D23 Members to Get Exclusive Discount at shopDisney Through the End of October

D23 and shopDisney have announced that D23 members will receive an exclusive 20% discount at shopDisney until October 31.

At the D23 member website D23 announced –

We have some exciting news to announce to ALL of our D23 Members!

Disney store and shopDisney.com have given us an exclusive discount on all of the Disney items we love. For a limited-time only take 20 percent off of your purchase of $65.00 or more. Start your Holiday shopping early! But don’t wait… this offer is only good through Halloween.

For the discount code and other particulars, please go to D23’s website.

D23 Announces Move of Next D23 Expo to 2022

In an announcement made on Twitter earlier this evening, D23 stated that the next D23 Expo will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center September 9-11, 2022.

“We are to announce the next D23 Expo will be held September 9-11, 2022 at the Anaheim Convention Center. D23 Expo 2022 will be a celebration unlike any other, as we give fans a first look at the incredible plans for the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company.”

With all that’s going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, this announcement shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. I personally suspected that this might happen when D23 announced back in June that Destination D was moving from this fall to 2021. When D23 hadn’t announced a sale date for Expo tickets, it seemed apparent to me that it was getting postponed.

No date has been announced when tickets for D23 Expo will be available. Typically D23 begins sale of tickets about a year in advance, so I wouldn’t expect an announcement until at least sometime in early 2021 with a sale date of September 2021.

Will we see you there?

D23 Postpones Destination D 2020 Event at Walt Disney World

D23, the official Disney fan club has just announced that it will postpone its”Destination D: Fantastic Worlds” event until 2021.

This event was due to take place in November at Walt Disney World. D23 said that it will now move the event to new year at a date still to be announced. D23 said that it will continue to host exclusive virtual events throughout 2020.

“Destination D: Fantastic Worlds” was supposed to honor Disney’s many magical places, from the extraordinary to the fantastical. In addition, the Walt Disney Archives planned an all-new exhibit to include 50 iconic treasures, representing the 50 years of the Archives.

What this means for the yet announced D23 Expo that is supposed to occur in 2021 is not known at this time.

Disney Announces Limited Time Merchandise for D23 Expo

Yesterday D23 announced the limited time merchandise that will be available at D23 Expo 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center August 23-25, 2019.

ShopDisney.com | Disney store
Home to the widest assortment of Disney merchandise for everyone in the family, D23 Expo 2019 merchandise will give fans a wide variety of specially curated collections and limited-edition (LE) series with a behind-the-scenes twist. Honoring some of Disney’s biggest legacies, here is a snapshot of what fans will see:

  • Disney Designer Collection: Midnight Masquerade Series – The fan-favorite series returns with a new twist and features doll sets of Tiana and Naveen, Giselle and Edward, and Aurora and Phillip. Rapunzel, Belle, Meg, Cinderella, and Esmeralda will also be included. In addition to dolls, fans can pick up pin sets, stationery, mug and plate sets, and more
  • Legacy Collection – This LE collection will celebrate anniversaries and milestones for some of the most beloved Disney characters and films including:
    • Donald Duck 85th – Plush, collectible pins, a retro T-shirt, varsity jacket, hat, and more
    • Silly Symphony 90th – Spirit Jersey shirt, retro T-shirt, pins, and more
    • The Lion King 25th – Celebrate the wonder that is The Lion King with LE collectibles, plush, litho set, and more
  • The Little Mermaid 30th – Celebrate 30 years of The Little Mermaid with journals, ornament sets, pins, apparel, dolls, and more
  • Disney•Pixar
    • Take home a LE “Talking Woody,” “Talking Jessie,” and “Talking Bullseye,” along with a LE plush set of Ellie and Carl in their “Adventure Book” and much more
  • Backstage Collection – Go “Backstage” for a behind-the-scenes look into DisneyPixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Walt Disney Animation Studios to celebrate the artistry, legends, and rich heritage of The Walt Disney Company.
    • Disney Backstage Collection Subscription Box – D23 Expo guests will be among the first to see and order the new Disney Backstage Collection subscription box, which celebrates the artistry of Disney through limited-release T-shirts, pins, and more, delivered to your doorstep—all in a custom-designed package.
    • Walt Disney Animation Studios “Under the Hat” – LE Wreck-It Ralph Shadow Box, mug, and sketchbook
    • Disney•Pixar “Under the Lamp” – Pixar campus hat, fleece, tiki crew mug, and more
    • Lucasfilm “Behind the Force” – All-new crew jacket and hat along with a LE “Java the Hutt” T-shirt, mug, and more
    • Marvel “Behind the Hero” – A LE Black Panther Shadow Box, hat, and more
  • Mickey Mouse Shufflerz – Fans can extend their “Mickey Mouse Memories” collections with the new Mickey Mouse Shufflerz that highlight Mickey through the years—pressing the top of the figures 10 times causes them to “shuffle” along their way! Pick up the LE 13-pack or single figures.

