Disney’s D23 Expo Pushed Back to September 2022

Image Credit: D23, deadline.com

Disney has announced that it has moved the next D23 Expo to 2022.  

The event is usually held at the Anaheim Convention Center in California every two years. The seventh Expo was supposed to take place this coming summer in 2021. The convention will now be held September 9-11 in 2022.

The new dates will help make a more massive and unique celebration possible. The company will use the Expo to commence the company’s 100th anniversary year celebration. The company was founded in 1923 by Walt Disney.

D23 Membership

For the uninitiated, D23 is the name of the official Walt Disney Company fan club. The club was founded by Bob Iger in 2009. Members enjoy discounts and early access to the convention. Full disclosure, yours truly is a D23 member and loving it.

The benefits of D23 go beyond the convention. These include an annual gift, other discounts, and early access opportunities. Last year, members received early access and discounted membership to Disney+, the company’s streaming service. The deal was $23 off the standard annual price for a three-year subscription.

Recently, we were invited to attend a reasonably priced drive-in screening of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. That event was held at the Rose Bowl with all of the proper pandemic protocols in place. The company sent numerous communications about how they were going to host the event. This included keeping us informed about the air quality since we Californians were also amidst several simultaneous wildfires nearby.

The First Expo

The convention has always been held at the Anaheim Convention Center. The first Expo featured pavilions from the Imagineering teams of the Walt Disney and Disney Consumer Products divisions. The fourth film of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), was showcased. It also featured information about the expansion of Fantasyland. The company showed off the renovated Disneyland Star Tours ride.

Disney always knows how to put on a show. The first Expo featured performances by Miley Cyrus and The Muppets. There were many celebrity appearances. These included John Travolta, Patricia Heaton, Kelsey Grammer, Tim Burton, Selena Gomez, and Robin Williams. Johnny Depp appeared as Captain Jack Sparrow.

In 2019, Disney was wrapping up takeovers of many companies and their properties. The Expo for that year proved to be just exciting. There were previews for several films, including Mulan, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Frozen II, and Black Widow. Due to the completion of the takeover of 20th Century Fox, the Expo was also able to showcase films such as Ford v Ferrari, Spies in Disguise, and The King’s Man.

The Pandemic and the Entertainment Scene

Many of the films showcased just last year have delayed their releases or found other ways to reach their audiences with varying degrees of success. The epic live-action tale of Mulan was initially scheduled for release in March. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was instead released on Disney+. Early access to the film on that platform was available for an additional fee. The next Marvel installment, Black Widow, has moved its theatrical release at least three times.

The Disney Company has resumed park operations globally except for in California. This may change due to mounting pressure from the region to re-open. This is mainly being driven by the economic impact that the area is experiencing due to the park’s closure and the creative industry slowdown.

The move of the D23 Expo to 2022 is not a surprise. Many conferences, such as WonderCon, held at the Anaheim Convention Center, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic-Con, were canceled in 2020. They have plans to resume in 2021. Others, such as Star Trek Las Vegas and LA Comic-Con, were forced to move their dates due to force major clauses in their venue contracts. It remains to be seen if they will continue with their new dates.

Source(s): variety.com