D23 Expo Preview: Panels and Performances

Really tough choices in picking what to see and do at the D23 Expo.

To some degree, I’m being guided this year by what things blew me away in 2011.   So the Legends ceremony in 2011 was incredible, and as a result I’m planning to do Legends this year even though it’s got some tough competition in the timeslot.

This might change between now and show time, but as it stands now here are the things I plan to attend.


  • Art and Imagination:  A preview of upcoming Disney and Pixar animated features.
  • Undiscovered Disneyland:  stories, film, and photos from the construction and early years in the park.
  • Marty Sklar:  Dream It, Do It.    Walt’s right-hand man for theme parks, one of several presentations Marty will be involved in this week
  • The Art and Artistry of Aulani – Disney Vacation Club’s Hawaiian resort
  • Broadway and Beyond – live performances from cast members of Disney’s various Broadway productions


  • Let the Adventures Begin:  A preview of upcoming Disney, Marvel, and LucasFilm live action features.
  • Once Upon a Time panel – a look at the ABC TV series
  • Disney Legends Ceremony – inducting this year’s newly named Legends
  • Crash Course in the Force:  Star Wars 101.   Curious to see if we’ll learn anything new about the upcoming features.
  • Richard Sherman and Alan Menken in concert — the Disney Songbook.


  • Working With Walt — an incredible panel of Disney Legends featuring Marty Sklar, X Atencio, Alice Davis, and Bob Gurr
  • To Infinity and Beyond:  Disney Interactive.   Need to finally figure out what this Disney Infinity thing really is.
  • Leading a Legacy –  Disney Imagineering panel
  • Leave ’em Laughing – Disney Imagineering panel

I’m happy with those choices — but so many great-sounding presentations didn’t make it onto my final list, including

  • Behind the Scenes of Mary Poppins, with Dave Smith
  • Mayhem, Mischief, and Monkeys – the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Inside the Ice — a look at the upcoming Frozen animated feature
  • Voices of the Parks — the voices you hear throughout Disney theme parks share stories
  • The Art of the Good Dinosaur – a look at the upcoming Pixar feature
  • The DNA of Innovation – another Disney Imagineering presentation
  • Women of Pixar – the write-up on this doesn’t list the panelists, so not sure if they are primarily animators, executives, or a mix.
  • Craft of Creativity – another Disney Imagineering presentation

I hope to hear from others who are attending these sessions so I can get a recap of what I missed.

Panels and presentations are only a portion of what goes on at the Expo — there are also meet-and-greets, lots of shopping opportunities, artists, podcasters, and of course just meeting and hanging out with fellow fans.    More on all those things as the Expo gets underway, starting with the Sorcerer Preview day on Thursday August 8th.

See ya real soon!

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