Exclusive: CelebSecrets4U Breaks Down D23 Expo – The Ultimate Disney Fan Event!

ROSS LYNCH, GRACE PHIPPS, GARRETT CLAYTON, MOLLEE GRAY, JOHN DELUCACelebSecrets4U was invited to cover the ultimate Disney Fan event that happens once every two years– the D23 Expo.

The D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, and theme parks.

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s nearly 90-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; and member-exclusive discounts and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 9–11, 2013.

On Friday, Disney Channel kicked off the morning by unveiling Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s most wacky “-inator” yet — “The Waffle-inator” – a spectacular 40-foot high interactive game, combining physical and digital worlds — and rapid-flying waffles — in an epic showdown to free Agent P from the clutches of Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Stars in attendance were Dan Povenmire (creator/executive producer & “Dr. Doofenshmirtz”), Swampy Marsh (creator/executive producer & “Major Monogram”), Vincent Martella (“Phineas”), Alyson Stoner (“Isabella”) from Phineas and Ferb, and Drake Bell (“Spider-Man”), Adrian Pasdar (“Iron Man”), Fred Tatasciore (“Hulk”) and Travis Willingham (“Thor”) from Marvel Universe. The Waffle-inator at Disney’s D23 Expo celebrates the TV crossover special, “Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel,” which premiered on Friday, August 16 at 8:00 ET/PT on Disney Channel.  The storyline finds Phineas and Ferb teaming up with the Marvel Super Heroes to help them regain their powers anddefeat Marvel Super Villains and Dr. Doofenshmirtz.  It’s an epic battle of good versus evil, where the waffle-unleashing contraption “The Waffle-inator” comes into play.

Disney and Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, filmmakers and star talent took guests on a journey through The Walt Disney Studios’ slate of upcoming animated features, including Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen” and Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.” Plus, fans caught the U.S. debut of the new Mickey Mouse short “Get A Horse,” major movie announcements and a not-to-be-missed live musical performance. Dane Cook (“Disney’s Planes”), Idina MenzelKristen Bell (“Frozen”), Bob Iger, John Lasseter and more were in attendance.

In “Broadway & Beyond…Celebrating the Stars of Disney on Broadway,” audiences took a musical journey with Disney Theatrical Productions President Thomas Schumacher and a bevy of stage stars, including Heidi Blickenstaff (The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (Mary PoppinsBeauty and the Beast), Merle Dandridge (Tarzan® and AIDA), Josh Strickland (Tarzan) and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King), who sang beloved songs from the award-winning musicals they starred in as well as classic tunes from the Disney on Broadway catalog.

D23 Expo guests were also able to meet the stars from their favorite Disney Channel and Disney XD shows! Celebrities that participated were Cole Jensen, Tim Lagasse, Landry Bender, Aaron R. Landon, and Crash from Crash & Bernstein, Kristen Schall and Alex Hirsch from Gravity Falls, Tyrel Jackson Williams, Billy Unger, and Spencer Boldman from Lab Rats, and Roshon Fegan and Adam Irigoyen from Shake It Up.

On Saturday, Once Upon A Time‘s executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were featured in a panel titled “ABC’s Once Upon A Time: Behind The Fairytale.” During the panel, Eddy and Adam spoke about exciting developments for season three of Once Upon A Time as well as their new series Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, premiering this fall. Once Upon A Time In Wonderland takes place in the Victorian England of Alice and the strange new land that exists on the other side of the rabbit hole. D23 Expo guests were invited to come aboard the Jolly Roger with their favorite characters from Once Upon A Time. If that’s not all, fans were able to get a close look at the elaborate costumes from Once Upon A Time inside the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit. 

Other special events presented by Walt Disney Studios were “Let the Adventures Begin: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios” and “Disney Legends Awards Ceremony.” In “Let the Adventures Begin: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios,”  Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn showcased the Studios’ exciting live-action release slate, including Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks” and “Tomorrowland,” Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” and much more. In “Disney Legends Awards Ceremony,” Disney CEO Bob Iger and TV personality Tom Bergerson honored and named Billy Crystal and John Goodman (Monsters University), Steve Jobs, Dick Clark, Tony Baxter, Collin Campbell, Glen Keane, and Ed Wynn this year’s official Disney Legends.

D23 Expo guests were able to meet the stars of Disney Channel’s Dog With A Blog (G. Hannelius, Blake Michael, Francesca Capaldi, Beth Littleford), Liv And Maddie (Dove Cameron, Joey Bragg, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Benjamin King, Kali Rocha), Jessie (Skai Jackson, Karan Brar), Good Luck Charlie (Bridgit Mendler, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Mia Talerico), Austin & Ally (Raini Rodriguez) and Disney XD’s Kickin’ It (Olivia Holt, Leo Howard, Dylan Riley Snyder, Jason Earles). The cast of the Disney Channel Original Movie Teen Beach Movie were in attendance for a special presentation and autograph signing. Talent from Teen Beach Movie included Ross Lynch, Garrett Clayton, Grace Phipps, John Deluca, Chrissie Fit, Jordan Fisher, and Mollee Gray.

To close out the day two of D23 Expo, Raini Rodriguez made her singing debut on the Disney Channel Pavilion stage! Bridgit Mendler performed fan favorites such as “Hurricane” and “Ready or Not.” Last but not least, R5 took the stage to perform their hits “Loud” and “I Want You Bad” PLUS a Jason Mraz cover AND a sneak peek of “Pass Me By!”

On Sunday, Radio Disney’s N.B.T. artists and “X Factor” finalist FIFTH HARMONY performed their single “Miss Movin’ On” in the Disney Channel Pavilion.

Tim Gunn, the voice of Baileywick and Wayne Brady, the voice of Clover the rabbit on Disney Junior’s Sofia the First met D23 Expo guests in the Disney Channel Pavilion with a special storybook reading.

To close out the afternoon, stars of Disney Channel’s upcoming animated series Wander Over Yonder (Jack McBrayer,  plus series creator/executive producer Craig McCracken also made an appearance in the Disney Channel Pavilion.

Exclusive interviews and photos from the D23 Expo below. Did YOU attend this year’s D23 Expo? What was YOUR favorite part? We can’t WAIT for the next D23 Expo in 2015!

Photo credit: (R5 PERFORMANCE PHOTOS) Jozie Schroder/CelebSecrets4U; (ALL OTHER PHOTOS) Courtesy of Disney, Walt Disney Studios, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Radio Disney, D23

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.

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