November 4th, 2018

piranha - chomp.

Mouse-Con 2018

Mouse-Con is a small, regional Disney fan event. It's nowhere near the scale of D23 Expo; in fact, it's smaller than almost any other convention I've attended. For an event of its size, it manages to get some pretty good speakers, so even though it was at a hotel in Concord this year it still seemed worthwhile to go.

The main attraction was the man behind many of Disneyland's attraction vehicles, Bob Gurr. He was speaking at noon. Due to a mishap with my glasses (the screw on one side popped out, disconnecting the frame and the temple) I was a few minutes late, but it seemed like the presentation was just Bob freewheelin' for an hour, taking questions from the audience and answering them in whatever manner he found appropriate. Sometimes this resulted in a quick dismissal, usually for questions that approached controversial or contemporary topics, but more often Bob would answer with a story from his days working at Disney or on other theme park rides. He spoke proudly of his lack of formal schooling in engineering, explaining that he was free to come up with creative solutions to issues that came up because he didn't know the 'right' way to tackle the problem.
One audience member asked him something to the effect of "What ride do you wish you worked on?" and Bob said that if he'd been born a few decades later, he would have loved to work on Universal Studio's Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction. I can see why he'd pick that one. It's wonderfully immersive and blends screen technology with physical props.

The other presentation we saw was a Vintage Disneyland slideshow by two of the hosts of the Mousetalgia podcast. I love retro slideshows and Jeff and Dave had a good collection of images. We didn't catch the entire talk because the room was a little hard to find, but what we did see was very entertaining. We weren't the only ones who thought so; the room was packed and I ended up sitting on the floor while Sean and Jeannie crammed up against the wall.

After the Mousetalgia talk, we wandered around the dealers' room and caught up with old friends. It was a pleasant afternoon. Between the three of us, I don't think we bought anything except a package of peanuts to snack on. There was some interesting merchandise for sale, but most of it was either overpriced or too worn and ratty to be desirable to anyone but the most nostalgic collector.
One interesting note: there were several authors of Disney-related books and DVDs attending, and for the most part they were all lined up by the doorway. I'm not sure if this was a benefit for them. On the one hand, it gave them visibility as guests walked past them before moving on to registration or leaving the convention, but that location also made them easy to ignore if you weren't interested. I wonder if they would have fared better with their tables in the main dealers area? I wish I knew one of the vending authors because I'd love to know what they thought of the arrangement.