23 Things to Know Before the Next D23 Expo | My No-Guilt Life | My No-Guilt Life

23 Things to Know Before the Next D23 Expo

I attended my 2nd D23 Expo in 2017 and felt like a seasoned vet this time. No more D23 Expo newbie mistakes! If you were watching via social media and saying, “I need to be there next time!” this is the post for you. The next D23 Expo is August  23-25, 2019. Here are 23 things to know before the next D23 Expo in 2019.

 

Tips for the D23 Expo that you need to know before the next event happens! Disney's fan club, D23, puts on an expo every 2 years in Anaheim. It's Comic Con for Disney!

What is D23 Expo?

Let’s start with answering the question- what is D23?

D23 is the official Disney fan club which was created on March 10, 2009.

This was the first ever official fan club of The Walt Disney Company.

The D23 Expo is the biannual fan event held in Anaheim, California to celebrate all things Disney. It’s the ultimate Disney fan experience!

From the Marvel movies and Disney Studios movies to the television shows, to the merchandise and the parks: it can all be found at D23 Expo.

 

What does D23 stand for?

The “D” stands for Disney, and “23” represents 1923, the year that Walt Disney made it to California.

 

2019 D23 expo poster

 

23 Things to Know Before the Next D23 Expo

1. When is D23 Expo?

August 23-25, 2019. D23 runs every 2 years.

Don’t sound like a newbie and say “I’m going next year!” because there is not a D23 Expo in 2018 (unless you wanted to go to D23 Expo Japan!).

Be cool: 2019 is when the next Disney Fan Expo happens.

The D23 Expo 2017 dates were July 14-16.

 

2. Where can you find D23 news?

Look for D23 news about the expo to start coming out during the summer of 2018.

Or hey, right here! I’m sharing everything D23 Expo that I can find.

Watch this space!

Sign up for D23 via the Disney Store (it’s FREE!) to get on the email list or of course, follow along here because you know I’ll share all the details as they come out.

 

3. D23 Membership is not required

You do NOT need a D23 Membership of any sort to attend.

But Gold Members do receive a few perks at the event (including better over-night line placement) so it might be worth the cost to become a member before the event.

Becoming a D23 member is easy: head over to the Disney Store and purchase your membership level.

D23 Membership costs with shipping:

  • D23 General: free!
  • D23 Gold: $79.99
  • D23 Gold Family: $104.99

 

4. How Much Do D23 Expo Ticket cost?

Welp, prices have gone up a bit since the last D23 Expo.

General admission tickets are $89 for a one-day adult admission and $69 for children. Three-day money-saving tickets are also available.

 

 

d23 expo pricing non member

 

NEW THIS YEAR: If you are a D23 Gold Member you can get a discount on your ticket. Nice, right? The free membership will no longer qualify for the discount.

Plus, Gold Members who purchase their tickets from August 23–November 20, 2018, will enjoy an additional special “Early Bird” discount. D23 Gold Family Members can save as much as $288 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Gold Member “Early Bird” rate.

 

d23 expo early bird gold member

 

  • D23 Gold Members must log in by using their D23.com Gold Member account information when reserving discounted tickets.
  • D23 Gold Members may reserve a discounted ticket for themselves and one (1) guest; D23 Gold Family Members may reserve discounted tickets for themselves and up to three (3) guests.
  • Non-Members may reserve up to twelve (12) D23 Expo 2019 tickets. Gold Members may reserve up to twelve (12) D23 Expo 2019 tickets including their discounted tickets.
  • Ticketed Members and guests who do not attend D23 Expo 2019 forfeit their place as well as all experiences, benefits, and gifts associated with the event.
  • D23 Expo 2019 tickets are subject to availability
  • All D23 Events are subject to change without notice. There are strictly no cancellations or refunds, and tickets are not transferable.
  • Tickets are expected to ship to the provided shipping address 6-8 weeks prior to D23 Expo 2019.

