As much of the D23 Expo is about the movies, tv shows, music, exclusive merch, and nostalgia, the spectacular Disney fan convention dedicates itself to surprising its guests with news about the various Disney parks worldwide. With exciting pavilions, captivating panel presentations and special retail experiences, fans can explore and be the first to learn about never-before-seen details of new themed lands, attractions, shows, and more.
The Disney Parks and Experiences Wonderful World of Dreams pavilion invites attendees to step into the new stories, attractions and adventures Disney Imagineers are bringing to life around the globe. Among the biggest first looks we can expect to see is a behind-the-scenes glimpses of the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. This is a brand ride replaces the original Splash Mountain, which is a ride based on the Song of the South – a movie that many consider as offensive because of its outdated portrayal of Blacks.
Guests will also get a first look at the transformation of EPCOT, new Frozen-themed experiences, Disney Cruise Line, live entertainment and more. They could also find out more about details of highly anticipated projects in development around the world from Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro at the A Boundless Future: Disney Parks Experiences and Products panel in the Hall D23 stage on Sunday, September 11, at 10:30 a.m.
D23 Expo is the place for fans to shop for new and limited-edition merchandise from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, plus items celebrating Disney100 and D23 Expo. Attendees can visit the D23 Expo Marketplace for a new, immersive retail experience with products from shopDisney.com and Disney Parks. The Walt Disney Imagineering Mickey’s of Glendale shop is returning to D23 Expo this year, this time with three unique retail spaces tailored to different categories and experiences: Mickey’s of Glendale Main Store, Mickey’s of Glendale Pin Store and D23 Expo Shop x Mickey’s of Glendale.
Guests at D23 Expo will get first access to DisneyMe, an all-new digital avatar in the Play Disney Parks app. This experience empowers guests to express their Disney style by creating their own unique DisneyMe. To celebrate the launch of DisneyMe as part of Disney Uncharted Adventure on the Disney Wish, guests at D23 Expo will be invited on a quest that can only be completed at the Expo. Attendees will uncover specially designed Disney Wish and D23 Expo digital clothing and accessories for their DisneyMe around the show floor.
Throughout the weekend, fans can dive deeper into the world of Disney, Disney Parks, and Disney Cruises through several special panel presentations:
Inside Look at the Society of Explorers and Adventurers
Friday, Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m., Backlot Stage
An inside look at the continuing development of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers — what it means in the Disney parks and how these stories continue to grow. Disney Imagineers are joined by Julie Kagawa to talk about her first two books in a series of novels that tie into the lore of S.E.A.
A Peek Behind the Curtain at the Walt Disney Imagineering Illusions and Special Effects Development Lab
Saturday, September 10, 10 a.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage
Learn about the legacy of Walt Disney Imagineering’s Illusions and Special Effects Development Lab, including the work created by Yale Gracey for the Haunted Mansion and other early projects, plus a behind-the-curtain look at the present-day magical process that is so unique to Imagineering.
Uncovering Treasures from the Marty Sklar Collection
Saturday, September 10, 12 p.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage
Join Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador Bob Weis and Leah and Leslie Sklar, the wife and daughter of the late Disney Legend and Imagineer Marty Sklar, as they discuss some of the treasures they’ve discovered while going through Marty’s collection from his more than 50 years with Walt Disney Imagineering.
Dreaming, Designing and Bringing to Life the Disney Wish
Saturday, September 10, 4 p.m., Backlot Stage
Disney Imagineers fresh off the launch of the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet — the Disney Wish — talk about their experiences bringing this ship to life. From the wondrously themed spaces and imaginative kids clubs to the first-ever Disney attraction at sea, the ship brings to life fantastical stories you know and love like never before.
Walt Disney Imagineering: 70 Years of Making the Impossible, Possible
Sunday, September 11, 1 p.m., Premiere Stage
For seven decades, the magic-makers at Walt Disney Imagineering have blended limitless imagination with cutting-edge technology to create groundbreaking experiences that bring together families and friends to create lifelong memories. Join Imagineers past and present as they discuss the core elements of storytelling and innovation that bring dreams to life for guests from all around the world.
Disney Parks Through the Decades: A Disney Ambassador Perspective
Sunday, September 11, 4 p.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage
Join us for a conversation with Disney Ambassadors spanning the decades, including 1966 Disney Ambassador, Connie Lane, and 1971 Walt Disney World Ambassador, Debby Dane Browne. From representing Walt Disney at Disneyland in the 1960s, to opening Walt Disney World: experience the history of Disney Parks like never before.
The World of Duffy & Friends Revealed
Sunday, September 11, 4:15 p.m., Hyperion Stage
Disney Imagineers discuss the origin and continuing popularity of Duffy & Friends, including the newest friend who has become a global phenomenon — LinaBell!
The D23 Expo will be held in Anaheim, CA, from September 9 through the 11.