disney legend award
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What’s so special about a Disney Legends Award anyway?

The 2022 D23 Expo is right around the corner, and with it comes a lot of buzz about the Disney Legend Awards Ceremony, which has been a staple of the D23 Expo for years. But what exactly is a Disney Legend Award, and what’s so great about it anyway?

D23 2017: Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill Named Disney Legends |


According to Disney Fandom, the Disney Legend Award is, well, kind of a big deal:

Established in 1987, the Disney Legends program recognizes people who have made an extraordinary and integral contribution to the Walt Disney Company. The honor is awarded annually during a special ceremony.

Recipients are chosen by a selection committee, formerly appointed and chaired by the late Disney Legend Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney’s nephew, former vice chairman and director emeritus of The Walt Disney Company. The committee consists of long-time Disney executives, historians, and other authorities. Roy Disney died on December 16, 2009. Disney’s corporate headquarters in Burbank, California features a plaza honoring the recipients outside Team Disney – The Michael D. Eisner Building. Each honoree is represented by a bronze plaque; the plaque features the recipient’s hand prints and signature if they were living when named a Disney Legend.

Disney Legends Award - The Happiest Blog on Earth

Credit: Disney

To be chosen as a recipient of the Disney Legend Award is quite an honor, and the contributions to the Walt Disney Company for which each recipient is chosen span a wide array of talents and offerings. The actual award handed to each recipient during the Disney Legends Awards Ceremony points to the many different contributions.

Robert Downey Jr., Christina Aguilera, more honored as Disney Legends |

Credit: Entertainment Weekly

The bronze award was created by artist Andrea Favilli and is handcrafted each year. It depicts Mickey Mouse’s arm holding up a wand with a star on the tip.

Per Disney Fandom, the award features three different elements that symbolize each recipient’s contributions. A spiral symbolizes imagination and the power of an individual idea. The hand symbolizes the gifts of skill, discipline, and craftsmanship. The wand and the star on the award symbolize magic–“the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.”

Disney just announced the honorees in the Disney Legends Class of 2022. Among the recipients of the award are Anthony Anderson, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Patrick Dempsey, Jonathan Groff, and the late Chadwick Boseman.

disney legends class of 2022

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The 2022 Disney Legends Award Ceremony will be part of the epic Opening Ceremony at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, on September 9.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!