The D23 Expo is a biennial convention run by The Walt Disney Company, originally billed as "The Ultimate Disney Fan Experience" (later changed to "The Ultimate Disney Fan Event"). The first Expo was held in Anaheim, California, from September 10-13, 2009.
D23 is "The Official Disney Fan Club", founded in March 2009. The "D" stands for Disney, and "23" represents 1923, the year that Walt Disney arrived in California and founded what would ultimately become The Walt Disney Company.
D23 also holds smaller fan events for its members throughout the year, separate from the expo, and publishes a magazine called Disney twenty-three.
D23 Expo 2009
Disney Movie Magic
On Friday, September 11, the Muppets made a surprise appearance on the Mark Twain Riverboat (a smaller replica of the Disneyland attraction) during the "Disney Movie Magic: Inside the Disney Studios" arena presentation. It was announced that they were working on a new movie, The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made!. It was later set aside in favor of The Muppets.
Appearing on the riverboat were Kermit the Frog, Fozzie, Pepe, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Animal, Janice, Floyd, Dr. Teeth, Zoot, Beaker, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Scooter, Rizzo the Rat, Lew Zealand, Robin, Penguins, Chickens, with Sweetums standing beside the boat.
Johnny Depp, in full costume as Pirates of the Caribbean character Captain Jack Sparrow, made a surprise appearance at the end of the presentation. Jack said that he'd like a snack, and asked where that nice frog was who'd been on stage earlier -- "he probably tastes like chicken." 
Media highlights reel of presentation; (YouTube))
The Muppets Presentation
The Muppets were scheduled to appear at a special presentation by The Muppets Studio on Sunday, September 13. Before entering the venue, each of the attendees received a raffle ticket, and throughout the presentation, various pieces of Muppet merchandise were raffled off. The presentation, hosted by Lylle Breier, detailed some of the future plans for the Muppets. Pepe the King Prawn, Sam the Eagle, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and the Swedish Chef appeared.(End of presentation clip: (YouTube))
- The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made! (later set aside in favor of The Muppets)
- A Muppet Halloween special for Halloween 2010 (later postponed, then cancelled).
- An online cooking show with Cat Cora for Fall 2009 (later released Fall 2010)
- More viral Muppet videos for 2010
- Updates to Muppet*Vision 3D and Muppet Mobile Lab, plus the creation of a mobile unit for The Electric Mayhem for the Disney parks
- Expansion and updates to The Muppet Whatnot Workshop, including new Whatnot parts and workshops in the Disney parks (expansion into the Disney parks has yet to occur)
- The Muppets Revisited album coming in 2010 (later retitled The Green Album and released in 2011)
- The Muppet Show: Season Four and Studio DC: Almost Live on DVD in 2010 (The release of season four was later pushed back)
- A From the Balcony book by Statler and Waldorf (never produced)
- The "Green and Lovin' It" line of products at the Disney Store
- Steiff plush dolls
- Vinylmation figures
- Pook-a-Looz dolls
- Muppet Halloween costumes
- New Muppet iPhone Apps and Mobile Comics
- Television appearances on upcoming episodes of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", "America's Funniest Home Videos", "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon", and ABC's "Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade"
- Kermit at the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
- Collaboration with Andrea Bocelli on Bocelli's Christmas album My Christmas, and on Andrea Bocelli & David Foster: My Christmas
After the presentation, everyone in attendance received a Muppet Myzos bracelet and could wait in line to meet Fozzie, Gonzo, and Pepe, and have their pictures taken with them.
Around the Show Floor
Displays on the show floor offered glimpses of upcoming Muppet merchandise as well as some Muppet memorabilia.
D23 Expo 2011
The second D23 Expo was held in Anaheim, California, August 19-21, 2011.
Disney Legends Ceremony
The 2011 Disney Legends Ceremony took place Friday, August 19, where Jim Henson was named a Disney Legend. A montage of some of Jim Henson's work was shown, the walk-around Sweetums helped present his award and Lisa and Brian Henson gave speeches. In addition, Brian and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph performed Stuffed and Unstrung's version of "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face." Kermit the Frog and Rowlf the Dog made a surprise appearance, performing a live rendition of "The Rainbow Connection", inviting the audience to sing along.
Inside the Walt Disney Studios
On Saturday, August 20, Jason Segel, Kermit, and Miss Piggy were scheduled to make an appearance at the Walt Disney Studios arena presentation to promote The Muppets. Jason and Kermit were sitting on stage, while Piggy arrived a few moments later on a motorcycle. They then presented two clips from the movie.
Media highlights reel of presentation; (YouTube))
Around the Show Floor
Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix
Also on August 19, Dick Van Dyke appeared in a musical presentation and performed songs with The Vantastix. Among their songs was a Sesame Street medley, which included the "Sesame Street Theme", "The People in Your Neighborhood", "Rubber Duckie", "Bein' Green" and "I Love Trash." (YouTube)
D23′s Muppet-acular Mayhem at D Street
On November 17, 2011, D23 held a Muppet-acular Mayhem at D Street event exclusively for D23 members and their guests at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California for the debut of new Muppet clothing, original artwork, and skate decks. There were light refreshments and a live DJ.
D23's Disney and Dickens
On December 5 & 6, 2011, D23 held their Disney and Dickens event for its members at the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. Some of Disney's classic Christmas films were screened, including The Muppet Christmas Carol.
D23's The Muppets Take Disney Store Manhattan
On November 27, 2012, D23 will hold a The Muppets Take Disney Store Manhattan event at the Disney Store in Times Square, New York City. A limited number of D23 members will get the chance to meet and have their photos taken Kermit the Frog and Pepe the King Prawn, and will get a 15% discount on store merchandise. There will also be some Muppet trivia from the Disney store crew.
D23 Expo 2013
The third D23 Expo was held in Anaheim, California August 9-11, 2013. Muppets Most Wanted actor Ty Burrell, and producer Todd Lieberman were in attendance to promote. During a promotional presentation on August 10, Burrell drove Le Maximum onto the stage.
- ↑ Boucher, Geoff. "Johnny Depp (in Jack Sparrow costume) surprises Disney D23 Expo audience", LA Times blog. September 11, 2009.
- ↑ ToughPigs - Muppets at D23: Movies, DVDs, and Merchandise News! (September 14, 2009)
- ↑ The Muppet Newsflash - The Muppets at D23 (September 17, 2009)
- ↑ The Muppet Mindset - D23 Update: Special Muppets Presentation (September 13, 2009)
- ↑ With new merch & a new movie in the pipeline, there's no stopping the Muppets now Jim Hill Media (April 29, 2010)
- ↑ The Walt Disney Studios Takes Fans Behind the Scenes at the D23 Expo August 9, 2011
- ↑ The Muppets Take Disney Store Manhattan November 6, 2012