Disney Now and Then: D23 Planning

I fly out of New York tomorrow to leave for D23! My level of excitement right now is ridiculous. I’ve been planning for months, and I know I’ll still be frantically packing and bleaching my signature pixie hair at 2AM before racing to the airport for a 6:30AM flight…but it’s all for Disney magic so let’s do it!

The last time I went to D23, I was actually working the event with Radio Disney. My approach to visiting the Expo was very casual. I wore jeans, walked in and enjoyed the sights. So, much has changed in terms of crowd sizes, plus this year is huge because Disney owns Star Wars and the newest Star Wars flick comes out this year! Since the Expo has changed so much from year one, I decided to alter my planning techniques this time around to fit in as much amazing Disney awesomeness as possible.


My first visit to the expo, I didn’t realize that cosplaying was a thing and Disneybound didn’t exist. I know right?! Can you imagine a world without Disneybounding? I can’t. I wore my normal clothes on my first visit, and since I’m attending all 3 days this year, I wanted to be a bit more festive, so I planned 3 Disneybounds and I planned all 3 months in advance. Checkout my lineup below!lineup postcard

All of my DisneyBounds were actually a joint effort between my mom and I. She’s a dress-making goddess, and was able to formulate the perfect modern-day look for each character. I can’t wait to wear all three outfits!


It seriously never dawned on me to network at events like this. Usually I’m just grinning and running around and trying to wrap my head around everything that is happening. This year, I saw the Expo for what it was…A huge opportunity to connect with the Disney community. And when you’re a vlogger/blogger whose focus is solely, Disney, that’s pretty important. I started researching meetups with people who love Disney as much as myself. There’s a 2PM Disneybound meetup on Saturday! Also, the Maker Studios booth (my YouTube channel is currently represented by them) will be featuring meet n’ greets with the biggest Disney youtubers. I can’t wait to meet them!

I’m new to the Disney Youtube family, so I’m prepared this time around. I made up business cards and buttons to hand out to promote my Disney blogging/vlogging ventures. I’m so excited to meet new people to add a personal level to a weekend that will be packed with schedules and crowds.


Everyone is excited for the Live Action, Pixar, Walt Disney Parks and Legends panels. This is also the first year that guests can camp out the night before to get in line. I recently downloaded the D23 app (and it’s amazing download it right now!) to start making a backup plan. It turns out, being a negative Nancy is working in my favor. Since I’m under the assumption that I absolutely will not be able to get into any of the Hall 23 panels, my research for backup panels has led me to some really exciting finds that I’m actually more excited to see. For instance, the Legends Awards ceremony is at 10AM on Friday. George Lucas will be there, so let’s assume I’m absolutely not getting in. You know what else is at 10AM?  A Muppets panel where Muppet performers are going to take you behind-the-scenes into the world of what it’s like working with Muppets. This panel has now shot up to the top of my wish list. I should mention now that one of my dream jobs is to be a show writer for Imagineering, so with that said, my 2 must-sees for Friday are, “60 years of Imagineering” and “60 years of the jungle cruise.” As it turns out, my panel research led me to discover that TWO current Imagineers (one in show writing) will be on the jungle cruise panel. Jungle Cruise is now my must-see panel.


I had to heavily restrict myself in this field or I will go banana sandwich and spend my rent money. There’s a new thing called StorePass this year. It’s the same concept as FastPass, and it can be used for 1 of the main Expo stores. So, I started researching and as it turns out, Mickey’s of Glendale is one of the featured stores. It’s all exclusive Imagineering merchandise that you usually have to be an Imagineer to purchase. This is literally the only store I have to see to be happy on this trip. My goal is try to sneak in my StorePass at a time when there aren’t any big panels going on. I can’t wait to try out StorePass!

I’m so excited to see the changes at the Expo this year. I’ve heard that its grown into something truly special. Keep an eye out for me, I’d love to meet you! Have fun, and comment with your top panel you’re trying to see!

Erika Jenko
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About The Modern Mouse Crew

Modern Mouse Radio is a multimedia Disney fan site run by Josh Taylor and put together by a crew of amazing individuals. Check us out. You won't be disappointed.

Posted on August 12, 2015, in Articles, Disney Now and Then and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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