The big D23 Expo 2015 is almost here! In less than two weeks, every corner of the Walt Disney Company and its community of fans will gather in the Anaheim Convention Center for three days of all things Disney. Today we bring you our guide to the Expo, which we’ll be updating over the next couple weeks as more information comes averrable. Our Expo guide features our top recommendations and must-dos to help you have the best Expo experience! We also fill you in on the latest goings-on at Disneyland, including the continued changes in Tomorrowland.
Don’t miss your weekly Disneyland Resort crowd forecast — provided by our friends at Mouseaddict — in the Weekly News and Information Roundup at the end of today’s update!
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We may have a light news week to recap today but plenty of photos from Disneyland to help ease you into the work week, so let’s get started!
|Welcome to Disneyland!|
- The D23 Expo is almost here! In just a couple weeks, the Anaheim Convention Center will host “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event,” bringing together every corner of the Walt Disney Company, creating a big three-day living snapshot of the latest and greatest goings-on at Disney! Of course, MiceChat and Dateline Disneyland will be there to help bring a taste of the event back to those of you who can’t make it. But for those of you who are planning on attending, we’ve scoured the schedule to compile a list of what we think are some of this year’s absolute must-dos — and our guide still only scratches the surface of what D23 Expo will offer! It’s looking to be the biggest D23 Expo yet — what will you be checking out at this year’s D23 Expo?
Keep checking back! We’ll be updating this Guide over the next couple weeks as more information and Expo news is released! Keep checking back!
- D23 Expo 2015
August 14-16, 2015
- D23 Expo Tickets
3-Day Tickets and single-day tickets for Friday and Sunday are still available! Unfortunately, single-day tickets for Saturday have sold out. Buy tickets now.
- Expo Hours
- Show Floor — General Admission: 10:00 a.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Show Floor — D23 Gold and Silver Member Admission: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Hall H — All Attendees: As early at 8:00 a.m.
- Early Arrival & Queuing
- For the first time, D23 Expo attendees can queue overnight inside the Anaheim Convention Center to be the first in line for two days of the Expo. A concession stand with a limited menu will be available for guests queueing overnight in Hall E. No re-entry will be allowed and all members of a party must be present.
- Friday, August 14: Attendees can begin lining up for Friday admission starting at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 13 in Hall E.
Saturday, August 15: Attendees can begin lining up for Saturday admission starting at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14 in Hall E.
Sunday, August 16: Attendees can begin lining up for Sunday admission starting at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 16 at the main entrance to the Anaheim Convention Center. No overnight lineups will be permitted.
- Food & Beverage
- No outside food, beverages, or coolers are allowed at D23 Expo. Exceptions will be made for attendees with special dietary needs, including food allergies and baby food and formula. There will be multiple dining locations available to guests inside the Anaheim Convention Center as well as food trucks in front of the Convention Center.
- Convention Center Food Locations: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Food Trucks: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Quick Tips and Links
- Get the latest D23 Expo News Stay up-to-date with the latest news on the Expo, direct from the D23 Expo website.
- D23 Expo at Your Fingertips Download the official D23 Expo mobile app for iOS and Android to get the latest news, Expo schedule, show floor maps, StagePass availability and more. Download in the Apple App Store or in the Google Play store.
- Don’t forget your StagePass! Returning to the 2015 D23 Expo is StagePass – a free service that allows you to reserve guaranteed seating for select presentations at the D23 Expo. Disney has yet to announce final details on this year’s version of StagePass.
- Shop ’til you Drop! New for 2015, D23 Expo attendees have the opportunity to reserve a StorePass – a free service that allows you to skip the line to enter select D23 retail areas and shop for a 30-minute period. For more information, click here.
- Dress to Impress All event attendees—including adults—may attend the D23 EXPO dressed as their favorite Disney, Marvel and Star Wars Characters, with certain restrictions. If you’re not dressing up D23 Expo still requires proper attire at all times. Shoes and shirts must be worn at all times with no vulgar/offensive language or graphics.
