We parked in the grass:
Inside were two large rooms housing an assortment of vendor tables filled with goodies like these:
That Nautilus model was two grand, if you're interested. ;)
I was mostly interested in the old theme park memorabilia, like that sign there, but there were also TONS of pins and vinylmations, not to mention a fair amount of cast costume pieces - though no one seemed to know how that was possible/legal. Heh.
Here's the back room:
At the far wall was a small stage where they held trivia contests, and later a charity auction.
We were there because our friends Kevin and Michelle Yee had mentioned it (Kevin has written a ton of Disney books, so you uber Dizgeeks might recognize his name), and also because Ron Schnieder was there.
Here's Ron hosting one of the trivia sessions:
Ron is the original Dreamfinder, and though John dressed as him for Halloween last year (plus Ron left a lovely comment on my post about it), we'd never actually met him.
While brainstorming things we might get Ron to sign for us last night, it occurred to me that the most unique option was John's costume. So, we brought along his Dreamfinder jacket.
We had to wait a bit for an opportune moment to interrupt Ron, but when we did I only had to mention that John was the one who dressed as him last year for Ron's face to light up. Beaming, he told us he'd be delighted to sign John's jacket (we'd left it in the car, so we could ask first), and that while he'd seen many DF costumes, he was simply "blown away" by John's.
So John hurried out to retrieve the jacket, and then we made our way through the crowd again to Ron's table. I could see several people perk up at the sight of a blue jacket being brought by, some excitedly asking Ron if that was one HIS old jackets. :) (In response, Ron said so many nice things about John's costume, John was positively blushing.)
Here's Ron signing the underside of the lapel:
We bought Ron's book, since I've been meaning to grab a copy of that for ages, and then John and he talked shop about the costume for a bit, followed by Ron regaling us with a few quick stories. He told us one of the Jelly Belly flavors was the exact same color as Figment, so he'd give little jars of them - "dragon eggs" - to the Wish Kids he'd see. Or, if the crowd was right, he'd drop one from Figment's butt, pick it up, and eat it. :D
He also told us how he was walking into Epcot about two weeks before the park opened - preparing to film something for the ride, I believe - and came across a patch of wet cement. Unable to resist, he found a stick and scratched out "FIGMENT" with a backwards E. He later told everyone that was where he and Figment first met.
(I did a quick search, and found a photo of that concrete patch here. You can bet I'm going to hunt it down in person when we're there later this week, though!)
Before we left I asked Ron if I could have a photo of him holding up John's jacket. He offered to come around table for that, so I suggested John jump in, too. I expected Ron to just hold the jacket in front of them, but he immediately told John, "Here, put your arm in the sleeve." And then I took this shot:
It wasn't until later, though, as John and I looked over my shots in the car, that the full impact of that last picture really hit us. "Oh, wow," I said, "Dreamfinder himself is putting his coat on you." And then it got really, really dusty in there.