This year from July 14th to the 16th the city of Anaheim California will once again host the Disney D23 Expo.
This event is a three-day Disney fan’s dream extravaganza. Disney started the Disney D23 Expo back in 2009, and held it bi-annually, meaning 2011, 2013, 2015 and now 2017. If you are wondering what you will experience during the Disney D23 Expo you are hardly alone. Below we are going to explain the Expo ins and outs as well as give you tips and quips to survive the weekend, and score some of the exclusive merchandise available.
Score a D23 Fan Club membership
Not compulsory but useful is getting a membership to the Official Disney Fan Club. There are three different options to choose from. D23 General (free option), D23 Gold, and D23 Family. Each tier offers unique perks.
We recommend the Gold level that enables family members to get the D23 magazine, access to special D23 Expo events and opportunities to buy merchandise that is not available to the general public. Also becoming a Gold member allows guests into the Expo one hour before general admission members. as well as offers discounts on tickets.
After you are a Member
As soon as guests become the members of The Official Disney Fan Club, they should purchase their tickets for the D23 Expo. The reason for this is because tickets will sell out fast.In fact, for this ear’s event, the Saturday single day admission tickets are already sold out as of June 6th, 2017. Guests can still purchase the 3-day pass, or Friday and Sunday passes.
The best option is to buy the 3-day pass. Doing so will allow visitors to see the most of the Expo. One day is simply not enough.
Preparing for the Disney D23 Expo
It is wise to prepare your electronic devices for the Expo.Make sure you have fully charged all of your electronic devices and have plenty of batteries for your camera and phone.This Expo will present you with some unique photography opportunities.To help you in case you lose your phone you should download an app that can help trace it.
Furthermore, it is a great idea to personalize the covers of devices to make them easily recognizable.Visitors can do that with personalized tags, stickers, or cases.This will come in handy not only to retrieve lost items but identify them in a general pile when they need to be surrendered during some events.
Plan your day carefully
After guests purchase their tickets, they should start planning their itinerary. All details from the hotel, parking, food, to which exhibits and panels to attend need to be thought of carefully. It is helpful to download the D23 Disney application on your phone phones or tablets. The application is filled with pertinent info and includes a map of the exhibits, shows, workshops, shopping, dining and play areas for kids.
For many, parking will be the biggest headache. If visitors arrive late, they may be forced to park miles away from the event and use trolleys, or busses to get to the Expo.
Another major hurdle is getting into the panels rooms. The popular ones have some fans camping out in front of the entrance the night before just to get in.In any case, arrive at the panels you wish to attend earlier rather than later is an excellent idea since they do fill up quickly.
In any case, make sure to have a plan B if you can’t get in whether it is an alternate panel, go shopping or grab a bite to eat.
While at the Disney D23 Expo
The D23 Expo phone application, helps attendees stay connected through social media. By following the tags #D23EXPO and @D23EXPO you can connect with other guests and brands at the expo.The best part is that by following the social media postings you can hear about various opportunities to score freebies.And speaking of freebies another way to find them is through Guests QR codes. These codes available at various stations spread throughout the convention center allow members to receive the latest information about the different events.
Like in every Expo there are many opportunities to purchase unique memorabilia so do not forget your ID, credit/debit cards, and some cash. Yes, cash is almost foreign today, but it will come in handy for quick purchases as well as paying for parking.
Grab your StagePass
The D23 Expo uses a StagePass system, that is similar to the Disney FastPass. For some of you not acquainted with the system the pass allows you to sign up in advance and not have to wait in the actual long lines for the different events. The good news is that the guest and their party are able to show up 15 minutes early to the events that they signed up for and get seating. While the seating may not be the best, they still get to experience their most wanted events. The not so good news is these passes are limited, and you can only use two per day.
Even if you can’t get a stage pass to your caveated event you can still stand in line and get in. The lines are a great place to post your own experiences on social media and chat with other D23 enthusiasts. Last Expo, everyone was busy trading Expo cards in lines. We hope that this year there will be something similar to engage the fans.
Where to Eat and Relax
Even though guests cannot bring in their own food and drinks, there are plenty of options while visiting.They do allow guests to bring baby formula and specialty foods for those with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. The convention center has a large cafeteria and multiple food trucks arrive daily at lunch time. However, lines can be long during peak hours and the seating is somewhat limited. Those wishing to skip the lines and relax should definitely consider eating during the off hours before 11:30 Am and after 3 PM.
Attending the Expo can be quite tiring so it is important to pace oneself and take several breaks to relax. Parents attending with kids should know that the Expo will have a play zone ideal for kids to burn off some stored energy.
Do not Forget your Freebies
Almost every booth at one point will be handing out swag and holding contests to win unique merchandise.
Buttons, pins, and lanyards are just a few of the different freebies visitors can collect by walking around the Expo.
Last Expo back in 2015 guests got a tote bag, souvenir guide and a beginner’s level pack of trading cards upon arrival. The trading cards turned ou to be a hot item. There were 30 different cards and everyone was busy trying to complete the full set. We expect the welcome packet this year to be equally popular.
Whether you are a bonified collector or wish to resell items on eBay, shopping at the Expo is an integral part of the experience. Many items in the stores will be limited editions. However, just like for the panels the popular stores do have lines. Again, guests should use the time wisely to network and swap pertinent information about the events with other fans.
Autism Travel Tips
The night before guests should make sure that all family members have a good night’s sleep. The Disney D23 Expo starts early. Therefore, sleep is vital. Plus, do not forget a healthy well-balanced breakfast. If guests are staying at a hotel, be sure to know the times of your complimentary or continental breakfast. If a hotel breakfast is not on in your plans, leave plenty of time to stop somewhere along the way.
Make sure all family members have comfortable walking shoes. There may be long lines, and a lot of walking involved. A light jacket should also be on the list. Some children are sensitive to temperature, and no one wants their day ruined by having someone uncomfortable. If guests or their children tend to be hot, a small portable fan could save the day.
Also, do not forget a light backpack. If you have a stroller or wheelchair, this is not as important, because you will have a place to store all of the fabulous goodies that guests will get. Strollers and wheelchairs can be used at this event. However, T=the Expo is not responsible for lost or stolen items that are stored in strollers or wheelchairs.
Have you been to any of the Disney D23 Expo events? If so which year was your favorite?