Sunday, September 25, 2022

2022 D23 Expo Bucket List Results

It's been two weeks since the 2022 D23 Expo wrapped up in Anaheim.  We all had a magical weekend and I'm still trying to pinch myself about some of the things we were able to experience at it!  The weekend was full of surprises!

As I mentioned, Eliot and I haven't been to a D23 Expo since 2017.  That was my first one and I had a lot of mixed feelings about it.  This time around, I wanted to manage my expectations so I wouldn't leave the weekend disappointed.  Clearly it worked, because I have mostly wonderful things to say about this weekend.  There were still a few snags along the way, but overall, the event was incredible!

I'm happy to report, that my bucket list was also manageable and achievable!  So let's check out how I did with my 2022 D23 Expo bucket list!


1.) Wear a Special Outfit at Least One Day 

I had planned to wear a dress, or a skirt and a nice top, but it was so stinking hot this trip.  Instead, I wore two of my special Mickey's of Glendale shirts that Eliot and I ordered back in March.  Then, on Saturday, Eliot and I wore our matching 2019 D23 Expo "Best Day Ever" Disneyland shirts that his mom bought us.  It was the first time I've worn any of those shirts; I was saving them for a special occasion... this was it!

2.) Wear Our D23 Mouse Ears

I did wear my D23 mouse ears the entire event.  Eliot and I got a lot of compliments!

3.) Enjoy Everyone’s Costumes and Outfits

I love this part of the event!  The costumes and outfits were absolutely incredible!


4.) Get D23 Expo Souvenirs

Eliot and I did get a few D23 Expo souvenirs... although it took us until the third store to find out where they were hiding everything!

5.) Check Out New Merchandise Coming to Shop Disney

We did go to the D23 store that had the new collections coming to Shop Disney.  There were things for Tiana, Aristocats, Hercules, the new Munchlings plush and more!

6.) Check Out the Artwork

Eliot and I went to the Disney Fine Art booth and the Thomas Kinkdade booth.

7.) Check Out the Limited Edition Merchandise 

I didn't personally go into the limited edition merchandise location, but Jeremy got into it and brought Nori.  They bought a few pin sets, lightsabers and some dolls.  Jeremy was also able to get me the limited edition Merida doll that I wanted.

8.) Go to the Imagineering Store

Nori was able to get one person into the Mickey's of Glendale store.  Eliot was going in and I happened to be with him.  Thankfully, the cast member said I could go in too!

9.) Go to the Funko Loungefly Booth

Eliot and I went to the Funko and Loungefly booth, but since we'd just been to the actual Funko Hollywood Store a few days prior, there wasn't anything that we hadn't just seen other than the limited edition stuff released for the expo.  We didn't want any of it anyways so we didn't stand in the line just to see stuff we'd already seen.  The booth was super cute and fun though!

10.) Go to the Brother Booth to See the Embroidery Machines

I really wanted to visit this booth.  Not only was I interested in the machines, but one of the designers that I follow on Instagram was also there!  When we first arrived at the booth, he was busy so Eliot and I talked to a few of the Brother ambassadors about their machines.  Eliot had some technical questions so we got to talk to the lady in charge.  Eliot got all of his answers, and by then he was free again.

I was so excited to meet Designer Daddy.  Sara, Elissa and I have all followed him online for years.  His gowns are absolutely stunning.  Nephi was so nice and kind.  He took photos with me and was pleased when I told him how much my sisters-in-law and I love his work.  I told him the girls said hi and that they'd be jealous I had met him.

11.) Go to the Rock’Em Socks Booth

I've been intrigued by their socks for a while now, and I finally bought my first pair when I ordered all of my San Jose Sharks merchandise earlier this year.  However, I've never seen any of the Disney ones in person.  Eliot and I went to their booth to check them out.  I didn't buy any, but there are definitely a few that I have my eye on.  They are expensive for socks, but they are thick and an amazing quality!

12.) Go to the Disney Enchanted Jewelry Booth

I also wanted to see the Disney Enchanted Jewelry booth.  I have a few of their items and everything is stunning.  I didn't see anything that I absolutely needed to get right then, but I did stop to admire everything!

13.) Go to the RockLove Jewelry Booth

I also wanted to check out the RockLove Jewelry booth.  I own a Frozen set from there and it's absolutely gorgeous.  They had a bunch of stuff on display, but they didn't have any of the stuff I've currently got my eye on on display.  It was still fun to look though!


14.) Get D23 Gold Member Exclusive Posters

Nori, Eliot and I were able to do this.  We heard a rumor that anyone who had a ticket purchased under a D23 Gold Member account could also get a poster, but we found out at the booth that wasn't true- but we tried to get one for Mom, Dad and Jeremy.

15.) Get Two Pixar Balls

I was actually in the first panel on Friday when I was supposed to be picking up my Pixar ball.  Eliot and I switched tickets so he could get it for me, but he forgot.  He showed up three minutes late and they almost didn't give it to him, but thankfully the guy there had him "hide" behind a column and he came out to give it to him so no one else would see.  We missed the second one by a little bit longer, and they wouldn't give it to me.  Thankfully, the following day, they gave me one when Nori went to pick up hers... and somehow we ended up with an extra one too!

16.) Get 100 Years Pennant

I was in another panel during this giveaway time too... so Jeremy and I switched tickets in order for him to pick up my 100 years pennant and an "extra" surprise.  The surprise ended up being a cute Encanto casita pin!  (You can also see a major flaw in their scheduled giveaway plans since I was unable to pick up all three of my assigned giveaways due to being in panels... I think they need to re-think this for the next expo and perhaps give you all day instead of a 90 minute window.)


17.) See the Studio Showcase for Disney & Pixar

This is the only thing I wasn't able to do on my list, and I'm not disappointed that I wasn't able to make it.  I was able to get into another panel earlier in the day (that I wanted to go to more) and I was trying to get food at the same time you had to line up for this event.  Instead, Eliot went to it with his mother and I sat with my family eating lunch.  Eliot said it was ok and that I didn't miss much other than the full video of "Part of Your World" from the upcoming Little Mermaid live action movie.

18.) See the Musical Extravaganza

I had such huge hopes for this.  It didn't end up being what Eliot and I were thinking it would be (a bunch of Broadway & movie cast musical performances) and instead it was like a giant commercial for upcoming movies and shows on Disney+.  We could tell a lot of other people were disappointed too, because a number of people left the presentation.  Still, we enjoyed the few musical performances they did have.

19.) See the Princess Concert (unless we give up our passes to Mom & Dad)

After seeing the full concert in San Jose, I really wanted Mom and Dad to see this, but I also didn't want to miss it myself.  Thankfully, Mom and Nori both also got selected for it (as well as Eliot) so all of us were able to attend it if we wanted to.  Jeremy skipped it so he could get my pennant, and because he wasn't super interested in going to it to begin with.  I ended up taking Mom, Dad and Nori down to the basement to line up for it.  Eliot was trying to get into the Duffy panel, but it was already full so he came back to get into line with us.  Of course it was amazing and everyone enjoyed the show!


20.) Take Advantage of all the Photo Ops/Booths

Eliot and I took a ton of photos with each other, with our families, and of our little donkey children.  We got pictures with Walt's Plane, with the Disneyland Cinderella Coach used for Disney's Fairytale Weddings, with a Steamboat Willie boat and more!

21.) See the Disney 100 Exhibition

We did get to go to the Disney 100 "Step in Time" Exhibition on our last day at the expo.  I have to admit, it wasn't as exciting as I was hoping it would be, but I think that's mostly because they wanted to save all of the best stuff for the traveling Exhibit that will be going across the United States and Europe over the next few years.  The stuff they had on display for each decade was really cool though.  My favorites were the Haunted Mansion display (1960's) and the Disney Channel display (2000's).

22.) Get Inspired!

I was so inspired after seeing everyone's awesome outfits and costumes!

23.) Have Fun and Soak Up the Magic!

This time, Eliot and I really focused on having fun and experiencing whatever we were able to.  By going into the weekend with less expectations, we had a much better time.


1.) Met and Got a Picture with Joe Rohde

Ok ok... so I majorly buried the lead.  For me, the best part of the D23 Expos are all of the things you don't know that you're going to experience.  I had a bunch of cool experiences that I'm going to tell you about, but none of them are as cool as Eliot and I meeting Imagineering Legend Joe Rohde.  He was humble, kind, and he stopped for anyone who asked to take a photo with him.  It was completely a dream come true.

2.) Disney Legends Panel

When we left for CA & D23, I was pretty bummed out at our lack of panels that we got selected for.  I hadn't gotten picked for any, just giveaways.  We had thought that Mom and Dad got completely glossed over too... until Eliot decided to check their spam folders a day or two before the event.  Daddy got into the Legends panel and I just about died.  Thankfully, I have an awesome brother who knew that I'd want to see the cast of Frozen get inducted as Disney Legends so Jeremy let me and Dad go to it together.  I could write an entire post about this one event... and maybe at some point I will.  For now, let's just say that it. was. completely. ah-mazing!!!

