D23EXPO: Search For Disney’s Biggest FAN

The 2nd annual Disney D23XPO was full of many opportunities to see all the Disneyland Resorts, Movies and Television behind the scene activities.  The event was SOLD-OUT.  Among all the attendees in the crowd we decided to look for Disney’s biggest FAN.  Could he or she possibly be out here?   To our surprise we think we found them:

Katie Wakayama, adores Snow White and was inspired to participate in the costume festivities after “seeing other’s dressing up” at various events. She made her costume by hand after “numerous fabric changes and sewing.”  I must agree that is the best hand made Snow White costume I have ever seen.

Mary Annie is seen as a rare Storm Trooper in black.  She has actively participated in numerous conventions and expos including ComicCon and “Star Wars Charities.” She excitedly states that her costume is “fan made” and that it takes “1 year of researching and 1 year of actually making the costume” to create a fantastic piece as she is wearing.

Katie a local to Anaheim, California celebrates the fashions of Belle, one of the most favored of all Disney princesses.

Ashley as Arissa, Ariel’s sister, Lisa as Ursula, Traci as Ariel, Denelle as Cinderella (before) were hard to miss due to their wonderfully adorned costumes and presence. Lisa is a costume designer, and has designed costumes for musical productions that she has performed in along with Traci. Lisa and Traci are both singers, and expressed enthusiasm for “costume, cabaret, and the arts.”

We spotted Claudio and Natalina in classic Mickey Mouse hats with a handmade rhinestone finish.  Claudio spent two weeks on each hat carefully inserting over $400 of custom rhinestones in unique designs and colors in each hat.  Claudio is an artist and is sensitive to being  around a lot of people.  He started going to Disneyland after moving from Hawaii.  He made a Minnie Mouse  hat as a gift for his mom and is currently creating a Mickey Mouse Sorcerer inspired hat for sale.  He attributes Disneyland for helping him get rid of his fear of  being around people and now truly loves this magical place.  We absolutely adored them and their wonderful stories as mother and son.

Steven Lopez and Olivia Kemp, FIDM students are dressed in costumes that were hand sewn and adorned by Steven.   Their passion is contagious. Their fresh faces and friendly smiles lit up the room.

This group has collectively been making costumes for over 30 years.  They attend several events throughout the year including, Comic Con.  Their costumes are inspired by Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins.

Lacie (Orange County) spent about 6 months creating her Princess  Belle costume.  She has been dressing up as various characters since childhood and has never grown out of it.  It took her about 2 months to track down the fabric alone.  If you are planning on creating a costume she recommends that you do your research by looking at differnt pictures of the character  and create your own patterns.

Michelle of Los Angeles has been dressing up professionally for about 2 years.  Once you decide on the costume you like, she recommends that you wait a couple months before making it.

Sandy and Nick from Canada come to Disneyland at least once a year.  Sandy brought her Grandson to the D23expo.    They don’t do any costuming, but love all things Disney.  Winn has been an annual Disneyland ticket holder and  Disney fan all his life.  He  has attended many special events at Disneyland and loves that he can come anytime he wants to.  One of his most memorable Disney  experiences was getting in line at 1am to attend the 50th year anniversary events. Both Disney Fans purchased VIP Premier tickets which allowed them to attend most of the sessions at Disney D23EXPO without standing in line.

So after scouring the three floors of the Anaheim convention center and all the session rooms, we learned that  what makes the biggest Disney Fan is the Disney magic that lives within the hearts of everyone that have visited this magical place.

We’ll see you at Disneyland, Disney FANs!

Let’s talk about it:   Do you love Disneyland? Which Fan was your favorite?  Who is your favorite character?  What’s your favorite ride? What is your favorite costume?  Have you ever created a costume?

Eva Smith

Publisher at Tech Life Magazine
Eva is an award winning entrepreneur and Publisher of Tech Life Magazine. She has been recognized by Ford Motor Company as a Mujer Legendaria Inteligente (Smart Entrepreneur), USA Today Magazine as a Top Blogger to Watch and Latina Magazine as a Top 25 Latinas Who Shine in Technology. Her work has also been featured on Mashable, Mom.me, Babble, Baby Center, Latinamom.me, USA Today, Latina Magazine, Huffington Post, National Parks Services, Voxxi, NBC Latino, Rolling Stone Magazine & more.She is technologist, engineer, bilingual freelance writer, speaker and digital media consultant.


  1. What a great idea for a post! Well written Eva! Love it!!! You should’ve interviewed me & my sister too! We definitely would be in the running for biggest Disney fan! Come visit us at http://www.disneysisters.com

  2. this is so cool, so many people excited and dedicated to becoming the biggest Disney fan, very nice, love it!

  3. Tracy López says:

    Wow!! Amazing costumes! They all look so great and so very happy 🙂

  4. Those costumes blow my mind! What a fantastic event! 🙂

  5. Wonderful costumes — loved the Ursula lookalike. How awesome! I don’t make costumes myself, but my son’s grandmother has made him some great costumes, including one to make him look like Aladdin (when he was about 5 or 6) which was fantastic. 🙂

  6. Wow…this is so interesting how you’ve discovered all these details about their lives to share with us. What a unique post! The costumes are great! lol! My daughter would love an event like this! 😉

  7. OMG! I love this and wish I could have gone. It’s almost inspiring me to sew…almost. I love Goofy. But if I had to make a costume – I would have gone for Alice from Alice in Wonderland 🙂

  8. So it seems I may be the only person in THE WORLD who has never been to Disneyland. Que pena! I may just have to venture out there on my next trip to California. I fear roller coasters but I adore bumper cars. Can you sense my control issues? Lol.

  9. Hmmm those are some tough questions! One of my favorite films has always been “Aladdin,” particularly because of its humor. However, I’d have to say Belle and the Quasimodo (both from movies set in France) are my two favorite Disney characters.

    • Aww Belle. She was the most popular costume we saw at the expo. Our faviorite fan was Claudio and Natalina mainly because Claudio shared a heartfelt story with us on how Disney helped him overcome being around people.

  10. Looks like an amazing time!


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