By the time I shuttered Lincoln City Archery, D23 Expo 2022 tickets were sold out, which is probably just as well because at the time I didn’t think I could afford much of anything. Still, now that I know what I am doing with my finances, I could have made it to D23. (We’ll just have to settle for a trip to Disneyland.) So, what would I do if I had a ticket to D23? Here is my suggested itinerary. (Note: This was written on August 10, 2022. My ideas about what to do could change based on new announcements or flights of fancy.)
Most people will gravitate toward the Disney Legends Induction Ceremony, which is understandable. The Legends ceremony features some of the most iconic people involved with the creation of the Disney Company. Personally, I would likely head over to the Archives Stage. At 10, the panel is “Sounds Delightful.” It will focus on vintage recordings with LPs at the heart of the conversation. Music is an underrated part of the Disney experience. This is the panel I would want to be at.
If, for some reason, I couldn’t make that panel, I would head over to the Backlot Stage for an “Inside Look at the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.” I don’t even know what this is, but the description mentions books, and that’s good enough for me. (I should probably do some research; there’s a wiki for everything.)
At 11:45, the Hyperion stage features “traceback,” a look at the women and people of color that worked at the Disney studios. I suspect Floyd Norman would make an appearance, but that’s not guaranteed. This panel seems like a nice way to learn about Disney history from another point of view.
If I couldn’t make that presentation, I would hit up the “Who Has a Window on Main Street, U.S.A.?” panel back on the Archives Stage.
The next panel on the Archives Stage is about the Mickey Mouse Club from 1989. This is the version that launched the careers of Keri Russell, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, and Britney Spears. I wasn’t a big fan of this reboot, but the star power is undeniable. It’s also not likely many of them will show up. Still, it would be a good time, especially if everyone came in mouse ears.
There is a very good chance that I would go ahead and skip anything structured at this time. Instead, I would get something to eat and spend an hour or so walking the exhibition hall. It’d be a good time to look at what the Indie Authors and other artists are selling as well as what exhibits have come from the Disney Archives themselves.
It might also give me an edge to get into the next panel at the Archives Stage: Disney Legends in Conversation. We don’t know for sure yet who is going to be inducted as a Disney Legend, but this is the panel, everyone should want to get into. There are few people left with a connection to Walt, and some of them should be on this panel. This would be the one panel of the day I wouldn’t want to miss.
The last panel of the day is a toss up between “Walt’s Plane” on the Archive Stage and “Here for the Laughs” on the Backlot Stage. I would probably opt for Walt’s Plane unless the line seemed overly long. Then I would take my time, adventure through the hall and get to “Here for the Laughs.”
People will likely flock to the Studio Showcase in the morning. I don’t know why people like sneak previews of upcoming movies and shows; I’d rather be surprised. Opposite the Studio Showcase will be “the Making of Disney100: The Exhibition” on the Backlot Stage and “A Peek Behind the Curtain at Walt Disney Imagineering’s Illusions and Special Effects Development Lab” with a mention of Yale Gracey and the Haunted Mansion. Since I wrote “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” I’d headed over to the Archives Stage, and if I could, I’d likely stay all day there.
The next presentation at the Archives Stage will be “Uncovering Treasures from the Marty Sklar Collection.” Marty Sklar was an integral part of early Disneyland development and an amazing author in his own right.
After that, the Archives Stage will host “A Century of Storytelling at Walt Disney Animation Studios.” Storytelling is one of the things Disney does best; this panel is one to see to glean pointers on what it takes to be a better storyteller.
At 3:45, the Hyperion Stage will have “ABC’s On The Red Carpet’s Storytellers Spotlight,” and at 4pm, the Archives Stage will have Author Ridley Pearson. Maybe this is the time I try to grab something to eat and check out the floor for today. Either of those presentations would be good, but we got to eat at some point.
The last panel of the day will either be the Premiere Stage’s “The Santa Clauses” or the Archives Stage’s “Building Walt’s Florida Project: Walt Disney World from Dream to Reality.” I’m leaning toward the Santa Clauses, even with Tim Allen’s conservative politics. Allen might not even show up, but it’s a tough call.
Hall of D23 is where almost everyone is going to be on Sunday – myself included – for “A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.” Disney magic isn’t just about entertainment; it’s also about moving forward. Imagineers have created more than one world changing invention. We could see a whole new world open up during this presentation. It starts at 10:30, but in all likelihood, you’re going to want to be in line early. I would miss out on the Hyperion Stage’s “Revisiting Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Disney’s Magical Mid-Century” and the Backlot Stage’s “Back to the Grid: 40 Years of Tron Presented by Enterprise.” Still, “A Boundless Future” is the place to be.
Since the preceding panel ends at noon, it may be difficult to get to the next panel, which starts at 1pm, on the Premiere Stage – “Walt Disney Imagineering: 70 Years of Making the Impossible, Possible.” This is another show stopping panel that I would love to see. Since this panel goes until 2:30, I would miss out on “100 Years of Treasures from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library” on the Backlot Stage.
At 4pm, the Archives Stage will feature “The Disney Parks Through the Decades: A Disney Ambassador Perspective.” I may end with that depending on how I felt. Three days of convention life can be pretty tiring. But there are two other presentations that could convince me to stay to the very end.
The Archives Stage has “Memories of Walt Disney World: Framing A Portrait of 50 Magical Years.” The Premiere Stage hosts “Conversations with Disney Character Voices.”
The Best Things
One of the best things about D23 Expos is the people who attend. There are amazing cosplayers, incredible Disney fans, and if you’re lucky, your family. Standing in line is amazing because you’ll meet people who have the exact same interests as you, who know more about Disney than you, and who love talking about Disney just as much as you. When you’re with your family, you can enjoy the atmosphere and the happiness of everyone who attends. It’s palpable.
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