As the year comes to a close, it’s nice to take time to reflect on 2015. As always, here are the big stories that happened with Disney for 2015. It was quite a big year, so let’s get started!
The D23 Expo isn’t the least of stories of 2015. It was certainly hard to choose which were the big ones of the year. This was a long weekend of news, stars, and fun for Disney fans. Taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center, the setup was expanded to accommodate more stages and more exhibits. Where the keynote presentations were done in the arena, there was a large venue made just to showcase much of the news that came from Disney at the Expo.
The show floor had some great exhibits and booths. My favorite was the one that showcased Shanghai Disneyland from Walt Disney Imagineering. Among the pictures and models were great looks for the upcoming park. Fans got to see some of the details that seems set to make this one of the best Disney parks in the world. Right by the Shanghai preview was a preview of the upcoming Avatar area of Animal Kingdom. Inside was a full model of the land that will captivate visitors to the park.
One of the more popular exhibits of the Expo was the Disney Infinity booth. The third incarnation of the popular video game showed off the not yet released game and the making of it. Guests could also get a picture against a screen that filled in with background and characters from the game. After participating, everyone in the group was able to have a free Disney Infinity 3.0 figure. It’s most likely why it was so popular to stop by.
The show floor had a lot to offer guests, including looks at upcoming films and the Walt Disney Archives exhibit that showed off the history of Disneyland for the 60th anniversary. But, this wasn’t all that the Expo had to offer. Several panels and presentations accumulated guests for great shows. One of the most popular was A Goofy Movie reunion panel and presentation. Voices and animators of the film reunited for a look back at the comical movie. Other highlighted presentations included, the Muppets, a 60th anniversary presentation of the Jungle Cruise, a guided history of Disney on Broadway, and a night with a few stars of Once Upon A Time.
One of the little known, but very magical panel areas was the Walt Disney Archives stage. Here, tales of old and new takes on them were presented. My favorite was the making of virtual 3D recreations of classic Disneyland attractions, like Adventures Through Inner Space.
But, the Expo wasn’t just contained in these presentations! These were but the small venues compared to the big presentations in the main hall. Among the presentations were the Disney Legends awards ceremony, looks at upcoming features that will hit the big screen, Disney theme park news, and Disney Interactive’s epic keynote.
The Disney Legends had a surprise in the form of Johnny Depp being an unannounced inductee. He wowed audiences both because of the surprise and his gratitude for being presented the award. The features presentation gave the audience looks at not just known movies to come out in the next few years, but one big announcement: Gigantic. A new musical animated film will retell Jack and the Beanstalk in a new way. Another somewhat surprise was Alice Through The Looking Glass. The all but forgotten to be released film had its first look at the Expo.
Disney Interactive had a lot to tell. Star Wars Battlefront was shown to great lengths, as well as some other Star Wars games that will pop up. Kingdom Hearts stole the show as new looks of the game showed up. A Big Hero 6 world will be in the game. And it’s presence will be in Disney Infinity as well. It was announced that collecting all the figures will result in getting a keyblade. Guests who came to the presentation received a free Mickey Mouse Disney Infinity figure as well as a special Expo only King Mickey of Kingdom Hearts costume disc.
Even grander was news that came from the Disney Theme Parks panel. Disney’s Hollywood Studios may have stolen the show with previews of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. Toy Story Land will be more unique than its Hong Kong Disneyland incarnation. And, of course, Star Wars Land is highly anticipated to be an immersive and exciting area of both the Florida park and at Disneyland. But, more on that later…
In all the Expo brought a lot of news and a lot of fun experiences for fans of all ages. It was one for D23 history!
Come back to find out more big stories of the year!