 

D23 Expo 2017 Ticket Prices:

From July 14–December 31, 2016, tickets are $67 for a one-day adult admission and $46 for children 3–9. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $57 for a one-day adult admission and $41 for children.

 

5. Will D23 Expo sell out?

Yup.

The event does sell out for most days- so get your tickets early.

That being said, there were still tickets available up to the week before the 2017 D23 Expo.

 

D23 Expo Badge from 2017 event

 

6. Where is the D23 Expo 2019?

It’s always been held in Anaheim and will return to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2019. 

The Orlando convention center is pretty far from Disney World- so settle down, Disney World fans. It’s not likely to happen. 

So make plans to visit sunny California in 2019.

 

7. Sleep after D23 Expo

Because you probably won’t get a lot of it during the event!

We chose to stay in the overnight lines, which afforded a little sleep, but not much.

Even if you skip this plan, you’ll want to be up early for entry to the best panels. Which of course means you might be exhausted & possibly overwhelmed by the end of the day.

 

Sleeping on the ground at D23 Expo Camping out

 

8. D23 Expo Hotels

Book your D23 Expo Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel early!

While you may not sleep in it a lot, you will still want a hotel room for a variety of reasons: naps, storage, showers… we all will thank you for that!

Most hotels start the booking process about a year in advance.

 

9. Stay Close to the Anaheim Convention Center

Try to stay close to the action: the best hotels are right around the convention center.

I’ve stayed at the Red Lion Inn for the past two expos without complaint.

It’s a lower cost option that’s directly across the street from the D23 Expo location.

 

10. Bring a friend (or three!) to D23 Expo

They help you pass the time, keep you laughing, and geek out right along with you.

Poor Renee was beaten black and blue when the Marvel Avengers: Infinity War parade of stars at the 2017 D23 Expo Live Action Panel started.

Sorry, girl. I warned ya!

 

friend selfie at D23 Expo
 

11. If you roll solo to D23: make friends in line. 

Disney people are some of the nicest people EVER. 

Swearsies!

 

12. Don’t be afraid to let your dis-nerd flag fly at D23 Expo

Everyone here is “a huge huge yuuuugggee fan” and they will get you! 

Chances are you will learn something new you didn’t know about Disney fandom too. 

 

13. Wear a costume to D23 Expo or try your hand at a Disneybound

D23 Expo Costumes are for everyone- not just the superhero cos-players out there.

But there’s a ton of those to see as well!

They love it when you ask to take their pictures: they didn’t dress up like this just for themselves!

 

D23 Expo Marvel Cosplayers: Captain America, Ant-Man and Black Widow

Photo: D23 Expo Official

I love channeling a character with my clothing at these events.

It’s called Disneybounding, and it can be a lot of fun to spot the fellow Disneybounders in the room.

If you need ideas, here’s a Loki Disneybounding look as well as a Snow White Dapper Day look.

 

14. Visit Disneyland During D23 Expo

Disneyland is just steps away but is NOT included in the price of your D23 expo ticket.

D23 Expo fans will be able to purchase discounted tickets, however, so keep that in mind.

During the D23 Expo 2017, I had a chance to check out Disneyland’s Summer of Heroes and it was FABULOUS!

 

15. Should you bring the kids to D23 Expo?

Possibly an unpopular opinion, but I’m just keeping things real here.

Parents: leave the kids at home, unless they are strong Disney fans in the tween to the teenage range.

While D23 Expo is kid appropriate, it’s not exactly kid-friendly.

Strollers are hard to maneuver through the crowds and your fellow expo-goers’ heels will thank you for not bringing them!

 

16. Explore the D23 Expo floor

There are going to be lines for everything- so just ask people what they are in line for, then look for the “end of the queue” signs to find out where to line up.

Shopping is a HUGE thing at the D23 expo. Bring your credit cards, yall!

While we missed out on jumping in Scrooge McDuck’s money pit, I didn’t miss the chance to star in the new Thor: Ragnarok trailer.

 

 

17. Do you need to go to panels?

A panel is where are the good stuff is “leaked” or shared for the first time with fans.

