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The D23 Expo is held in Anaheim, California every two years. This year, it takes place on August 23 to 25. If you’re a Disney lover or a Star Wars fans, then you’ll love this convention.
The D23 Expo celebrates everything The Mouse stands for. If you want to live the Disney Magic firsthand, get sneak peeks of upcoming films, and watch a once-in-a-lifetime presentation by Disney insiders, then this event is a must-attend. Attendees also get a look at what’s coming up in the Disney Parks and Resorts. Attending the D23 Expo lets you flex your Disney fandom bona fides. How could you pass up the opportunity?
But what if you never attended a convention before? What should you expect? Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning your Anaheim vacation.
Create a Plan
You need to have a plan in mind before attending the D23 Expo. The most important step is to download the expo’s app in the App Store or the Google Play Store depending which phone you own. The app features a floor map, schedule, activities, food, and more. You’ll want to use this app to plan according to the schedule.
While it’s not a big deal if your activities conflict with others, just find something that relates to your interests. There is an overwhelming list of things to do at D23.
Most of those activities include concerts, demonstrations, meet-and-greets, presentations, panels, and sneak peeks. There is also the occasion when you’ll meet an artist who’s creating something out of pancakes. This event will keep you busy for the next three days.
Arrive with an open mind and expect the unknown. There is no consistency with the scheduling or plans. It can seem like the events of the expo are made on a whim, so no one really knows what’s going to happen next. Go with the flow, and you’ll have a great time.
You’ll want to bring a bag that’s comfortable to wear on your shoulders such as a backpack or messenger bag. You don’t want to bring one of those drawstring backpacks. They place more pressure on your shoulders and the straps are so skinny that they will continue to dig into your shoulders if you fill it up with more stuff.
Two of the most important items to pack used to be snacks and a water bottle. But this year, D23 has announced that outside beverages and food isn’t allowed inside unless you have allergy restrictions or dietary issues.
Attendees have been allowed to bring crackers, granola bars, and protein bars. You could bring snacks and water nonetheless since the lines can be long and the food is overpriced. There are plenty of water fountains where you can refill your water bottle.
Book a Hotel
It’s important to book a comfortable hotel where you can return to after a long and busy day at D23. There are hotels near Disneyland and other attractions. The Hyatt House Cypress/Anaheim is close to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. Do you want to get acquainted with the Anaheim area? You’re close to all of its beautiful beaches, including Huntington Beach and Seal Beach. The Sheraton Garden Grove Anaheim South is another popular hotel in the area. With good amenities and friendly staff, it’s been a family favorite for years.
Purchase a Binder or Folder
It’s likely there’s a celebrity or artist that you’ll want to meet at the event. So, you should bring a binder or folder with clear plastic sleeves so you can get autographs at the various meeting areas. Most vendors sell clear plastic sleeves, but they’re costly. It’s best to bring your own.
You should also bring tubes for holding your posters. Even if artwork or posters aren’t on your shopping list, you’ll never know if you’ll win one. There are plenty of giveaways and contests that take place at D23.
Bringing a tube can prevent the stress of ruining your artwork. You can purchase tubes for posters at shipping stores or your local post office.
Do Your Research
It’s okay if you don’t have the next three days planned. But research is important for making the most out of your experience. Find out what time the convention opens and closes. It’s not uncommon to show up at the opening time and wait two hours to get inside.
The best option is to arrive an hour or two after opening. Of course, the D23 app will also give you details on the autograph signings and celebrity panels.