire Imagineering Pavilion today, but was able to get photos and videos of several items. This included models of the never built Walt Disney World Attraction: Western River Expedition. Additional models included early concepts for The Land Pavilion and Spaceship Earth. Animatronics from Kilimanjaro Safaris, Journey Into Imagination and Kitchen Kabaret were also on display.

Western River Expedition Model

As part of the Pavilion, Imagineering set up a cubicle of an Imagineer that had just come back from a trip to Pandora. Sketches lined the cubicle, but ultimately did not offer many details of the Avatar project coming to the Animal Kingdom.

Avatar Cubicle

Additionally, there was a display that highlighted how to program an animatronic. The figure they brought was an A100 figure of the fabled Hatbox Ghost animatronic. The A100 figures are the same type of figuers that are used for the Auctioneer in Pirates of the Caribbean, The Wicked Witch in The Great Movie Ride and more.

Original concept models of both The Land Pavilion and Spaceship Earth were also on display.

The Land Pavilion Concept ModelSpaceship Earth Concept Model

Additionally, Disney debuted an internal tool called DISH. The tool is a large 180 degree wrap around screen used to model ride throughs. The below videos showcase this technology. Additionally, a similar type of system may be utilized for a new Star Wars attraction. The Imagineer I spoke with said they are looking to scale it up for theme park use and possibly make it 3D as well. An additional feature not displayed at the pavilion is that when a single person is using the DISH system it will respond to eye and head movements.

Radiator Springs Racers Ride ThroughTest Track Ride ThroughMystic Manor Ride ThroughSeven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride Through