The Walt Disney Company is making some big changes in 2024, and one of those changes is doing away with a fan-favorite biennial event hosted by D23, the official fan club of The Walt Disney Company.
Disney: An Ever-Changing Entertainment Conglomerate
Because of the ever-changing climate that seems to have defined The Walt Disney Company in recent years, fans aren’t as shocked when they hear about a new addition, deletion, or modification to many of Disney’s offerings, whether those changes are related to a guest-favorite attraction at a Disney park, a timeless tale from Disney’s vault of movie classics, or perks offered as part of a membership or service overseen by the company.
Just because fans aren’t shocked by recent changes, however, doesn’t mean they aren’t frustrated, disgruntled, or saddened by some of them. Many of Disney’s changes of late–including price increases for admission at Disney’s theme parks, the removal of a more than 30-year-old attraction at Disney World and Disneyland, and upcoming increases in parking fees at Disney World–have made fans so angry that they’ve decided to hang up their mouse ears for good.
Some Changes Are Happy Changes
But not all of Disney’s changes are met with such hostility.
Three different changes that will be implemented at the Walt Disney World Resort in 2024 have already been met with praise and excitement from fans. And the recent shift toward guest- and customer-centric changes at Disney’s Florida theme parks might just be enough to win back some of those who’ve abandoned the fandom recently.
Disney is Ditching the D23 Expo
Another change is coming in 2024, and it’s a big one. Disney is ditching the D23 Expo, an event hosted by D23, the official fan club of The Walt Disney Company, that takes place every two years.
D23 was created in 2009 as Disney’s first official fan club, and it became known predominantly for the biennial D23 Expo event, the first of which took place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, from September 10 to September 13, 2009.
During the inaugural event, fans enjoyed the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit, which included never-before-displayed props and costumes from Disney films and TV shows, as well as some of Walt Disney’s personal artifacts. In the 4,000-seat D23 Arena, CEO Bob Iger kicked off the event by welcoming fans to the Expo.
Iger’s welcome address was followed by the 2009 Disney Legends ceremony, marking the first time the ceremony took place outside of Disney property. During the ceremony, Tony Anselmo, Harry Archinal, Bea Arthur, Bill Farmer, Estelle Getty, Don Iwerks, Rue McClanahan, Leota Toombs Thomas, Betty White, and Robin Williams were named Disney Legends.
According to Bob Iger on the first day of the inaugural event, it’s the fans’ love for Disney that keeps the magic going.
“It’s your passion for Disney,” Iger said, “your respect for our legacy, your fond nostalgia for our past, and your anticipation of more fun in the future that make all of this work—that keeps the magic alive.”
Subsequent D23 Expo events followed in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. The 2021 event was bumped to 2022, as the pandemic delayed plans in 2020 for the 2021 event. And while each of the D23 Expo events has been a successful and sold-out experience, Disney is doing away with the Expo in 2024, opting instead for an all-new experience geared toward Disney’s most devout fans–one that Disney promises will be unlike anything experienced by fans before.
A Brand-New Event to Take the Place of the D23 Expo
D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event will be held in Anaheim, California, from August 9 to August 11, 2024. The new experience will take place in part at the Anaheim Convention Center, but it won’t be bound by the walls of the center.
Rather, the event will include a kickoff at Disneyland Resort on August 8, 2024, as well as new shows, venues, entertainment, and more that will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center. There will even be a huge D23 fan event at Angel Stadium several days before the kickoff.
Next year’s one-of-a-kind experience will have spectacular shows, new venues and multiple days of entertainment that bring together the wonderful world of Disney. That’s everything, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and much, much more.
The D23 kickoff celebration will take place at Disneyland Resort on August 8, followed by shopping, exhibits, panels, presentations, and more on August 9, 10, and 11 at the Anaheim Convention Center during the day, with the fun extending into the evening at the Honda Center—the bigger home to marquee shows.
D23 Day at Angel Stadium
There will also be a special D23 Day at Angel Stadium on August 4, 2024. D23 fans are invited to attend the event, during which the Los Angeles Angels will play the New York Mets.
The D23 Day at Angel Stadium event will be ticketed separately from D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, and tickets for the event will go on sale in Spring 2024.
More details about D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event will be announced early in 2024.