- Dateline Disneyland’s Previous D23 Expo Coverage
|Walt Disney Parks & Resorts:
60 Years of Innovation
- Shanghai Disney Resort See maquettes, artist illustrations, and media clips that capture the designers’ journey in bringing Shanghai Disney Resort to life. Meet one-on-one with Disney Imagineers and learn about the show design process and discover the tradition and innovation infused into the resort.
- Pandora: The World of AVATAR Get an in-depth look at the new AVATAR experience coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World with models, images, and exhibits on display.
- Mickey’s of Glendale Shop in a special D23 Expo outpost of Walt Disney Imagineering’s employee-only store, featuring unique souvenirs, collectibles and Walt Disney Imagineering merchandise not available anywhere else.
The fan favorite Parks and Resort Pavilion returns with Walt Disney Imagineering pulling back the curtain on 60 Years of Innovation at Disney’s theme parks. Disney is celebrating the 60th anniversary of Disney theme parks this year with a 12,500-square-foot pavilion that celebrates six decades of Disney parks while looking ahead to the future. Guests will get a glimpse at the creative process that’s bringing Shanghai Disneyland and Pandora: The World of AVATAR to life!
|The Walt Disney Archives Presents
Disneyland: The Exhibit
- The Walt Disney Archives returns to the D23 Expo this year with a new exhibit celebrating 60 Years of Disneyland. The 12,000-square-foot Disneyland: The Exhibit will be the largest exhibition yet for the D23 Expo featuring displays on the history, attractions, parades, and entertainment from Disneyland’s 60-year history. Among the more-than-300 items on display, Disneyland: The Exhibit will include Disneyland’s Ticket No. 1 (purchased by Roy O. Disney), surveying equipment from the 1950s used in the construction of Disneyland, a prototype vehicle for the Alice in Wonderland attraction, an early Autopia car, original artwork from Mickey Mouse Club Circus, and much, much more!
|Hall D23 Highlights|
- The new 7,500-seat Hall D23 replaces the D23 Arena as the biggest venue at the Expo for the biggest presentations, concerts and events. Hall D23’s line-up includes the highly-anticipated Walt Disney Pictures presentation with sneak peeks at the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney live action movies! Returning this year, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will host a 90-minute presentation giving a big behind-the-scenes look at the latest projects underway at Walt Disney Imagineering including Shanghai Disney Resort. Below are our Top 4 must-see Hall D23 presentations:
- Disney Legends Awards
Friday, August 14 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Celebrate the contributions of those who have helped create lasting magic within the Walt Disney Company as Disney award eight talented individuals with the prestigious Disney Legend Award. The new Legends include Star Wars creator George Lucas, animator Andres Deja, and Disneyland’s first ambassador – Julie Reihm Casaletto.
- Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films
Friday, August 14 | 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
See where Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios plan to take you next as John Lasseter presents this in-depth look at the animation studios’ slate. Filmmakers will unveil never-before-seen footage from Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory and Disney Animation’s Zootopia and Moana.
- Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios
Saturday, August 15 | 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
Join Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn for a tour of upcoming live-action projects from Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Special guests will offer a look at Disney’s upcoming films including Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and more.
- Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Saturday, August 15 | 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Join Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek for a behind-the-scenes peek at magical experiences and entertainment coming to Disney parks around the world.
|Stage 23 Highlights|
- The second-largest venue at D23 Expo, Stage 23 will host a variety of panel discussions and special presentations that are sure to be huge draws for Disney enthusiasts. From panels on The Muppets to Disneyland’s 60th, and a Silly Symphonies concert — there’s plenty to see at Stage 23. Below are our Top 6 must-see Stage 23 panels:
- The Magic Behind the Muppets
Friday, August 14 | 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Join the artists that bring the Muppets to life along with some of your favorite characters and a few surprise guests.
- Safari So Good — 60 Years of the World Famous Jungle Cruise
Friday, August 14 | 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Skippers from throughout the years reflect on their experiences at the Jungle Cruise.
- Imagineering 60 Years of Disneyland
Friday, August 14 | 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
A two-part panel discussion about Disneyland with Disney Legends and current Imagineers on carrying on Walt’s legacy and the future of Disney Parks. Moderated by filmmaker Leslie Iwerks, who will present a new trailer from her forthcoming documentary about Walt Disney Imagineering.
