D23 Expo 2024: The ULTIMATE Disney Fan Event is coming to Anaheim, California August 9, 10, and 11, 2024!
More details about the Disney D23 Expo 2024 are coming soon. But first, for a taste of what’s to come, let’s explore what happens at D23. Then, we’ll take a look back at the most exciting announcements and park investments from the last D23 Expo in 2022 — and Destination D23 in 2023 — for hints at what could be on the horizon for the D23 Expo 2024!
What is the D23 Expo?
Disney’s D23 Expo is a celebration of all things Disney that’s organized for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. Held once every two years, it’s the ultimate Disney fan event uniting everything that makes Disney so magical — cutting-edge theme parks, innovative technologies and timeless stories with unforgettable characters.
Throughout the D23 Expo, Disney fans of all ages can connect with Disney on a deeper level. The D23 Expo combines a variety of events, including exclusive movie previews, enticing exhibitions, presentations and panel discussions from Disney’s most prominent figures, a peek at future attractions and much more. Let’s take a look!
The D23 Expo’s curated exhibitions immerse fans in the world of Disney while providing a rare look behind the scenes.
Past exhibits have included:
- Theme park showcases: For the biggest fans of Disney theme parks, the D23 Expo offers a unique opportunity to get a first look at the inventive, immersive and imaginative experiences currently being produced.
- Highlights from the archives: After a century of making history, Disney has built an impressive archive of rare memorabilia and original artwork that’s showcased at each D23 Expo.
- Animation and Imagineering: The D23 Expo provides an inside look at Disney’s creative processes with exhibits highlighting its bar-raising animation and Imagineering innovations.
- Interactive experiences: Previous D23 Expos have gone beyond simple observation, inviting guests to experience hands-on activities as well as virtual reality simulations.
Panel discussions and presentations from Disney’s biggest names
In addition to special access to previews of upcoming projects, D23 Expo attendees have the opportunity to sit in on panel discussions featuring the minds behind Disney’s most exciting work. Imagineers, filmmakers, animators and even Disney stars join the fun to field questions and provide insight into what makes the magic possible.
The D23 Expo shines a light on the inventiveness and creativity of Disney fans. Cosplayers from around the country are encouraged to show off their skills and bring their favorite characters to life at the event, painting a vibrant atmosphere of joy and excitement.
The heart of the D23 Expo lies in its ability to unite Disney enthusiasts, providing them with a shared space to connect and learn more about what lies in the future. Attendees are invited to become part of a larger, magical community that thrives on imagination and storytelling.
D23 Expo 2022: A look back
The last D23 Expo took place at the Anaheim Convention Center in September 2022. The first D23 Expo since 2019, D23 Expo 2022 was full of announcements detailing all sorts of exciting plans. Here’s an overview of what was revealed.
Attractions at Walt Disney World Resort
No D23 Expo is complete without discussion of Walt Disney World’s upcoming innovations and updates. At D23 Expo 2022, noteworthy announcements included:
- TRON Lightcycle / Run: A high-octane steel coaster found in Magic Kingdom that ranks among Disney’s fastest. It opened to the public in spring 2023.
- Tiana’s Bayou Adventure: A reimagining of Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain that brings The Princess and the Frog to life. It’s expected to open in late 2024.
- Happily Ever After: A fan-favorite nighttime spectacular that returned to Magic Kingdom in 2023.
- Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana: An educational, interactive experience that explores the water cycle in an immersive environment inspired by the 2016 film “Moana.” It opened in late 2023.
- World Celebration Neighborhood: The revitalized entrance area of EPCOT features lush gardens and serves as a crucial fixture for many of the park’s most exciting events. It was largely completed in late 2023.
Attractions at Disneyland Resort
There were a number of announcements from Disneyland at the D23 Expo 2022, too. They included:
- San Fransokyo Square: A reimagining of the Pacific Wharf inspired by the action-packed “Big Hero 6.”
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway: New details were shared about this rendition of the beloved Walt Disney World ride that can now be experienced in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Resort. It opened in early 2023.
- Pixar Place Hotel: A reimagining of Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel featuring a Pixar theme and a water play area inspired by Finding Nemo. This transformed property officially opened January 30, 2024.
- Tiana’s Bayou Adventure: New details were revealed about the reimagining of Splash Mountain at Disneyland that will dive into the fantastic world of “The Princess and the Frog,” coming in 2024.
Film and TV announcements
A massive lineup of new films and TV series were announced during D23’s 2022 Expo. These titles spanned many of Disney’s most beloved studios, including Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar and 20th Century, encompassing both fresh entries to classic franchises like Daredevil: Born Again and new stories like Iwájú.
International parks and beyond
Beyond The Walt Disney Company’s U.S. resorts, the 2022 D23 Expo also explored updates happening around the world. These ranged from a brand-new Disney Cruise Lines ship that’s setting sail in 2024, the Disney Treasure, to three Frozen-themed areas—at Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.
What is Destination D23?
Held in opposite years to the D23 Expo, Destination D23 — a D23 Gold Member exclusive event — is a smaller event than the D23 Expo but every bit as magical. Destination D23 keeps the excitement high with a jam-packed itinerary.
A look back at Destination D23 2023
The 2023 edition of Destination D23 was held at Walt Disney World Resort from September 8, through September 10. This Destination D23 event was particularly special. October 16, 2023, marked the 100-year anniversary of The Walt Disney Company, and the event gave Disney fans a chance to come together and celebrate a century of Disney magic.
Here’s a quick look at what went on.
Parks panel hosted by Josh D’Amaro
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Experiences, took the mic to provide guests with a firsthand look at the exciting developments underway at Disney parks across the globe.
In addition to providing updates on last year’s announcements, Josh’s unique and entertaining presentation highlighted what makes the Disney experience magical and how Disney parks are committed to upholding that legacy.
Destination D23’s 2023 attendees had exclusive access to Disney and D23 merchandise only available for purchase at the event. The event’s shopping experiences included:
- Mickey’s of Glendale: This pop-up shop featured a selection of Walt Disney Imagineering merchandise in addition to Destination D23 items.
- The Walt Disney Company Store: For the first time, guests at Destination D23 had access to The Walt Disney Company Store, where items typically only sold to employees were available for guests to purchase.
- Ink & Paint Marketplace: This marketplace featured products and souvenirs from Disney, as well as exciting products from Disney partners.
60 years of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics® technology exhibit
2023’s Destination D23 featured an educational exhibit by The Walt Disney Archives and Walt Disney Imagineering, exploring the history of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics technology.
This exhibit showcased the evolution of Audio-Animatronics technology, a prime example of Disney’s technological innovations, by presenting figural assets, photography and vintage documentation. Guests were transported back in time to witness some of Walt Disney’s earliest development processes.
Disney+ Hallowstream Costume Bash
Closing out the festivities on September 10, the Hallowstream Costume Bash at Destination D23 invited guests to dress in their spookiest costumes for the annual “skeleton dance” and to welcome the Halloween season.
Celebrate the magic at the D23 Expo in 2024
After 100 years of Disney, fans have a lot to celebrate. The D23 Expo and Destination D23 give fans a chance to do just that with captivating exhibits, exclusive looks at upcoming projects and a vibrant community of like-minded enthusiasts. We hope to see you at the D23 Expo in 2024!