A Disney Nerd’s Crazy D23 Expo Schedule

What is the D23 Expo

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s nearly 90-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; and member-exclusive discounts and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 9–11, 2013.

Basically it is like Comic-con for us Disney Nerds.

Why am I going?

I also NEVER take business trips and since my two children have been born I’ve had exactly 3 vacations, my oldest is 7.  I don’t go out for ‘girls night’, I don’t treat myself to fancy clothes, manicures, pedicure and regular hair cuts like I used to before I had the kiddos.  All of my time and energy (and most of my money) is spent on my children.  Between school, gymnastics, swim lessons and food; I have little left for myself.  So when the opportunity came my way to possibly attend the D23 Expo I talked it over with my husband and we agreed that I would only go if I got a Media Pass.  Well guess what people? I got a Media Pass and I’ve been saving my money for the past few months and I am ready to go! I am so excited to be able to report all about the D23 Expo to you via my blog, Twitter and Facebook and go hang out with ‘my kind’ of people.

The Giant Event Schedule

When the event schedule was in the process of being published it was fun to check the D23 Expo site everyday to see what had been added.  The schedule is now complete (or I so it seems) and there are so many things to do at the D23 Expo, there is no way you can see them all.  This is when it would be helpful to be part of a team of writers rather just me, but oh well.  I will not be able to see everything and I have to be ok with that.

However, I am glad that the schedule is jam packed crazy because if one presentation is full then there is another one that I can attend that will be just a great.

The Events I Want to Attend….My Plan of Attack

I have made a game plan, or a plan of attack.  I have no idea if it is even going to work but at least I have a plan.  I want to be able to get into the keynote presentations each day but not if I have to stand in line for 4 hours!  There is a lot to see on the Expo floor and other presentations I can attend IF I don’t make it into those big D23 Arena (4,000 seat) presentations.

There are five venues: D23 Arena, Stage 23, Stage 28, Center Stage and Talent Round-Up as well as Pavilions, Exhibitors, and Shopping. Click here for a map of the D23 Expo

I made this schedule and I took the idea from another blogger who is a D23 Expo expert – Disney Fan in Colorado

D23 Expo Schedule

My schedule for the D23 Expo. Items overlap so that if I don’t get into one presentation I can try another.

Here is what I am looking to attend each day, but here is the full D23 Expo schedule.

Friday, August 9th

9:00 a.m. – Disney Store Opening Ceremony, featuring special guests Snow White and Prince Charming – Disney Store

10:00 am – Art and Imagination: Animation at The Walt Disney Studios – D23 Arena
Fans know that animation is the heart and soul of Disney. Get an up-close look at the exciting and innovative projects on the horizon from our animation studios, from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Thanksgiving release Frozen and Pixar Animation Studios’ summer 2014 feature The Good Dinosaur to Disneytoon Studios’ Disney’s Planes and far beyond. Join Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter and our filmmakers and stars for the behind-the-scenes scoop on our upcoming animated features, including exclusive film debuts, can’t-miss announcements, and thrilling live performances.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Ridley Pearson and the Kingdom Keepers QuestStage 28 —> If I make it into the 10:00 presentation I will either be late to this one or it will be full.
Disney Publishing Worldwide reintroduces New York Times best-selling author Ridley Pearson as he embarks on a journey to write the seventh and final book in the Kingdom Keepers series—only this time, his readers are helping him write it through a brand new app—Kingdom Keepers Insider! Join the author as he reveals how deception and betrayal rock the Kingdom Keepers’ world as the merciless group of Disney villains stage an unexpected comeback. In addition, Ridley will unveil two all-new Kingdom Keepers Quests that will be published inside Birnbaum’s Official Walt Disney World Guide 2014 in September

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.     Kingdom Keepers series author signing with Ridley Pearson. – Talent Round Up —-> Need to get book six purchased and signed for Lily.

BREAK TIME – Expo Floor and Lunch

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.     Disney Imagineering Legend Marty Sklar Presents… Dream It! Do It! – Stage 28
Disney Legend Marty Sklar presents a fascinating half-century journey creating Disney’s magic kingdoms in his new book, Dream It! Do It!, launching exclusively at D23 Expo by Disney Publishing Worldwide. Marty will take guests through a presentation that recounts his epic Disney adventure, including working as Walt’s literary right-hand man for the Disney parks, writing a film expressing Walt’s philosophy for Walt Disney World project and Epcot, and helping to open nine of the 11 Disney parks around the world. A signing will follow this event.

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Dream It! Do It! author signing with Disney Legend and former Imagineering creative executive Marty Sklar Talent Roundup

Head back to hotel and get ready for a fun evening with my Disney Social Media Moms group!! OMG Disneyland without any kids!!!!

