The 2022 D23 Expo is officially underway and one of our favorite parts is always wandering the show floor and checking out all the pavilions with the new displays of everything new that’s coming to the parks and films.
We woke up early Friday morning and headed down to the convention center to check out all the pavilions, and it may be even better than the last event. We got a look at the new Disney Parks Wonderful World of Dreams Pavilion, the Disney Archives 100th Anniversary display, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Pixar Animation, and much more.
It was way too big to include everything in just one article, but we’ve packed in the best of the best for you here so that you can feel like you are there with us on the floor.
Let’s take a look…
Table of Contents
As we walked through security at the main entrance, we were met by a sea of guests waiting to get in.
If you are arriving on the first day of the Expo, there is always a long wait in the front since people want to be the first inside, especially for the shopping.
We showed up at about 8:00 am, and at about 9:30 am they opened the doors and started letting people inside.
The first thing you notice on your way to the front door is the incredible Walt Disney 100th Anniversary statue at the entrance, led by Mickey Mouse himself!
They usually have some kind of statue here which is great for a photo op.
You can also get a good close-up look at this year’s D23 Expo sign.
Now that we got our photos out of the way, let’s step onto the showroom floor and check out all the pavilions.
There is already a mass number of guests looking through the closest pavilions to the entrance.
If you have been to an expo before, then the setup will look very familiar. All of the pavilions are set up on the floor in a grid with walkways in between each of them to walk from one to the other.
The convention center is HUGE and you can easily get lost. We recommend using the map on the D23 Expo app to find what you are looking for and the quickest way to get there!
Walt Disney Archives 100th Anniversary – Step in Time
First, we are going to stick close to the main entrance and look at the Walt Disney Archives 100th Anniversary pavilion called “Step in Time.” This is a sample of some of The Walt Disney Company’s most important memorabilia from its films and parks.
They are organized in a timeline so you can go from the oldest displays to the newest.
This is only a sample of the much bigger “Disney100 The Exhibition” which will be touring the United States and also internationally.
Let’s take a look at some of its displays…
First up is Steamboat Willie. You can get up into the ship which is a great spot for a photo.
Next is memorabilia and photo ops from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
This is a timeless version of Snow White’s costume which was worn by Rachel Weisz some 70 years after the film’s initial release for the Disney Dream Portrait Series.
There was a whole display of promotional memorabilia from the film’s initial run.
Next we are going into 1955 and the opening of Disneyland Park, right here in Anaheim!
Original attraction posters from outside the park are on display.
My favorite piece of memorabilia perhaps from the entire Walt Disney Archives display is the very first ticket purchased to Disneyland! It’s labeled #000001 and was purchased by Roy O. Disney on the day the park opened on July 18, 1955.
Next there is a cool photo op with the Penguins from Mary Poppins.
Some props from the film are on display including horses from the carousel.
And Mary Poppins’ dress worn by Disney Legend Julie Andrews!
Walt Disney World opened in 1971, and here we have some original Haunted Mansion props from the timeless attraction.
The creepiest is this iconic painting from the ride of the Medusa.
Going into the 1980s, we have a replica of Flynn’s Arcade from the TRON films.
In the 1990s we got Dick Tracy, and here we have a replica of Club Ritz.
All the costumes are original and were worn by stars such as Warren Beaty, Madonna, and Al Pacino.
In the 2000s there is a display of the Disney Channel and you can even get your photo using the iconic wand to make the Mickey ears.
Lastly, we see some of the original props from the Star Wars films.
BB-8, R2-D2, and C-3P0 are all on display. We also found out that Disney also has the entire interior of the Millennium Falcon in its archives!
As we mentioned, Disney100 The Exhibition is going on a tour around the world, so make sure to look for dates near you!
Disney Parks & Experiences – Wonderful World of Dreams
The Disney Parks and Experiences pavilion is always THE highlight of the Expo show floor, and this year was no different. There are displays of upcoming attractions at Disney parks around the world, so let’s stop wasting time and check it out!
While waiting in line, you will notice the huge mural outside the pavilion with an overlay of the new Walt Disney statue “Walt the Dreamer” which is coming to EPCOT. We’ll look at that later.
We really loved the tunnel going into the pavilion. The neon rainbow portal reminds us of the old Journey Into Imagination pavilion with The Dreamfinder!
On the right side of the wall, you will see posters from all the castle parks worldwide. The first is Disneyland park in Anaheim.
The first maquette is a figure of Hank, everyone’s favorite septopus from “Finding Dory.”
Next we see Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World after the current 50th Anniversary overlay.
Disneyland Paris is next, perhaps the most stunning of all Disney parks.
Here is a model of the Quinjet at the newly-opened Avengers Campus in Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris.
Somehow we skipped the photo of Tokyo Disneyland, but we did capture a photo of the ride vehicle form The Happy Ride at Tokyo Disneyland.
We got a look at the newly redesigned “Castle of Magical Dreams” at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Last up is the newest castle park, and the one with the biggest castle, Shanghai Disneyland.