The Dream Store
Jam-packed with D23 Expo 2019-themed official merchandise and other specialty items from Disney Theme Park Merchandise, The Dream Store returns with something magical for Disney fans of all ages. This year, guests will discover whimsical assortments inspired by the Dapper Dan’s, Main Street, U.S.A., and iconic Mickey balloons on a variety of items including apparel, art and collectibles, accessories, pins, and more! The Dream Store is a Disney enthusiast’s dream come true. Highlights include:

  • Dapper Dan’s – This collection features a “Dapper Dress” from Her Universe along with adult T-shirts, a Spirit Jersey shirt, pins, plush, Funko POP figures, and much more
  • Mickey Balloons – Evoking the feeling you get as you stroll down Main Street, U.S.A., the Mickey Balloons lend their iconic look to an assortment that includes adult apparel, a Spirit Jersey shirt, skirt from Her Universe, hats, mugs, accessories, and more
  • Official D23 Expo 2019 Gear – Swing by to grab official 2019 D23 Expo gear and apparel including T-shirts, a Lounge Fly mini-backpack, hat, pins, and more!

Mickey’s of Glendale
Mickey’s of Glendale, the Walt Disney Imagineering store, returns with two stores for three days only for D23 Expo attendees at the Anaheim Convention Center:

  • Mickey’s of Glendale Main Store – Mickey’s of Glendale will feature exclusive merchandise designed by Imagineers, including hats, T-shirts, accessories, and more. Additionally, Guests will have the opportunity to shop limited-edition collectibles celebrating Walt Disney Imagineering’s heritage.
    • Attraction Quote T-Shirt Collection– An assortment of T-shirts that let fans celebrate the most iconic quotes from their favorite attractions through bold graphics.
  • Mickey’s of Glendale Pin Store – Disney pin enthusiasts will want to stop by the Mickey’s of Glendale Pin Store, which will feature a large assortment of limited-edition pins.

The merch that I’m curious about is what will Dream Store.  Why?  Because I like me some “Expo Exclusive” stuff and over the past five Expos it’s the only store I’m sure that I’ll get into.  I usually get an Expo shirt, but I’ll admit I’m not really excited about a black shirt.  I hope they have other colors.

 

While the Disney Store appears to have some nice items, I have yet to make it into that store…ever!  So, I’m not getting too excited about anything there.  If I manage to get into that store finally, I’ll worry about it then.

It’s nice to see that Mickey’s of Glendale is separating the store into a pin store and a store for everything else.  I’ve only gotten into that store once, so maybe this is the year I return.

While a lot of the merch looks nice…nothing right now is jumping out at me as a “must have.”  I’m sure I’ll buy something though.

The stores are very popular, so if you’re going to D23 Expo along with the panels, shopping is something you have to plan for and figure out when to try to get into whichever store you want to try to get into.

