The COVID-19 shutdown impacted the entertainment industry from top to bottom, including fan events. However, while some planners moved their events online, like Comic-Con At Home and DC FanDome, others have opted to cancel their events altogether. The D23 Fan Expo, a gathering of the Disney fan club, will skip both 2020 and 2021, only returning for an in-person event in 2022. It will take place in Anaheim, California in September of 2022, and they will have a lot to celebrate.
2023 will mark the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Walt Disney Company. So, they want to have a very big event for the fans to celebrate their centennial as well as using the spectacle for marketing purposes in what (we all hope) will be the upswing of a world that has a handle on COVID-19.
With Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and their own library of characters and stories, Disney dominated the box offices for the past few years. Like everyone else, their 2020 revenue will be markedly less. (Though, not as bad as companies who didn’t have their own streaming service to debut new releases.) So, rather than taking on the expense of doing a virtual marketing event with nothing to actually promote at the moment, they’ve decided to just wait. It’s the same strategy employed by Marvel Studios, leading to a surprising lack of news about the MCU in 2020. It seems Disney is banking on their audience being willing to wait until 2022, then bringing that energy to the D23 Fan Expo.
The Disney D23 account released this statement on Twitter:
“We are excited to announce that the next D23 Fan Expo will be held September 9-11, 2022 at the Anaheim Convention Center. D23 Fan Expo 2022 will be a celebration unlike any other, as we give fans a first look at the incredible plans for the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company.”
— Disney D23 (@DisneyD23) September 28, 2020
Honestly, Disney is one of the few companies that could pull this off. After a string of successes, where even the “disappointing” films make hundreds of millions of dollars, they can afford to rest on their laurels a bit. The fanbase for their most popular franchises is committed, and they will likely be happy for anything when the company is ready to share their plans again. Warner Bros. on the other hand, may feel like they have to keep fans excited about their upcoming franchises, especially because of the rocky start for the DCEU. From Wonder Woman 1984 to The Justice League: Snyder Cut to Matt Reeves’ The Batman, they hope to be on better footing when Marvel and Disney get competitive again.
What do you think? Are you excited for the Disney D23 Fan Expo in 2022 or do you think they should do something virtual for the fans sooner? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image by Mooshu via Flickr
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.