For Disney fans, this is a pilgrimage that must be made. The D23 Expo is the mecca of all things Disney (probably even bigger than Comic Con for Disney geeks) so when you attend this event, you’re honoring your pledge as a Disney fan…or something like that.
This year’s D23 Expo will be held August 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center, where Disney will give fans exclusive behind the scenes access to what they’re currently working on- in addition to some really special treats. Here’s a rundown of what to expect at this year’s expo:
Friday, August 9, 10 am:
Art and Imagination: Animation at The Walt Disney Studios: A showcase of upcoming animated films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and DisneyToon Studios. John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Disney’s Animation Studios, will host a lively exhibition chock-full of never-before-seen footage, celebrity and filmmaker appearances, and live performances from films like Disney’s Frozen, Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur and the Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse!
Friday, August 9, 6:30 pm:
Broadway & Beyond…Celebrating the Stars of Disney on Broadway: audiences will take a musical journey with Disney Theatrical Productions President Thomas Schumacher and a bevy of stage stars, including Heidi Blickenstaff (The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast), Merle Dandridge (Tarzan® and AIDA), Josh Strickland (Tarzan) and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King), who sing beloved songs from the award-winning musicals they starred in as well as classic tunes from the Disney on Broadway catalog.
Saturday, August 10, 10:30 am:
Let the Adventures Begin: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios: Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, Disney Live Action Production President Sean Bailey, and Marvel Studios President and Producer Kevin Feige will host “Let the Adventures Begin: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios,” an expedition through the Studio’s exciting live-action offerings from Disney as well as several powerhouse pictures on tap from Marvel Studios, with exclusive clips and surprise guests from a range of films including Saving Mr. Banks, Tomorrowland, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and much more.
Fans can expect appearances from Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel (Frozen), Dane Cook (Disney’s Planes), Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak (Saving Mr. Banks), Ty Burrell (Muppets Most Wanted) and top Marvel and Disney•Pixar talent. And in typical D23 Expo fashion, fans can also anticipate surprise appearances from more of their favorite stars.
Over the weekend, fans can also go behind the scenes of the incredible new movies from Disney and Pixar, with such awesome panels like:
* Inside the Ice: The Art of Disney’s Frozen – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ big-screen comedy adventure Frozen, with its icy setting and colorful cast of characters, presented breathtaking opportunities, plus a few challenges for filmmakers. Join the team behind the movie for an exclusive look at the art and animation of Frozen. (Saturday, August 10, 10:30 a.m.)
* The Art of The Good Dinosaur – Pixar Animation Studios’ latest feature explores what might have happened if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct. Take a closer look at this imaginative world of possibility and the artistry and production design behind it. (Saturday, August 10, 3 p.m.)
* Toy Story OF TERROR! and the Motivation Behind Pixar’s Short Form Content – From toys on vacation to tow-riffic four wheelers, Pixar keeps some of their most beloved characters alive and well through short-form content. Angus MacLane, director of Toy Story OF TERROR!, a new adventure featuring Woody, Buzz and the Toy Story gang set for release on TV this fall; producer Galyn Susman; and other Pixar short-form filmmakers share their experiences and discuss the exciting challenges of expanding the worlds of these characters loved by audiences across the globe. (Saturday, August 10, 5 p.m.)
* Pixar: Doing Our Homework – Research is an integral part of the filmmaking process, and with a story in hand, Pixar artists set out to become experts, immersing themselves in places, people and experiences that inspire and inform their filmmaking, whether it be spirited Scots, delectable French cuisine, or deep sea adventures. (Friday, August 9, 6 p.m.)
* Women of Pixar – Jessie. Dory. Sally. Merida. Although they never cross paths and exist in different worlds, these iconic Pixar females have one thing in common: girl power. Meet a dynamic group of women from Pixar, whose experience and success at the studio have helped craft some of the most memorable animated films in recent history. They will share stories from their journeys and the lessons they have learned along the way. (Sunday, August 11, 1 p.m.)
Expo attendees will also have access to an Exclusive Screening of Disney’s Planes in 3D, featuring an introduction by some very special guests. (Friday, August 9, 3 p.m.)
As Disney welcomes Lucasfilm into the family, fans will have a chance to delve deep in the Star Wars universe with “Crash Course in the Force: Star Wars Saga 101,” an immersive journey into the rich history of the worldwide phenomenon, led by Lucasfilm’s resident authority Pablo Hidalgo. (Saturday, August 10, 5 p.m.)
Music fans will be treated to performances by Good Luck Charlie star and platinum-selling Hollywood Records artist Bridgit Mendler, and Hollywood Records artists R5, fronted by Teen Beach Movie and Austin & Ally star Ross Lynch. D23 will also present Richard Sherman and Alan Menken, two of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and composers who have won a combined 10 Academy Awards for their work with Disney. In addition, Grammy® Award-winning producer and resident Disney Music Historian, Randy Thornton, will take fans on a musical journey with inside stories of songs written for classic Disney films.
At the Expo, fans can also experience the world of the Walt Disney Animation Studios at their leisure, with comprehensive exhibits like:
* Walt Disney Animation Studios Pavilion – Attendees can summon their inner artist and escape into diverse worlds of where there’s much to explore, from the stunning snow-covered setting of Frozen to the high-tech, action-packed world of Big Hero 6, featuring the latest animation technology, sneak peeks, and giveaways.
* Disneytoon Studios Pavilion – Aviation aficionados and fairy fans will be on cloud nine as they explore projects including Disney’s Planes and immerse themselves in the world of Pixie Hollow and the magical heroines from Disney’s Fairies with exciting demonstrations and presentations.
* Walt Disney Studios In-Home Entertainment Zones – Dive into cutting-edge home entertainment technology and learn what the future holds for Disney movie fans, with sneak peeks of upcoming films in breathtaking high-definition Blu-ray 3D™, including new hit films and new-to-Blu classics, the latest on Disney Second Screen and more. Also, the adorable Disney “Buddies” are back with an all-new movie—Super Buddies—coming August 27! Fans can get a picture with one of the real puppy super heroes. They are appearing live at D23 Expo for the first time—Saturday and Sunday!
Tickets for the D23 Expo are $57 for a one-day adult admission and $47 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $50 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available for both D23 Members and the general public, and D23 Members can save as much as $84 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for members and general admission, visit D23Expo.com.
Check out the Official Press Release here.
Are you excited for D23? Will you be attending?