Highlights of 2015 D23 Expo: Day One

Day One of the 2015 D23 Expo has come and gone and a lot of events happened throughout the day. DAPs Magic began coverage of the day with the Disney Legends Ceremony and the Magic of the Muppets panel and moved on to the Jungle Cruise, the future of Disney Animation, Imagineering, and more! Let’s take a quick look at the day, shall we?

Disney Legends Ceremony

The Disney Legends Ceremony was hosted by CEO and Chairman of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger. It continued a 28 year tradition of honoring those who have contributed to the Disney legacy. This year the honorees were George Boddenheimer, Andreas Deja, Eyvind Earle, Danny Elfman, George Lucas (who was inspired by Goofy when creating Jar Jar Binks), Susan Lucci, Julie Reihm Casaletto, and Carson Van Osten. The event also included a tribute to the late Robin Williams and a surprise inductee, Johnny Depp.

Muppets 10Magic of the Muppets

The Magic of the Muppets found both Muppeteers and their furry counterparts at the panel as fans learned about the backstories of the Muppets and even heard about a potential Pigs in Space! The panel included talk about the current drama involving Miss Piggy (noticeably absent because of the breakup) and Kermit and zizzle reels were shown of the upcoming TV show as well.

Disney Animation

This was quite the exciting panel with quite a lot of news coming out, courtesy of John Lasseter. Here are a few highlights:

  • Toy Story 4 is a love story between Woody and Bo Peep. This came from director John Lasseter.
  • Zootopia has added Shikara to its voice roster. She will be playing pop star Giselle… who is a gazelle. Ginnifer Goodwin was on hand during the video clip that was recorded by Shakira. Goodwin portrays a police rabbit that is pretty new on the job.
  • The Good Dinosaur unveiled that Sam Elliot will be the voice of a T-Rex in the film. A key parent will die towards the beginning of the film. This is a Disney tradition and will probably be quite poignant.
  • Finding DoryFinding Dory has added Eugene Levy and and Diane Keaton as the parents of Dory.  Ellen Degeneres (Dory) was on hand at the pane and was  also joined by co-stars Ed O’Neil (who will play an octopus), Kaitlin Olson (a whale shark) and Ty Burrell (a beluga whale).
  • Gigantic  Gigantic is a new Jack in the Beanstalk movie that is being developed by Disney Animation Studios. Jack is a spaniard who becomes friends with an 11 year old female giant and together they fend off Storm Giants. The music for this movie will be courtesy of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (yes, they wrote Frozen’s music).
  • Moana takes place 2000 years ago in the South Pacific. Moana means ocean and she is the daughter of an island chief.. She will lose someone close to her early in the film. She will also go on an adventure as an explorer in the Pacific Ocean. The Rock showed up during the presentation. He will be portraying Maui. The clip shown was quite moving. Prepare to cry during this movie.
  • CoCo has been unveiled. This will be Pixar’s film about the Day of the Dead.
  • Riley’s First Date? was previewed to fans of this Inside-Out Character. It will be accompanying the release of Inside-Out on Blu-Ray and Digital Download this fall.  

    Description: Riley, now 12, who is hanging out with her parents at home when potential trouble comes knocking. Mom’s and Dad’s Emotions find themselves forced to deal with “Riley’s First Date?”

The Jungle Cruise

If you like the Jungle Cruise, you would have loved this panel. This shared a lot about this beloved attraction from it’s beginnings to how it has now been replicated around the globe. If you love riding in a boat with a Jungle Cruise skipper, you’ll love when you can go eat at their new restaurant in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. This should be opening something during the winter.

A Goofy Movie

It’s hard to believe that A Goofy Movie is already 20 years old! This fan favorite film was celebrated with both a panel and concert that reminisced about the past and then brought it to life in the present.

60 Years of Imagineering

This panel had a host of Imagineers show up to share about the history, and the stories that make up that history, of Walt Disney Imagineering. This event reached back included Walt Disney stories and looked forward to where the future of Imagineering is headed. Expect a fantastic writeup from Amanda in the near future!

D23 Expo Show Floor

There is a LOT to do and see on the show floor at the D23 Expo (and elsewhere). Two highlights that were experienced by the DAPs Magic team today included the Shanghai Disney exhibit and the preview of Pandora. The Shanghai Disney exhibit gives a lovely overview of what guests will see when they get to visit Shanghai Disney and if people are like me… they want to buy their ticket now! The preview of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s future land Pandora does the same, but on a small scale. Pandora looks like it will be incredible immersive and also very beautiful. This will be magic in a new way that should be quite intriguing.

Final Thoughts

There was a LOT of other things happening on Day One of the D23 Expo. These are just a few highlights that stuck out to the DAPs Magic team as they went about their day. Be sure to check back on our D23 Expo page for more updates from the D23 Expo and also follow along live on DAPs Magic Live, twitter, instagram, and facebook!

What did YOU think of Day One of the 2015 D23 Expo?


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