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d23 expo

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Update: D23 just announced that Friday is completely sold out. Sunday tickets can still be bought online or in person. But it sounds like you’d better hurry.

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Today is the grand opening for the first D23 Expo post opening the membership to anyone for free. Some are expecting this expo to be the last hurrah for the Disney fan club, but I have hope that it will find its footing and return again in two years. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

This highlights of this years event will include:

  • Disney Legends Awards–a stirring biennial event that pays tribute to the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy
  • A Walt Disney Imagineering Pavilion
  • A preview of the Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD pilot episode.
  • And all-new 12,000 square-foot Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit featuring costumes, props, and set pieces from Disney’s rich history

Plus amazing live events, celebrity appearances, panels and presentations, sneak peeks, and unique experiences that celebrate the past, present, and future of Disney. However, there won’t be a large Disney Parks & Resorts pavilion, nor are any big announcements about the parks expected.

In the preview video below Steven Clark, head of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, talks about what’s in store for this highly anticipated bi-annual event. Featured highlights this year include “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives,” showcasing the 50th anniversary of “Mary Poppins”, the ABC drama “Once Upon a Time,” and a look at the long-standing connection between Disney and L. Frank Baum’s beloved series of books about the land of Oz.

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As is the new tradition, a fresh crop of Disney Legends will be inducted at this year’s D23 Expo in Anaheim on Saturday August 10. Included in the class are Monsters Inc. and Monsters University stars Billy Crystal and John Goodman, technology visionary Steve Jobs, television icon Dick Clark and other beloved contributors to the Disney legacy. I’m particularly happy to see Tony Baxter and Glen Keane get the nod while they’re both still around to enjoy it.

“The Disney Legend Award is our highest and most coveted honor,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “It’s reserved for the extraordinary visionaries and artists behind the Disney magic, the men and women who push the limits of innovation and creativity to ensure Disney remains truly special. The eight Legends we honor this year helped create some of our most beloved characters along with exciting new worlds and thrilling attractions. They also entertained millions of people and expanded our definition of what’s possible. They are all indelible parts of our legacy, and we are proud to recognize them as true Disney Legends.”

The full list and their bios are below the jump: