D23 Expo Announces Arena Schedule

The annual D23 Expo (or “Disney Expo” for all you non-Disnerds out there) hits the Anaheim Convention Center Aug. 19 through 21.

Disney just announced the arena schedule for the three-day event, including feature screenings, celebrity panels, autograph
signings and more.

Look for the full schedule (and my thoughts) after the jump!

Here's the full press release:


Star-Studded Presentations Include Regis Philbin, the Cast of Disney Channel's “Shake It Up,” Disney Princesses and Countless Surprise Appearances

I'm failing to see the “star-studded” aspect of that subhead, but I'll be patient.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – July 7, 2011 – The D23 Expo 2011 is proud to announce the Arena schedule for The Ultimate Disney Fan Event. From August 19-21, Expo guests will have exclusive access to presentations from The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Disney Channel and Marvel Comics – plus they will be able to experience the 2011 Disney Legends Ceremony. In addition to the spotlight arena presentations, this year's Expo will feature screenings, celebrity panels and autograph signings, eye-popping pavilions, exclusive insights into TV shows, theme parks, animation, Disney history and more, to be announced in the coming weeks.  Arena presentations will include:

Friday, August 19, 2011

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – 2011 Disney Legends Ceremony – Hosted by Tom Bergeron. Honorees Regis Philbin; Jim Henson; Disney Princesses Jodi Benson, Paige O'Hara, Lea Salonga, Linda Larkin and Anika Noni Rose; Bo Boyd; Jack and Bonita Wrather; Guy Williams and Ray Watson will be inducted as Disney Legends for their contribution to the creative legacy of The Walt Disney Company in a special presentation exclusively for D23 Expo guests.

All right, I only know two of the names on that list; one of them is dead (Henson), and the other is pretty damn close (Philbin). I have to be honest, an hour-and-a-half-long ceremony honoring a group of folks who are unfamiliar to most people might have been a bad move. Still, I'll probably go just to see the Jim Henson part, then check out what's happening at the Muppet booth. There will be a Muppet booth, right? There better be!

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Walt Disney Parks and Resorts – Join Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, as he gives D23 guests a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into some of the exciting projects currently underway at Disney's parks and resorts around the world.

Yes! Love it. The parks are my No. 1 interest when it comes to Disney. I first went to Disney World at the age of 4, to Disneyland at the age of 12, and it's been great to see all of the parks change over time. Of course, there are some purists out there who don't want anything touched, but I get excited every time they plan and execute something new. Here's hoping they officially announce that “Song of the South” ride they've been hinting at for so many years now! Yeah . . . right.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – The Walt Disney Studios – A fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse at the exciting roster of projects on the horizon at The Walt Disney Studios. From exclusive video clips and live performances to filmmaker discussions and star appearances, this session will be hosted by Rich Ross, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios; Sean Bailey, President of Production, The Walt Disney Studios; John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; and Kevin Feige, President of Production, Marvel Studios.

All right, I'll check it out. Not so much for the Disney aspect (and definitely not for the Marvel aspect), but mainly just so I can see what John Lasseter has to offer up from Pixar. And it will be interesting to see how all four guys interact with one another. I hope Lasseter cackles in the middle of it and says, “This company would implode without me.” Oh, and I hope he sits on a large throne while wearing a crown and a velvet cape . . . and holding a scepter.

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – The Lion King 3D Exclusive D23 Screening – Disney fans will have access to an exclusive advance screening of The Lion King in Disney Digital 3D(tm), ahead of the film's highly anticipated theatrical and home entertainment releases. “The Circle of Life” takes on a new dimension as Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa grace the screen once again, this time in breathtaking 3D.

Pure greed. I love The Lion King and always will, but Hollywood's desire to slap a shiny 3D face on everything makes me want to barf. Go away, 3D! This isn't a live-action Julie Taymor re-imagining of what has become a classic cartoon. Instead, it's a feeble attempt at making yet even more money off something they've already made a killing from.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Marvel Comics – An exclusive and unprecedented experience that will take you through the evolution of Marvel from its first comic book in 1939 to its current position as one of the most important creative forces in the world. During this presentation, which will include interactive Q&A segments, you will not only get an inside glimpse of the history of Marvel and its iconic Super Heroes but also discover why Marvel truly is the House of Ideas. This session will be hosted by Joe Quesada, Marvel's Chief Creative Officer and one of the most respected and sought after writers and artists in the entertainment industry.

Couldn't care less. I'm clearly biased here, but I'm just not a fan of comic books or the countless number of summer blockbuster movies that spawn from them. Remember how San Diego Comic Con fans were pissed off when the convention was being taken over by Hollywood? Well, that's kind of how I feel with Marvel being squeezed into D23. Yeah, you own Marvel. We get it. You also own SOAPnet, but I don't see you having an All My Children panel. Oh, shit . . . I hope I didn't just give you any ideas. No SOAPnet at D23!!!

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Disney Channel – Fans are invited to experience the excitement of a spectacular live performance, featuring stars of Disney Channel's hit series Shake It Up. From meeting the cast of television's first dance-driven sitcom and learning moves from a Disney Channel dance master to a special panel, autograph session and more, this unforgettable experience awaits Disney fans of all ages.

I'll miss this panel entirely because A) I'm too old to know who anyone on the Disney Channel is, and B) I'll be settling in for my midafternoon nap with a cup of warm milk at just about that time. Christ, the Disney Channel makes me feel old.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *