Disney’s D23 Expo is a biennial celebration of all things Disney that’s organized for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. From exclusive movie previews to star-studded panel discussions, the D23 Expo combines a variety of events to create an unparalleled experience for Disney fans of all ages. D23: The ULTIMATE Disney Fan Event is coming to Anaheim, California August 9, 10, 11, 2024.
Disney will celebrate Destination D23, a biennial fan event that will be held on September 8–10, 2023, at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Here, find everything you need to know about both the D23 Expo and Destination D23. But first, explore the most exciting announcements and park investments from the latest D23 Expo to learn what’s on the horizon.
D23 Expo 2022: A look back
The last D23 Expo took place at Walt Disney World in September 2022. The first D23 Expo since 2019 was full of announcements detailing all sorts of exciting plans. Here’s an overview of what was revealed.
Coming soon to 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’s scheduled to open in late 2023.
- World Celebration Neighborhood: The revitalized entrance area of EPCOT, which will feature lush gardens and serve as a crucial fixture for many of the park’s most exciting events. It’s expected to be complete in late 2023.
Coming soon to 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: A 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 set to feature a Pixar theme and a water play area inspired by Finding Nemo. This transformation is currently underway, with completion expected in winter 2023.
- Tiana’s Bayou Adventure: A reimagining of Disneyland’s Splash Mountain that once again dives into the fantastic world of The Princess and the Frog.
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 currently under development at Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and Walt Disney Studios Park.
What is the D23 Expo?
The D23 Expo, held once every two years, is the ultimate celebration of all things Disney. 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 event, fans have a chance to connect with Disney on a deeper level through enticing exhibitions, presentations from Disney’s most prominent figures, previews of future attractions and much more.
Here’s a hint of all the Expo has to offer.
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 standard-setting 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.
What is Destination D23?
Destination D23 — a D23 Gold Member exclusive event — keeps the excitement high with a jam-packed itinerary.
This year’s event is particularly special. October 16, 2023 marks the 100 year anniversary of The Walt Disney Company, and Destination D23 will give Disney fans a chance to come together and celebrate a century of Disney magic.
What to expect at Destination D23 2023
The 2023 edition of Destination D23 will be held at Walt Disney World Resort from Friday, September 8, through Sunday, September 10. Here’s a quick look at what to expect from the event.
Parks Panel hosted by Josh D’Amaro
Josh D’Armaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, will take 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 will highlight what makes the Disney experience magical and how Disney parks are committed to upholding that legacy.
Destination D23 attendees will get exclusive access to Disney and D23 merchandise only available for purchase at the event. The event’s shopping experiences will include:
- Mickey’s of Glendale: This pop-up shop features a selection of Walt Disney Imagineering merchandise, in addition to Destination D23 items.
- The Walt Disney Company Store: For the first time, guests at D23 will have access to The Walt Disney Company Store, where items typically only sold to employees will be available for guests to purchase.
- Ink & Paint Marketplace: This marketplace features products and souvenirs from Disney, as well as exciting products from Disney partners.
60 Years of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics® Technology Exhibit
Together, The Walt Disney Archives and Walt Disney Imagineering, Destination D23 will feature an educational exhibit exploring the history of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics technology.
This exhibit showcases the evolution of this technology by presenting figural assets, photography and vintage documentation that take guests back in time to witness some of Walt Disney’s earliest development processes.
Disney+ Hallowstream Costume Bash
Closing out the festivities on Sunday, September 10th, the Hallowstream Costume Bash invites guests to dress in their spookiest costumes for the annual “skeleton dance” and welcome the Halloween season.
Celebrating the magic at Destination D23
After 100 years of Disney, fans have a lot to celebrate. Destination D23 gives fans a chance to do just that with captivating exhibits, exclusive looks at upcoming projects, and a vibrant community of like-minded enthusiasts.