D23 Expo 2019 – Day One – Recap

The D23 Expo 2019 is officially over and we have A LOT to recap! From The Walt Disney Studios to the highly anticipated Disney+, to The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to hearing from Disney Legends, there was something exciting around every corner at the D23 Expo 2019. Let’s dive right in!

Prior to beginning our discussion on the expo, I’d like to talk about the initiatives D23 made prior to the Expo. Days before the convention, D23 allowed guests to make “StagePass, StorePass, and Talent Pass” reservations for many of their exciting events during the weekend. The process as you may already know had its difficulties, but it did ensure many (if not thousands) wouldn’t have to camp out with the masses overnight or early in the morning. If you do ever plan on visiting the Expo in 2021 (or future years), be mindful of StagePass and do your best to get those reservations in advance so you won’t have to camp out overnight!

D23 Expo 2019 Day One – August 23rd, 2019

My day began around 8am, however many guests began lining up to enter the show floor as early as Noon on WEDNESDAY! We were very fortunate to be attending the Disney Legends Ceremony at 10:30am. The ceremony featured celebrities and luminaries like Robert Downey Jr, James Earl Jones, Jon Favreau, Barnette Ricci, Kenny Ortega, and Bette Midler where they were inducted into the Disney Legend family. The ceremony itself was wonderful as usual with an opening keynote from Chief Executive Officer, Bob Iger, however the lack of an “In Memoriaum” stunned me. Since the last expo, we lost two amazing Disney Legends, Marty Sklar and Stan Lee. The non-existent mention of their names during the ceremony baffled myself.

After the ceremony concluded, I had some free time before the next big presentation, so I decided to tour the show floor. My first stop, was the exciting Disney+ pavilion where we were greeted by a presentation going on with none other than JEFF GOLDBLUM. He was discussing his upcoming series coming to the streaming service on launch day, November 12th.

I should preface this next statement by saying the following. I did not need Jeff Goldblum to convince me to purchase Disney+. That being said, during the presentation, I rushed over to their iPads at the pavilion they had and purchased Disney+. The expo was running a special deal of the service where if you paid (in advance) for three years you would save $23 each year. I was hooked the moment Disney+ was announced and throughout the expo we were treated to many exciting announcements and moments discussing Disney+ (more on that in a moment.) While at the pavilion, we were also treated to an exciting sneak peek of the service and how it will look on launch day.

D23 EXPO 2019 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place August 23 – 25 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (The Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
JEFF GOLDBLUM, JIM HALTERMAN

Finally, it was time to head back to Hall D23, where the next big presentation took place. It was the BIG sneak peek on all the exciting original content coming to Disney+. You can check out a highlights of the presentation below. There were LOTS of announcements, but I want to talk about two very important ones!

First, I have to take you back to the previous day where me and my fiancé were waiting for our friend in the lobby of the Anaheim Hilton. At one moment, she noticed a few dogs being walked in. She immediately realized that they were the dogs from the upcoming live action remake of Lady & the Tramp! I realized they were there for the big presentation, so I knew I had to get a photo. The owner of Monty (Tramp) realized we knew who he was, so he actually brought Monty over to us so we could say Hello! This was by far the biggest highlight of the entire expo and it wasn’t even at the convention! Needless to say, I was EVEN MORE hooked on purchasing Disney+.

D23 EXPO 2019 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place August 23 – 25 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (The Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
SEAN BAILEY (PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTIONS), YVETTE NICOLE BROWN

The finale moment of the big presentation was a hit as well. Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, came out to announce the Kassian and K2-SO “Rogue One” Series and the upcoming Mandalorian Series coming to the platforms. However, after The Mandalorian, she said she had one more announcement. She said “After rumors, speculations, and secrets, I am thrilled to bring out a beloved character in the Star Wars family.” Music filled the hall, and out walks Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episodes I-III. Ewan revealed that he will indeed be returning to the role in a new series coming to Disney+. Filming will begin next year and many of the stories are already being conceived!

D23 EXPO 2019 – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event, which takes place August 23 – 25 at the Anaheim Convention Center, provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. (The Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
EWAN MCGREGOR, KATHLEEN KENNEDY (PRESIDENT, LUCASFILM)

After the big presentation, I went around the show floor and did some shopping (whatever I could without having to wait in extremely long lines) and then retired to the hotel for the evening to prep for the next day! Stay tuned for the next day’s recap where I discuss all the excitement coming from the Walt Disney Studios including more from The Rise of Skywalker and Marvel Studios!

DISCLAIMER: Matt is a Cast Member for The Walt Disney Company, however any opinions expressed in this article are his and do not reflect the company in any way. Adventures by Daddy was also granted Media privilege to the D23 Expo 2019. For more family friendly movie news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagramtwitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Matt Dobrovolsky

Matt is an avid theme park lover and has been going to Disney World since the age of three. Matt was known as the "Disney Geek" all throughout school and in 2013 he moved to Orlando, Florida to finish his Hospitality Management degree at University of Central Florida- Rosen College of Hospitality Mgmt. During his time at Rosen, Matt got the opportunity to work for Disney Legend Ron Logan who is now a professor at UCF. Matt has been working for Disney since 2010 at the Disney Store in Paramus, NJ and was a participant of the Disney College Program in Spring 2011. In 2014, he began his career with The Walt Disney World Resort on the Fastpass+ Team at Magic Kingdom and since then has worked at many attractions including Mission Space, Test Track and was part of the opening team for Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios. Matt currently works at Star Tours at Hollywood Studios and runs a YouTube channel: DarthVader92 showcasing the latest from the Theme Parks in Central Florida and the attractions themselves.