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The Walt Disney Archives at D23 Expo 2022

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With D23 Expo 2022 less than three months away, it seems like we’re getting new information (and added excitement) every few days! Today’s announcement highlights what I look forward to most when attending D23 Expo: the exhibit and panels hosted by The Walt Disney Archives! Responsible for preserving, restoring, and documenting Disney history, the Walt Disney Archives always bring rare artifacts, untold stories, and magical memories to their panels and exhibits, and this year sounds no different.

By Theresa Mabe

D23 Expo 2022 Walt Disney Archives Exhibit

Available to visit throughout the D23 Expo, the 2022 exhibit is titled Walt Disney Archives presents Step in Time, a celebration of the nearly 100-year history of The Walt Disney Company.

As part of the kick-off to Disney100, this chronological exhibition showcases Walt Disney Archives historical assets like never before with immersive, themed environments from animated shorts, films, and film premieres, as well as television productions and Disney Parks favorites.

A timeline in the center of the exhibit will showcase extraordinary Disney events over the past century, with an opportunity for guests to literally “Step in Time,” showcasing rare historical objects in recreations of the settings from which they originated.

Mary poppins carousel horse d 23 expo archives

While we don’t know all of the scenes that the Walt Disney Archives are recreating, they’ve shared that the gallery space within the exhibition will feature nine highly themed areas, providing fans the opportunity to capture photos and become part of Disney’s rich history themselves.

Start planning your outfits and Instagram posts now, because some of the scenes you can step into include:

  • captaining the boat in Steamboat Willie;
  • walking the blue carpet at the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs;
  • visiting with the carousel horses from Mary Poppins;
  • being serenaded by Breathless Mahoney at Club Ritz (Dick Tracy);
  • visiting Flynn’s Arcade (Tron);
  • and coming face-to-face with the bride in the attic of the Haunted Mansion.
Breathless Mahoney d23 expo archives

D23 Expo 2022 Walt Disney Archives Stage Panels

As the stage where I spend most of my time, I’m so excited that once again D23 Expo will feature the Walt Disney Archives Stage – and this year it’s expanding to 700 seats!

While we don’t know the exact schedule yet, we get to look forward to over a dozen panels covering:

  • the impressive 50-year legacy of the Main Street Electrical Parade;
  • the 1980s and 1990s edition of the Mickey Mouse Club; and
  • the first half-century of the Walt Disney World Resort.
Flynns arcade sign Tron D23 Expo

We also have our first panelist D23 Expo 2022 announcements, with panels featuring appearances from:

  • Bill Farmer, Disney Legend (and the voice of Goofy!);
  • Becky Cline, Walt Disney Archives Director;
  • Bob Weis, former Walt Disney Imagineering President and current WDI Global Ambassador;
  • Graham Allan, Disney historian and author;
  • Stacia Martin, Disney historian and artist; and
  • Imagineers from the Illusioneering Lab.

The Walt Disney Archives team will also be hosting one panel on a larger stage.

On Saturday, September 10, at 10 a.m. on the Backlot Stage (which replaces 2019’s Stage 28), the Walt Disney Archives will be sharing a look at the creation of the upcoming Disney100: The Exhibition, which opens next February at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

Gulfstream Bag from WED. Disney Archives D23 Expo
Walt Disney – Personal, travel bag, Gulfstream N732G logo printed on both sides. “Walt Disney Productions'” 1964

Walt Disney’s Grumman Gulfstream I

If you ever had a chance to experience the Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studio, you’re in for a treat with this next announcement!

Earlier this year, it was announced that Walt Disney’s Grumman Gulfstream I airplane will be on display at D23 Expo. The plane will be available for guests to see in the Arena of the Anaheim Convention Center, the Walt Disney Archives have had its exterior restored and have curated an all-new exhibit featuring specially selected items that represent the history of the aircraft.

Included will be:

  • a customized instrument panel originally located near Walt’s favorite onboard seat (enabling him to monitor flight conditions);
  • a telephone handset (which gave Walt a direct line of communication to the pilot in the cockpit); and
  • a flight bag adorned with an image of Mickey Mouse sitting on the tail of the famed plane.

A limited number of single-day tickets for Sunday of D23 Expo 2022 are available for $99 for one-day adult admission and $79 for children ages 3–12. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $89 for a one-day adult admission. Single-day Saturday tickets and three-day passes are sold out. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2022, visit

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Dexter Francis

Monday 5th of September 2022

Anyone interested in more details about Walt’s Plane is welcome to visit the Walt’s Airplanes page on Facebook.

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