Three Days within the Lifetime of a D23 Expo Attendee

The D23 Expo, repeatedly subtitled “the final word Disney fan occasion,” attracts hordes of individuals biennially to the Anaheim Conference Heart in California. Many of us are already making journey plans for the following D23 Expo, slated for August 23-25 of 2019. If you’re contemplating attending the D23 Expo for the primary time, my objective is to not sway your determination someway. Fairly, on this article, I’d wish to recount what I used to be in a position to accomplish every day of the newest D23 Expo in 2017.

My hope is to offer you an concept of what one individual can accomplish over the three-day course of the expo. Whereas the D23 Expo has so many thrilling issues to expertise, one individual can’t see and do all of it, even with probably the most fastidiously drawn out plans. Why? Briefly, as a result of there may be a lot happening concurrently, every part has a line, each line is on a spectrum from lengthy to ridiculous, and the conference workers isn’t at all times dependable when you could ask questions. Having lifelike expectations and realizing what bang you may get in your buck is essential, in my view, as a result of the D23 Expo isn’t an inexpensive trip.

First, I’d like to supply a little bit of background info so you’ll be able to weigh how your expertise at a D23 Expo may evaluate to mine.


My husband and I made a decision to have a good time our 5 12 months wedding ceremony anniversary by treating ourselves to per week at Disneyland and the 2017 D23 Expo. Truly, let me be sincere with you high-quality people. My husband shocked me with a visit to the 2017 D23 Expo as a mixed 1st Mom’s Day and fifth Wedding ceremony Anniversary present as a result of the earlier Mom’s Day (once I was pregnant with our first youngster), he determined to present me a pair of compression socks. Evidently, he had quite a lot of making as much as do and what higher means is there to worm your means again into the favor of your favourite Disney fan? However I digress.

Well being

My husband and I have been each in our late 20s on the time and haven’t any mobility or main well being points. I point out this as a result of we’ve got traveled with relations who’ve mobility and well being points, and I do assume that our expertise would have been very totally different if we needed to take their wants into consideration whereas attending the expo.


On the time, our solely youngster was 7 months outdated, and we made the choice to depart her at dwelling together with her grandparents. We had determined, though initially eager to convey her, we’d not take pleasure in ourselves totally and she or he could be over-stimulated. Wanting again, I’d have in all probability misplaced my thoughts making an attempt to look after her and expertise the issues we did.

Pre-Expo Preparations

We had visited the Disneyland Resort beforehand, however weren’t acquainted with the Anaheim Conference Heart or the D23 Expo. I had carried out some prep earlier than the journey, together with printing off the expo schedules, making lists of what we wished to do, and watching YouTube movies that individuals had posted from earlier expos. For the expo, we bought Three-day tickets and a gold membership.


We have been ready within the outdoors line roughly 1 hour earlier than the expo doorways opened every day (some individuals line up a lot earlier, even camp out in a single day, however I would like my sleep to have the ability to tolerate lengthy stints of chaos for 3 days in a row) and at all times stayed till the expo closed. We didn’t go away the conference middle to take breaks as a result of we wished to see as a lot as we may. The expo ran roughly 9 am to 7 pm every day. We stayed on the High quality Inn and Suites on West Katella Avenue, simply down the street from the conference middle, and have been in a position to stroll to the expo every morning. (I’m very glad we didn’t need to take care of site visitors or parking.)

Beneath you can see descriptions of our every day experiences on the expo. Every night I recorded our accomplishments in a journal so I may preserve observe of our journey. I didn’t file instances for every part, however the scheduled instances of the panels and reveals we attended are listed for reference.


Day 1:  Friday, July 14th, 2017

As soon as contained in the conference middle, we bought right into a line for the free D23 gold member present (I had heard that these may run out early). Sadly, we did waste a while as a result of a conference workers member initially directed us into the flawed line. After ready within the appropriate line and buying our gold member present, we bought into the StagePass line (kind of like a FastPass system for among the fashionable panels). After securing a StagePass for a night panel, we realized we have been hungry. We couldn’t imagine that we had spent your entire morning in strains: the road to get within the expo middle, the inaccurate present line, the right present line, and the StagePass line. After ready in one other line for meals, we, like many others, discovered an open part of carpeted ground (each single desk was taken), and we ate.

2:00 pm – As destiny would have it, our carpet ground picnic was proper alongside the route of “The Final Fan Road Occasion,” which was primarily a mini parade with Disney characters and celebrities (on this case, Stan Lee and Mark Hamill) charioted by means of the middle of the primary ground. This was pure dumb luck on our half, however pleasing nonetheless!

Three:00 pm-Three:30 pm – We have been in a position to stand round a small stage to view the Voices of Jim Cummings presentation.

