Gavin Lee and Ashley Brown perform at D23 Expo. (Photo courtesy of Disney Theatrical Productions)
California School of the Arts

D23 Expo celebrates its 10th anniversary with many new events and exhibits

D23 Expo — the world’s annual ultimate Disney fan event returned for its 10th anniversary at the Anaheim convention center from Aug. 23 – 25. Large Booths decorated the carpeted floor, offering fans an inside look at the latest Disney can offer.

Stepping into Hall A, the first thing I saw was the Center Stage, hosting events like the Disney Tsum Tsum Festival or sneak peeks for National Geographic’s “The Right Stuff,” based on Tom Wolfe’s bestselling novel about the Mercury 7 astronauts.

Further down was the D23 Expo Emporium, selling shelves of figurines, paintings, and pins on everything Disney related. The Emporium was a marketplace of a wide range of merchandise from the most limited edition Pop Vinyl figures to stylish lanyards.

This wasn’t the only place to go to shop. The Disney Dreamstore offered Disney’s latest products from clothes to figurines to bags and everything in-between. With well over a hundred people in line, the store offered much for the attendees to buy.

 D23 Expo celebrates its 10th anniversary with many new events and exhibits
LEGO Marvel Sculptures. (Photo by Jeremy Hsiao)

Along the sides of the floor are booths full of art on display from Disney artists like Michelle St. Laurent, Tim Rogerson, Arcy, Krystiano Dacosta, Bret Iwan and Heather Edwards, who all made special appearances throughout the event.

At the Avengers’ exhibit, Disney hints at the new Spider-Man attraction in Disneyland with the model of a ‘spider-bot’ that will somehow become incorporated into the ride. I even had the opportunity to feel like Tony Stark himself, waving my hands in front of an Iron Man display to spin and expand the blueprints of his suit and spaceship.

img 4996 D23 Expo celebrates its 10th anniversary with many new events and exhibits
Spider-Bot on display at D23 Expo. (Photo by Jeremy Hsiao)

With the future implementation of Disney+ as the newest media-service provider, their large exhibit showcased the different films as well as their past and upcoming Marvel shows. Disney+, Hulu and sports-focused ESPN+ can be accessed through the same account, although it requires three different subscriptions. The streaming service is set to launch on Nov. 12, 2019.

To truly go behind-the-scenes or discover important events in Disney’s future, Hall D23, D23 Expo Arena and Stage 28 offer presentations on Disney Parks and films, the inspiring women behind “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” and many more.

 D23 Expo celebrates its 10th anniversary with many new events and exhibits
The Future of Epcot Model Display at D23 Expo. (Photo by Jeremy Hsiao)

The stages also host dance parties and concerts, like “Disney on Broadway in Concert: A 25th Anniversary Celebration.” Hall D23 hosted this 75-minute concert with songs from “Beauty and the Beast” to “The Lion King” to Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida.”

“Walt Disney famously said it all started with a mouse. But for Disney on Broadway it all started with a beast,” host of the show and Tony-award nominee Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins,” “Beauty and the Beast”) said.

The performance featured Broadway legends Kissy Simmons (“The Lion King”), Alton White (“The Lion King”). Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”), Heidi Blickenstaff (“The Little Mermaid”) and Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”).

9 heidi blickenstaff and josh strickland perform at d23 expo photo by disney theatrical productions D23 Expo celebrates its 10th anniversary with many new events and exhibits
Heidi Blickenstaff and Josh Strickland perform at D23 Expo. (Photo by Disney Theatrical Productions)

During the concert, they revealed that there would be a brand new Disney musical by the New York Public Theater by their Public Works initiative.

The program will bring together Broadway actors and 100 community members to perform a retake on an old classic “Hercules,” to be performed in an outdoor theater in Central Park with free admission.

The show will have seven performances from Aug. 31- Sep. 8. Learn more at their website: https://www.publictheater.org/Tickets/Calendar/PlayDetailsCollection/18-19-Season/Public-Works-Hercules/

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