Brand-New Walt Disney Archives Exhibit Celebrating Disney’s Most Iconic Heroes and Villains to Open at D23 Expo 2019

The Walt Disney Archives returns to D23 Expo with an all-new exhibit, “Walt Disney Archives Presents Heroes and Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume.” From the classic Mary Poppins to this year’s live-action retelling of Aladdin, more than 70 costumes from 55 years of Disney movies and television shows will be on display from August 23–25 at the Anaheim Convention Center during the biennial event, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club.

Guests entering the 12,000-square-foot exhibit will be greeted by “Cinderella’s Workshop,” a gallery featuring the beloved fairy-tale character’s dresses from her numerous Disney incarnations, including 1997’s Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella; the gown worn by Scarlett Johansson for Annie Leibovitz’s 2007 Disney Dream Portrait series; 2014’s Into the Woods; the 2015 live-action reimagining of the animated masterpiece Cinderella; and the ABC hit series Once Upon a Time.

The main gallery will be broken into three sections: “Disney Heroes,” “Disney Villains,” and “Spaces Between,” reserved for the antiheroes whose fascinating journeys make them among Disney’s most complex characters.

Among the costumes included in the “Disney Heroes” section are Belle’s village dress and ballgown from 2017’s Beauty and the Beast; creations worn by the Genie, Aladdin, and Jasmine in this year’s live-action Aladdin; and—for the first time ever displayed together—three iconic Mary Poppins “traveling dresses” worn in three Poppins productions: the 1964 original film, 2019’s Mary Poppins Returns, and the Broadway musical. “Disney Villains” ensembles include the trio of wonderfully wicked witches from 1993’s Hocus Pocus, the duo of dresses worn by the stepsisters in 2015’s Cinderella, and the dress worn by the incomparable Bette Davis in 1978’s Return from Witch Mountain. And “Spaces Between” includes Maleficent’s gown from the 2014 film, as well as the Evil Queen and Hook’s costumes from Once Upon a Time.

The exhibit includes costumes from some of Hollywood’s preeminent designers, past and present, including Academy Award ® -winners Colleen Atwood, Sandy Powell, and Tony Walton, as well as Emmy ® winner Ellen Mirojnick and Emmy nominees Eduardo Castro and Penny Rose.

Many of the costumes on exhibit will be featured in The Art of Disney Costuming: Heroes, Villains, and Spaces Between, a dazzling new book out this September from Disney Editions. The book will also be available in advance exclusively at D23 Expo.

The Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at D23 Expo has alway been a favorite of mine.  It is always well done and is very interesting.  The exhibit at D23 Expo 2017 was dedicated to Pirates of the Caribbean and was incredibly detailed.  I cannot wait to see this in August.

Single-day tickets for Friday and Sunday of D23 Expo 2019 are available for $89 for one-day adult admission and $69 for children 3–9. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $77 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Single-day Saturday tickets and three-day passes are sold out. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2019, visit D23Expo.com.

Destination D 2018 Ends With Exciting Announcements

Along with all of the celebration of all that is Mickey Mouse and his 90th Birthday, there were a number of exciting announcements about the future of the Disney Parks in the United States

Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek earlier today revealed that the names of the two signature attractions set for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens in Disneyland next summer and at Walt Disney World in fall 2019 will be Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Guests can take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Here is the video that Chapek played at Destination D when he announced this attraction.

And on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests will join an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance, including a face-off with Kylo Ren.

And this footage of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was shot inside the actual attraction.

Of course when you think about Star Wars, the iconic music of legendary composer John Williams comes to mind. After announcing the new attractions Chapek also announced that Oscar-winning composer John Williams is creating new and original Star Wars themes exclusively for the land! The all-new music is being recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. Here is a preview of the music along with  construction progress at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Chapek also announced that a new Beauty and the Beast sing-along attraction will be coming to Epcot’s France pavilion.

This attraction will be using the existing theater, and playing in addition to Impressions de France.  The brand new attraction is being created by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action Beauty and the Beast films.

Also announced for Epcot was  a new nighttime spectacular that is planned to open at the park in 2020. This new show will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world, and will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers.

