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23 Things to Know Before the Next D23 Expo

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We attended our 3rd D23 Expo in 2019 and felt like seasoned vets. 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 D23 Expo is September 9-11, 2022. Here are 23 things to know before the next D23 Expo in 2022.

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 biennial 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.

d23 expo poster 2022

23 Things to Know Before the Next D23 Expo

1. When is D23 Expo?

September 9-11, 2022. D23 runs every 2 years.

Don’t make the mistake of saying “I’m going next year!” because there is not a D23 Expo in the US in 2023.

Be cool: 2024 is when the next Disney Fan Expo happens.

For historical purposes, the D23 Expo 2017 dates were July 14-16.

D23 Expo 2019 was held on August 23–25.

And D23 Expo was canceled due to Covid concerns in 2021 and rescheduled for 2022.

2. Where can you find D23 news?

Look for D23 news about the expo to start coming out during the summer before the event. So for D23 Expo 2022, start looking in August of 2021.

Or hey, right here! I’m sharing everything D23 Expo that I can find. Here are a few posts if you want to catch up on the 2019 D23 Expo news. 

The Ultimate D23 Expo Packing List

Letting the Inner Fangirl Out: D23 Expo Is Coming!

D23 Expo Badge Activation Steps

D23 Expo Online Reservation Tips

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 Required

New for 2022: You DO need a D23 Membership to purchase tickets.

And the free membership counts!

But Gold Members do receive a few perks at the event so it might be worth the cost to become a paying 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: $99.99
  • D23 Gold Duo: $129.99

4. How Much Do D23 Expo Ticket cost?

Ticket prices have been announced for the D23 Expo in 2022.

Tickets will go on sale on January 20, 2022, at 12 noon PT (9 am ET).

Visa credit cardholders, take note:

As part of the Visa sponsorship, all Visa cardholders who are D23 Members and pay with their Visa will have an exclusive 24-hour pre-sale for a limited number of one-day and three-day tickets on January 19 at 10 am PT (7 am ET).

d23 expo 2022 ticket prices

This information was released on January 13, 2022, one week before tickets went on sale.

5. Will D23 Expo Sell Out?

Yup.

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

The 3-day tickets sold out in late April for the 2019 event. 

Will D23 Expo Have A Virtual Option?

The Expo will have some panels available via live stream events.

More details on this option will be released later this summer.

Update: D23 Expo has sold out for 2019 as of August 12, 2019.

2019 D23 Expo Badge

6. Where is the D23 Expo 2022?

It’s always been held in Anaheim and will return to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2022.

Why isn’t D23 held in Orlando?

Well, for one, the Orlando convention center is pretty far from Disney World- so settle down, Disney World fans.

It’s not likely to happen.

There is another event that was just held in November 2021, The Destination D event, which is a mini-D23 Expo. And this one was held in Walt Disney World.

But for the big show, make plans to visit sunny California in 2022.

7. Sleep after D23 Expo

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

Between lining up early for panels and staying late for the Expo shopping (and don’t forget visiting Disneyland!) you may not spend too much time in your hotel room.

In the past, we chose to stay in the overnight lines, which afforded a little sleep, but not much. At this time, there’s not any information about panel lines or overnight options.

d23 expo overnight packing list
We slept on the floor of the D23 Expo in 2017.

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.

D23 Expo Marvel Panel 2019

9. Stay Close to the Anaheim Convention Center

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

This makes walking back and forth throughout the day much easier.

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!

D23 Expo fangirls

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 Online Reservation Tips

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.

sleeping beauty disneybound at d23 expo

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!

In 2019, Galaxy’s Edge was opened.

And this year?

Avengers Campus is open!

15. Should you bring the kids to D23 Expo?

Possibly an unpopular opinion, but we’re 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, we didn’t miss the chance to star in the new Thor: Ragnarok trailer.

d32 expo floor pin trading area

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. we learned this lesson too late to do anything about it- ours 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.

d23 expo food

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.

This year you will have a chance to register for panel access. Seats will be limited, but you can grab a spot in advance.

Here’s what you need to know about the D23 Expo online registration process.

