Thanks Disney for providing me this experience for free.
“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” Walt Disney
Disney fans came out by the thousands this weekend to be completely submerged in Disney culture at the D23 EXPO in Anaheim, CA. I was excited to be in attendance of the “ultimate Disney fan event” for all three days, especially since it only takes place every two years. This was the fourth Expo, (the first one was held 2009) and was by far the biggest and best yet!
There were so many announcements of what’s to come for Disney Parks, Animation, Movies, Television, Games and Merchandise. It’s an incredible time to be a Disney fan, and even more so since Disney has acquired Star Wars and Marvel. Every place you looked in the expo, there was a line to experience something awesome from studio presentations to demonstrations by artists, legends, screenings and sing-alongs, and the ultimate costume contest.
It was impossible to see and do it all, but I sure tried my best to get it all in. Here’s an enchanting recap that’s filled with just enough pixie dust to last you until the next expo:
1. Greetings Earthlings
Before you could even get to the door, guests had to walk underneath the larger-than-life Space Ranger. To help celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Toy Story, the actual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Buzz Lightyear helium balloon was flown in for the D23 Expo.
2. D23 Expo 2015
Guests arrived from 50 states and 28 countries all to experience the magic inside the Anaheim Convention Center on August 14-16, 2015.
3. Pixar Animation Studios
The studios that brought us some of Disney’s most popular films, like Toy Story, showed off what’s on the horizon from them: The Good Dinosaur (in theaters Thanksgiving 2015), Finding Dory, Toy Story 4, Coco, Cars 3, and Incredibles 2.
4. Disney Citizenship
Attendees joined the Disney Citizenship booth by putting together emergency relief kits for the American Red Cross. They stuffed backpacks filled with basic hygiene supplies to support those in need of disaster relief efforts. Last year, Disney employees contributed more than 500,000 hours as Disney VoluntEARS to strengthen communities and impact over 5 million individuals around the world. Now that’s Disney magic!
5. Star Wars
We can’t decide of we are more excited about the new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming from Lucasfilm or the fact that 14-acre Star Wars-themed lands will be coming to both Disneyland park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. One thing’s for sure, The Force was strong at this year’s Expo!
6. Disney Fashion
Whether you’re showing off your #MinnieStyle or sporting the newest Disney Princess Vans, the bottom line is that you’ll be dressed to impress with the latest fashion trends from the Disney brands and liscensing. The hottest looks were on display this year including these Marvel shirts, which you can see more of on @StyledbyMarvel on Instagram, or by searching the #StyledbyMarvel hashtag.
7. Animation Academy
Watching Disney animators drawing characters, listening to how they develop storylines, and learning how it all comes to life in Disney Animated movies was a highlight of the Expo for many fans. At this panel, veteran Disney artist Eric Goldberg explained what it means to bring Disney appeal to animated characters in a live drawing demonstration.
8. Shanghai Disneyland
One of the most jaw-dropping exhibits had to be the one by Shanghai Disneyland. From the actual theme park details to the Resorts, the Cast member attire to the merchandise, guests got a first-hand look at all the magic coming to the first Disney resort in Mainland China in Spring 2016. Some of our favorites the Toy Story Hotel and the Tron Lightcycle attraction in Tomorrowland. Prepare to be blown away!
9. Walt Disney Animation Studios
Interactive displays excited Disney fans featuring films coming soon to a theater near you including animated movies Zootopia, Moana, and Gigantic — a Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation of the classic fairy tale. Pass the popcorn!
10. Disney Channel Stars
There were celebrities galore at this year’s D23 Expo! Fans got to meet and take selfies with actors from all their favorite Disney Channel and ABC Family shows! Including this summer’s hit movie Descendants pictured here are the stars, Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce, and Dove Cameron.
11. TsumTsum Dress
One of the most iconic ensembles of the entire Expo was definitely the #TsumTsumDress. We got to check it out up close and personal at the Oh My Disney party after the Expo on Friday night. Follow Disney Style to see how the cutest, softest gown ever was made.
12. Disney Infinity 3.0
Disney Interactive Media revealed new details about some of the biggest games and apps in the interactive entertainment industry including Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition. Players can now “Use the Force” with the addition of Star Wars to the popular game.
13. Marvel Studios
The superheroes keep on coming with the future slate by Marvel Cinematic Universe. Currently, Ant-Man is taking over the box office and Marvel fans can’t wait to get more Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers in the future!
Guests got live demonstrations from trained professionals straight from the Avengers Lab as they introduced the next step in the evolution of play. Playmation Marvel’s Avengers is coming soon from Disney Consumer Products.
15. Radio Disney
Center Stage was rocking all weekend long with live performances from Hollywood Records hottest acts, including Sabrina Carpenter, Bea Miller, Olivia Holt, as well as Sofia Carson and Dove Cameron.
16. Disney Merchandise
The holidays are coming and it won’t be long before Disney Consumer Products, Hasbro, Mattel, Jakks Pacific toys are at the tops of your child’s wish list! These products were displayed throughout the Expo floor dazzling young fans and toy collectors alike. Coming this Fall to Target are these impossibly cute collectible Tsum Tsums.
17. Costumes and Cosplayers
You couldn’t take two steps on the convention floor without seeing an amazing creation of fans dressed up in their most creative duds inspired by their favorite characters, park attractions, and Disney movies. These two were award winners in the Mousequerade costume contest as the Yeti and a Matterhorn Bobsled enthusiast.
18. The Archives
In honor of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Celebration the exhibit, Walt Disney Archives Presents—Disneyland gave guests a preview of some of the classic and contemporary pieces included in the breathtaking display was Maleficent costume and huge Dragon head from the Fantasmic! Nightime Spectacular at Disneyland Park.
19. Join The Club
D23 is Disney’s Official Fan Club and the people who put on the D23 EXPO. This year-round membership unlocks the magic of The Walt Disney Company by offering unique access to all things Disney including discount tickets to the Expo and other events. Buy a membership for yourself or give the gift of magic to a friend.More On