Once you leave the entrance tunnel, you are ushered into the International Gallery. This has concept art and models from some of the latest projects going on at Disney’s international parks (outside the United States).
Starting out, we get a look at the new Zootopia Land at Shanghai Disneyland.
The highlight of the new land is an E-Ticket Zootopia attraction. A poster with concept art for the new dark ride is on display.
You can also see a model of the ride vehicle which will send guests on a wild police chase through the city.
Animal puppet characters come out from the windows every 5 minutes and talk about the ongoing construction at Zootopia Land and how this area will be brought to life.
Moving over to Tokyo Disneyland, we got a look at some of the attractions coming to Fantasy Springs in Tokyo DisneySea.
First up is the Tangled boat ride.
Here is a model of the ride vehicle for the Tangled attraction.
Frozen is also getting an attraction in Fantasy Springs.
Here is the ride vehicle.
There are two new Peter Pan-based attractions coming to Fantasy Springs. One is focused on Peter Pan and it looks like you will be flying over Neverland once again.
Here is its very unique-looking ride vehicle.
The second attraction is based on Tinker Bell. The letter inside the ride vehicle is strangely addressed to Cherry Tree Lane…
There is a video showing off some of the construction progress of Fantasy Springs which is good for a quick watch.
Moving over to Hong Kong Disneyland, there is a Frozen-themed land coming with 2 new attractions.
The first is a Wandering Oaken’s sleigh ride attraction. Here is the very cool ride vehicle.
The second ride is a copy of Frozen Ever After from EPCOT. Though we like the ride vehicle here much better.
Disneyland Paris is still in the middle of an expansion as you might know. It looks like Toy Story Land is getting an upgrade with some oversized figures coming to the entrance.
The concept art for the Walt Disney Studios Park expansion looks the same as we last saw it, but some things are still up in the air. I asked the Imagineer in front of the art work what Galaxy’s Edge will be like there and how many attractions it will have.
She quickly replied that nothing has been decided yet, so I’m not sure exactly how long we’ll have to wait until it opens, but it doesn’t seem imminent.
Now onto the big show area, the domestic Disney parks.
The first area on display is at Disneyland Park in Anaheim. There is a full model of the newly remodeled Toontown and what it will look like when finished.
The highlight of Toontown will be Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which is coming over from Hollywood Studios. The exterior of the ride will be much different from its East Coast counterpart as it’s housed in the El CapiTOON Theater.
The gazebo has been removed and there is much more space for the extended ride queue and outdoor dining as well.
There is going to be a new Good Buy Grocers, a quick-bite snack location.
To the left, we can see the other half of the Toontown expansion.
As the display reads, inclusion will play a big role here, and the space will provide plenty of opportunity for families and young children to play.
A new How-To-Play Yard is coming to Goofy’s House with soft, spongey ground, a sound garden, a clubhouse, slides, and more.
The new interactive fountain has water tables and invites guests to have a watery sensory experience.
Moving into EPCOT, we got a new look at one of the main features of Moana: Journey of Water, a scale model of Te Fiti.
The full-scale version in the attraction will stand 16 feet tall, though a location in the attraction was not given at this time. We are curious to see how this will affect sightlines in World Celebration, though it doesn’t seem as it’s really a concern to many at this time.
Speaking of new features in EPCOT, perhaps the star of the exhibit is a bronze statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer.” Yes, this is the exact statue that’s coming to EPCOT, and it looks gorgeous!
This statue will be located behind Spaceship Earth and will have Walt looking out into World Showcase in admiration. Maybe he’s just happy to finally see the construction finished? At least it should be by the time it’s installed!
You can get your photo with Walt, and it’s our favorite photo op of the entire D23 Expo!
On the left is a display of the changes coming to EPCOT as well as how the Walt Disney statues was made.
The last big display here is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the replacement for Splash Mountain coming to Disneyland Park and Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
This model is what the Disneyland park version will look like, but we can assume the one at the Magic Kingdom will be very close to what we see here.
Upon first look, we are pretty disappointed with the reimagining of this attraction. If you are going to replace an iconic attraction like Splash Mountain, then it needs to be done right, this, however, is a watered-down version of the original concept art we were first given 2 years ago.
Instead of the tree on top with the boat, we are getting a water tower advertising Tiana’s new restaurant also coming to Disneyland, Tiana’s Foods.
Guests will splash down into a Marti Gras-themed finale after the famous drop.
The ride should look more impressive at night when the surrounding swamp and bayou trees light up in a similar look as Pandora: The World of Avatar. I can’t imagine it will be quite as impressive though, but we’ll have to see for ourselves.
Tiana was also on hand to celebrate her new ride.
The last big area of the Parks and Experiences pavilion is the Disney Imagineering room. Here you can get an up-close look at the research and development of some of Walt Disney Imagineering’s newest technologies they that are and could be used at the Disney parks.
If you’ve been to Avengers Campus, you’ve no doubt seen the Spider-Man Stuntronics animatronic figure flying through the air.
Here you can see just exactly that figure was developed in each stage of its creation.
