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TOM BERGERON, PAIGE O'HARA, LEA SALONGA, ANIKA NONI ROSE, JODI BENSON

By all accounts the Friday 2011 Disney Legends ceremony was the emotional highlight of the D23 Expo. From four princess voices on stage singing together, to the family of Guy Williams, and a duet between Kermit The Frog and Rowlf the Dog to honor Jim Henson, there was not a dry eye in the house. That is, of course, if you could make it into the show. Lines formed early and the show filled up far ahead of time.

More photos and a list of all the honorees below the jump:

Update: Check out this Imagineering video recorded by Orlando Attractions Magazine. It shows some of the development that went into the Dwarf’s Mine Ride coming (we hope) to Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland expansion:

Two videos have been released before the Expo floor opens up this morning. A lot of great stuff to see there. A real wonderland of Disney history and upcoming attractions (I think I saw Storybook Circus in there).

A video with hosts from from Shake It Up below the jump:

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of D23. I think a fan club is the sort of stuff Disney should be doing for free. To tie some sort of merchandising to a Disney club cheapens the experience. That said everyone I spoke with who attended last year’s D23, reported what a great event it was an this year’s is shaping up similarly. If you want to attend you’ll likely get to see all sorts of fun stuff like newly released concept art, theme park models, TV pilots, and more all before anyone else does.

One of the interesting aspects of the D23 Expo is how it’s almost a mini Comic-Con. In fact, it replaces much of Disney’s outreach at the Comic-Con (except for the obvious Marvel and some ABC tie-ins this year). Plus a lot of the Disney online fan community will be there either hosting Podcasts or selling books they’ve written. So it’s a good chance to meet and greet the people you’ve only known online.

Tickets to the August 19-21st D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA are available at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 Expo, including the Disney Legends Ceremony, and can be purchased for single days or for the full three days of festivities. Admission is $47 for a one-day adult ticket and $37 for children 3-12. Three-day passes are $136 for adults and $106 for children.

If you are going, what are you looking forward to seeing the most? What rumor do you hope is confirmed?

The full press release is below the jump:

As rumored last week D23, Disney’s attempt an official fan club, has postponed the D23 Expo for one year. Instead they’re offering a smaller event in the fall focused exclusively on Disneyland. Additionally, the 2011 D23 Expo will be 3 days long and not four.

I wish them the best of luck as they try to figure out how to make D23 more successful for the company and for its fans.

The full press release is below the cut:

D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans today announced complete details for three incredible holiday events this December. D23 Members will get a chance to deck the halls and experience the wonder of the season like never before through incredible offerings at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts as well as a very special “Disney and Dickens” event celebrating Christmases past and present in Hollywood.

“The winter wonderland season at a Disney Park is unlike any other and this December we are offering D23 Members a chance to experience some of our most heartfelt holiday traditions like never before,” said Steven Clark, head of D23. “All three of these events are sure to create lasting magical memories and I couldn’t be more excited to cap off this incredible year of D23 with our Charter Year Members.”

With D23 launching its first Expo tomorrow it seems like an odd time for the club to be looking forward. But for all the members who can’t make it to Anaheim for the event, perhaps you’ll find something in your area you can attend later this year.

  • October 7 – D23 and The Lion King Roar into Anchorage (Anchorage, AK)
  • October 7 – D23 and Poppins Breeze into the Lone Star State
    (Dallas, TX)
  • November 7 – D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives (FREE) (Burbank, CA)
  • November 18 – D23 and Poppins Flies into Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • November 20 – D23 and The Lion King Roar into Spokane
    (Spokane, WA)
  • November 25, 2009 – D23 Night at The Princess and the Frog

One of the complaints I’ve heard the most about D23 is that other than the Magazine, there just isn’t much offered for the average fan. This roster seem much too limited for a club that a company the size of The Walt Disney Company can pull off. The other complaint is about the cost of the club. We might see some movement on that next year.

The full press release and more details below the jump: