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I’ve attended D23 Expo exactly one time. That pretty much makes me an expert, ready to share my knowledge with the world. I kid. I know nothing but these few hints I’m about to share. With so many friends about to head to the 2017 event, it seemed like the least I could do. Literally, the very least.
Get The Name Right
You’re going to D23 Expo. You’re not going to D23. D23 is the official Disney fan club. D23 Expo is their biennial event. Saying you’re going to D23 is like saying you’re going to “book” when you’re really going to the “bookstore”. Get in the habit of saying the full name now. It’s a surprisignly hard habit to break.
Buy A Poster Tube
So maybe this is old news for experienced con-attendees. I don’t fit in that category. I walked away from D23 Expo 2015 with five new posters, including a limited edition poster for The Force Awakens. Getting those home without getting them bent was more stress than I care to repeat. I will never attend a similar event without a poster tube for safe transport. They’re available on Amazon and worth every penny!
Dress The Part
I saw some pretty amazing cosplay during the Expo. If that’s your thing, go for it. I bow down. I am a fan of the Disneybound, and I dressed casually as Nemo, Snow White and Jasmine when I attended. I’m pretty sure that Snow White was the only one that was noticed because I kept pulling off my Jasmine headband, and the Nemo was pretty subtle. You’ll see every type of clothing imaginable, so stick to what you’ll be comfortable wearing. If you’re planning to head straight from the convention center to Disneyland, you’ll need to keep park requirements for attire in mind. That means no one over the age of 14 in costume. Disneybound looks are fine at the parks.
Comfy Shoes Matter
I totally killed my feet wearing a pair of Chucks that were a little small one day and a pair of sandals that didn’t have any support on another day. That convention center floor is murder. By the time I was at the airport I was surprised I could walk onto the plane. Get yourself some super comfortable shoes. You’ll be on your feet a lot. You might want to have a backup pair of shoes in your bag. If I had it to do again, I’d be wearing Sanuk Yoga Slings. They’ve made it through multiple days at Disney parks in the last few months with minimal complaints from my feet. I think they could handle a few days at the Expo.
Wait To Shop
There’s going to be a lot of limited edition merch, and it’s all very tempting. Those limited edition pieces, though, come with long, long lines and a high likelihood they’ll sell out before you can buy. The lines for the Disney Store, Dream Store and Mickey’s of Glendale were really long during the first two days of the 2015 Expo. The lines for the Disney Store and Dream Store were much shorter on the final day. The line at Mickey’s of Glendale remained long, but it’s worth it if you want to check out exclusive Imagineers merchandise. And don’t worry. Even if you wait to shop, there’s still plenty of fun merchandise available to purchase. That includes a few Expo-exclusive items. I was able to purchase the 2015 Expo Vinylmation on the final day.
Plan Ahead, But Go With The Flow
It’s good to have a rough idea of what you’d like to attend, buy, see and do when you visit D23 Expo. That said, be prepared for longer than expected lines (and shorter than expected lines, too, for that matter) changes of plan and unexpected surprises. The live action and animated film presentations were two of my favorite parts of the 2015 Expo, and they’re definitely worth the wait to get in. I was lucky enough to have press access, but my friend Beth recommended this travel chair for the six hour wait to get in. Create a list of priorities when you look at the schedule, and then plan a few backups, too. Flexibility is the key to having a great time!
Prepare For Me To Ignore You For A Few Days
I’ve never claimed to be the better person. I’m positively green with envy that you’re going and I’m not. Reminding me that I was there last time or telling me that I get to do really cool things all of the time? Totally not helping.
I kid. I think. I am completely jealous, but also so happy for everyone who gets to experience D23 Expo this year. Have a blast. Take lots of pictures. And don’t whine about your bent posters if you choose to ignore my advice…