Disney doesn’t do anything small, so it’s not shocking that the new events announced for its biannual D23 Expo are full of fun surprises.
It was previously announced that Stan Lee, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher would be among this year’s Disney Legends.
Marvel will make its presence known with panels on its animated series, games and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada holding his Cup o’ Joe Q&A session. The full list of Marvel events can be found here.
More events have just been confirmed including the Mousequerade, The Making of Hercules and my personal favorite, The Golden Girls: A Celebration of Friendship, Laughter and Cheesecake.
Here are a few highlights from the D23 Expo schedule.
Friday July 14
Disney Legends Awards Ceremony 10 am Hall D23
The Legends Ceremony is the official kickoff to the expo and with the star-studded nature of this year’s list of legends, this panel will be more popular than it’s ever been.
Mousequerade 11 am Stage 28
This is the Disney version of a masquerade. While it may not be as adult as other cons late night party contests, it is just as competitive. Disney fans may take their cosplay more serious than any other fan group. Ok maybe not Star Wars fans, but they’re part of the Disney family now, so it fits.
The Golden Girls: A Celebration of Friendship, Laughter and Cheesecake 2:30 pm Stage 28
Seriously, who doesn’t love The Golden Girls? The description says there will be appearances from the show’s creators and other special guests. Fans just really want Betty White to show up. That’s the reason this panel will be packed.
Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films, Hosted by John Lasseter 2:30 pm Hall D23
John Lasseter will preview upcoming films Coco and Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck it Ralph 2. There will also be surprise announcements and appearances. With any luck one of those surprises will be an early look at The Incredibles 2.
Joe Quesada’s panel is in the arena at 1:15 pm and Marvel Animation has a presentation at Stage 28 at 6 pm. Disney’s security procedures (checking phones and cameras) always take extra time so remember to add that into your schedule. It’s like going to the airport, get their several hours early.
Saturday July 15
The Walt Disney Studios Live-Action Films 10:30 am Hall D23
This is where Marvel, Lucasfilm and Disney will preview all their upcoming movies. Look for possible new footage from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time and maybe even Avengers: Infinity War or Han Solo.
The Power of the Princess 10:30 am Stage 28
The voices behind the princesses, Jodi Benson (Ariel), Ming-Na Wen (Mulan), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), and Auli‘i Cravalho (Moana), tell stories about the making of their films.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts 3 pm Hall D23
Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek gives a preview of what’s happening at all the theme parks and hotels. There will probably be a lot of talk about Star Wars Land.
Sunday July 16
Zero to Hero: The Making of Hercules 12:30 pm D23 Expo Arena
Directors, animators and the voices of Megara and Hercules, Susan Egan and Tate Donovan will discuss the making of the animated film.
Around the Expo:
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts pavilion offers a walk through look at what’s coming at all the Disney Parks. This year a big focus will be put on Star Wars Land with A Galaxy of Stories.
Center Stage on the show floor will feature live performances by Aimee Carrero and Lou Diamond Phillips (Elena of Avalor), Temecula Road, Tomasina, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, and Susan Egan, singing favorites from Beauty and the Beast, drawing with Disney animators Eric Goldberg and Mark Henn and Marvel’s Brian Crosby, and the voice of Disneyland, Bill Rogers, will be on hand each day to record fans’ outgoing voicemail messages.
D23 Expo’s Ultimate Fan Street Party is a small parade through the show floor. Only Disney could figure out how to put a parade at a con.
Making its way down Mickey Avenue twice daily, the street party will feature a live band, beloved Disney characters, and celebrity grand marshals. Newly inducted Disney Legends Stan Lee and Mark Hamill will grand marshal the first cavalcade on Friday, July 14, followed by the Descendants 2 cast later that day.
The Walt Disney Archives Stage presents panels that celebrate Disney history. The full stage schedule is available at d23.com.
Are you planning to attend the D23 Expo? Be sure to check Geeks of Color for news leading up to and during the convention.