D23 Expo 2022: The Disney, Marvel, Star Wars Updates to Expect This Weekend

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Disney fans flocked to California on Friday for D23 Expo 2022, a convention celebrating all the entertainment behemoth has to offer.

It’s the first D23 convention since 2019 — the year its Disney Plus streaming service launched, and will also mark the company’s 100th anniversary (which is next year, but companies love to prolong these celebrations) — so you can expect some major announcements from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and more.

D23 2022 runs Friday, Sept. 9, to Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Anaheim Convention Center, right beside Disneyland. Tickets are sold out, but people who can’t make it will be able to livestream certain parts of the event.

Beyond the animated classics that Disney was built on, the company owns Marvel, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Avatar, Pixar and other beloved franchises. So you can expect plenty of updates about upcoming movies, shows, video games and theme park rides set in those universes. It’ll be a bit like Star Wars Celebration, which happened at the same location in May, with a wider scope.

Disney created a delightful D3 Expo poster that includes 58 Easter eggs and hints for the show. It’s tough to know exactly what each symbol means, but superfan YouTuber Dave Lee Down Under ran through the whole lot in a handy video.

CNET will be reporting live from the convention show floor, capturing the hype of panel reveals and reunions, and checking out the creative cosplay. If you can’t make it to Anaheim or just want to plan out your convention, here’s a quick look at where and when big news is likely to drop.

Friday, Sept. 9

Disney kicked off the convention with announcements that Disneyland’s Avengers Campus will expand with a new ride (more details will be revealed Sunday) and that season 33 of The Simpsons will stream on Disney Plus starting Oct. 5. Disney also revealed new details about the transformation of Disneyland’s Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The ride, based on The Princess and The Frog, is set to open in late 2024. 

There are three major panels on the first day of D23, but only two are likely to yield major news.  The opening event was the Disney Legends Awards Ceremony (10:30 a.m. PT), where CEO Bob Chapek honored a bunch of Disney’s major stars. That group includes the late Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, as well as Kristen Bell and Frozen’s Idina Menzel. This one was livestreamed.

The Disney & Marvel Game Showcase saw a bunch of reveals:

  • Nintendo Switch co-op platformer Disney Illusion Island, which lets you play as Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy and is coming in 2023.
  • Puzzle mystery game Tron: Identity, out 2023.
  • Gargoyles Remastered, an updated version of the classic ’90s platformer — the release date is unclear.
  • An untitled World War II-set game starring Captain America and Black Panther, which didn’t get a release date.
  • AR mobile game Marvel World of Heroes from Pokemon Go developer Niantic, coming in 2023.

We also got first looks at mobile MMO shooter Avatar: Reckoning (which is coming soon) and tactical squad-based action game Aliens: Dark Descent (coming to consoles and PC next year). Marvel’s Midnight Suns was delayed to Dec. 2, and prequel shorts will build up the narrative when they start hitting YouTube on Oct. 31.

A giant black and white Mickey Mouse stands among smaller Disney characters and icons in a D23 2022 poster

The D23 Expo 2022 poster includes 58 Disney Easter eggs and hints.


Disney

The Disney and Pixar Studio Showcase (3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT) will be the day’s main event, since it’ll shine the spotlight on upcoming movies and Disney Plus shows. It will include CGI-animated movie Strange World (which comes out in November), as well as Pixar’s 2023 movie Elemental and Disney Plus show Win or Lose. We’ll also learn more about Iwájú, a sci-fi series set in Lagos, Nigeria, that’s coming to Disney Plus next year. 

Given the panel’s length and scope, we could also get a peek at Enchanted sequel Disenchanted, Hocus Pocus 2 and Haunted Mansion, as well as live-action remakes Peter Pan & Wendy and The Little Mermaid. This panel won’t be livestreamed, so keep an eye on CNET for all the happenings.

Saturday, Sept. 10

Day two starts with another big one: Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Studios Showcase (10 a.m. to noon PT).

On the Marvel front, we’ll likely get another trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and a look at the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (since both are due out in 2022). If Marvel wants to build hype for 2023, it could offer a taste of movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Marvels, or Disney Plus series Secret Invasion. Fantastic Four isn’t out until 2024, but we might hear about that as well.

black-panther-wakanda-forever-namor-3.png

D23 could reveal more about Namor’s role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.


Marvel Studios

Lucasfilm will almost certainly have some Star Wars news, like further details about upcoming Disney Plus series Andor, as well as premiere dates for The Mandalorian season 3 and The Bad Batch season 2. It’s possible we’ll find out about Boba Fett’s next adventure too. If Lucasfilm wants to bring us back to a galaxy closer to home, we still don’t have a trailer or even a title for the fifth Indiana Jones movie.

Finally, 20th Century Studios has one major movie coming this year: Avatar: The Way Of Water, James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel. D23 attendees will probably see a new trailer or clips from the movie ahead of its Dec. 16 release.

This panel won’t be included in Saturday’s livestream, but CNET will be reporting from the event.

Sunday, Sept. 11

The highlight of the show’s final day will be the theme park-centric A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products presentation (10:30 a.m to noon PT). This will reveal plans for US parks like California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Disney World, along with international locations Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Tokyo Disney Resort.

We could get details about changes coming to Epcot. This panel will be livestreamed.

How to watch

A selection of panels will be livestreamed, giving you eight hours to watch from home each day. Between panels, hosts like Ashley Eckstein (who played Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the upcoming Tales of the Jedi) will interview stars, reveal merchandise and tour the show floor.

We’ve embedded the livestreams for Friday, Saturday and Sunday above, so you can watch the whole lot right here.

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