For Disney fans around the world, the most magical weekend of the year is about to take place in just a couple of days. This Friday, the 2019 D23 Expo will begin in Anaheim, California. Think of this convention like an entire Comic-Con dedicated solely to The Walt Disney Company.
Everything from Disney Parks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the upcoming Disney+ streaming service will be addressed in panels and demonstrations throughout the expo, revealing plenty of information about what the House of Mouse has in store over the next two years.
If you're looking forward to D23, or just love Disney and had no idea there was an entire expo dedicated to Walt Disney properties, we've got you covered going into the weekend.
Consider this your guide to the D23 Expo itself, and what to expect from the most talked-about panels heading into the weekend.
This year's D23 Expo takes place in Anaheim, California over the course of an entire weekend. The festivities go from Friday, August 23rd to Sunday, August 25th. Throughout the weekend there are plenty of panels, exhibits, and demonstrations to keep guests busy. Of course, since the event is sold out, not everyone can attend, but that doesn't mean you will be left out this weekend.
We here at ComicBook.com will be reporting all of the biggest news from the expo, so you can keep checking back on the site throughout the weekend for more information. D23 won't be live-streamed, but if you want to be as up to date on the event as possible, Twitter will be the place to go.
Our stories will be tweeted from our Twitter account here, but we will also have a reporter on-location, attending a few of the major panels and sharing information in real time. You can follow Brandon Davis to keep up with the panels as they happen. The official hashtag of the event is #D23Expo, so watching that trend will also bring you the latest news.
This isn't to say that any panels are "more important" than other panels, but there are some events at D23 that people will care about more than others. There are two panels in particular that will get people interested.
The first of these panels comes in the form of the Disney+ presentation, which will likely reveal some new information about Disney's upcoming streaming service. The panel begins on Friday, August 23rd at 3:30 pm PT and runs for 90 minutes.
Of course, the panel that everyone is talking about leading up to D23 is the Disney Studios presentation on Saturday morning. Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Disney Animation, and Disney Live-Action will all be included as a part of this two-hour event, giving fans the scoop on the biggest movies coming from the company in the near future. The Disney Studios panel begins at 10 am PT on Saturday, August 24th.
You can see the full schedule of events here.
It's hard to imagine Marvel Studios having more to say after its jaw-dropping presentation at San Diego Comic-Con last month, but Kevin Feige will undoubtedly have some surprise up his sleeve. Plus, it's important to remember that there will be two opportunities for Marvel to share some big news.
Remember, a large portion of the MCU moving forward won't take place in the theater. Marvel Studios is set to release several TV projects exclusively on Disney+ over the next two years, including The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, and Hawkeye. The MCU projects will be a huge selling point for Disney+, so expect some sort of news during the streaming presentation on Friday afternoon. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be the first of the shows released on Disney+, so if there's news to be had, it will likely concern that project.
The majority of the Marvel Studios news will probably come on Saturday morning, during the Disney Studios panel, but it's difficult to say what that news will be. The only MCU movie in production at the moment is Black Widow, which hits theaters next summer. There could be a poster, trailer, or behind-the-scenes clip unveiled during the panel, though there's no telling if Disney will release it online. There could be a production announcement regarding The Eternals during the panel, or even some kind of casting news regarding one of the other upcoming movies.
Fans will be hoping that Marvel will announce more movies beyond the Phase 4 slate that was rolled out at SDCC, but that doesn't seem like a strong possibility just yet. If Marvel does start talking about Phase 5, these are some projects we'd love to see announced.
Like Marvel, Star Wars has plenty of projects in the works on screens both big and small, providing multiple opportunities for new information drops.
The tentpole TV series for Disney+ at launch will be The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars TV project, hailing from Iron Man director Jon Favreau. The trailer for the series aired during Star Wars Celebration earlier this year, but wasn't released online. With just a couple of months until the release of Disney+, it would make sense for a trailer to be unveiled here at D23. Pay close attention during the Disney+ panel on Friday. This presentation could also see the official announcement of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor.
Lucasfilm is also planning to release the final film in the Skywalker Saga later this year, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arriving in December. There's only been one trailer released for the film so far, so another one is on the way very soon. It could drop at D23 this weekend, or in a couple of weeks during the first Monday Night Football game of the season on ESPN. Then again, as Lucasfilm has done with other Star Wars films in the past, we could see the release of a behind-the-scenes featurette that offers just a little more info about the characters.
Following Episode IX, there isn't another Star Wars movie scheduled to be released until 2022, so there probably won't be any information about the franchise's big screen future. Then again, stranger things have happened.
There has been so much talk about the Disney+ streaming service over the last couple of years, and we're finally on the verge of seeing the whole thing in action. The full Disney+ panel will take place on Friday evening, and will likely contain a few big announcements and trailers. Safe bets for footage and/or images are the few movies and shows that will be available at launch on November 12th: The Mandalorian, Lady and the Tramp, Noelle, and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
After the panel concludes, there will be a screening of the first episode of the High School Musical series for those in attendance, making it the first project on Disney+ shown to the public.
In addition to the panel, there will be live demonstrations of the Disney+ app on the expo floor, allowing guests to actually see how the service will work. You can find more information on the demos here.
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