Get to sleep sometime around Midnight and ready for Day 2

Saturday, August 10th

9:00 a.m.  – Disney Store Opening Ceremony, featuring special guests Ariel and Prince Eric – Disney Store

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.     Let the Adventures Begin: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios – D23 Arena
Go behind the scenes at The Walt Disney Studios with this revealing look at our upcoming roster of live-action adventures from Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Fans will enjoy exclusive video clips, filmmaker discussions, and star appearances at this session hosted by Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, Disney Live Action Production President Sean Bailey, and Marvel Studios President and Producer Kevin Feige. With Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Disney’s Maleficent, Saving Mr. Banks, Tomorrowland, and Muppets Most Wanted, coming down the pike, make sure to claim your spot for the total package—surprises included!Cell phones, cameras, and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation..


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ABC’s Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale – Stage 23—-> Maybe
Catch a special sneak peek of the upcoming season of ABC’s Once Upon a Time and all-new series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, followed by a Q&A with show creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.     Disney Legends Awards Ceremony – D23 Arena
The 2013 Disney Legends Awards, hosted by Disney CEO Bob Iger and noted television personality Tom Bergeron (host of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos), is a tradition that pays tribute to the talented people who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy. Since 1987, 249 men and women have been named Disney Legends in honor of their work at The Walt Disney Company. This year, Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University stars Billy Crystal and John Goodman, technology visionary Steve Jobs, television icon Dick Clark and four others—Tony Baxter, Collin Campbell, Glen Keane, and Ed Wynn—will be named and honored as official Disney Legends

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.     Crash Course in the Force: Star Wars Saga 101 Stage 23
Discover the rich history of the Star Wars saga and how cinematic storytelling, deep mythology, and enthusiastic fans have transformed it from hit movies to a worldwide phenomenon. With new adventures coming to the big and small screens, immerse yourself in where Star Wars has been and how it changed the world with Lucasfilm’s resident authority, Pablo Hidalgo. Whether you’re taking your first step into this larger world or are a seasoned Jedi Master, there are many secrets of the Force to discover.

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.     Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken: The Disney Songbook – D23 Arena—> This is a MUST so I may miss the Star Wars Saga 101
For one night only, two of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and composers will take to the stage. Richard Sherman and Menken have won a combined 10 Academy Awards for their work with Disney, and have composed music and songs for more than three dozen Disney feature films, over two dozen Disney Park attractions, and half a dozen Disney musicals on Broadway.

Head over to Disneyland to get some pictures for my Blog on some upcoming stories I am working on AND do some shopping for my girls.

Get to sleep sometime around Midnight and ready for Day 3

Sunday, August 11th

9:00 a.m. Disney Store Opening Ceremony, featuring special guests Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse – Disney Store

9:30 a.m. – 10:30am     Walt Disney Imagineering’s 60th: Working with Walt – Stage 23
Leading off the first of five panel discussions celebrating 60 years of Imagineering, we go back to where it all began, and the man who started it all—Walt Disney. Join moderator and Disney Legend Marty Sklar and his equally legendary panel of X Atencio, Alice Davis, and Bob Gurr as they share what it was like to work with Walt, bring his creative visions to life, and establish the foundations of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Early lunch and Expo floor

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.     To Infinity and Beyond: Disney Interactive Takes the Stage  – D23 Arena
Disney Interactive invites you into its workshop for a first look at its upcomingslate of digital products, including reveals of never-before-seen Disney games,mobile apps, and online shows. Presented by Disney Interactive Co-PresidentsJimmy Pitaro and John Pleasants, this session will include the world premiereof Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story, the upcoming web series based on theVinylmation franchise, and a demo of the just-announced video game Fantasia:Music Evolved, with a live performance from the Disney Chamber Ensemble. Disney Infinity will also take center stage with several new surprises you won’t want to miss. The first 5,000 arena attendees will leave the presentation with an exclusive giveaway of a never-before-seen Disney Infinity figure!

2:45 p.m. – 3:45p.m.     Walt Disney Imagineering’s 60th: Leading a Legacy Stage 23
Think being at the helm of the most creative organization on Earth is the bestjob you could have? You’d be right! Join current Walt Disney Imagineering Chief Creative Executive Bruce Vaughn and Disney Legend and former WaltDisney Imagineering executive Marty Sklar as they share amazing insights and stories of what it’s like to herd the ultimate creative cats of Walt DisneyImagineering.

4:30 p.m. – 5:30p.m.     Walt Disney Imagineering’s 60th: Leave ‘em Laughing – Stage 23
From the classically corny jokes on the Jungle Cruise to the musical patter ofMater on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, humor has always played an indeliblerole throughout Disney parks around the world. Imagineers Dave Fisher, JoeLanzisero, Kevin Rafferty, Jason Surrell, and special guest (and one-timeDisney animator and occasional Imagineer) George Scribner discuss the overt,covert, and off-the-wall humor found in Disney parks

Head over to Disneyland (yes, again) and have dinner and get some pictures while there is still day light.

Get to sleep before Midnight, wake up and catch my plane home !!

Wish me luck!! Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and this Blog for updates throughout the event.  I will try to blog a few things at night after the D23 Expo.



About Dawn

Dawn is a social influencer and has been writing about her nerdy side since 2004. She enjoys writing about Entertainment, Travel, Disney, Star Wars and life with two little girls. Her advice is to keep on dreaming, do what you love and life will lead you a path to your happiness. Dawn also writes for 5 Minutes for Mom.

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