Okay, that may not have had the clever ring to it like it did in our head, but the thought rings true! If you are headed down to Anaheim for the D23 Expo, you have to go prepared with your own schedule in mind. Seeing as it is a convention, or Expo if you’re keeping the name, you will want to have a plan in place, with second choices, third choices, and the always fun “let’s just pop into this random panel” choice.
We’ve gone ahead and hopefully saved you some trouble by looking over the 3 days of panels, exhibits, signings, and more to bring you some of the highlights of the Expo so that you can hopefully make your plan for the weekend with as little stress as possible. Thinking of a happy thought? Well, here we gooooo!
Friday, August 14th
Disney Legends Awards- 10am-12pm, Hall D23
The Disney Legends Awards ceremony, hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, is a tradition that pays tribute to the talented people who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy. This year’s inductees include George Bodenheimer, Julie Reihm Casaletto, Andreas Deja, Eyvind Earle, Danny Elfman, George Lucas, Susan Lucci, and Carson Van Osten—all of whom will be honored with once-in-a-lifetime tributes and special entertainment.
The Magic Behind the Muppets- 10am-11am, Stage 23
Calling all Muppet fans! Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work with the Muppets? Here’s your chance to find out firsthand when ABC presents a panel on the magic and art of being a Muppet Performer. Join these creative artists and some of your favorite characters, along with a few surprise guests, for a rare and unforgettable demonstration of what it takes to bring these iconic and enduring personalities to life.
Pixar Living Archives- 12:30pm-1:30om, Walt Disney Archives Stage
Lead Archivist and Pixar historian Christine Freeman gives a behind-the-scenes look at what lives in Pixar’s archives—describing their collections, the work of their archivists, and the history of the collection starting with The Adventures of André & Wally B.
Designing the World of Big Hero 6- with Shiyoon Kim-1pm-2pm, The Walt Disney Studios
Join lead character designer Shiyoon Kim for a walkthrough of the artistic design choices and research that went into the creation of San Fransokyo and the unique character designs of Big Hero 6. This presentation will take place at the Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios Stage within The Walt Disney Studios pavilion.
Safari So Good – 60 Years of the World Famous Jungle Cruise- 3:15pm-4:15pm, Stage 23
Skippers from throughout the years reflect on their experiences at the Jungle Cruise—one of the opening day attractions at Disneyland celebrating its 60th anniversary. Skippers will discuss changes to the attraction over the years, including the recent holiday overlays and other additions.
Pixar and Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films, Hosted by John Lasseter- 3pm-5pm, Hall D23
After meeting the emotions inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl, taking a trip to San Fransokyo where a boy genius and his robot save the world, and falling in love with the frozen world of a queen with icy powers who wants to “let it go,” come see where Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios plan to take you next. In what has become a D23 EXPO “must-see” event, host John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, presents Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films. Filmmakers will unveil never-before-seen footage from Disney•Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia and Moana. The event will include surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by the films’ star voice talent.
A Goofy Movie 20th Anniversary Reunion!- 6pm-7pm, Stage 28
Fans of A Goofy Movie won’t want to miss this special commemoration of the beloved Disney animated feature, which turns 20 in 2015! Film producer Don Hahn hosts a panel of Goofy Movie talent––including Disney Legend Bill Farmer (Goofy), Jason Marsden (Max), Jim Cummings (Pete), Rob Paulsen (P.J.), and writer Jymn Magon––who will share behind-the-scenes stories and surprise anecdotes from the fan-favorite musical.
Saturday, August 15th
Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes- Live Action at the Walt Disney Studios- 10:30am-12:30pm, Hall D23
Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm are home to some of the planet’s best storytellers, immersing audiences fully in the world of each film from beginning to end and beyond. In this exclusive Hall D23 presentation, join Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn for a tour of upcoming live-action projects from these legendary film studios. A bevy of special guests will be on hand to offer a look at an unparalleled slate that includes Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars—and much, much more. Cell phones, cameras, and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation.
Disney on Broadway: “The Originals”- 11am-12:10pm, Stage 23
Disney on Broadway: “The Originals” stars Broadway’s original Mary Poppins (Ashley Brown), Tarzan (Josh Strickland) and Genie (James Monroe Iglehart) from Aladdin. The “Originals” will entertain and delight D23 EXPO attendees by performing favorite musical highlights from the Disney on Broadway catalogue. Tony Award®-winner James Monroe Iglehart will also serve as host for this 70-minute, live performance that features a five-piece band of Broadway’s best musicians with special behind-the-scenes videos and interviews that promise to enthrall Disney on Broadway fans of all ages.
Author Signing: Marty Sklar, Disney Legend- 11:30am-12:30pm, Autograph Central
Marty Sklar Disney Legend and Imagineering Ambassador Marty Sklar joined Disneyland in 1955 where he was part of the park’s early publicity and marketing staff. In 1961, he moved to WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering), of which he eventually became President. Marty was instrumental in the creative development of Epcot and supervised the design of Tokyo Disneyland, Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Disneyland Paris, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney California Adventure, Tokyo DisneySea, the Walt Disney Studios Park, and Hong Kong Disneyland. In 2001 he was recognized as a Disney Legend. Upon his retirement in 2009, Marty had been with The Walt Disney Company for more than 50 years and was honored with a window on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland.
New Disney Storytellers- Disney TV Animation- 11:30am-12:30pm, Stage 28
Join the creators of Disney TV Animation’s current hit Disney XD shows—Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls), Craig McCracken (Wander Over Yonder), Jared Bush and Sam Levine (Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero), Daron Nefcy (Star vs. The Forces of Evil), Noah Z. Jones and Joel Trussell (Pickle & Peanut)—to get a glimpse of the vision and inspiration that go into a Disney XD animated series, participate in an audience Q&A, and even take a peek at some new shows!
