We are just a few days away from the biggest day on every Disnerd’s calendar: D23 Expo. For those of you not quite as obsessed with the deeds of the Walt Disney Company as others (I swear I’m not talking about myself), D23 is the official fan club for all things Disney and every other year they have a convention that may or may not be equivalent to San Diego Comic Con for Disney geeks.
This year, D23 Expo will take place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is the fifth D23 Expo and there are sure to be celebrity guests, epic cosplays, and exciting announcements made about all of our favorite Disney franchises. Let’s take a look at the top 10 things we are the most excited to see, hear, and do at D23 Expo 2017.
10. Celebrate Anniversaries
Several of Walt Disney’s timeless and most cherished films are celebrating momentous anniversaries this year, and what better way to celebrate than by being surrounded by fellow Disney geeks in the presence of some of the creators and actors on those film projects? At the Walt Disney Archives Stage on Saturday at 11:30am, celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bambi with both cast and crew of the film as they tell stories, go behind the scenes, and much more!
9. Upcoming Movies
Whether you’re a Star Wars geek, a Marvel fan through and through, or you just love all things that Disney has its hands on, you won’t want to miss any of the exciting announcements about the films waiting in Disney’s queue. Join John Lasseter on Friday at 2:30pm in Hall D23 as he talks about all of the new films coming from Pixar and Walt Disney Studios including Toy Story 4, Coco, and Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck it Ralph 2. On Saturday at 10am in Hall D23, listen in as they announce new films from the Star Wars and Marvel universes! While there won’t be a new trailer for The Last Jedi, we can hope for some behind the scenes looks as well as surprise celebrity appearances (in the past we’ve seen Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Depp). Please note that cameras and phones are not permitted in either of these presentations.
8. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
It wouldn’t be Disney if Frozen didn’t find its way in here somehow. On Saturday at 2:30pm in Studio 28, Guests will be the first to check out exclusive, and never before seen footage of the making of the newest Frozen spin-off. This new short, which will appear before Coco, features the talents of the original cast. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to tide mega-fans over until the sequel is finally released in 2019.
7. Princess Panel
This is a must for anyone who grew up in the ’90s and loved watching their princess movies! On Saturday at 10:30am in Studio 28, join in on The Power of the Princess panel where Guests can listen to Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), and Auli‘i Cravalho (Moana) as they talk about what it was like to bring these iconic ladies to life and how these princesses have impacted girls and women all over the globe.
You can’t call it a convention without a cosplay contest! Competitors can enter one of five different categories–Once Upon a Costume, Worlds of Adventure, Heroes and Villains, Inspired by Disney, and Cast of Characters. Winners of each of these categories will win a trophy, and the winner of Best in Show will go home with $2,300!
5. Alan Menken Concert
Alan Menken, the composer that wrote the soundtrack of many of our childhoods, will be appearing in a one man show called A Whole New World of Alan Menken where he will be playing many of his iconic songs from films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas, Enchanted, and Tangled (and don’t forget the golden little flop of a show, Galavant!). With eight Oscars (and 19 nominations), as well as 11 Grammys, seven Golden Globes, and a Tony Award, there’s no denying that this man is a gift, and his show is not to be missed!
4. Star Wars Themed Land mini model
There’s no doubt that the Disney Parks and Resorts presentation will be talking all about the upcoming Star Wars themed land coming to both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida in the coming years. On top of this presentation, Disney Parks will also have a pavilion where they will be debuting the model of Star Wars Land. If you can’t wait until the opening date (rumor has it Disneyland’s will be ready as soon as 2019), you can head over to the pavilion to see the tiny version of what you can expect to see when we’re finally transported to a galaxy far, far away.
3. Marvel Studios Pavilion
Located in Hall B, Marvel Studios will have a lot of action at their pavilion including set pieces and costumes from the upcoming films Thor: Ragnorok and Black Panther as well as photo ops with props from the films. Giveaways as well as special appearance will also be happening here, so Guests might want to lurk around the pavilion all weekend long.
2. Kingdom Hearts III trailer
While we didn’t get any news on the long awaited Kingdom Hearts III at E3, it looks like we will finally be getting a trailer from the third segment (actually the 12th if we’re really counting) of the adventures of Sora, Riku, and Kairi along with Donald, Goofy, and King Mickey. The game is for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and while we still don’t have a release date, Square Enix has said it will not be coming out any earlier than 2018, and the president of Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda, said it would come out “in the next three years or so.” Hopefully, we’ll learn a bit more at the premiere of this trailer.
1. Disney Legends Award
Perhaps one of the most memorable moments from D23 Expo is the Disney Legends award ceremony. Back in April, this year’s recipients was announced including the late and great Carrie Fisher. Other recipients that will be awarded are Carrie’s on screen brother, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Oprah Winfrey, and five others. This is the highest honor that Disney bestows upon those who have helped shape the Company and is sure to be a heartfelt tribute to our late Princess.
So there you have it! Our top 10 things that we are most looking forward to seeing at D23 Expo 2017. Do you have tickets? If not, hurry! Saturday’s tickets are completely sold out as of July 5th with only a small number left for Friday and Sunday.
Our final bit of advice to you: Wear comfortable shoes. Drink a lot of water. Have a first, second, and third choice for things you want to see. And realize it’s impossible to see everything. As Ursula says: “Life’s full of tough choices… Innit?”
What are you most looking forward to seeing at D23 Expo? Maybe some news on the next Star Wars anthology films? Maybe a peek at Infinity War? KINGDOM HEARTS!!! Let us know in the comments!
Amanda Woomer-Limpert is one of the Geekiverse’s newest writers and a former Disney cast member. She’s holding out hope that someday the Geekiverse will send her to D23 Expo… in the meantime, she waits…
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