D23 Expo Stagepass fastpass

21. Pack your patience along with your Pixie Dust

Because there are a lot of people at this event, 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.

We’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? Maybe?

For 2022, it sounds like the Sorcerer package has been discontinued and replaced with the D23 Preferred Seating Ticket.

This costs $899 for all three days and puts you front and center for the best panels.

** Sorcerer packages are a thing of D23 Expo yesteryear. But we’re keeping this information here for historical purposes.**

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.

Sorcerer D23 expo

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

Our 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.

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

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!

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JC

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

i thought i went to D23 2018 Anaheim CC. Not able to get D23 2019 tickets though

JC

JC

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

opps it was a different CON haha WonderCon 2018

Ann

Thursday 8th of August 2019

Hey! Just discovered your article bec im looking for tips about the expo! It'll be my first time and I'll be alone so I'm kinda nervous about it. I want to go see the Legends Ceremony and Im wondering if an overnighter is really recommended so I can get in? Also, if I want to see the next panel after the ceremony which will still be held at Hall D23, can I just stay there until the next session or is it something where they let all the people out after one part?

Patty Holliday

Thursday 8th of August 2019

I don't think Legends *has* to be an overnight thing. You also have the option this year to try to grab an advanced Stage Pass reservation- that would 100% keep you out of the overnight line! Those are going to be available starting August 16th. You should have some info coming your way on that with your badges or you might find it on the app.

Mark Holliday

Monday 1st of July 2019

Great Info - we are Gold Family Members & bought 4 of the 3 Day Tickets. We are wondering if the same 4 people have to use the tickets all 3 days? We have one friend that can only go Friday & Saturday & another we’d love to invite Sunday but this is our first year and not sure how the tickets work? Thanks - btw we have the same last name :)

Patty Holliday

Saturday 6th of July 2019

Oh good question! I'm not sure but I'd say no off the top of my head. Mostly because the badges were always officially "non-transferrable" -- however, in the past, the names on the badges were not checked against ID or anything. I have no idea how 2019 will be set up though!

BellaV

Monday 27th of May 2019

its my first time an im really more interested in buying stuff, and what does Panel mean I have no clue about any of this other then shopping. do you have to sleep over to buy things or can you still get there super early or middle of the night to have chances to buy. I heard they let Cast members buy before public is that true?

Patty Holliday

Tuesday 28th of May 2019

I'm not sure what the setup for 2019 will be since they haven't announced any details just yet! But in the past, yes, people did line up overnight to be some of the first to get into the shopping areas. The lines there can get very long as they let a few people in at a time to shop! So you might need to be prepared for that kind of situation.

A Panel is where they speak on or announce specific things as it relates to the Disney Parks or movies!

Curly

Friday 17th of May 2019

Hi! This year is going to be our first experience at the D23 Expo and we're very excited! We're really interested on seeing some of the big panels and I see that you mentioned that Stagepasses are not available. So, to get in is it absolutely necessary to camp out or can you get there really early in the morning (like 4~5 am)? And if it's absolutely necessary to camp out, what do you recommend bringing with you for the night? And just another question, if the schedule is the same, how likely is to get in the animation panel if you managed to get into the legends panel? Thank you for your help!

Patty Holliday

Saturday 18th of May 2019

Hi there!

A lot of these questions I can't answer 100% because Disney hasn't announced the setup or schedule for 2019. So this is based on previous experience only.

There's a rumor that a lottery system could be used rather than allowing overnight lines, so we'll see if that develops.

In my experience, you did not need to camp out for the Legends panel. That one doesn't seem to over-fill, so you could safely line up for that one at a more reasonable 6am-ish time frame. I wouldn't try to walk in as the doors open, however, if you are concerned about "good" seats!

The animation panel did fill up last year and people who were not in line early did indeed miss out on that one. In 2015 I was able to attend Legends and the Animation panel without issue, but 2017 felt much bigger to be honest.

For overnights, I recommend a folding chair like this https://amzn.to/2YyL8v7 and to dress warmly. It was FREEZING down in the basement! You can also bring blow up air mattress (think pool type size) to set up in line- at least, people did in the past. But remember that anything you come in with you'll probably end up walking around all day carrying. So think light!

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