ANAHEIM, Calif. — This weekend is one of the biggest of the year for Disney fans. 

The D23 Expo promises big announcements, Disney stars, and exclusive merchandise. The event can also be overwhelming for fans attending for the first time. So, before you go, here’s what you need to know.

The Basics

D23 runs Friday, Aug. 23 – Sunday, Aug. 25 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets are sold out, so if you didn’t get yours already, you will need to follow along from home (more on that later).

D23 Expo Schedule Highlights

This year’s event looks like it could be Disney’s biggest yet, with possible big announcements for everything from movies and Disney+ to the theme parks. Here’s a look at what to watch for each day:

Friday, Aug. 23

Disney Legends Ceremony: 10:30 a.m.- noon in Hall D23

D23 kicks off with this star-studded ceremony that honors some of Disney’s brightest stars. Honorees this year include:

  • Christina Aguilera
  • Wing Chao
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Jon Favreau
  • James Earl Jones
  • Bette Midler
  • Kenny Ortega
  • Barnette Ricci
  • Robin Roberts
  • Diane Sawyer
  • Ming-Na Wen
  • Hans Zimmer

If you're attending D23, expect this to be one of the more difficult events to get into. Fans will start camping out on Thursday afternoon to get into the ceremony. If you are not one of the lucky fans to get in, you can watch on a D23 livestream.

Disney+ Showcase: 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. in Hall D23

We expect this to be one of the biggest events at D23 this year. Disney+ launches on Nov. 12, 2019, and Disney has been rolling out details over the past few months. Our Disney contacts tell us that the company is planning to go big with Disney+ at D23. Fans who attend D23 will also get a chance to pre-order Disney+ for a discounted rate.

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Other events of note: Dancing with the Stars and Disney!, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series screening, Marvel Animation’s Venom Invasion and world premiere.

Get the full D23 Expo schedule for Friday, August 23 here

Saturday, Aug. 24

Go Behind the Scenes with The Walt Disney Studios: 10 a.m.- noon in Hall D23

For Disney movie fans, this is the biggest event of the year. The expo will include presentations from Disney live-action films, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm. In past years, this event has given fans exclusive footage and surprise appearances. Disney has not said what movies it will feature at this event but expect announcements for ‘Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker,’ Marvel Phase 4 including ‘Black Widow,’ ‘Frozen II,‘ ‘Onward,’ ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,’ ‘Mulan’ and ‘Jungle Cruise.’

The Simpsons! 10 - 11 a.m. in D23 Expo Arena

Disney will welcome ‘The Simpsons’ into the family with this event on Saturday morning. Disney now owns the show after its merger with 20th Century Fox and plans to make all episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ available for streaming on Disney+.

MARVEL COMICS: Marvel 80th Anniversary: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

As Marvel gets ready to celebrate its 80th birthday (Aug. 31, 2019), it will get the party started early with this event at D23. In fact, fans who attend will get a special limited-edition Marvel Comics #1000 book with an exclusive D23 cover.

Other events of note: Disney on Broadway in Concert, Haunted Mansion: Celebrating 50 Years, The Musical Journey of Disney’s Aladdin

Get the full D23 Expo schedule for Saturday, August 24 here

Sunday, Aug. 25

Sneak Peek! Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: 10:30 a.m.- noon at Hall D23

This event is the must-go-to for fans of Disney theme parks. Disney Parks will share details and plans to transform Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort as well as the new Avengers-themed areas at California Adventure, Hong Kong and Paris. 

Disney could also share details about 'Rise of the Resistance,' the new ride in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that is scheduled to open in Florida in December and California in January.

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The Little Mermaid: The 30th Anniversary Celebration: 10 a.m.- noon at D23 Expo Arena

Fans of ‘The Little Mermaid’ will not want to miss this celebration, hosted by the voice of Ariel herself, Jodi Benson.

World Premiere: Walt Disney Animation Studios Presents Short Circuit: 4 - 5 p.m. at Stage 28

Short Circuit is Disney’s new short-film program, which will debut on the Disney+ streaming service.

Other events of note: Disney Character Voices, Inc, The Art of Disney Storytelling, Two Worlds, One Family: The Making of Tarzan

See the full D23 Expo schedule for Sunday, Aug. 25 here

Getting into events

The D23 Expo is sold out, which means you should expect competition to get into the big panels and events. The most difficult spot to grab is usually for the first event of the day inside Hall D23. This year, those events include the Disney Legends Ceremony, Disney movies, and Disney Parks.

The D23 expo has different queues for spots inside Hall D23 and D23 Expo Arena. They include lines for D23 Gold Member priority, online reservations, and standby. For more specific information about each queue click here.

If one of your must-see events is inside Hall D23 or D23 Expo Arena and you are planning to get in via the standby line you may need to line-up hours in advance, maybe even the night before. Overnight queues begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday, and at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday for the following day’s events.

Parking & Traffic

Parking for the D23 Expo is available at the Anaheim Convention Center but as lots fill up you will find yourself parking further away (maybe even off-site), so be sure and give yourself plenty of time. Also, there is no overnight parking at the Convention Center.

Public transportation is available from Anaheim Resort Transportation.

Watch from home

If you did not get tickets for D23 Expo this year, there are several ways to follow along from home.

D23 Expo will be streaming select panels including the Disney Legends Ceremony, Behind the Art of Disney Costuming, Women of Impact, Marvel’s 80th Anniversary, Heroines of the Disney Galaxies, and The Art of Disney Storytelling.

Extra Butter will also be at the D23 Expo this year bringing you interviews and a behind the scenes look at the event.

Be sure to follow and subscribe to Extra Butter on YouTube for the latest videos. Follow Extra Butter and Mark S. Allen on Instagram

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