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D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event 2024 – Planning Guide

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D23 Expo 2019 Recap

The most exciting weekend for Disney fans is coming up quickly. That’s right … D23: The Ultimate Fan Event is back!

D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event (formerly D23 Expo), put on by the Official Disney Fan Club D23, is returning to the Anaheim Convention Center from August 9 through 11, 2024.

Tickets are currently on sale. If you won’t be attending D23: The Ultimate Fan Event this year, you can keep an eye on the D23 website for livestreams!

If you *are* going, I hope to see you there! If you want to know what to expect or need instructions on the advanced reservation system, keep reading!

Your Guide to D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event 2024

*This article is still being updated with news about D23 fan event 2024 and may contain outdated information.

What is D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event?

D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event is a Disney convention run by D23, the Disney Fan Club. The 3-day convention takes place every other year* in Anaheim, CA (where Disneyland is located). The first D23 Expo was held in 2009, with the 2024 Expo being the eighth convention. 

*The 2021 D23 Expo was postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event is a massive convention, drawing thousands of Disney fans from around the world. And it includes not only Disney properties, but entities under the Disney umbrella including Star Wars, Marvel, ESPN, National Geographic, and FOX. The convention features panels, celebrity appearances, exhibits, experiences, photo opportunities, exclusive merchandise, and lots and lots of cosplay. 

Mostly, it’s a place where Disney fans can gather and celebrate their love of Disney with one another. Think of it like a Disney-themed Comic Con.

When is the Next D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event?

The next D23 fan event will be held August 9 – 11, 2024 at the Anaheim Convention Center, with select presentations at the Honda Center.

My 5 Favorite Announcements from D23 Expo 2017
D23 Expo 2017

How Do You Purchase Tickets for D23: The Ultimate Fan Event?

In order to purchase a pass for the D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, you must be a member of D23, the Disney fan club. There are two levels: General Membership is free, and Gold Membership which requires an annual fee.

Some tickets types for all D23 Gold and General Members will go on sale beginning March 28, 2024, at 12 p.m. PT. Attendees must be a D23 Member to purchase tickets. Fans can join as a complimentary General Member or upgrade to Gold Membership at JoinD23.com.

To purchase tickets once they go on sale, visit https://ultimatefanevent.d23.com/tickets.

How Much Does D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Cost?

For D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event 2024, the prices are as follows:

  • (SOLD OUT) D23 Ultimate Fan Pass 3-Day Ticket includes a 3-day assigned seat for evening shows at the Honda Center and 3-day access to all experiences at the Anaheim Convention Center—starting at $297/ticket.
  • (SOLD OUT FRIDAY AND SATURDAY) D23 Ultimate Fan Pass 1-Day Ticket includes a reserved seat for that date’s evening show at the Honda Center and same-day access to all experiences at the Anaheim Convention Center—starting at $99/ticket.
  • D23 Preferred Ultimate Fan Pass 3-Day Ticket, exclusive to D23 Gold Members, includes a 3-day floor seat for evening shows at the Honda Center (same seat each night), and 3-day access to all experiences at the Anaheim Convention Center—starting at $999/ticket.
  • D23 Fan Pass provides access to the Anaheim Convention Center only:
    • 1-Day Pass
      • Gold Members: $79/ticket
      • General Members: $89/ticket
    • (SOLD OUT) 3-Day Pass
      • Gold Members: $209/ticket
      • General Members: $259/ticket

For preferred seating at the Honda Center panels, guests can pay an additional fee for seats in a better section, anywhere from an extra $50 up to $2599 for the front section. Please see the chart below:

Ticket pricing chart for the D23 Fan Event 2024 showing various packages and seating options with corresponding prices.


Honda center seating map showing the arrangement of different level sections and fan passes for a D23 Expo event.

D23 Expo event calendar or schedule layout with different types of passes and experiences listed on the left side.


 Where to Stay for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event?

There are many hotels around the Anaheim Convention Center, where D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event is held. Ticketholders will receive access to a few hotel room blocks which may provide a lower rate than booking the hotel directly.

The two convention center hotels are the Hilton Anaheim and Anaheim Marriott. Both hotels are directly next to the convention center and are the hotels I recommend the most.

Nearby hotels include Doubletree Convention Center, Westin Anaheim, Best Western Stovalls Inn, Anaheim Discovery Inn and Suites, Eden Roc Inn and Suites, SpringHill Suites, Anaheim Portofino Inn and Suites, Sheraton Park Hotel, Hotel Lulu, Hyatt House, Alpine Inn, and Desert Palms Hotel and Suites.

Many people wonder if staying at the Disneyland Resort hotels would be a good choice for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event weekend. In my opinion, they are too far from the convention center, which means you’ll be doing a lot of extra walking!

Dear D23 Expo, We Need to Talk ...
D23 Expo 2017


What are the D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event hours?

The doors open for Guests at 9am each day, and the show floor closes at 7pm.

D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Merchandise and Shopping Instructions

D23 has announced the following shopping locations for the 2024 event:

  • The Emporium
  • Mickey’s of Glendale 
  • Hollywood Studio Store
  • The Walt Disney Company Store

Part of the fun of attending D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event is the exclusive and rare merchandise available. However, waiting in the queues just to shop would eat up a big part of your day.

For the last event in 2022, D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event used virtual queue technology for their merchandise locations. Yes, the same virtual queue procedure you may be familiar with from the Disney Parks. Joining a virtual queue allows you to enjoy other aspects of the Expo while virtually holding your place in line.


In order to join a virtual queue, you will need both the D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event app AND the Disneyland app. Here are the instructions:

Step 1: Open the D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event app and navigate to the retail location. Guests may alternatively scan a QR code using their mobile device camera located at the entrances of the locations listed above.
Step 2: Tap “Join Virtual Queue” at your retail location. Guests can request to join the D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event virtual queue at 6 a.m. or 1 p.m. PT.
Step 3: You will be navigated to the Disneyland Resort app, where you will be prompted to log in if you haven’t already. Once you are logged in, select the number of guests and tap “Join Virtual Queue.” Guests may join for up to two (2) people and may only join one (1) queue at a time.
Step 4: You will see a confirmation screen with an estimated wait time. While you wait for your boarding group to be notified, enjoy other D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event experiences.
Step 5: You will receive a push notification when your group is ready.

It is unknown at this time if there will be a regular queue for any Guests who miss out on the virtual queue. 

** Guests may use mobile checkout to pay for their items at the following locations:

  • D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Marketplace
  • D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Marketplace – 3rd Floor Limited Edition Annex
  • Mickey’s of Glendale Main Store
  • D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Shop x Mickey’s of Glendale

In order to use mobile checkout, you will need the Disneyland App. 

Dining Options at D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

The Anaheim Convention Center has a small food court which offers basic items like hot dogs, sandwiches, and chips. The second level usually has food carts with small “grab & go” snacks and coffee.

For better quality food options, you’ll need to go outside the convention center. There will likely be food trucks outside the entrance, and the two closest hotels – Hilton and Marriott – offer a variety of meals to choose from. Hilton also has a Starbucks and a couple fast food places including CRAVE Pizza and Coastal Mexican Grill. 

Note that leaving the convention center means you may have to wait in line to go back inside, so leave at your own risk!

I highly, highly, highly recommend bringing your own snacks so you don’t get hangry while waiting on those long lines.

My Favorite Things from D23 Expo 2015
D23 Expo 2015

What’s New at D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event in 2024

Updates for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event 2024 is still being announced, but we have the following details: 

  • D23 Day at Disneyland Resort on Thursday, August 8
  • Three nights of marquee showcases at the Honda Center
  • The largest, most expansive show floor in D23 history at the Anaheim Convention Center
  • Expanded shopping experience
  • D23 Day at Angel Stadium on Sunday, August 4
  • D23 FAN-tastic Prizes Sweepstakes – the biggest company-wide sweepstakes in Disney history


For the showcase events at the Honda Center, complimentary round-trip shuttles will be available from the Convention Center.


Here are the inductees for this year’s Legends ceremony, hosted by Ryan Seacrest:

  • Colleen Atwood: Four-time Oscar-winning costume designer
  • Angela Bassett: Film and television
  • Martha Blanding: Disney parks hospitality icon and manager
  • James L. Brooks: Television executive producer of The Simpsons
  • James Cameron: Filmmaker, ocean explorer, and environmental advocate
  • Jamie Lee Curtis: Actress of Haunted Mansion and Freaky Friday
  • Miley Cyrus: Television and music
  • Steve Ditko: Marvel comics hero and co-creator of Spider-Man
  • Frank Oz: Muppet maestro
  • Joe Rohde: Imagineering executive
  • Harrison Ford: Film
  • Mark Henn: Walt Disney Animation Studios animator of The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Mulan 
  • Kelly Ripa: Television actress and host
  • John Williams: Composer


Walt Disney Archives: A Great Big Beautiful Car Show


D23 Day at the Disneyland® Resort
Before the magic of Disney comes to life during D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, guests can kick off the weekend’s festivities at the first-ever D23 Day at the Disneyland Resort on Thursday, August 8. Disneyland Resort will welcome D23 fans from rope drop to late night featuring unique offerings for fans including a custom cavalcade and an energetic dance party at Disneyland Park, and special photo opportunities, specialty foods, themed merchandise, and more at both parks.

D23 Day at Angel Stadium
The first ever D23 Day at Angel Stadium will take place on Sunday, August 4, as the stadium comes to life with D23 fun. The first 23,000 fans through the gate will receive a commemorative and one-of-a-kind D23 Mickey Mouse bobblehead.


D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Prep – Know Before You Go!

How to Activate Your D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Badge

Anyone who purchased a D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event pass in 2024 will receive their badge in the mail. In order to use your badge at the Expo you must activate your badge(s).

Activating your badge will also allow Guests to:

  • Secure reservations for shows and stores
  • Participate in opportunities presented by Disney and Friends of Disney
  • Receive photos taken at select D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event experiences
  • Redeem your Gold Member Expo gift (D23 Gold Members Only)

To activate your badge, you need to follow three simple steps:

  • Step one: Visit D23Expo.com/Activate and log in to your D23 account.
  • Step two: Click the “Manage D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event 2024Profile” button, and the select the “Activate Badge” button next to the badge you want to activate.
  • Step three: Enter your badge number and press ACTIVATE

How to Transfer a D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Badge

If you purchased a D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event badge for someone else, you must transfer their badge to them before they can make reservations or attend the Expo.

To transfer a badge, do the following steps:

1. Visit D23Expo.com/Activate.

2. Click the “Manage D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event 2024 Profile” button, followed by the “Transfer Items” button.

3. Select the badge(s) you wish to transfer and enter the email address of your recipient and click TRANSFER. Your badge recipient email must be associated with a D23 Member account to claim the badge transferred to them. Repeat with each badge you wish to transfer to a different recipient. *Note: A Gold Member badge purchaser can assign all badges purchased except for one, which must remain in their ownership.

4. Once you complete your transfer, your recipient will receive an email to login and accept their ticket. If you return to the transfer section, you can monitor the status of the tickets you’ve transferred.  

To accept the transfer, the recipient should receive an email with instructions.

If for some reason the recipient does not receive the email (be sure to check spam folder!) or the website shows an error, the purchaser should cancel the transfer and try again. Make sure the recipients email address is typed correctly and is associated with a D23 membership account.

How to Make Advanced Reservations for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

(*NOTE – This info is for the 2022 event and may change for 2024)

For 2022, D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event guests have the opportunity to request advanced reservations for the most popular panels. Instead of the reservation process being “first come, first served” as in the past, this year reservations will be randomly distributed like a lottery.

The “Reservation Random Selection Process” (Reservation RSP) entry period will open on Monday August 15, 2024 at 12pm PT, and conclude Friday August 19 at 12pm PT. Guests who are assigned reservations will be notified by email starting September 2. Click here to access the Reservation RSP for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

*** All badges must be transferred and accepted by 11:59pm PT on Sunday August 14 in order to submit for the Reservation RSP. After this time, badges will no longer be transferable, and individuals can make reservations for only one badge type in their possession.

There will be four categories to make reservations. They are:

  • Stage Pass – Hall D23
  • Stage Pass (Premiere Stage, Backlot Stage, Walt Disney Archives Stage, and Hyperion Stage)
  • TalentPass (Celebrity signings and photos)
  • Show Floor Experiences (Demonstrations, Presentations, and Giveaways)

Reservation RSP Details:

  • Guests can submit for 1 reservation per time slot (for example, you cannot submit a reservation for panels happening in Hall D23 and Premiere Stage at the same time. You must pick one.)
  • Guests can pick up to 4 items from each section, and can designate which item is highest priority.
  • For each item you select (and receive), you can choose to bring up to one guest.
  • Children under 16 cannot make their own reservations, but can accompany an adult as their designated guest.
  • Groups of more than 2 people may not be able to get reservations for the same category at the same time.
  • If you are picking up your badges at will call, you can still participate in the Reservation RSP with your D23 member login associated with your badge.
  • The most popular offerings will have a lot of interest, so consider signing up for some of the smaller events to increase your odds of getting a confirmed reservation.
  • Guests with Hall D23 Preferred Seating will not be able to make Hall D23 selections as your badge guarantees reserved seating for ALL presentations in Hall D23.
  • For guests who do not get reservations for their preferences, standby queues will be available for most panels and experiences.
  • All reservations are subject to change or cancellation without notice.
  • If you do not arrive by the time specified in your reservation confirmation email, your place will be filled by standby Guests.
  • If you are assigned a StagePass reservation, please check for the arrival time noted in your confirmation email. If you do not arrive on time, your place may be given away to a guest from the standby queue

The D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event App 

As I’ve alluded to a few times in this article, D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event has its own app available in the Apple App Store or Google Play. Download the app to your device before you arrive so you can start using it right away! Just search your app store for “D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event.”

Mindy’s Tips for Attending D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

Because I’ve attended every single D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event since the start, I figure I’d share some of the things I’ve learned from past events, and give some advice to anyone attending for the first time!

  • There will be lines. Lots and lots of lines. You will spend more time in lines than you think. Even if you think you know what to expect, you don’t. It will start before you even enter the convention center, with long lines to get in. Be prepared for the September heat with a hat, water, reading material, and snacks.
  • Pack snacks. Speaking of snacks, bring some with you. The best time to eat is when you’re waiting in line.
  • You won’t be able to do and see everything you want to. It’s simply impossible. There’s just too much good stuff!
  • Plan ahead. That being said, I highly recommend looking at the schedule and having a basic plan. Decide which panels are “must see” for you. And schedule in time to simply walk the show floor. 
  • Bring a phone charger. It’s better to charge your devices while waiting in a line than having to look for an outlet at some point. This one has two USB ports so you can charge two devices at once (affiliate link).
  • Expect to spend money. Between the exclusive Expo merch and all the small shops, it’s pretty much impossible to leave without purchasing something!
  • You may be too exhausted for Disneyland. A lot of Guests plan on being at the Expo all day then hopping over to Disneyland in the evening. But, the Expo involves a lot of walking and standing and you may be be tired when the doors close at 7pm. 
  • People watching is part of the fun. Many Guests will dress up in costume (or cosplay), and you’ll see some obscure references! Being among so many Disney fans really is one of the best parts of the event.
My Favorite Cosplay from D23 Expo 2015
D23 Expo 2015

FAQ for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

Can a family or group with more than 3 people get reservations together?

It’s possible but not guaranteed. For groups that want to see a panel or attend an experience together, all adult Guests with badges should submit for that offering with the highest priority. For children under 16, they can attend as the designated guest of one of the adults.

Do you have to type in the designated guest name when submitting for a reservation?

No, you do not.

What happens if I don’t get any reservations for the panels or experiences I want?

For any Guests who are not randomly selected for a reservation, a standby queue will be available.

Will there be advanced reservations for shopping?

For 2o22, D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event will be using a virtual queue for select shopping locations. Please refer to the Merchandise and Shopping section of this article.

Will there be any discounts on merchandise for Disney Visa Cardholders, D23 Gold Members, or Magic Key holders?

There has been no announcements as far as discounts go; however, I suspect the usual Disney Visa discount will apply at select locations.

What is the swag situation like? Should I bring a bag?

Expect to get some really cool swag at D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, such as buttons, stickers, keychains, posters, etc. All attendees are given a branded plastic bag when they enter the Expo, which should be good enough for most Guests. I know we all love free stuff, but I highly recommend being choosy with your swag so you’re not exhausted by carrying around a bunch of stuff you ultimately don’t want.

About Mindy

Mindy Marzec is a life-long Disney fan who grew up in Los Angeles. She started This Fairy Tale Life to share Disneyland travel tips for adults. When not at Disneyland, you can find Mindy at home snuggling with her cats and re-watching Thor: Ragnarok for the billionth time.