Tickets On Sale August 9 for 2013 D23 Expo – Worth the Price?

D23, the official Disney fan club, announced tickets for the 2013 D23 Expo will go on sale on Thursday, August 9, 2012.  The event will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, across the street from the Disneyland Resort, August 9-11, 2013.  Special early-bird, discounted admission tickets will be available from August 9 until December 31, 2012; ticket prices increase on January 1, 2013 and again on June 16, 2013.  Members of the D23 fan club also receive discounted admission.  Continue reading for more details, specific ticket pricing, as well as our assessment of the show’s value.  Click here for all the news, releases, and schedule updates for the 2013 D23 Expo.

Ticket pricing structure for 2013 D23 Expo, August 9-11, 2013 in Anaheim, CA

In addition to single and three day tickets, a special VIP “Sorcerer” Package will be available to D23 Members only.  These tickets are extremely-limited and cost $1,500 each (limit of 2).  [Note: In 2011, a middle tier “Premium” ticket was available for $500, and this option is no longer available.]  Click here for details of everything included with the VIP “Sorcerer” Package.

The D23 Expo is a showcase of all things Disney, and the only convention bringing together all aspects of The Walt Disney Company: Walt Disney Studios (including Walt Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel, etc.); Disney Parks and Resorts; Television and Radio Networks (including ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, and Radio Disney; Disney Consumer Products; and Disney Interactive Media Group (electronics and video games).  Think Comic-Con but entirely focused on the Disney brand.

Highlights of the previous two D23 Expos include celebrity appearances by Disney film and television stars as well as former and current Walt Disney Imagineers responsible for designing the rides and attractions of the Disney Theme Parks – not to mention the newest ships for Disney Cruise Line.  Personally, my favorite event from the 2011 D23 Expo was the Disney Legends Ceremony – where luminaries of the Disney Universe are inducted into a “hall of fame” of sorts and recognized for their contributions to the company.

Other Expo highlights include an extensive exhibit of artifacts from the Walt Disney Archives usually featuring costumes, props, and set pieces from Disney films as well as notable pieces from Walt Disney’s personal collection, and the theme parks as well.  For a hint at the types of items displayed, check out this review of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

This will be the third version of the biannual event, and D23 has continued to tweak and adapt the Expo to meet the needs of the audience.  For the 2011 Expo, Disney estimated an attendance of over 40,000, which, to be honest, led to some disappointed fans who waited in long lines and were ultimately not able to get into presentations.  To address this concern, D23 is expanding the capacity of the venues.  An overflow theater for the D23 Arena will be added where an additional 2,000 guests can watch live video feeds of the presentations.  The Stage 23 venue where many of the popular panel discussions were held will nearly double in size (1,000 seats in 2011), and the show floor will also expand to include 4 Halls of the Convention Center.  Hopefully these changes will alleviate some of the lines and crowding experienced in 2011.

I’m often asked is the D23 Expo worth the price?  I attended the 2011 D23 Expo, and had a fantastic time with both my daughters.  There was certainly plenty for all of us to do.  Yes, tickets cost upwards of $40-$50/day, but that price is similar to many other official fan conventions such as Star Wars Celebration ($55), New York Comic Con ($50), and the Grand-daddy of them all San Diego Comic Con International ($40/day, all tickets sold out in one hour).  So for the same price as other fan conventions, you can easily see many fantastic pieces of Disney history, maybe interact with some Disney stars, and check out the latest Disney offerings.  Plus, it’s a great add-on to a trip to a Disneyland vacation.  If you can see the Disney Legends ceremony, the Walt Disney Archives exhibit, check out the show floor, and maybe see a panel discussion of Walt Disney Imagineers too, you will definitely get your money’s worth from a one-day ticket.

What’s your opinion?  Are you excited for the 2013 D23 Expo?  Will you be scooping up one of the $1,500 “Sorcerer” Packages, stopping in for a day, or staying as far away as possible?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.