Inside the making of D23 Expo 2022 with VP of D23 Michael Vargo
We’re two weeks away from the return of the D23 Expo to the Anaheim Convention Center after a 3-year hiatus due to pandemic. And Disney is going all out this year and making a statement with its largest gathering of Disney fans in the world.
“That’s what it’s all about and has been all about since the first Expo,” said VP and head of D23, Michael Vargo to DisneyExaminer. “So we’ve been dreaming and planning with our guests and fans in mind who are expecting much as we come back.”
The 2022 D23 Expo has been three years in the making according to Vargo, with all of Disney’s global line of businesses now meeting weekly to put the finishing touches on the event that’s taking place September 9 to 11. “It’s a massive undertaking to work with everyone to put on this show, but everyone on our team is a fan which makes it even more fun to work on,” Vargo said.
As for what the Disney teams are working on, much of the programming and panels have already been announced, including the ever-popular presentations happening in Hall D23 that will showcase the latest movies and theme park attractions coming. Disney will also highlight the upcoming Disney100, the centennial celebration of The Walt Disney Company and the many celebrations that will be happening across the Disney business units.
The show floor itself is expanding for the first time ever by utilizing the new North Hall at the Anaheim Convention Center, which will house another venue for panels and presentations.
Vargo emphasized that while there should be excitement for the gathering, he also wanted to equally emphasize that he wants it to be a safe gathering, too. “We’re working with the City of Anaheim to make sure that protocols are in place to keep everyone safe,” he said. New protocols like no overnight queuing and the return of the StagePass system for panels will be in place.
While wearing mask mandates and COVID-19 vaccination checks will not be required to attend, Vargo did say that Disney highly encourages people to be vigilant and to stay home if you don’t feel well.
All tickets are sold out for the event, with Vargo reiterating that no new tickets would be made available before or during the Expo weekend. For those who can’t make it in-person, Vargo highlighted that many of the panels and presentations will be livestreamed and accessed on D23 social channels. “We’re livestreaming more than we have ever done before, with exclusive content for those tuning in,” he said.