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12 March 2015 @ 07:49 pm
D23 Special Event: Cinderella Screening  
Today there was a special event up in San Francisco for members of D23, Disney's official fan club. After the Disney shareholders annual meeting, there was to be a free screening of the new live action Cinderella film open to D23 members. The movie would be followed by a free dessert reception. I'm not a D23 member (yet) but my friend and co-worker Nicki is, so we immediately made plans to go and reserved our spots.

When we got to the Palace of Fine Arts, where the meeting and screening was being held, we immediately got into line. Security was tight - far more so than the entrance to Disneyland or Disney World. First they checked Nicki's membership, ticket and ID to confirm she was the person she claimed to be. Then our bags were searched for cell phones, cameras, or other recording equipment. If any electronics were found, they had to be checked. Then another Disney employee with one of those electronic wand body scanners checked our bodies for any hidden metal. Unaware that such precautions were being taken, I'd worn jeans with studs up the sides from the ankle to the knee, and had to explain to the confused employee that it was my pants setting off his machine, not a hidden wire. Eventually we made it through to the theater, and Nicki and I set up shop near the back.

I'll talk about the movie in another post, but here's the short version of my thoughts that I posted on Facebook a few minutes ago:
I'm still digesting this movie. They did a lot of things right, but it still didn't add up to a particularly good film.
Highlights: Cate Blanchett's costumes, the madness that is Helena Bonham Carter, convincing CG mice, and Richard Madden's blue eyes


After the movie, we had to exit the building and then re-enter for the dessert reception. Because we'd been sitting so far back in the theater, Nicki and I were two of the first people into the reception room. There were little round tables with glass bowls in the center, filled with clear plastic 'diamonds' and electric tealight candles. Each table had two or three Cinderella-related items on it, like ceramic songbirds, signs that said "be kind" or "be brave", butterflies, and even a carriage or two. It was rather pretty. Unfortunately, most of the D23 guests didn't get to see the decorations, because people started swiping the good ones almost immediately. I saw one woman drop a carriage and a "be kind" sign into her purse before two minutes had passed.

Disney did give us something to take home: a magnetic picture frame with Cinderella on it. You may be thinking, If they gave you a picture frame, there must have been an opportunity to take a picture! You're right. There were three photo areas set up, and the following Disney characters were out to pose for photographs:
- Woody from Toy Story
- Olaf from Frozen
- Two stormtroopers from Star Wars

Seems an odd assortment for a Cinderella reception, right? It turns out that the characters were left over from the shareholders meeting, where their presence made sense: Frozen was a huge money maker for Disney in 2014, and the upcoming Star Wars and Toy Story sequels are expected to draw more cash into the Bank of Mouse in 2015. Or maybe Woody was included because the new Shanghai theme park has a huge Toy Story-themed hotel. I don't know.

So like I said, it was a dessert reception, so there were several tables piled high with sweets. I saw assorted quarter-sized macarons, coconut macaroons, and mini cheesecakes. There were pastry shells filled with hazelnut cream and platters of cookies. On either end of the room was a small drink bar with sodas, water and coffee. Not a bad spread.

Nicki and I ran into one of the authors who came to the bookstore last year, so we chatted with him for a while. Nicki saw a couple of other people that she knew, since she's been much more active in the Disney fan community than I am. I don't really know anyone, and since I always feel like I'm bugging people and interrupting their awesome lives when I say hello I tend to hide out in the corner and stuff my face with sweets. But this time, I went so far as to get my picture taken with Olaf. Gotta get something for my Cinderella picture frame, right?




Schmoozin' with a snowman