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Disney news, upcoming Hollywood stars

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Hollywood stars will join Mickey Mouse and the rest of the Disney gang, along with thousands of Disney-loving fans — many of whom are dressed in cosplay — this week for Disney’s D23 Expo, the event and the ultimate Disney fan convention. at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Tim Allen, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Anderson and Kristen Bell should be there. Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Yeoh and John Stamos are also set to make an appearance, alongside Josh Gad and Idina Menzel.


What do you want to know

  • Disney executives, Hollywood stars and tens of thousands of fans expect to congregate at the D23 Exhibit at the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend
  • The D23 Expo is Disney’s biennial fan convention that began in 2009
  • Expo D23 is known as a place where Disney executives discuss and give fans a preview of upcoming Disney movies, animated films, and theme park attractions.
  • The event is sold out. However, fans can watch some of the most popular panels and presentations online on Disney’s social media channels throughout the weekend.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” D23 Fan Club leader Michael Vargo said in an interview with Spectrum News. “The installation of signage has begun [on the Anaheim Convention Center], and it becomes very real. We are excited about the fans, and the whole company has rallied around this event.

The usually biennial conference that began in 2009 returns to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday after restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic postponed last year’s event to this year.

Disney doesn’t give attendance figures, but Vargo expects tens of thousands of visitors from around the world to flock to the convention center, which sits across from the company’s flagship Disneyland Resort.

The event is sold out.

Vargo said Disney will be live-streaming several popular panels and presentations on their social media channels throughout the weekend.

Fans can check out Walt Disney’s fully restored plane at Expo D23 this weekend. (Courtesy of Disney)

Expo D23 is when the company’s top studio executives, Disney CEO Bob Chapek, and Disney stars come together to tease and preview Disney’s latest slate of Star Wars, Marvel movies , Pixar, animated movies, TV shows and theme park attractions.

This year, some lucky attendees will be among the first to catch a glimpse of Zootopia+, the Disney studio’s new animated series coming to its Disney+ streaming channel. There’s also a special screening of National Geographic’s “Limitless” with Chris Hemsworth, though the “Thor” star can’t attend.

Lilly Singh and Raven-Symoné are hosting a special musical extravaganza, and several stars from “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” are planning to hit Anaheim this weekend.

On Sunday, President of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro, will give visitors to Concourse D23 news and updates on what’s happening across the lineup of cruises, resorts and parks at themed around the world, including Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, and Walt Disney World.

Expo D23 kicks off with the Disney Legend event, which celebrates and honors people who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy.

Winners include Anderson, Bell, Gad, Menzel, the late Chadwick Boseman and more.

At the D23 Expo market, Vargo said there will be plenty of limited-edition merchandise for sale and memorable exhibits at the show, such as the restoration of Walt Disney’s private plane.

Attendees can do a morning yoga session with a yoga instructor to the sights and sounds of “Zenimation” from Walt Disney Animation Studios, sing with Darren Criss, or draw with a Disney animator.

Due to the popularity of certain signs and presentations and to streamline the guest experience, Vargo said Disney needed to make several changes to people queuing.

At previous D23 Expos, fans camped out in front of the convention center overnight, waited several hours to secure entry to an exclusive panel or presentation, or purchased limited-edition merchandise.

Vargo said Disney would not allow overnight programming. The earliest a person can queue will be 4:30 a.m. that day.

“We strictly enforce that throughout the night,” Vargo said. “Anaheim Police with security will remind everyone to return before the gate opens at 5 a.m.”

General attendees have no vaccination or mask requirements, although some Disney star encounters may require it.

“Masks are welcome but not required,” he said.

Vargo advised participants to come up with a game plan. The Disney team has put together great content and experiences for the weekend.

“Have a plan and check off the list,” he said.

After the pandemic postponed last year’s event, there’s a lot of pent-up excitement to hear announcements of upcoming Disney movies or theme parks, but especially to gather again for Expo D23. of this year.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s time to share our Disney fandom and bring the Disney community together. From my perspective, this is going to be a great fan meeting.