The expo was opened by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger who highlighted some of the company’s upcoming projects. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs gave expo attendees a sneak peek of what’s coming for Disney Parks around the world including a glimpse of the castle for Shanghai Disneyland and the Iron Man attraction headed to Hong Kong Disneyland.
Staggs also revealed the concept art for the Avatar-inspired land that is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Oriental Land Company (OLC), which operates Tokyo Disney Resort presented a stage show that celebrated three decades of shows at Tokyo Disneyland, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The performance included performers and characters.
Walt Disney Studios marketing president Ricky Strauss gave expo goers a peek of upcoming films including Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Inside Out, Maleficent, and others. A highlight of the presentation was the “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” scene from the highly-anticipated Saving Mr. Banks.
D23 wowed attendees with two exhibits including Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives. The exhibit featured more than 70 pieces from the archives and focused on items that the Japanese audience would be interested in, including original dolls from The Aristocats that were featured in the windows of Disneyland’s Emporium for the film’s opening in 1970.
The archives also brought a Cinderella dress from Disneyland and one of the dresses worn by Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries. Guests also had a chance to see the journey of how Pirates of the Caribbean started as a Disneyland attraction, became a hit movie, and then got incorporated back into the park attractions.
As with any D23 Expo, guests had a chance to pick up exclusive merchandise including plush D23 Expo characters, limited edition pins, and more.