Animation Academy: Mark Henn- 1:30pm-2:30pm, Center Stage
Renowned Disney animator Mark Henn—the man behind some of the greatest Disney Animation characters of all time, including Ariel, Belle, Mulan, Pocahontas and young Simba—talks about his career in Animation and shows how he puts pencil to paper in this live drawing demonstration.
Welcome to Zootopia!- 1:30pm-2:30pm, Stage 28
Welcome to Zootopia, a magnificent mammal metropolis, and home to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ next feature, the comedy-adventure Zootopia. Join directors Byron Howard (Tangled, Bolt) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-It Ralph, Bolt), and artists from the incredible production team as they introduce rookie rabbit-officer Judy Hopps, con-artist fox Nick Wilde, and a host of dynamic animal characters, sharing footage and behind-the-scenes stories with D23 EXPO-goers.
Pixar Secrets Revealed! Hear the Stories They Didn’t Want You to Know!-3pm-4pm, Stage 28
Ever wonder where your favorite Pixar stories began? Hear the stories you don’t know about the classic films that you love. Pixar senior development executive Mary Coleman hosts this experience, welcoming the storytellers behind some of Pixar’s most successful films, including Darla K. Anderson (A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Brave), Ronnie del Carmen (Up, Inside Out) and Dan Scanlon (Cars, Toy Story 3, Monsters University), as they talk about the twists and turns of crafting a narrative and share some of the crazy story ideas that didn’t make the final cut.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts-3pm-4:30pm, Hall D23
Guests will get behind-the-scenes perspectives from the creative minds working to bring magical experiences to life at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. They will also get a sneak peek at projects in progress around the world, such as the ongoing work at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with AVATAR and the developments on Shanghai Disneyland, along with a few special guests and surprises.
Toy Story: 20 Years Later, the Original Crew Looks Back- 4:30pm-5:30pm, Stage 23
From flipbooks to feature films, animation has taken audiences to fantastical new worlds, far beyond the limits of any real-world setting. Pixar Animation Studios has been at the forefront of this evolution, blurring the line between art and technology and bringing beloved characters to life with heart and humor. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of 1995’s Toy Story, the first computer-animated feature film, join members of the original crew, including filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, Galyn Susman, Ralph Eggleston, Sharon Calahan, Eben Ostby, Bob Pauley, and Bill Reeves as they share their stories and the challenges they faced along the way.
Sunday, August 16th
Disney Kingdoms- 10am-11am- Stage 28
Learn about Disney Kingdoms, a joint collaboration between Marvel Comics and Walt Disney Imagineering. Discover how these popular series of comic books got started, the theme park inspirations behind them, and the creators behind these popular titles, including Seekers of the Weird, Figment, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Sounds Delightful: Disneyland Edition- 10am-11am, Walt Disney Archives Stage
Disney artist and historian Stacia Martin hosts Sounds Delightful: Disneyland Edition, an “Illustrated Audio Adventure” across the Disney decades via vintage vinyl recordings from her extensive personal collection. Enjoy forgotten favorites from the turntables of yesteryear, rare promotional and production tracks… and a special 60th anniversary salute to Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom of Disneyland!
Disney in Concert: A Silly Symphony Celebration- 11am-12:15pm, Stage 23
Experience the world premiere of Disney in Concert: A Silly Symphony Celebration––a live concert performance featuring a 32-piece orchestra celebrating the Silly Symphony short films that transformed the art of animation, hosted by film historian Leonard Maltin. Fans will delight in watching selected Silly Symphony shorts from Disney’s archives while the music is performed live in synchronization with picture, presented using high-quality, newly restored digital film masters. The music will be performed as it would have been recorded during those historic days at the Disney Studio on Hyperion Avenue in the 1920s and ’30s. This very special concert event will showcase the music of Three Little Pigs, The Old Mill, Flowers and Trees, and many other classics.
It’s Game Time: Disney Interactive Takes the Stage- 11am-12pm, Hall D23
Get ready for a trip across the Disney and Star Wars™ gaming universes featuring three of Disney Interactive’s most anticipated games: Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, Star Wars™ Battlefront™ from Electronic Arts and Kingdom Hearts III from Square Enix. Fans can look forward to never before seen gameplay and trailers, special guests and surprises and limited-edition Hall D23 exclusive giveaways for the entire audience.
Disneyland: Fond Memories of the Past- 1pm-2pm, Walt Disney Archives Stage
Didn’t get a chance to experience D23’s Destination D: Attraction Rewind? Well, let’s turn back the clocks! Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline and Disney artist and historian Stacia Martin revisit their popular 2014 event presentation taking fans on a journey through some of Disneyland’s most beloved attractions of yesteryear.
Frozen FANdemonium: A Musical Celebration!- 3pm-4:30pm, Hall D23
Join host Chris Montan, president, Walt Disney Music, and the Oscar®-winning songwriting team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, as they take you on a once-in-a-lifetime musical journey through the world of Frozen. This one-day-only performance features your favorite friends from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film––including Anna and Elsa––with sing-along experiences and fascinating stories behind some of your favorite Frozen songs.
Celebrating Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club – 60 Magical yEARS- 5pm-6:30pm, Stage 23
Hey there, hi there, ho there! It’s time to relive your favorite moments from one of the most popular and revered television programs in American history: the Mickey Mouse Club! Join author Lorraine Santoli (The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book) as she introduces some of the original Mouseketeers—Sherry Alberoni, Sharon Baird, Bobby Burgess, Tommy Cole, Darlene Gillespie, Cubby O’Brien, and Doreen Tracey—for a one-of-a-kind performance filled with memories, music, and magic.