- Toy Story: 20 Years Later, The Original Crew Looks Back
Saturday, August 15 | 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Join members of the original crew, including filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and others as they share their stories and the challenges they faced along the way.
- Disney In Concert: A Silly Symphony Celebration
Sunday, August 16 | 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
A 32-piece orchestra celebrates the Silly Symphony animated short films and their music, hosted by film historian Leonard Maltin.
- Celebrating Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club — 60 Magical Years
Sunday, August 16 | 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Original Mouseketeers and special guests will celebrate the Mickey Mouse Club’s 60th Anniversary with a one-of-a-kind performance.
- Full Stage 23 Schedule
Reserve your seat with D23 Expo’s Stage Pass
Returning this year, D23 Expo StagePass allows you to reserve seating at select panels and presentations at the D23 Expo. More information coming soon.
|Stage 28 Highlights|
- Stage 28 also packs an amazing line-up of panel discussions and special presentations this year. From more Disneyland fun, to a behind-the-scenes look at a new documentary on Walt Disney, to celebrating A Goofy Movie‘s 20th Anniversary — there’s a lot here you won’t want to miss. Below are the Top 6 Stage 28 preentations we’re most excited about:
- Disneyland Home Movies
Friday, August 14 | 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
A collection of one-of-a-kind footage and photography offers a unique viewpoint of Disneyland from another time.
- A Goofy Movie 20th Anniversary Reunion
Friday, August 14 | 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
A panel of A Goofy Movie talent will share behind-the-scenes stories and surprising anecdotes from the fan-favorite musical.
- One Little Spark — Marty Sklar presents Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering
Saturday, August 15 | 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Disney Imagineering Legend Marty Sklar joins five Imagineers in a conversation about what inspired them to go into the arts and become Imagineers.
- The Making of American Experience: Walt Disney
Saturday, August 15 | 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Go behind-the-scenes with the team who brought together the upcoming two-part PBS documentary film on the life and legacy of Walt Disney.
- Aladdin — The Making of a Classic
Saturday, August 15 | 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Join Walt Disney Animation Studios filmmakers and the voice cast of Aladdin as they unveil stories behind one of the great Disney classics.
- Best of Destination D
Sunday, August 16 | 4:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
D23 is bringing two popular presentations from prior Destination D events together for a celebration of Walt Disney World.
- Full Stage 28 Schedule
- Reserve your seat with D23 Expo’s Stage Pass
Returning this year, D23 Expo StagePass allows you to reserve seating at select panels and presentations at the D23 Expo. More information coming soon.
|Walt Disney Archives Stage Highlights|
- The new Walt Disney Archives Stage is the smallest of the D23 Expo’s main venues with only 275 seats but features an amazing lineup that will catch the attention of any Disneyland and Disney History fan. With such a stellar lineup of panels and presentations at the Disney Archives Stage be sure to line up early! Below are our Top 6 from the Walt Disney Archives Stage’s amazing line-up.
- In Conversation: Julie Reihm Casaletto
Friday, August 14 | 2:30 p.m.
Join an informal conversation with the first Disneyland Ambassador, Julie Reihm Casaletto.
- Disney Did That? 4 Artists Paint 1 Tree
A Celebration of an Inspirational Masterpiece
Friday, August 14 | 5:30 p.m.
A look back at the classic “4 Artists Paint 1 Tree” program, originally part of the Disneyland anthology series An Adventure in Art.
- Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Barbecue—Frontierland: 1957-1961
Saturday, August 15 | 10 a.m.
Ron and David DeFore recollect their exciting adventures growing up in Disneyland when their father, actor Don DeFore, owned a restaurant in Frontierland.
- Sounds Delightful: Disneyland Edition
Sunday, August 16 | 10 p.m.
Disney artist and historian Stacia Martin hosts an “Illustrated Audio Adventure” across the Disney decades via vintage vinyl recordings.
- Everyone Loves the Circus…Including the Mouseketeers!
Sunday, August 16 | 11:30 a.m.
Disney historian Paula Sigman Lowery explores Walt Disney’s love of this famed American tradition with rare stills, film footage, and memories from Disneyland’s past.
- Disneyland: Fond Memories of the Past
Sunday, August 16 | 1 p.m.
Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline and Disney artist and historian Stacia Martin journey through some of Disneyland’s most beloved attractions of yesteryear.
|Shopping & More
- Disney Dream Store D23 Expo-themed official merchandise and other specialty items, theme park merchandise, HARVEYS bags, jewelry, artist signings and more.
- Disney Store: A 3,000-foot store featuring the latest from Disney Store in the Disney Consumer Products Pavilion.
- Mickey’s of Glendale Exclusive merchandise from Walt Disney Imagineering.
- D23 Emporium: Collectors, vendors, and fans together in one magical bazaar.
- Shop ’til You Drop with D23 Expo StorePass
New this year, D23 Expo StorePass will allow you to skip the line and enjoy a pre-scheduled 30-minute shopping window at the Disney Dream Store, Disney Store, and Mickey’s of Glendale. For more information click here.
- Don’t miss MiceChat’s D23 Expo Extravaganza!
- Passport of Prizes: Win Disney Art Classics, hotel stays at the Anabella Hotel and Carousel Hotel, original signed artwork, a Terri Hardin 60th Anniversary Sleeping Beauty Castle sculpture, and much more!
- Win a Grammovox: Enter to win an awesome Grammovox, the amazing new way to play music from your MP3 device or iPhone via a beautiful Gramophone type device.
- Discounts from MiceTrips & MiceDeals: MiceChat Partners Fairy Godmother Travel, Anabella Hotel, Tangerine Restaurant, and Carousel Inn and Suites are offering some fantastic deals to those who stop by the MiceChat booth.
- Free MiceChat and Dateline Disneyland buttons!: Stop by and pick up a free, limited edition MiceChat or Dateline Disneyland button (pictured, right) and show your support for the Happiest Place in Cyberspace! (Available while supplies last)
MiceChat is coming back to D23 Expo, bigger and better than ever before! Stop by MiceChat Booth B1214 during D23 Expo and engage in a world of Disney fun and fandom. Here’s what you can expect to find at the MiceChat booth:
- Help save the Walt Disney Birthplace!
- Ride the Carolwood Pacific! Put on a virtual reality headset to go back in time and ride Walt’s Carolwood Pacific Railroad!
- Meet Artist Shane Grammar: Shane will be painting live with the works to be auctioned off at the Expo.
- Pick up WDB Swag: Show your support with a Walt Disney Birthplace lapel pin, pick up some O-Zell soda pop, get your name on the restoration project, and more!
While you’re in the D23 Emporium, be sure to visit the Walt Disney Birthplace booth, located adjacent to the MiceChat booth. You can learn more about the restoration of Walt’s birthplace at the booth, become a donor, and more:
- See the (Disney) Stars!
- Floyd Norman, Disney Legend and Animator
- Bobby Burgess, Mouseketeer
- Doreen Tracey, Mouseketeer
- Charles Phoenix, Pop Culture Commentator
- Mike Peraza; Animator: The Little Mermaid, Duck Tales.
- Nik Ranieri; Animator: The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Princess and the Frog, more.
- Rick Farmiloe; Animator: Fox and the Hound, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, more.
- Tom Sito; Animator: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Fantasia 2000, more.
- Shane Grammer: Artist, former Imagineer.
- Terri Hardin: Artist, former Imagineer.
- Cindy Morgan: Actress: Tron, Return of the Shaggy Dog, Caddy Shack
- Tommy Kirk; Actor: Old Yeller, Shaggy Dog, Absent Minded Professor, Swiss Family Robinson
- Bill Farmer, Voice of Goofy
- Gary Dubin, Voice of Toulouse in Aristocats
- Jason Marsden, Voice of Max in Goof Troop
- Jim Cummings; Voice of Pooh, Tigger, Pete, and more.
- Mark Silverman; Voice actor: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Michael Leon Wooley, Voice of Louis the Alligator in Princess and the Frog.
- Rob Paulsen; Voice actor: Goof Troop, more
- Werner Weiss: Yesterland Bloger and Disney Historian.
