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D23 EXPO – What was there and why you really should go next time

Billed as “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event,” and usually celebrated every two years, D23 EXPO was completely SOLD OUT well in advance of its return, for three wonderful days, to the Anaheim Convention Center, near Disneyland — for the first time since the Pandemic derailed much of life as we had known it before.

D23 EXPO was the biggest, most spectacular celebration of all things Disney — in the world!

Of course, now Disney has grown to include MARVEL…

… Lucasfilm (STAR WARS)…

… Pixar…

National Geographic and more, including 20th Century Studios (Avatar).

3-D glasses were distributed, to watch a preview of the new Avatar movie

D23 EXPO also kicked off Disney100, celebrating 100 years of treasured Disney storytelling.

A plethora of presentations were held in ballrooms throughout the Anaheim Convention Center, the largest of those being the enormous Hall D23. Just as it was truly impossible to attend even a small fraction of those, it would be equally impossible to tell you about them here. Their names begin to tell the story so, rather than try and fail miserably to do more, in this short space I will list many of their names and share with you some of my thousands of photos of this three-day event.

No doubt many of these presentations would have been on your wish list to see, as they were on mine. There truly was something for everyone — some of which featured large, live, song-and-dance numbers. However, between waiting in long lines and competing with the massive crowds, I only saw a few.

If you did not join us there this year, the sheer enormity of this list will convince you to get your tickets early for the next D23 EXPO. Here they are: Disney Legends Awards Ceremony…

… Studio Showcase Day 1, celebrating the magic of Disney and Pixar…

… The Simpsons; Disney & Marvel Games Showcase; D23 EXPO Masquerade; Inside Look at the Society of Explorers and Adventurers; Disney For Scores Podcast Live, celebrating MARVEL music; Who is Honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A.?; A Very ‘90s Afternoon Special with the “All-New” Mickey Mouse Club; Disney Legends in Conversation; Walt’s Plane: Taking Flight Through Disney History…

… Inside The Orville…

… Traceback Celebrating the People of Walt Disney Animation Studios; National Geographic’s Superhero Women of STEM; Behind The Scenes: ABC’s Beauty and the Beast:  30th Celebration; Studio Showcase, Day 2: MARVEL Studios, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Studios (Avatar)…

… Disney’s Epic Entertainment Showcase: The Musical: The Extravaganza; Magic in the Air: 30 years of The Muppet Christmas Carol; A Celebration of Disney’s Encanto; The Making of Disney100: The Exhibition; Bob’s Burgers; MARVEL COMICS: Celebrating 60 Years of the Amazing Spider-Man; Sneak Peek at Zootopia+ from Walt Disney Animation Studios; A Peek Behind the Curtain at Walt Disney Imagineering’s Illusions and Special Effects Developments Lab; Uncovering Treasures from the Marty Sklar Archives; A Century of Storytelling at Walt Disney Animation Studios; Cautionary Tales with the Disney Villains: The Imagination of Ridley Pearson; Building Walt’s Florida Project: Walt Disney World from Dream to Reality; Women in Disney Fashion; It’s a Small World: Celebrating the Art of Disney Parks; A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products…

… Disney Princess — The Concert, Live at D23 EXPO…

Walt Disney Imagineering: 70 Years of Making the Impossible Possible…

… Conversations with Disney Character Voices; Disney Original Documentary’s Sneak Peek of Mickey: The Story of a Mouse; Back to the Grid: 40 Years of TRON; 100 years of Treasures from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library; Dancing with The Stars 31st Season Celebration; Nat Geo & Disney: 100 Years of Exploring the World Through Storytelling; An Animated Conversation: Celebrating 90 Years of Goofy; The Main Street Electrical Parade—50 Years of Nighttime Magic & Imagination; The Disney Parks: Through the Decades: A Disney Ambassador Perspective; Memories of Walt Disney World: Framing A portrait of 50 Magical Years; and, finally, 100 Years of Hollywood Magic: A Disney Tour of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Can you imagine the sheer logistics of just staging all of this — and much more?! The highlights of D23 EXPO for me were the presentations that I somehow managed to enjoy in Hall D23, spectacular exhibits…

… shopping…

… art…

… giveaways…

… music…

and the many enthusiastic, costumed fans.

THANK YOU!

Copyright © 2022 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #760r1

Jan Wagner

2 Comments

  1. David Sperry on September 23, 2022 at 1:06 am

    Jan, obviously I haven’t read all of your 850 columns, but this must be one of the most ambitious in terms of physical effort, content, writing and editing. I don’t know how you could have covered so much ground in one weekend. I can’t comment on everything, but a few things peaked my curiosity.

    I didn’t know Disney held an ownership In National Geographic. It seems that Disney purchased 21st Century Fox in 2017, and earlier, in 2015, 21st Century Fox had acquired a 73% ownership of National Geographic, with the remaining 17% held by the non profit NatGeo foundation.

    It’s interesting to compare Walt Disney’s private turboprop with the private jets of today. Walt’s lonely swivel armchair would be considered understated by the sumptuous lounges of today.

    I thought the concept of virtual queues was interesting. It a bit like waiting to be seated at a fancy restaurant. I don’t fully understand how the virtual queue is merged with the actual queue that is waiting at the location.

    Great article! David

    • Jan Wagner on September 28, 2022 at 10:44 pm

      Thanks David. Sorry for my delayed reply. I do not recall getting an automated email telling me that a comment was awaiting my approval
      The way the virtual queue works is that you are supposed to return within a certain time window, and then join the physical virtual queue line.
      I just finished a marathon 2-day photo editing session. I shot around 3,000 photos at last week’s MCAS Miramar Air Show. Now I have to upload some of the approximately 130 photos that I edited. I need to do this quickly, because I still have to eat dinner and get some sleep. Tomorrow I plan on covering the Press hours of the OC (Orange County) Auto Show. It is the first major auto show of the Southern California season.
      Jan

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