Another impressive technology is in Project EXO. This is a 3D-printed Exo skeleton for over-sized characters in the parks.
Instead of cast members having to lug around a super-heavy suit, this lightweight technology allows the costume to weigh a fraction of what it otherwise would, and also increase mobility.
There was some concept art for the new Storyliving by Disney housing developments currently being designed, but not much new info.
On the TVs there is more concept art being shown off of some of the upcoming projects around the world, as well as some that have just finished.
Lastly, we loved the impressive concept art and map of the new Disney Wish ship on the Disney Cruise Line.
It let’s you see a floor-by-floor view of the entire ship with all its rooms, dining locations, and entertainment venues.
Once you step outside the pavilion, make sure to find the ride vehicle for the upcoming TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom. You can sit in the ride vehicle for a really cool photo op!
Let’s take a look at Lucasfilm…
Of course, the big draw here is Star Wars, but we’ll save that for last.
Costumes from Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark were on display.
There is a whole display for Willow and the costumes from its characters.
Now let’s look at Star Wars! On display are costumes from all of the most recent series on Disney+.
Bob Fett’s iconic suit.
And also Fannec Shand.
Ahsoka from The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian (Din Djarin).
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s robe.
Cassian Andor from the new Disney+ series Andor.
Let’s go across the way from Lucasfilm to Marvel Studios.
Inside the pavilion is a stage where some presentations are made, plus a viewing area with a sizzle reel of some of Marvel Studios’ most iconic moments.
On the outside, there is a display of super hero (and villain) suits from the most recent Marvel films and series.
Agatha from WandaVision.
The Scarlet Witch.
Ant-Man and The Wasp.
Thor and Jane Foster.
Thor’s Goats Toothgrinder…
Wong and America Chavez.
Our favorite though is the huge model of Thanos in his Avengers: Endgame suit.
Right next to the Marvel Studios pavilion is the Ion Studios display of Marvel action figures. These things are gorgeous!
Over at the Disney+ pavilion, you can watch Disney+ shows and get a preview of what’s coming next to the streaming platform.
On the opposite side is the ESPN+ area where you can get a nice photo as an ESPN anchor.
Pixar & Disney Animation Studios
We need to give our animated IP some love, so let’s go on over to Pixar Animation Studios.
Just like every Expo, there is a whole wall of Luxo balls!
A photo op from the upcoming Elemental film.
Videos of some classic Pixar films are playing on the side like UP!
There is another photo op, this time with the stars of Cars on the Road.
Last up, a photo op with the characters from the upcoming Strange World.
Disney on Broadway
If you are a fan of Disney on Broadway, you’ll want to wait in line for the VR Disney on Broadway experience where you can watch parts of some of your favorite shows such as Frozen and The Lion King.
Mickey Mouse One: Walt’s Plane
One of the exhibits we were looking forward to the most was Mickey Mouse One: Walt’s Plane.
That’s right, they restored and brought Walt Disney’s personal plane into the D23 Arena to see up close.
You can get some good photos from the front of the plane.
In 1962, Walt placed his order for the Beechcraft Queen-Air 80 (used from 1963-1965) and it had the now famous N234MM registration number.
You can also wait in a small line to get a professional photo of yourself standing next to the plane.
Over on the side of the room is a display with memorabilia from the plane. Check out this model of Gulfstream I.
Legendary Disney Imagineers Les Clark and Ub Iwerks with Walt. Note the model of the plane in the background.
Cabin chair and window from the plane.
Instrument panel from the plane. How cute is that Mickey Mouse clock?!
Here is a Disney Aviation Department scrapbook with photos of the final flight of the Gulfstream I.
It was awesome to look through some old photos of Walt Disney and his many trips on this airplane.
There are some great ones here of Walt with his family!
Here you see a souvenir guide and a behind the scenes look at ‘it’s a small world” from the New York World’s Fair.
Including an admission ticket to the fair.
Besides the pavilions we covered, there are way more to see. If you like shopping for instance, check out the D23 Expo Marketplace or Mickey’s of Glendale.
The Disney Cruise Line has its own pavilion.
And there is even a Goofy character meet inside so go get your photo with him!
There are countless other photo ops around the expo, one of our favorites is this Pirates of the Caribbean one.
That wraps up our tour of the 2022 D23 Expo Show Floor and all the exhibits on display. We hope you enjoyed it!
Of course, we weren’t able to get EVERYTHING because of how big it is, but this gives you a small taste and maybe you can come with us next time!
For more information about the D23 Expo please read our other articles below:
- D23 Expo Guide – Everything You Need to Know about the Expo!
- D23 Expo News and Announcements – All the Announcements from the Expo
- D23 Expo First Timer Tips and Tricks – Everything you need to know BEFORE going to the D23 Expo.
- Top D23 Expo Rumors & New Park Predictions
- Star Wars at D23 Expo
- Marvel and Phase 4 at the D23 Expo
- Tour of the D23 Expo Show Floor
I want to know what you think about the 2022 D23 Expo show floor:
- Which pavilion are you most impressed by?
- What other displays would you like to see next time?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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