Disney…a world as old as time, a journey as grand as the next adventure. If you’ve ever been to Disneyland or Disney World even if it was just once, there is a certain connection with this magical place that allows us to embrace our childhood, our inner mischief, and our imagination. Even if you’re not as crazy about the Disney franchise (and really, how could you not like them even a little bit?), there is just that amazing feeling that brings out the happiness we all have deep within us.
This August was my very first Disney D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. I’m quite familiar with the Convention Center as many great events are hosted there and the D23 Expo was a sight to see when we were finally allowed to go inside. The initial waiting in line for the doors to open wasn’t the best experience as the weather was rising quickly towards 90 degrees, but once inside and the icy cool air conditioning blasted in our faces, my son and I were giddy with excitement.
We were immediately immersed into the fantastic world of Disney and its entire franchise. Not only were their flagship Mickey and the gang decorated everywhere, but my heart strings were tugged when I saw Star Wars and Marvel showcased throughout the arena. I’m so glad that Disney now owns Star Wars because with such an enormous entity backing them up, the Star Wars world can only get better. I’ll get more into details about the Star Wars exhibition there because I have to rant a bit about Marvel. As a huge Marvel fan, I was a bit disappointed with them merging with Disney because they seem to only focus on Avengers. Yes, the Avengers are a big deal to most people but Marvel encompasses so much more. Marvel in fact created their own comic book universe and has long lived through tradeouts and scrutiny. Perhaps Disney is just vetting out the superheroes and villains to be more kid-friendly, but any scenario where there are superheroes and villains, there are bound to be some bloodshed. But, I will just have to wait patiently like all the other diehard fans and see how much freedom Disney allows Marvel Studios.
Now, with the Star Wars franchise under Disney’s belt, we saw Star Wars marketed everywhere, which was a good thing for a longtime fan such as myself and my son. But one of the main reasons in attending D23 Expo was to see a glimpse of the new Star Wars movie coming out in December and their merchandise. There was only one event for Star Wars and that was harder to get into than a pair of wet skinny jeans. And I could see why it was the most anticipated event during the expo. Many secrets were revealed to the fans as well as surprise guest stars that probably gave most of the crowd heart attacks. It was a great move for Disney to reveal so much to the world and for a fangirl such as myself, my excitement for Star Wars only grew more.
Other events such as new shows on Disney xd, Pixar showcase, and upcoming feature films were big hits as we got an inside look at all the new and exciting things happening with the animation and live action world. Throughout the weekend fans were also able to meet and greet with their favorite stars of shows such as Pretty Little Liars, Once Upon a Time, and the recently aired Descendants and take photo ops with them as well. My heart was really set on attending the Once Upon a Time event but the tickets were grabbed up within minutes. It was great for Disney to offer free Stage Passes this year to some of the events where you were guaranteed to get into one of the rooms instead of waiting for open seating. However, as with most major events such as the Disney D23 Expo, one really had to be prepared ahead of time to be able to attend all the events offered. And if you were one of the lucky fans who were able to attend the Disney Legends ceremony, that alone justified those who spent the night at the convention center to be first in line. My husband, our son, and I however were just happy to attend the event and see all the wonderful opportunities offered by Disney.
Now, onto the anticipated highlights that Disney will be bringing to the world. Let’s start with a major reveal that Disney is planning on building a Star Wars Land within the Disney parks in both California and Florida. The Star Wars themed land will feature rides, attractions, and immerse you fully into the world of Star Wars. That’s going to be incredibly exciting because the world of Star Wars is so immense and extraordinary that Disney could really go to extreme measures to create a theme land just for Star Wars. No word yet on when Star Wars Land will start construction but what a sight it would be to watch the progress and growth of this new area!
Disney will also be releasing several animation movies in the coming years with the most upcoming one called The Good Dinosaur. I’m already excited about this movie as the story line seems to align perfectly with Disney’s philosophy of teaching good through trials and tribulations. Other movies include bringing back fan favorites such as Pirates of the Caribbean, and several other remakes including The Jungle Book, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Pete’s Dragon.
Disney’s D23 Expo was a pretty happening place during the month of August. It was a highly anticipated event and people of all ages got to see something new while enjoying many classics. We had so much fun checking out sneak peek previews, playing games to win prizes, and of course interacting in the Star Wars section where we were able to play with the new characters in Disney’s Infinity video games. Even the dark lord himself, Darth Vader could be seen wandering the halls testing out some new video games and being ominous and magnanimous as usual.
The next Disney D23 Expo will be in 2017 and I expect it to be even bigger and with more things to see and interact with. Here’s hoping that it comes back to Anaheim, California.
Here’s a list of some of the upcoming Disney events for 2015:
The Good Dinosaur opens in theaters.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters.
The Finest Hours opens in theaters.
Zootopia opens in theaters.
The Jungle Book opens in theaters.
The Muppets premieres at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy premieres at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Disney xd.
It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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