- Sam Gennawey; Author: Walt and the Promise of Progress City and Samland blogger
- Doug Lipp, Author of Disney U
Meet some of your Disney favorites! We’ve lined up some awesome Disney legends, animators, voice talent, stars, authors and podcasters to appear at the MiceChat and Walt Disney Birthplace booths:
- Happy Hour with MiceChat
Join MiceChat and a few special surprise guests for an informal cocktail party at the Anabella Hotel’s Tangerine Grill & Patio on Saturday evening, immediately following the D23 Expo!
- For the latest MiceChat & D23 Expo news or to enter-to-win the Gramovox, click here!
Note: All MiceChat and Walt Disney Birthplace D23 Expo booth information, schedules, appearances, etc. are subject to change without notice. Please visit the booth at the D23 Expo for more information.
A look at some refurbishment projects underway…
Walls are still up along the walkway between Frontierland and Fantasy Faire.
In Tomorrowland, work continues on the big Innoventions project.
Nearby, the Magic Eye Theater has now officially been renamed the Tomorrowland Theater and placeholder “Tomorrowland” signage has gone up while the theater sits unused until the next movie preview comes along.
Steps away, rumors are flying that Disney will be ending the popular live music at the Tomorrowland Terrace in late September. The bands that perform at the Tomorrowland Terrace have reportedly received end-of-run notices but Disney has yet to make any sort of official announcement about the future of the venue. The rumors have sparked a Change.org petition to save the live music.
The end of live music could be related to nearby Innoventions construction, which could affect the area surrounding the building (which is close to the Tomorrowland Terrace stage), and would mean the closure would only be temporary. As for the end-of-run notices, Disney reportedly issues these no matter what if a closure of a venue will be for more than a quarter.
Whether permanent or not, a Tomorrowland Terrace closure could displace the popular Jedi Training Academy show — a show that theoretically could be relocated inside Innoventions should the bottom level of the building become a rumored new Star Wars experience.
In Cars Land, the new attraction being installed in the former home of Luigi’s Flying Tires continues to take shape behind construction walls. Last week, Disney officially announced the new ride’s name will be Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters.
Nearby in Cars Land, looks like the Route 66 signs on Radiator Springs Curios that quickly faded to a deep purple after Cars Land opened in 2012 are being replaced or repainted to black. It’s nice to see this finally get fixed.
In A Bug’s Land, Sunday was the last day for the Ant-Man sneak preview. The theater will be closed today and the regular “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” show will reopen on Tuesday.
|This & That|
|Beyond the Berm|
Just 10 minutes away from Disneyland in Downtown Anaheim, the fantastic Anaheim Packing House marked its first anniversary with a celebration on Saturday that included live music, activities, crafts and more.
If you haven’t visited the Anaheim Packing House yet, we can’t recommend it enough. The Packing House is a great option for locals and tourists alike — being less a less than 10-minute drive from Disneyland.
The Packing House features over 20 artisan eateries — from casual counter service to more upscale table service dining — in the beautiful old Sunkist citrus packing facility. With a wide variety of dining options, the Packing House is great spot for lunch or dinner outside of the theme parks.
Enjoy retro fun just steps away from Disneyland at
Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground
A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat
Save with MiceChat & Passholder Discounts Every Day!
The HoJo Anaheim is now offering daily discounts for MiceChat members and even DEEPER discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn’t listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.
|Weekly News & Information Round-Up|
|Weekly Theme Park Hours
August 3-9, 2015
|[B]Disneyland Park[/B]||[B]California Adventure[/B]|
|Daily: 8 am – 12 am||Daily: 8 am – 10 pm|
|[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar[/CENTER]
|[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]|
|[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]|
|[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]|
July 27 — August 2
The free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, the latest news and articles from MiceChat, and more. Download free on the App Store or at mouseaddict.com.
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
|Alright, that wraps up this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. What are you most excited to see at D23 Expo? Let us know in the comments below!
Special thanks to our Dateline Disneylanders!
To help support Dateline Disneyland and get some fun swag in return, visit our Patreon page now!
For more Disneyland news, be sure to read MiceChat’s weekly In the Parks blog. And be sure to check out our sister blog, Dateline Disney World – a fantastic weekly photo blog covering Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!
Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
|FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.|