Before this new show opens, there will be a limited-time experience, called “Epcot Forever,” which will debut in fall 2019 after Illuminations closes and will feature classic Epcot tunes.

“Epcot Forever” will begin with a spark of imagination that swells into an epic spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers, and special effects kites.

The last announcement for Epcot was the name of the “Ratatouille” experience coming to the France pavilion, which will be called Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

This attraction which is based on the popular attraction found at Disneyland Paris is still some way off from its Walt Disney World debut.  Right now Disney is saying that it will have a Spring 2020 opening.

Chapek also announced that an all-new cinematic nighttime experience, “Wonderful World of Animation,”  will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in May 2019, as part of the park’s 30th anniversary celebration.

The show will use state-of-the-art projection technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey himself.

Also announced for Disneyland was Get Your Ears On — A Mickey and Minnie Celebration, which will feature new entertainment, food and merchandise. On January 18, “Mickey’s Mix Magic” will light up the night at Disneyland  with all-new music, projections and lasers that set the scene for an epic dance party that takes over almost the entire park.

Chapek also shared that the beloved Mickey’s Soundsational Parade is set to return to Disneyland park in January 2019, with a new float with Mickey himself, who will lead the celebration down Main Street, U.S.A.

The party will get even bigger when the fan-favorite Mickey’s Soundsational Parade returns to the resort in January 2019 featuring a new float with Mickey himself, who will lead the celebration down Main Street, U.S.A.

Also coming to the Magic Kingdom will be Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration.   The celebration will run from January 18 to September 30, 2019.  Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration will feature new food, merchandise and entertainment, including a new dance party with Mickey, Minnie and their friends

During his presentation, Chapek unveiled details about Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge.  This will be a deluxe, nature-inspired resort that will feature more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas.

Not to be left out, Celebrate Your Favorite Mouse with Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Party at Sea will be coming to Disney Cruise Line  next summer.

It certainly sounds like a fun day of announcements.  I only wish I could have been there to experience all of the excitement live in person.

D23 Announces Dates for D23 Expo 2019

D23 has just announced that the D23 Expo will be returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on August 23-25, 2019, as all of the magic and excitement of the past, present and future of all that is Disney entertainment will come together as all of Disney fans gather to celebrate everything that is new and what’s coming soon from Dusney theme parks, television, music, consumer products and movies.

I’ve attended every D23 Expo since it launched in 2009 and the event which has been held every two years has attracted tens of thousands of Disney fans of all kinds from across the countermand around the world….and every one has been an amazing time and exciting.

According to D23, highlights for D23 Expo 2019 will include more than 50 shows, presentations, and panels, the Disney Legends Ceremony, an all-new exhibit curated by the Walt Disney Archives, a daily parade down the middle of the show floor, Mousequerade (D23 Expo’s costume contest), and the D23 Expo Design Challenge.  Stay tuned for details on the Design Challenge and Mousequerade and what the Walt Disney Archives exhibit will for the next Expo.

As with prior D23 Expos, the 2019 Expo will feature a huge show floor full of many immersive experiences and special opportunities to see what will be next for Disney around the world. If they are lucky, guests may even run into some of their favorite Disney stars, characters, Imagineers, animators, and filmmakers. Of course there will be a lot of shopping opportunities including D23 Expo-exclusive collectibles at a variety of Disney and partner merchants, including the D23 Expo Emporium.  All of the popular presentation venues from the last Expo will return, including Hall D23, the Expo Arena, Stage 28, and Center Stage.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2019 are scheduled to go on sale at D23expo.com beginning August 23, 2018. There will be special  pricing for both one and three-day tickets to the event, including an Early Bird Discount which will be exclusively available to D23 Gold Members. D23 Gold and Charter Members will also be entitled to special benefits at the 2019 Expo. D23 Gold Members will also have an opportunity to purchase the Sorcerer Package.

Ticket prices should be announced later this summer.

Are you planning on attending the D23 Expo in 2019?