Sometimes it’s exclusive and only shown to the people in the room (like the D23 Expo Avengers: Infinity War trailer we saw) and sometimes it’s the first peek of something that will be released online soon after the panel concludes.

A typical panel will include directors, producers, and stars of the project chatting with fans about what they can expect to see.

At D23 Expo, the 4 “biggies” are the Legends ceremony, the Animation Panel, the Live-Action Panel, and the Disney Parks Panel.

 

18. What to eat at D23 Expo

Food and drinks cannot officially be brought into the Expo (though many people managed to get around that rule!).

There are places to purchase what you need inside.

Protip: make sure your burger actually has a pattie in it before you walk away. I learned this lesson too late to do anything about it- mine was missing!

But here’s where my point number 11 comes into play: I was rescued by a sweet line-mate who pulled a tuna kit from her bag. I made a tuna sandwich instead and all was good.

 

tuna and hamburger bun at D23 Expo

 

19. Closest Disneyland Airports

Check out the closest Disneyland airports for your travel needs.

You have quite a few options for flying into Southern California, but there are airports that might be better than others.

 

20. D23 Expo Stagepass is awesome

Save some time & bypass the lines.

Grab a free Stagepass early if your favorite panel is offering them.

It’s basically a Fastpass into the hall or room that you want to be and keeps you from standing in line hoping to get in.

Not all sessions offer them, but you can stop by the Stagepass booth on the Expo floor to pick yours up.

 

D23 Expo Stagepass fastpass

 

21. Pack your patience along with your Pixie Dust

Because there’s a lot of people at this event, and they all want the same thing: to see and shop and experience all the amazing things Disney brings to the Expo.

Good things happen to those that are willing to wait, but better things come to those that are willing to be kind.

I’ve heard stories of fans helping each other out- folks who missed out on a Tsum Tsum (hey, I got an extra! You can have it!) or who were shut out of the Animation panel but really wanted the COCO poster that was given (I won’t need mine- you take it!)

Be nice, people! It’s Disney, for goodness sake!

 

22. Be a D23 Expo Sorcerer

If all this sounds awful (lines suck, let’s be honest), consider the D23 Expo Sorcerer’s package.

And be quick about it because these babies sell FAST (as in 2 minutes fast for the 2017 Expo!).

 

New for 2019 D23 Expo SORCERER PACKAGES:

A limited number of VIP Sorcerer Packages for D23 Expo 2019 will be available exclusively to both D23 Gold and Gold Family Members at $2,500 per ticket.

The Sorcerer Package includes a three-day admission ticket with a commemorative Sorcerer credential; reserved seating at presentations; a preview day with a tour of the show floor and advance shopping opportunities; a Haunted Mansion-themed welcome reception; a packed D23 Expo gift pack, including an exclusive bag provided by D23 Expo 2019 sponsor American Tourister, and more.

Members can purchase up to two Sorcerer tickets.

D23 Expo Sorcerer package information and sign

 

The 2017 D23 Sorcerer Package included:

  • Three-day admission ticket and commemorative Sorcerer credential
  • Reserved seating at presentations in Hall D23, Stage 23, and Stage 28
  • Limited-edition D23 American Tourister boarding bag
  • Pre-Expo tour of select exhibits including Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
  • Exclusive shopping time in the D23 Expo Dream Store, Disney Store, and Mickey’s of Glendale
  • Tour of the D23 Expo show floor the day before the Expo is open to the public
  • Welcome Reception on Thursday evening
  • Exclusive entrance to the Expo each morning
  • A voucher for an appointment with an on-site massage therapist
  • Exclusive D23 Expo gift pack including gifts from D23 and the rest of The Walt Disney Company
  • Meet and Greet with a special Disney guest
  • “Fond Farewell” reception on final day of Expo
  • Plus, access to the Sorcerer Member Lounge and other benefits

Sorcerer Package tickets are available exclusively to both D23 Gold and Gold Family Members at $2,500 per ticket.

