D23 Expo Survival Guide

D23 Expo Survival Guide

This week Disney fans from around the globe will descend on Anaheim for the 2019 D23 Expo! There will be something there for just about every Disney fan. From archives to merchandise, to movies, to theme parks, there will be a LOT of ground covered throughout the course of the three days of the expo. For a previous D23 Expo, Murray did an excellent guide to getting the most out of the D23 Expo. This year, there are a few changes so here are a few tips to getting the most out of this weekend at the 2019 D23 Expo!

Planning for the D23 Expo

This may seem like a no-brainer but with all there is to do at the D23 Expo, it is an incredibly good idea to plan. Reservations have already been dispersed for the various panels but that doesn’t mean they aren’t doable. The age-old tradition of queuing is still an option for most offerings at the D23 Expo. There will also be people to meet, booths to visit, merchandise to purchase, and exhibits to explore.

Planning the Schedule

A good starting place for pulling your plan together is the D23 Expo app. Get it on your phone. You won’t regret it. Then, you can go through and favorite the things that most intrigue you. Once you have done that, I suggest going completely off your gut on this, start building your plan for the weekend. As you look at what you’ve favorited, take into consideration the time of the various panels, how popular they will be, and how long it will take for you to wait for them. Go into it with the attitude that you just can’t do everything and you won’t be disappointed. Once these things have been considered, pick your priorities and start building a schedule for your weekend around them. I would keep this schedule flexible as things can change. Think of it as more of a guideline than a rock-solid plan.

Plan Your Own Wellbeing

An entire weekend at the D23 Expo is a very full weekend. There is a lot of EVERYTHING. Lots of people. Lots of things to do and see. Lots of things to buy. There is just a LOT! Knowing this, go into the weekend being ready for there to be a lot going on. For some people this in invigorating, others it will be intimidating. Know yourself and know how you will react to it. With that in mind, be proactive in what you will need to have a good weekend. Sure, go into it with a positive attitude and an expectation to have fun. Also, go into it with a certain level of grace. Whenever there are that many people in one place there are bound to be some less than perfect moments. However, those don’t have to ruin your weekend. Know that it won’t be a perfect weekend and be ready to do what it takes for yourself to be able to get the best out of the weekend. A few tips for this can be the simple count to ten tip. For me, it will involve carrying cliff bars or other snacks so I don’t get too hungry or hangry. Staying hydrated is also a very good idea.

Another good idea for planning your own wellbeing for the weekend is knowing what will keep you comfortable throughout the expo. Remember it takes place in a large air-conditioned building with a ton of people in it. Some places will be quite warm. Others have the potential to be cool. Keep that in mind when picking what you are going to wear. You will also do a surprising amount of walking so it’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes as well. If you have a bag with you, keep in mind how it feels to carry it around for an entire day. One thing to make sure to keep in your bag (or multiple), a phone charger. It’s amazing how much battery I go through during the D23 Expo!

Planning Your Budget

Finally, there is going to be a lot of things you can purchase at the D23 Expo. Not just in the expo store, there will also be booths and of course food for sale at the expo. Oh, and did I mention parking? Make sure to bring some money and budget how much you are going to spend per day and for the whole weekend. Be realistic with your weekend budget and also keep in mind there will always be surprises. Expect food to be a little bit more expensive than normal as it IS at an expo.

There is no free parking at the Anaheim Convention Center and Disney discourages parking at the Disneyland Resort parking lots so keep that in mind as well. Getting a lyft/uber is not a bad idea. If your hotel offers a bus or shuttle to the area, that is definitely the way to go. Make sure to plan extra time to get to the expo though.

Attending the D23 Expo

The D23 Expo will be an incredible weekend. When you arrive for it, keep in mind a few things.

  • You will need to go through a security checkpoint to get in. Allow extra time for it.
  • Show up early. It seems like everything takes a little bit longer than expected.
  • The expo space is big and can be confusing. Pick a designated meeting spot if you are with a group for if you get separated along with designated meeting times. I say this just because I’ve had some phone issues on occasion at the Anaheim Convention Center.
  • Treat everyone with dignity and kindness. This should be a no-brainer but it is amazing how often the emotions of a loud crowd overtake what would be normal common sense. If you find yourself getting upset, take a few seconds for yourself to calm down. It’s supposed to be a fun weekend, there is an element of personal responsibility from each of us to make it that!
  • Stay hydrated throughout the weekend. This can be easily overlooked and being dehydrated is a very easy way to ruin the weekend.
  • Remember that people and shared memories are more important than panels and celebrities. Through the years of attending D23 Expos, all of my favorite memories have come through people I have spent time with at the D23 Expos and not necessarily the panels or exhibits I’ve been to. Enjoy lunch together, checking out some of the booths, watching the cavalcades, or popping over to the Disneyland Resort together. Friendships made at the D23 Expos can last a lifetime. I know because some of my closest friendships have developed from these weekends.
  • SLEEP! Remember to get rest before and after each day of the D23 Expo. I neglected this ever so important little detail at the first D23 Expo I attended and I feel like I was in survival mode all weekend. When I’ve gotten sleep, I’ve really been able to enjoy the weekend!
  • SMILE! This may seem like a dumb word of advice but it really does make a difference. It will make almost every experience a little bit better. Give it a try!

Final Thoughts

So much of what you get out of the D23 Expo comes from what you bring to it. By this I mean, the way you approach your experience will really determine the experience you have. Go in expecting to have fun, and you probably will. The opposite can be true as well. One thing that is a VERY good idea is to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. There are always things that get a little bumpy throughout a weekend like this. Recognize that nobody is there to ruin the D23 Expo. Most of the people that are there came because they have a love of The Walt Disney Company at some level. Assume the best and quite often people will give you the best. Even when they don’t, shrug it off and move on. Don’t let any one person ruin your weekend. Embrace the experiences, friendships, and memories you will create this weekend instead! With that in mind, the D23 Expo can be an absolutely fantastic weekend!

The DAPS MAGIC team will also be on hand this weekend at the D23 Expo and we would love to meet as many of you as possible! We hope you have an absolutely fantastic D23 Expo experience! Stay tuned to both DAPS MAGIC and our YouTube for daily coverage throughout the weekend! Check it all out at dapsmagic.com/d23expo

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