 

 

 

Pixar Pier Bringing New Incredicoaster and More to Disney California Adventure

Summer 2018 will bring a transformed land for guests to experience at Disney California Adventure when Pixar Pier opens along the southern shore of Paradise Bay, with newly themed attractions, foods and merchandise throughout. This new, permanent land in the area that is now Paradise Pier will introduce four new neighborhoods representing beloved Disney·Pixar stories.

The first of the four themed neighborhoods guests will find is inspired by “The Incredibles.” Here, the new Incredicoaster, permanently transformed from the attraction that is now California Screamin’, will open with Pixar Pier in summer 2018. This new experience will feature a mid-century-modern-style loading area, new character moments and a new look for the ride vehicles. To prepare for this transformation, California Screamin’ will close Jan. 8.

The popular Toy Story Mania! will anchor the “Toy Story”-inspired neighborhood. A neighborhood inspired by “Inside Out” will be found on the western side of the boardwalk and will welcome a new family-friendly attraction, scheduled to open at a later date.

The fourth neighborhood will be a celebration of many of your favorite Pixar stories. In this neighborhood, Mickey’s Fun Wheel will have a new look, with each of the 24 gondolas featuring different Pixar characters and the iconic face of Mickey Mouse remaining on the Paradise Bay side of the wheel. At the Games of the Boardwalk, which already includes the Bullseye Stallion Stampede game, all of the midway games will be inspired by Pixar characters. Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Games of the Boardwalk and Sideshow Shirts will close Jan. 8 to begin this transformation.

Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and the Cove Bar will be transformed into a new lounge and grill offering sparkling views of Paradise Bay and the new Pixar Pier. Both locations will close Jan. 8, with Cove Bar reopening briefly in April before closing again for its permanent transformation. Guests wishing to reserve “World of Color” dining packages after Jan. 7 may consider Carthay Circle Restaurant or Wine Country Trattoria.

The remaining areas of the land that is now Paradise Pier, including Paradise Gardens, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Goofy’s Sky School, Golden Zephyr and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, will become a new land called Paradise Park.

Pixar Pier will open during the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration, which begins April 13. The celebration will include the new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks as well as the return of Pixar Play Parade and “Paint the Night” parade, and much more throughout the entire Disneyland Resort.

You can read more about what’s coming to Pixar Pier in the November issue of Disney twenty-three magazine, from our friends at D23: The Official Disney Fan Club.

From the Disney Parks Blog

 

D23 Announces Slate of Events for 2018

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club announced its new slate of events, and there’s more magic in store for fans all around the country than ever before.

Starting with the parks, D23 will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a special in-park event next April. Plus, the club will invite members to experience the new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure park. In addition, the club will bring back its signature Sip & Stroll and holiday events to Walt Disney World Resort.

As if that wasn’t enough, next November, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, D23 will hold Destination D: Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse, a two-day party with panels, presentations, a pop-up shop from Mickey’s of Glendale, and an all-new exhibit from the Walt Disney Archives—all in honor of the 90th anniversary of the “leader of the club.”

In addition, D23 will bring back its member screenings—including “Peter Pan,” “Robin Hood,” and “Mary Poppins”—as well as Lunch with a Disney Legend to both the Burbank Studio lot and Walt Disney World Resort. Exclusive tours of the Walt Disney Studios return, and members will be able to enjoy seeing Frozen on Broadway and Aladdin in Los Angeles. And D23 will bring members to Marceline, Mo. to see Walt’s boyhood home—and one of the inspirations for Main Street, U.S.A. More events will be added throughout the year.

