This weekend, Disney is hosting a special three-day event called Destination D23 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The event is run by D23, which is the Official Disney Fan Club and this year will celebrate 100 years of Disney!
Destination D23 takes place every two years at Walt Disney World in Orlando, alternating with the much larger D23 Expo event, which takes place just outside Disneyland in California. The main event of the weekend is on Saturday morning and is a panel called, “A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, which is focused on the theme parks, cruise lines and more. This special presentation will be livestreamed across Disney’s social media!
As you might expect, since this event takes place on the other side of the country from Hollywood, it’s less focused on the movies and shows. However, this year, Walt Disney Studios will have a special showcase on Sunday morning, from 9 a.m. ET to 10:30 a.m. ET, which will include a sneak peek at exciting upcoming projects from The Walt Disney Studios. It’s important to note that this event will not be live-streamed, and so many of the special previews will only be seen by those in attendance. But it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Disney released a trailer or clip during the event.
This is where I feel I have to put expectations in check. This showcase will not be like those that have taken place during the D23 Expo, Star Wars Celebration, San Diego Comic-Con or the epic Investor Day of 2020. So don’t expect many new announcements to come out of this event, because Disney is in a very different place right now. With budgets being cut, many Disney+ shows have been delayed or cancelled, as Disney looks to reduce its original content output to make Disney+ more profitable.
Plus, with the actor’s and writer’s strikes underway, no major announcements about new shows or films are generally being made. And more importantly, no actors will be able to attend the event to promote these upcoming shows and films.
However, there is still going to be a showcase for those in attendance, and there is still plenty of great new shows and films to be released in the coming months ahead, so here are my predictions for the upcoming showcase.
Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilised universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan, Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team-up and learn to work in concert to save the universe as “The Marvels.” The film arrives in cinemas in November, so it would be a good time for those in attendance to see an extended first look at the upcoming Marvel film.
Loki – Season 2
“Loki” Season 2 picks up in the aftermath of the shocking season finale when Loki finds himself in a battle for the soul of the Time Variance Authority. Along with Mobius, Hunter B-15 and a team of new and returning characters, Loki navigates an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous multiverse in search of Sylvie, Judge Renslayer, Miss Minutes and the truth of what it means to possess free will and glorious purpose. With just weeks to go until “Loki” hits Disney+, a new clip or two from the show are likely to be shown to those in attendance.
Just weeks after the Destination D23 event, 20th Century Studios is releasing a new film, “The Creator”, which is an epic sci-fi action thriller set amidst a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence. Joshua, a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife, is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war… and mankind itself. Joshua and his team of elite operatives journey across enemy lines, into the dark heart of AI-occupied territory… only to discover the world-ending weapon he’s been instructed to destroy is an AI in the form of a young child. I wouldn’t be surprised if fans in attendance get shown the same extended look at the film that was recently shown at IMAX theaters.
Disney’s next big animated film release is “Wish”, which is coming out in cinemas for Thanksgiving. It’s an all-new musical-comedy welcoming audiences to the magical kingdom of Rosas, where Asha, a sharp-witted idealist, makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force—a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, Asha and Star confront a most formidable foe—the ruler of Rosas, King Magnifico—to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen. Disney does have a special presentation following the studio showcase, featuring Becky Bresee and Wayne Unten, who are the heads of animation on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming feature Wish. They are going to be sitting down with legendary animator Mark Henn to revisit some of their favorite filmmaking memories. So expect fans in attendance to see a sneak peek at the upcoming film.
Pixar’s next big film is due out in March, and since Disney has already released a teaser trailer for the film, it’s likely those in attendance might get a sneak peek at an early scene or two from the upcoming film. The film sees Elio transported across the galaxy and is mistaken for the intergalactic ambassador of planet Earth.
Win Or Lose
This is the first series from Pixar and follows the intertwined stories of eight different characters as they each prepare for their big championship softball game. The series reveals what it actually feels like to be in the shoes of each character—the insecure kids, their helicopter parents, even a lovesick umpire—with incredibly funny, very emotional and uniquely animated perspectives. I expect those in attendance to be treated to the teaser trailer for the series, and I’m hoping it will also get released globally for the rest of the world to see ahead of its premiere on Disney+ in December.
