A few weeks from now, the Anaheim Convention Center will be swarming with princess cosplayers, monstrous displays and endless lines for Star Wars and Marvel panels that will put Space Mountain queues to shame.
Every two years, Disney convinces its biggest fans to spend three days gathered two miles away from Disneyland to geek out about all things Disney. Superstar celebs make surprise guest appearances, Disney Channel has-beens stroll the halls like heroes and revelers gather for big reveals about park attractions, nostalgia-tinged panels and rare merchandise. It’s absolute mayhem, and we’d never miss it.
The convention goes from Aug. 23-25. To buy tickets, click here. Here are 10 things we can’t wait to see at D23 Expo 2019:
1. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Next Steps.
One of the most surprising reveals at Comic-Con was that Natalie Portman would be taking over as Thor. We should hear more about that project, as well as Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” movie, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “The Eternals.” The post-Thanos life is looking snappy.
2. Star Wars Sets a New Course.
With “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” due out in December to wrap up the latest trilogy, the creative team behind “Game of Thrones” will take
over the franchise’s next direction. Stars of the films present and past are known to make surprise appearances at panels and mingle with the throngs afterward.
3. Disney+ Launches the Stream of Your Dreams.
Jon Favreau’s “The Mandalorian” Star Wars series is headlining the launch of Disney’s new streaming service, which also brings along loads of
Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars flicks. We should find out all the reasons Disney expects us to start coughing up $7 a month for the service come November.
4. The Simpsons Make Their Awkward Entrance.
After mocking all things Disney for more than three decades, Bart, Homer and crew find themselves employees of their favorite targets. Series
creator/god among men Matt Groening, his producers and voice actors Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith – Bart and Lisa’s own larynxes – will be there to kiss the ring.
5. Mouse House Movie Reveals.
Always one of the more popular panels, the Walt Disney Studios movie reveals will announce its next slate of movies your kids and girlfriends will nag you to take them to. Aside from the next live-action remakes of animated classics, we’ll see what’s next from Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. Expect stars to pop in for totally-planned “surprises.’
6. A Mini Comic-Con.
Remember when comic conventions were about comics? Neither do we, but Marvel does. In celebrating its 80 th anniversary, Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski and
Executive Editor Trom Brevoort will run down the gargantuan history of Marvel Comics. Expect the late, great Stan Lee to loom large over the presentation.
7. Venom Takes His Bite.
The new “Marvel Animation’s Venom” is set to unleash the symbiote on the animated world after Tom Hardy’s Marvel Animation’s Venom was a surprise back office smash. The new series will headline the Marvel Animation panel. “Marve Rising” and “Battle of the Bands” will also be there, along with a tribute to “Marvel’s Spider-Man.”
8. ABC Reminds Us It’s Still Around, Too.
Although most of the excitement in the Mouse Empire surrounds its upcoming streaming app and takeover of Fox, old faithful ABC is still grinding it out. Stars from the likes of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” — which is wrapping up its run — as well as all the –ish shows (“Black-ish,” “Grown-ish” and “Mixed-ish”) popping up at panels.
9. League of Legends.
Each D23 kicks off with a Disney Legends Awards Ceremony, a sort of lifetime achievement throwdown that calls in some marquee-crushing big names for little more
reason than to see what they look like standing next to each other. This year’s slate of honorees includes Robery Downey Jr., James Earl Jones. Yep, the two most powerful robotic-suited
badasses will duel to see who gives the most awkward awards speech. Hans Zimmer, Jon Favreau, Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts are also along for the ride.
10. What’s Popping at the Parks.
Disney’s parks are like living “Minecraft” or “Fortnite” designs with Disney Imagineers as the sugar-addled, impatient kids with their grubby hands on the
controllers. It’s always fun to see what audacious idea is next. Disney’s With Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened up in May at Disneyland and its counterpart coming in late August to Disney
World. Both expansions were first announced at past D23 Expos, so there’s no telling what surprises lie in wait this year.