Event calendar:

DATE D23 EVENT CALENDAR: LOCATION
Jan 12 Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA Burbank, CA
Jan 13 The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour — Presented by D23 Burbank, CA
Feb 2 D23 Night at Disney’s Aladdin Hollywood, CA
Feb 3 D23’s Magical Screening Series: Peter Pan Burbank, CA
Feb 10 D23’s Magical Screening Series: Peter Pan Orlando, FL
Mar 24 D23 Night at Disney’s Frozen New York City, NY
Apr D23 Celebrates 20 Years of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Disney’s Animal Kingdom, WDW
Apr 7 The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour — Presented by D23 Burbank, CA
May 25 D23’s Return to Marceline Marceline, MO
Summer D23 Members Visit Toy Story Land Disney’s Hollywood Studios, WDW
Summer D23 Members Visit Pixar Pier Disney California Adventure, DLR
Jun 23 D23’s Magical Screening Series: Robin Hood Burbank, CA
Jun 29 Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA Orlando, FL
Jun 30 D23’s Magical Screening Series: Robin Hood Orlando, FL
Jul 20 D23 Member Mixer San Diego, CA
Aug 10 Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA Burbank, CA
Aug 11 D23’s Saturday Morning on the Lot Burbank, CA
Sep 8 The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour—Presented by D23 Burbank, CA
Sep 8 D23’s Magical Screening Series: Mary Poppins Orlando, FL
Sep 15 D23’s Magical Screening Series: Mary Poppins Burbank, CA
Oct D23’s Spell-tacular Disney Fanniversary Burbank, CA
Oct 3 Sip & Stroll Epcot, WDW
Oct 5 Lunch with a Disney Legend: TBA Orlando, FL
Nov 16-18 D23 Destination D: Happy Birthday Mickey Orlando, FL
Dec D23 Holiday Event at Walt Disney World Resort Orlando, FL
Dec Light Up the Season with D23 Burbank, CA
Dec 1 The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour—Presented by D23 Burbank, CA

D23 Expo 2017 Summary – Live Action Presentation

Hollywood’s biggest names in acting and directing… Surprises at every turn… Compelling stories and sneak peeks that had us on the edge of our seats. The Hall D23 presentation from The Walt Disney Studios this morning at D23 Expo featured all of these and more!

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn greeted the 6,800 fans who had just watched a sizzle video that spotlighted some of Disney’s recent hits and upcoming films. “I know those guys. They’re friends from work,” he joked, echoing Thor himself in the trailer for Marvel Studios’ upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok. And, he added to the crowd’s great delight, “We have a lot of them backstage.”

Always one of the most eagerly anticipated presentations at D23 Expo, there were indeed a lot of stars and filmmakers taking the stage in Hall D23—and announcements and unexpected treats galore. Here are just a few of the moments we’ll remember long after D23 Expo concludes:

“Everybody here gets a poster! Everybody here! You get a poster!”
Sure, fans were excited to learn they’d be going home with a teaser poster for The Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming film A Wrinkle in Time, which opens in theaters on March 9, 2018. But to be told that news by brand-new Disney Legend Oprah Winfrey only made the gift that much more exciting.

Winfrey (who plays Mrs. Which) joined director Ava DuVernay and co-stars Reese Witherspoon (Mrs. Whatsit), Mindy Kaling (Mrs. Who), Chris Pine (Mr. Murry), and newcomer Storm Reid (Meg Murry) in Hall D23. The epic adventure is based on Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel, which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and ultimately, the triumph of love.

DuVernay described Disney as “the perfect place” for A Wrinkle in Time. Thrilled to attend her first D23 Expo, DuVernay told the audience, “I found my tribe—people who love movies as much as I do.” She also debuted the first trailer for the film:

Wrinkle In Time Trailer

A First Look at The Nutcracker and the Four Realms—with an Exclusive Live Dance Performance
Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, introduced us to The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, acclaimed director Lasse Hallström’s spin on a story that has been beloved for generations. The film, which will be in theaters on November 2, 2018, stars Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Mackenzie Foy and Richard E. Grant, as well as Morgan Freeman in the iconic role of Drosselmeyer. Music and dance are essential to the film, Bailey stressed, and he revealed that the incredible stylings of Charles Riley, known as Lil Buck (picture below), are being used to create the film’s Mouse King. The character will be made up of thousands of mice, made possible through cutting-edge CG, Bailey said. Expo guests were treated to a special performance by Lil Buck that gave us a glimpse into the hypnotic, fluid dance style we’ll see from the Mouse King when the film opens next year.