3.) We Don't Talk About Bruno Performance

We don't talk about Bruno, but we sing about him and I love it!  I was surprised enough when they opened the Disney Legends panel with a few Broadway stars performing... but at the end of the Disney Legends ceremony, they had the cast of Encanto come out to sing "We Don't Talk About Bruno" and I just about lost it.  It was so cool!!!

4.) Meeting Two Girls from my Disney Dress Shop Group

I met two girls from my Disney Dress Shop group on Facebook.  (I actually saw two more passing by as well!)  I briefly spoke with Michiko while Dad and I were in line for the Disney Legends Panel.  I complimented her on the Mickey Sketch Dress she was wearing.  Then on Saturday I met Jess, one of the admins, when she happened to be sitting next to Nori, Jeremy and my Dad in the entryway.  Dad and Jeremy ended up taking some of our merchandise back to the hotel, and Eliot and Nori went to shop, so I sat there with the rest of our stuff talking with Jess for quite a while.  (I was actually with her when we spotted Joe Rohde!)  She was really nice and even offered me her husband's ticket to the Oogie Boogie Bash that night.  I would have loved to go, but we already had reservations for Disneyland.  But it was so nice to meet both girls!

5.) Seeing So Many People We Follow

Speaking of seeing people we recognized, Eliot and I saw so many people that we follow on Instagram and Youtube.  We didn't say hi to many of them, but Eliot was able to say hello and get a picture with his favorite Youtuber, Disney Dan.

6.) HSMTMTS Performance

The opening performance of the "Musical Extravaganza" was actually most of the cast of High School Musical the Musical the Series (on Disney+).  I've watched the show, and I thought it was pretty cool to see so many of them perform live on stage.

7.) Zombies Performance

And the closing performance of the "Musical Extravaganza" was most of the cast of Zombies doing a few songs including one from Zombies 3.  Eliot and I also enjoyed it!

8.) Seeing So Many Celebrities

Seeing most of the cast members of HSMTMTS and Zombies was crazy enough... but Eliot and I also saw so many other celebrities between the "Musical Extravaganza", the Disney Legends Ceremony and the Mousequerade.  There are too many to name all of them, but a few that stick out to me are Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Patrick Dempsey, Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Stamos, Brie Larson, Yvette Nicole Brown, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Milo Manheim, Ashley Eckstein, Raven-Symone and Lilly Singh.  It was insane how many we saw!

9.) Watching the Mousequerade 

I wasn't sure if I was going to get to do this, but I'm so glad I was able to!  Mom got into it, so she and I went together.  Eliot and his mom were also able to get in with Nori's pass.  They got there after us, so we weren't seated together, but we all had a great time watching it!  But I'll have to watch a replay at some point because we were far enough back that you couldn't see all of the amazing details!

10.) Purchasing Thomas Kinkade Artwork

The final highlight of our weekend was the very last thing we did.  I hadn't been able to check out the Thomas Kinkade booth, so it was the last thing we did before the expo was closing on Sunday.  Long story short, one of the ladies there saw us admiring some of the artwork and she told us she'd give them to us for a deal.  (It was such a good deal that I've been sworn to secrecy.)  She probably didn't think we'd take her up on it, and we were completely tapped out on money.  But Nori was over at the Disney Fine Art booth buying artwork, and Eliot asked if she'd buy the painting he wanted and he'd pay her back.  I can't get into the details, but we got the new Halloween Thomas Kinkade piece that Eliot fell in love with for less money than the frame surrounding the painting cost.  Nori also ended up with a severely discounted Cinderella painting... and we left the 2022 D23 Expo a few minutes after it was officially over carrying two giant Thomas Kinkade paintings out with us.  (And I'm still not even sure it was real...) 

As you can see, Eliot and I had a wonderful experience at the 2022 D23 Expo, and it was even more special that we got to share it with my family and his mom.  Was it perfect, no.  Are there still kinks to work out, yes.  But considering the New York Times estimated that 140,000 of us attended the event, I'd say things ran pretty smoothly!  

Plus, nothing beats some of the cool experiences that we got to have watching the panels we were able to get into and meeting Joe Rohde.  (Still need to pinch myself!)

I'm so glad that I had a great time at this year's event.  It's made me more excited to go to another D23 Expo event someday... maybe we'll be back in 2024?  °o°

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