Members have the option to purchase up to two Sorcerer tickets.

Sounds sweet, right? It is.

If you can’t be a unicorn, be a Sorcerer.

 

23. Final D23 Expo advice

My final words of advice: if you watched this play out on social media and had any moment of, “Man, I wish I was there!” then this is the event for you.

 

23 Tips for the D23 Expo at Anaheim Convention Center. Signage with Mickey and D23 Expo logo

 

You don’t have to do it all. In fact: you CANNOT do it all.

Go in with open expectations; pick one or two “must-see” panels and consider anything else extra because there’s no way to do it all.

I repeat: SET YOUR EXPECTATIONS. You cannot do it all.

Unless you are a Sorcerer. And if you are one, can you pick me up an extra pass? I make a great companion, swearsies!

Need more D23 Expo tips? Check out this post!

Marvel at D23 Expo

2017 Disney Legends at D23 Expo

 

D23 Expo tips and plans for a con newbie. Things you need to know before you hit the Anaheim Convention Center!

 

Did you attend the D23 Expo? What tips do you have?

Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)

Comments

  • Benny says:

    Hi!

    I have a question, if i join d23 gold membership. How many tickets can i buy with my Account?

    I want to travel next year with 4 friends and i want to know if every single memeber need Account or memebership to get tickets.

    I hope you can help me. 🙂 thaks you.

    • Patty says:

      Great question! I think it depends on the level of membership you buy. If you buy a Family membership, you should be able to buy 4 tickets and have 4 people total in line with you at the Expo. That’s how it worked last year. If you buy an individual membership, I believe you will only be allowed to buy 1 ticket at discount pricing, but allowed to bring 1 other person in the lines with you at Expo. I was not a Gold member last year, but my friends were so I don’t have exact details. And nothing is showing up just yet on the D23 Membership site about it!

  • Albert says:

    Hi

    Quick question if you have a gold family membership, the sorcerer package covers the family or just you

    • Patty says:

      The sorcerer package will be for one person; I believe they allowed sorcerers to buy 2 tickets together last year, but each person needs their own tickets. By having a family gold package, you are just allowed to buy the tickets. I hope that makes sense!

  • Bethany says:

    I want to go to D23 in 2019, but I would also love to go to Disneyland while I’m out there (in an ideal world!) When do you recommend going to the parks on D23 weekend? Or should I stay an extra day or two to go if I can?

    • Patty says:

      You definitely don’t want to miss Disneyland while you’re there! And it really depends on how you like to do the parks. Last time D23 also sold discounted tickets to Disneyland and some “after 4pm” tickets that you might be interested in.

  • Ashley says:

    My daughter want to go to this she has been following it on you tube she wants to go to meet her descendants characters do they list these certain events so maybe we can buy a ticket for that particular day for that meet and greet ?

    • Patty says:

      They will list who is coming, but typically that’s not until much closer to the event. I just checked my old emails and I think there were some announcements of talent from the Disney Channel in late May of 2017. The Descendants were featured on Friday for what it’s worth! Hope you guys have a great time.

  • Megan says:

    How fast do the early bird tickets sell out? Should I buy them as soon as the go on sale tomorrow or do you think there will still be tickets available next week?

    • Patty says:

      In the past, you did not have to buy tickets ASAP. Unless you were after the Sorcerer package.

      I want to say the whole thing didn’t sell out until a month before in 2017. So I do think you could wait a bit to buy tickets (but things could be different this year!).

  • Donna Soto says:

    Do the sorcerer tickets come w any passes? We have a group of us going bet only two of us can afford the tickets. With a sorcerer pass can we bring a friend as our guest?

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Patty Holliday


Patty is a 40-ish mother of four living in Virginia. A bit geeky, sometimes sarcastic, lover of a candid confession. She's trying to love running, she swears. But much like her marathon, it’s taking a very long time. Ahem. She's searching for the perfect way to balance family, work, travel, and fitness. Perfect defined as high on fun, low on guilt.

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