A Practically Perfect Glimpse into Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall and actress Emily Blunt talked about the upcoming film, which flies into theaters on December 25, 2018. Speaking reverently about the original Mary Poppins film, Marshall said, “I think it was my first film. I think it was many of our first films. There’s something so amazing about it that lived with me my whole life.”

When it came to stepping into Disney Legend Julie Andrews’ shoes, Blunt stressed, “No one is ever going to out-Julie Julie Andrews.” To make the character her own, she explained, “I needed to try to pay homage to Julie but carve out a new space for myself. And we were very loyal to the books.”

The film was shot on location in London—which Marshall characterized as a special experience—and he said that audiences will recognize Cherry Tree Lane immediately. They might also recognize a piece of furniture, Marshall noted, sharing a photo of a table that’s part of the set for Mary Poppins Returns that also appeared in the original film.

Leaving fans with “a little something”—an understatement—composer Marc Shaiman led an orchestra in a performance of a piece of the original score, which played over a series of images from the film. It was a supercalifragilistic-Expo-alidocious moment, if ever there were one.

Dumbo is Coming!
Director Tim Burton sent a greeting to Disney fans from the set of Dumbo, which is currently in production in London. Additionally, Bailey showed fans a maquette that was created to help bring the beloved baby elephant to life via state-of-the-art visual effects. The film stars Golden Globe® winner Colin Farrell (Saving Mr. Banks), Golden Globe winner Michael Keaton (Birdman, Beetlejuice), Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Danny DeVito (Batman Returns, Big Fish), BAFTA Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Eva Green (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Dark Shadows), and introduces Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins in their first film roles. Dumbo is slated for release on March 29, 2019.

The Lion King Looks Amazing!
The Walt Disney Studios presentation at D23 Expo 2015 gave Disney fans a first look at The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, who was on hand again this year and received a standing ovation after showing footage from the upcoming live-action The Lion King. The photoreal interpretation of the film’s “Circle of Life” sequence featured beloved characters, including Rafiki, Mufasa, and an impossibly adorable baby Simba. Favreau, a lifelong Disney fan himself, told the excited crowd, “We like to check in with you.” His first question upon embarking on the film was, “When’s D23? We wanted to give you the first look.” The film is slated for release in 2019.

News from a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson took the stage at his first D23 Expo today, revealing that he began his career at Disney Channel, working in on-air promotions. As much as he loved that job, he says that making Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been the time of his life.

Johnson introduced stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Gwendolyn Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, and, of course, new Disney Legend Mark Hamill. Johnson and his cast wouldn’t reveal much about the upcoming film—in fact, they wouldn’t really reveal anything, though Hamill confirmed that we will, indeed, hear Luke Skywalker speak in this film. He referred to the movie as a “game changer,” and noting, “When I read the script, there were so many unexpected elements.”

Johnson and the cast then offered up a behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which opens in theaters on December 15, 2017.

Avengers—and More—Assemble!
Kevin Feige is Marvel Studios President—and he’s also a massive Disney fan and a card-carrying D23 charter member who has been coming to D23 Expo since the first Expo in 2009. Feige explained that next year will be one of celebration—in honor of the 10th anniversary of Marvel Studios. It’s going to be a big year for the studio, and fans can look forward to what Feige calls “the biggest production in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—Avengers: Infinity War. The film is filming now, Feige said, but a slew of Super Heroes—and a fearsome villain—were able to take time away from the production to surprise Disney fans at Expo. In the most Marvel-ous gathering of stars ever, Feige welcomed Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff to the stage, along with one of the film’s directors, Joe Russo.

“Even I find myself geeking out,” Feige joked, as the assemblage continued. The crowd was on their feet long before Robert Downey Jr. demanded, “Let’s see it”—“it” being an exclusive early look at footage from the movie.

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War, an unprecedented cinematic journey 10 years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, opens in theaters on May 4, 2018.