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Get the Disney Deets for What’s Happening and What’s Coming Soon

Written by: Nicole Hakim
Photography Provided By: Disneyland Resort D23 Expo 2019

From Aug. 23-25, fans united at the Anaheim Convention Center to celebrate all things Disney. After its debut in 2009, the D23 Expo, which occurs every two years, is the place to be (aside from the Disneyland Resort) if you consider yourself a Disney fanatic. The weekend consisted of Disney superstars, panels and presentations for upcoming projects and, of course, cosplay! 

Just like San Diego Comic Con’s Hall H, D23 had Hall D23, where fans lined up for hours to see the biggest and most-anticipated panels. Perhaps one of the biggest events of the weekend was the Disney Legends Ceremony, where celebrities are inducted as Disney Legends. This tradition started in 1997, and according to Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, fewer than 300 people have this honor. It is a way of “recognizing talent, achievement and contribution to the company,” Iger said. 

D23 Expo

This year, 12 new people were named Disney Legends. These included: D23 Expo 2019

  • Christina Aguilera (member of the Mickey Mouse Club and singer of “Reflection” for the Mulan soundtrack)
  • Wing Chao (architect and designer for hotels, restaurants, cruise ships and more projects for Disney)
  • Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man in Marvel Cinematic Universe)
  • Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man and the live-action adaptations of The Lion King and The Jungle Book)
  • James Earl Jones (powerful voice of Darth Vader and Mufasa)
  • Bette Midler (Winnifred Sanderson in the classic Halloween flick, Hocus Pocus)
  • Kenny Ortega (director of the popular Descendants and High School Musical series)
  • Barnette Ricci (choreographer of many different parades, including The Main Street Electrical Parade)
  • Robin Roberts (former ESPN sportscaster and current Good Morning America co-anchor)
  • Diane Sawyer (news anchor known for in-depth investigations on heavy issues)
  • Ming-Na Wen (voice of Chinese warrior, Mulan)
  • Hans Zimmer (composer of The Lion King and Pirates of the Caribbean)


Each Legend received a statuette, and their handprints and signature will be displayed on commemorative plaques in the Legends Plaza in Burbank. The Legends talked of their careers and their first experiences at Disney. 

In addition to the ceremony, the Expo provided so much more. There were many panels, the most popular of which featured stars of upcoming projects—including Billy Dee Williams reprising his role of Lando Calrissian for The Rise of Skywalker and Tom Holland for Pixar’s new film Onward. The Expo also promoted the new Disney+ streaming service, which will allow fans to watch classics, every MCU film, the new live-action Lady and the Tramp, original content (such as “Loki,” “Monsters at Work” and the “Lizzie McGuire” reboot) and everything in between. 

An expo is not an expo without cosplay, and fans at D23 did not fail to disappoint with their amazing and jaw-dropping creations. For example, Instagrammer Jooskellington wowed as he applied his extraordinary talent with makeup and prosthetics to transform into a highly realistic Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean. SmileAndASongPrincessParties, also on Instagram, joined in as Rapunzel in a creative rendition of Disney Princesses, where she and her friends dressed as the princesses if they were Pixie Hollow Fairies. This group embodied Disney magic, and it surely captivated con-goers of all ages!  

With so much to do over that weekend, it is hard that fans have to wait two years for the next one! Luckily, it is easy to satisfy oneself until then by imagining what the next expo will bring and by streaming Disney favorites on the new Disney+ debuting this November. As you do your best to wait for D23 Expo 2021, it might help to remember what James Earl Jones said in his acceptance video at the Legends Ceremony: “May the Force be with you.” 

D23 Expo
800 W Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92802