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

disney legend award
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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 | StarWars.com

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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

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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 |  EW.com

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

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!