What You Need to Know about Destination D23

The Destination D23 event is less than two weeks from its start, and Disney just revealed the itinerary.

Suffice to say that this exhibition is one Disney fans won’t want to miss.

Coming on November 19th

In 2019, Disney held its D23 event at the Anaheim Convention Center. What no one could have possibly realized at the time was how much the world would change.

Fast forward two years and a pandemic has disrupted many of Disney’s plans for parks and resorts.

To wit, we’re still awaiting clarification on whether Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge will ever become a reality.

Meanwhile, some attractions like Mary Poppins at EPCOT appear dead or, at the very least, dormant. Similarly, the PLAY! pavilion hasn’t made any significant progress.

As such, the upcoming Destination D23 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort comes with staggering implications for the short-term future of Disney.

We’re all hoping for several bombshell announcements. But, for now, we must settle for the itinerary, as Disney just released details about the event.

While the event technically starts on November 19th, most programming occurs on November 20th and 21st.

You’ll spend the first day getting signed up and shopping for exclusive D23 merchandise at the Sorcerer’s Apprentice Ballroom.

You may also participate in walkthrough events on Friday. These include The Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Bringing Home the Magic, Walt Disney Imagineering Presents: 50 Years of Dreaming and Doing Exhibits, and the Walt Disney Imagineering Illusioneering Lab.

The AMC Disney Springs 24 will also host advance screenings of Encanto, which officially debuts in theaters on November 24th.

The Saturday Schedule

On Saturday the 20th, the schedule comes alive, starting with Connections: A Look at the Future of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

Yes, that’s the main parks presentation. It will start at or after 9 a.m. and potentially lasts until noon.

You should know that the Fantasia Ballroom Queue opens at 7 a.m., two hours before Disney hosts the presentation there.

This event will assuredly sell out, as Destination D23 has fully booked already.

So, you should probably arrive by 6 a.m. (if not sooner) to assure yourself a seat for the event. Please keep in mind that many places will livestream it, though.

Guests who cannot grab a seat to the main presentation will still find plenty to do.

Other events include Weird Disney World, Walt Disney World Trivia Challenge: The Vacation Kingdom, Walt ‘70s World, and Planes, Trains, and Monorails: Walt Disney World on the Move.

You can read further details about any presentation that interests you at the official site.

At noon, guests will enjoy a two-hour intermission before another batch of shows run from 2 to 5 p.m.

Those include:

  • The Art and Imagery of Walt Disney World
  • Drawn to Life: Inside Disney’s first Collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil
  • Magical Entertainment for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration
  • The Park Stars of Walt Disney World
  • Walt ’80s World
  • Walt Disney World Trivia Challenge: Art and Flair
  • World Building for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

As a Disney superfan, I would go to any of that and hope it all winds up on Disney+ eventually.

After another two-hour break, the Fantasia Ballroom will open for seating to its final event Saturday, The Magical Musical World of Encanto.

Many of these events sound terrific, but let’s be honest. It’s the Disney Parks event or bust on Saturday.

The Sunday Schedule

Historically, the parks event towers over everything else at D23. You shouldn’t sleep on the Sunday entertainment options, though.

Here’s the list for 9 a.m. to noon:

  • The Dawn of the Disney World
  • Disney+ Download at Destination D23
  • Onboard the Disney Wish: Creativity & Inspiration Sets Sail
  • Walt Disney World Trivia Challenge: The Early Years

That first event will feature four different Disney experts relaying anecdotes about the creation of the Most Magical Place on Earth. It feels like a must-watch presentation.

After another two-hour break, the 2-5 p.m. block of presentations will include:

  • Delicious Disney
  • From the Vault: Merchandise Memories of Walt Disney World
  • Musical Attractions of Walt Disney World
  • Stories of the Walt Disney World Galleries
  • Walt ’90s World
  • Walt Disney World Trivia Challenge: Magical Melodies

Three of those events celebrate the food and music of Disney. Also, you’ve probably figured out by now that you should brush up on your Disney trivia before you go.

Also, the Merchandise Memories presentation highlights the work of the Walt Disney Imagineering Collections Team. These cast members curate all the artifacts you’ll find at Disney!

Then, there’s the final event, aptly named A FAN-Tastic Finale. You won’t want to miss this musical celebration of Disney, which promises Broadway talent and surprise guests.

Courtesy of Disney Tourist Blog

Overall, I believe that the must-do Sunday events are Onboard the Disney Wish, The Dawn of Disney World, From the Vault, and A FAN-Tastic Finale. Your mileage may vary.

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  • Andrew
    November 9, 2021

    I was lucky enough to grab a preferred seating ticket when they went on sale. I noticed there is a separate preferred seating queue that also starts at 7AM. Is it important to arrive early for that? I don’t mind being at the back of the preferred seating area, but I certainly want a seat! 🙂

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