D23 Expo: Tips and Guide

D23 Expo is a huge Disney convention held every other year at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year’s Expo is being held on August 23-25 2019. D23 Expo is packed with shopping, costumes, and Disney celebrities. This guide will provide tips to get the most of your D23 Expo experience!

Buying Tickets

  • Tickets can be purchased from the D23 Expo Website, or at the Convention center.
  • Tickets purchased online will be mailed to your home a month or so before the expo.
  • D23 Gold Memberships can offer significant savings on expo tickets, especially if buying multiple tickets or days.
  • Tickets can be purchased for a single day, or for all 3 days
Vintage Space Mountain Car at D23 Expo 2017

Hotels

  • D23 Expo has special rates on certain hotels nearby
  • Nearby hotels often sell out very quickly, so act fast.

The Show Floor

  • The show floor is the main space area of the convention
  • The show floor houses booths from companies, exhibits, and shopping
  • There is usually a stage area near the main entrance that will have regular performances by Disney stars.
  • There is also an Emporium area filled with exhibits and private vendors, similar to what you would see at a typical convention.
  • A pararade is held twice a day through the middle of the show floor, captained by a Disney Celebrity.

Panels

  • There are several panels held in rooms throughout the convention center.
  • The schedule for panels can be found in the D23 Expo Guide Book.
  • The panels usually offer your best chance to see famous Disney Celebrities.
  • Hall D23 is the largest panel room and can hold over 8,000 attendees! It is the location of the most popular panels, including the Animation, Live Action, and Disney Legends panels.
  • The Live Action panel is very popular and I would recommend camping out overnight if you plan to attend (more on that latter).
  • Other panels cover a variety of topics including news about the Parks, Video Games, and retrospectives.
Cosplayers at D23 Expo 2017

Shopping

  • There are 3 main Disney Stores spread out on the convention floor: The Disney Store, The Disney DreamStore, and Mickey’s of Glendale.
  • The main stores are walled off from the rest of the show floor.
  • The stores allow a limited amount of people at a time, and will usually have very long lines.
  • There is a FastPass system for entering the stores called StorePass. You will wait in a special line to get a pass to return to a specific store at a certain time.
  • The stores have some very exclusive merchandise that usually sells out quickly. Some people camp overnight to be first in the stores.
  • The Disney Emporium area contains traditional vendors selling new and used items and art.
Attendees camping out for the Live Action panel- D23 Expo 2017

Camping Out Overnight

  • The overnight line usually lines up about 9:00 pm the night before and attendees spend the night indoors in a concrete hall.
  • Bring something warm and a pillow. It can get very cold in there.
  • Security doesn’t usually allow you to bring anything bigger than a backpack. Most camping chairs were banned in the past.
  • There were food vendors selling coffee and and breakfast items early the next morning.
D23 Balloon Animals

 Perfomances

  • There is a small stage located in the middle of the show floor. They put on small shows and concerts throughout the convention.
  • Usually Sunday of the Expo will have a large musical performance in one of the panel rooms
  • There is a Cosplay masquerade performance called a Mousquerade.
  • Performance times will be listed in the Expo Guide.

Other Tips

  • Have a plan! Many of the panels and main shops will have a significant wait time. It’s definitely recommended to plan what panels and performances you must see and plan your time at the con around them.
  • The Expo is always more fun dressed up at your favorite Disney Characters!
  • Take photos of people dressed up, but always ask for permission and be repectful!
  • Get a D23 Gold membership if you can. It will save money on tickets and most panels have special seating areas for Gold Members.

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