Tips and Tricks to Surviving the D23 Expo


The D23 Expo is the biggest Disney fan expo in the world, and it is happening in less than a month! (July 14th-16th). I went in 2015, and I plan to go this year as well, so I thought it best to share some of my best tips and tricks to making the most of this crazy, fun-filled weekend!


#1 You Will Not Be Able To Do Everything

Although this is a little hard to swallow, it is important to know that you will not be able to do everything at the Expo. There will be a schedule chalk-full of all kinds of panels, meet and greets, concerts, autograph signings, and other incredible experiences, and no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to do them all.

When I went to the last expo, I was only able to do 1 or 2 panels each day, so I suggest to pick a few of the ones you want to do the most and get in line early, which brings me to my second tip…


#2 You Will Have to Wait in Lines

I know, I know, who wants to wait in line when you could be exploring the Expo? However, if you want to get good seats, or any seats for that matter, you will have to grab a spot in line.

If you have a big group, you might want to take shifts of waiting so that some can be exploring the expo while the others are waiting in line. But, how long should you wait in line?

It depends of the type of panel. Some panels offer “stage passes”, which are free, and they give you guaranteed access to the panel. (You will have to wait in line for these as well).

These are usually offered for the popular panels that are 0n the smaller stages, since there will not be as much seating. For those panels, I would suggest to get in line at least an hour early, because even though you have seats, it does not mean you will have good seats.

For the panels that do not have stage passes, I would suggest getting in line an hour and a half to two hours early, especially for the big panels, like the Legends Awards, or the Animations Panel.

These will be the most popular, so you certainly want to make sure you get seating. Even though it may seem like a drag, waiting in line gives you a chance to relax for a little bit, and you could be going through pictures, charging your phone, or eating.


#3 Take Advantage of the Free Stuff!

Even though there are some incredible panels; that is not all that the expo has to offer. There are many booths set up that will give away free things, or free experiences.

For example, just by walking around the booths I was able to get a free print by a Disney artist, a Lego set, a cake decorating set, and more! I also happened upon an illustrator for Disney books, and she gave me a free signed print!

There are also cool experiences. In 2015, they were allowing guests to test out new video games, like Disney Infinity. They also have some beautiful displays and walkthroughs.

In 2015 they had a whole display for the Pandora Land that now exists in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Besides that, they had some incredible Disneyland artifacts, like the first ever Disneyland ticket!!


The First Disneyland Ticket. Yes, it says $1.00.

#4 Only Bring the Necessities

When going to D23, you do not need much. Really all you need is your phone, camera, wallet, and external battery charger. In 2015, they provided a bag to carry any goodies that you get, as well as a schedule of events and everything you need to know about the expo.

You might also want to bring some light snacks, and a refillable water bottle so you won’t be stuck buying water. It is important to not fill your bag with unnecessary things because you will be carrying it around all day, so you want to keep it as light as possible.


#5 Dress Comfortable

You will be doing a lot of walking, especially if you are planning to go all 3 days of the expo, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. There will be a lot of people cosplaying, and if you are planning a cosplay, don’t wear heels, just don’t.

You can find some really cute flats or tennis shoes that will match your cosplay just as well, and your feet will thank you later. Also on that note, try not to wear too many layers. If you are doing a full-on cosplay, it is hard to avoid a heavy outfit and wig, but if you can, try to wear something breathable and comfortable that you will not be sweating in.

Not only is it July in California, it will also be hot inside as well. With all of the people and crowds, you will feel hot, so try to wear something that you will be comfortable in.

#6 Try Avoiding the Crowds

Yes, there will be huge crowds at the expo, but there are a few ways to avoid them. One of the worst places you will find a crowd is at the eating venues.

During lunch time and dinner time, it will be so packed that you will be waiting at least a half an hour to get your food, and then you will probably end up eating on the floor. Try eating before or after the lunch and dinner crowds, like 10am for lunch, and 3pm for dinner.

This way, there will not be as many people, and you will have to waste less time eating and more time enjoying the expo. The other way to avoid crowds is to know when to walk away.

If you have a 3 day pass, take advantage of it. The busiest day will be Saturday, and Friday will come in a close second. So, if you see a display or booth that is extremely crowded on those days, just walk away.

On Sunday there will not be as many people, and you will actually be able to enjoy the displays and booths instead of being rushed through them.


#7 Have Fun!!

This is the most important tip of all. This expo happens only once every 2 years, and you will get to see and experience things some people can only dream of, so be happy about it.

Take in everything, the panels, the displays, the booths, and even the lines, because who knows? You might even make a new friend while waiting.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you will be able to use these tips at the expo this July. Be sure to tell me if you’re coming to D23 this July, and if so, what you are looking forward to most.

Also, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! I hope to see you there, and as always, have a magical day!


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Marisa Recker

Marisa Recker

Marisa is 17, from Washington state and is currently studying in New York City. Although she travels to Disneyland every couple of months, she is a huge fan of anything and everything Disney, and you can catch up with her on Instagram (marisa_recker), and Twitter (@reckerwithane).
Marisa Recker

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