Highlights of 2015 D23 Expo: Day Two [Update 1]

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Day Two was an incredibly exciting day at the 2015 D23 Expo. There was an Aladdin panel. There was a Once Upon a Time Panel. Music was made with favorite Disney Broadway tunes. Then there was a Disney Live Action Movie Panel and a Disney Parks and Resorts Panel. The news coming from these two really eclipsed just about everything else.

Disney Live Action Movie Panel

Let’s face it, there was a lot going on during this panel. I’ll try to succinctly share the highlights but I’ll probably miss some things and include some other things that maybe I shouldn’t have. Here are the highlights that are popping into mind though:

  •  Marvel’s Doctor Strange was introduced by Kevin Feige along with a video from Benedict Cumberbatch and some concept art being shared. It gives a bit of a look and feel for what the movie will be like when it moves past pre-production. It will be coming into theaters on October 26, 2016.
  • Captain America: Civil War also was introduced by Feige with the help of Chris Evans and Anthony Makie. Footage of the the movie was shared along with an Easter egg that had a nod to the event.
  • The Finest Hours was shown by Sean Bailey and Chris Pine. It is the story of a daring Coast Guard rescue.
  • The Jungle Book portion of the panel was definitely a highlight for many in attendance.  Neel Sethi (Mowgli) was on hand, as was director Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsly (Bagheera), and Lupita Nyong’o (the mother wolf Raksha). A clip was shown that blew the crowd away, especially with Bill Murray’s Baloo and Christopher Walken’s King Louie!
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass was previewed by Bailey and actress Mia Wasikowska.
  • Pete’s Dragon also was previewed with Bryce Dallas Howard joining Bailey to share a bit about the movie. Is there perhaps a hairy dragon?
  • Beauty and the Beast was presented next with one video from Luke Evans and Josh Gad and another from Emma Watson. This is a live-action musical retelling of the animated classic and will hit theaters on March 17, 2017. While not a lot was shared about the movie, Evans and Gad were great together and Watson was beautiful in a new version of a certain yellow dress.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean is returning and Johnny Depp was on hand as Captain Jack Sparrow to promote its return. His appearance was memorable to those who came… hopefully everyone likes grapes.

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens is only 124 days away from Day Two of the D23 Expo. Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horne shared this tidbit during the Star Wars segment. This comes to theaters on December 18, 2015.
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII will be directed by Rian Johnson. It will hit theaters on May 26, 2017.
  • Star Wars: Expisode IX will be directed by Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow. It will be released in 2019.
  • The Untitled Han Solo movie is being directed by Christopher Miller & Phil Lord, with Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan writing the screenplay. It will be in theaters on May 25, 2018.
  • Rogue One has begun principle photography and artwork was shared. Gareth Edwards is directing this movie about the attempt to steal the plans of the Empire’s secret Death Star.
  • Back to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Cast comes out and shares a bit. Then Bob Iger takes the stage and announces what is going around the internet as Star Wars Land for both Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort and also Disneyland at the Disneyland Resort.

Disney Parks and Resort Panel

This panel was significantly shorter than the live action panel but still had quite a trove of information. The presentation began with a look at where Disney has come from and some of the new offerings, particularly at the Disneyland Resort.

Some highlights were as follows:

  • Star Wars Land coming to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. It will be 14 acres and include two attractions. One is a battle experience of the Resistance versus the First Order. The other gives guests the chance to fly the Millennium Falcon!
  • Season of the Force will be coming to Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In Disneyland, this will include a layover for Space Mountain called Hyperspace Mountain where guests will get to experience an X-Wing battle. Star Wars Launch Bay will also be coming to Disneyland. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios a new fireworks spectacular will be shown nightly. Both parks will get food, entertainment, and presumably merchandise.
  • Pandora was shared about and how it will be a REAL world and not just a representation. Stay tuned for more information on this one. It will be opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the future.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also getting rigged to work at night and it looks like it will be beautiful. With new effects and a new nighttime show, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be a magical and natural place to be at night.
  • Arendelle is coming to Epcot with an expansion to the Norway Pavilion along that will include a Frozen meet n’ greet and also new Frozen attraction.
  • Toy Story Land is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests will get to be the size of a toy and experience what it is like to live in the world of Woody, Buzz, and the gang.
  • Iron Man Experience coming to Hong Kong Disneyland.
  • Tokyo Disney is expanding it’s Fantasyland in its Magic Kingdom and also adding quite a bit of Arendelle to Tokyo DisneySea.
  • Shanghai Disney is on the way. Guests of the presentation were given a look at what this new Disneyland park will look like once guests are able to visit. It will be magical. It is being described as “distinctly Disney, uniquely Chinese.”
  • The event ended up with a medley of songs that showcased the “kiss goodnight” that is given at each of the Disney theme parks and resorts. It was a beautiful medley that was a nice ending to the presentation.

Day Two of the D23 Expo really was a whirlwind. In fact, if everything that happened on Day Two was included in this post… it would probably turn into a small book. Stay tuned to DAPs Magic in the coming days to see more coverage of the D23 Expo and more photos and videos!

What was your favorite part of Day Two of the D23 Expo?

About the Author:

Mr. DAPs is the founder of DAPs Magic continues to run its day to day operations. He can be regularly found at Disneyland donning his hat and bow tie as he takes pictures and enjoys the Happiest Place on Earth. He is also a host on Geeks Corner - the Webshow and anchors news stories for DAPs Magic's YouTube channel. You can also find him posting regularly on Twitter and Instagram. He'd love to connect with you so make sure and say hi!

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