After seeing Jim, we instantly bought in line for the Disney Legends 30th Anniversary panel (even with a StagePass you’re instructed to line up early).

Four:15 pm-5:15 pm – We watched the Disney Legends 30th Anniversary panel.

Afterwards, we instantly bought into the stand-by line for the Park Stars: Unique Characters of the Disney Parks panel, which was purported to be from 6-7 pm.

After ready till near the beginning time (6 pm), we have been knowledgeable that the Park Stars panel had reached capability and we couldn’t view it, so we headed again all the way down to the primary ground.

I observed that Invoice Rogers, the voice of Disneyland, was going to be recording private voicemails, so I bought in line for that and simply waited it out to ensure I may get my private voicemail recorded.

6:45 pm-7:00 pm – Voicemail Recordings with Invoice Rogers


Day 2:  Saturday, July 15th, 2017

After seeing the group mania of the day before today, and realizing how badly I wished to attend the favored Parks and Resorts panel that afternoon, we headed straight for the queue after getting contained in the conference middle. We have been informed that we weren’t allowed to line up for that panel so early, and but many different individuals had already begun to congregate in a line-like type. So, we continued to attend, and thus started our stint within the “unofficial line.” As soon as it was deemed permissible for the official line to open, we proceeded down an escalator (I’d wish to say in an orderly trend, however a stampede ensued and a number of other individuals truly bought forward of us) and into a big, for lack of a greater time period, holding tank the place we got wrist bands and sat on the ground for a number of hours ready for the Parks and Resorts panel.

Three:00 pm-Four:30 pm – We attended the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Panel.

Following the panel, we waited in line for some lunch, then walked across the Present Flooring. There are such a lot of cubicles, demonstrations, performances, and different issues to take a look at on the Present Flooring that I received’t describe all of that right here.

Final on our checklist for the day was a wait in line for the Disney Retailer (roughly 1 hour to get in) and a few procuring.


Day Three:  Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Upon coming into the conference middle, we instantly bought in line for a Lion King panel we have been crossing our fingers wouldn’t already be at capability. We lucked out.

10:00 am-11:00 am – We attended the Celebration of an Animated Basic: Lion King panel.

After exiting the Lion King panel, we bought proper again in line for a Hercules panel which was going to be in the identical enviornment. Luck was on our facet once more.

12:30 pm-1:30 pm – We attended the Zero to Hero: The Making of Hercules panel.

After exiting the Hercules panel, we bought into the StagePass line and secured passes for a night panel.

Subsequent, we waited in a line (about 45 minutes) after which perused a Pirates of the Caribbean walk-through exhibit adopted by a wait (about 30 minutes) to buy within the Dream Retailer.

We took a fast break to eat a late lunch, and we truly discovered seating at a desk for the primary time!

Within the quick time we had earlier than the night panel, we took a ultimate lap across the Present Flooring, and I used to be in a position to meet Ryno on the DIS sales space!

We bought in line early for the night panel (as instructed by our StagePass), and we have been lucky to be ready alongside and in a position to chat with Michael Bowling!

6:00 pm-7:00 pm – We attended the Legends of Walt Disney Imagineering panel.


Last Ideas

Like some other Disney-centered trip, the D23 Expo is costly. Whereas the expo does have many choices that seem to justify the attendance price ticket, bear in mind you’ll solely get to take part in a tiny fraction of these choices except you buy the costly Sorcerer’s Bundle (and people are already bought out for the 2019 Expo). Simply evaluate my every day actions to the precise program of occasions from 2017 (out there by way of a Google search) and understand that we have been younger and able-bodied, didn’t take breaks, stayed from open to shut, and went in with a plan. You simply can’t do all of it. I’ll say that I used to be pleased with us for getting as a lot carried out as we did, however I nonetheless felt upset at how a lot I needed to miss.

The crowds and lengthy strains for every part (in the future I waited near twenty minutes simply to get right into a restroom) are additionally off-putting; they make Walt Disney World on Christmas Day really feel barren. I’ll say, nevertheless, that I’m 100% glad that I went. For die-hard Disney followers (I take into account myself amongst you beautiful individuals), you virtually undoubtedly will see one thing (a panel, a presentation, a chunk of memorabilia, a star, and many others.) that may delight you past perception. That being mentioned, I’m not fairly prepared to return. Whereas I do take into account myself an “final Disney fan” as talked about within the expo’s subtitle, now that I’ve bought that notch in my belt and may say that I’ve carried out it, I’d a lot moderately spend my cash visiting the Disney Parks that I really like so dearly.

Though, if my husband is studying this, I want to let him know that I’ll nonetheless settle for D23 Expo tickets as a type of apology for any future trespasses and misjudgments.

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