Following the news that “Echo” has been pushed back from November to January, there is still a possible chance that those in attendance will get to see an early look at this upcoming Disney+ series. This spin-off from “Hawkeye” sees Maya Lopez’s ruthless behaviour in New York City catching up with her in her hometown; she must face her past, reconnect with her Native American roots and embrace the meaning of family and community.
Agatha: Darkhold Diaries
This spin-off from “WandaVision” is due out on Disney+ in 2024 and since filming on the show has been completed, fans in attendance may get a sneak peek at the series.
A sneak preview was shown off during last year’s D23 Expo, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine Disney might show some more footage of this show that is expected to arrive in 2024. The series stars Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, a genius inventor who has created the most advanced suit of armour since Iron Man.
The next big new Star Wars release after “Ahsoka” is “Skeleton Crew”, which was originally scheduled to arrive later this year, but may have slipped into 2024. “Skeleton Crew” follows the journey of four kids who make a mysterious discovery on their seemingly safe home planet, then get lost in a strange and dangerous galaxy. Finding their way home—and meeting unlikely allies and enemies—will be a greater adventure than they ever imagined.
An early preview was shown at this year’s Star Wars Celebration event, so it’s very likely those in attendance will also get to see new or the same teaser trailer. However, since “Ahsoka” is currently being released on Disney+, it’s unlikely Disney will want to start the publicity for a new show until the current one is completed.
Set to arrive on Disney+ in 2024 and much like, “Skeleton Crew” was previewed at Star Wars Celebration, so for those in attendance, getting to see a new teaser of the Disney+ show is very likely. “The Acolyte” will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era with the story of a former Padawan who reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes but discovers the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated
Marvel’s Wonder Man
For one of my wildcard picks, while we know that the series began filming earlier this year before the strikes started, officially, Disney hasn’t actually announced they are making a “Wonder Man” series. So there is a slight possibility that if Disney were to announce something, it could be done here, but it’s likely to be a very small chance, since Disney might want to hold off for next year, as it’s likely not to be released on Disney+ until 2025.
The Santa Clauses – Season 2
While it might only be September, I wouldn’t be surprised if fans in attendance and around the world, got a sneak peek and a release date for the second season of the upcoming Disney+ Original series, “The Santa Clauses”. Disney did a similar reveal at last year’s D23 Expo event, though since the series technically isn’t made by Walt Disney Studios, it could get skipped over during this event to hold off an announcement further into the winter. In the second season, the Calvin family is back in the North Pole as Scott Calvin continues his role as Santa Claus after retirement plans were thwarted when failing to find a worthy successor in season one. Now that Scott and his family have successfully saved Christmas, Scott turns his focus towards training his son Calvin to eventually take over the “family business” as Santa Claus.
Percy Jackson And The Olympians
“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson, who’s just coming to terms with his newfound divine powers when the sky god, Zeus, accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. With help from his friends Grover and Annabeth, Percy must embark on an adventure of a lifetime to find it and restore order to Olympus. Disney has already been sharing teaser trailers for the show, since it begins on Disney+ on December 20th 2023. Much like, “The Santa Clauses”, the show isn’t a Walt Disney Studios production, so it could get skipped over, but I could also see this being a good moment to show something new to the audience.
There are also possible previews for upcoming Searchlight Pictures films like “Poor Things”, “Magazine Dreams”, “Next Goal Wins”, and “All Of Us Strangers”, which are all hitting cinemas before the end of the year.
While I would love to see more new films and shows revealed during the event, between the budget cuts and how the strikes are impacting production, I’m not expecting too much from this event. However, those in attendance are likely to get a jam-packed 90 minutes of previews of some fantastic new shows and films heading to our screens in the coming months ahead.
Disney also takes its security very seriously, and with a much smaller venue, expect very little fan-shot footage or information to come out during the presentation, as they will likely have to put their phones in protective bags, and security will be on the lookout for phone screens lighting up during the previews to take them away.
Over the next few months and ahead, Disney has lots of great new projects hitting our screens, so hopefully, those of us at home will get to see something officially, but for those in attendance at the Destination D23 Walt Disney Studios Showcase, I’m sure they are going to be in for a treat.
What are you hoping is revealed during the Walt Disney Studios Showcase? Let us know on social media!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.