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D23 Expo Artist Signings and Merchandise Debuts

Michelle Harker

by , Manager, Event Programming

Alright Disney fans, with only 10 days left, the D23 Expo countdown is officially on. I hope you have your tickets. I do. I’m so excited to see some of the presentations that are scheduled and from what I’m hearing, there’s a lot of buzz about the Disney Parks and Resorts “Carousel of Projects” pavilion, so I am calling that out on my list as a “don’t miss.” And of course, I will be working the D23 Auction so I expect to see all of you there.

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey Attraction Sculpture Set from Expert Miniaturist and Sculptor, Robert Olszewski

Since this is my last D23 post before the Expo begins, I thought I would give you a couple of last minute reminders, including a sneak peek at the Pinocchio’s Daring Journey attraction sculpture set to release during the Expo from expert miniaturist and sculptor, Robert Olszewski. This is just one of the “must have” debut items bound to be on everyone’s shopping list.

This newest piece from Olszewski takes collectors one step closer to completing the Fantasyland area. My grandma’s favorite Disney film of all time is “Pinocchio,” so I guess you could say I have a soft spot in my heart for the characters and the attraction, which makes this piece an instant hit for me. Reminder for D23 Members attending the Expo – be sure to ask about the D23 Member exclusive Pokitpal.

Paper Sculpture Art from Disney Artist Dave Avanzino

Now I know that many of you are also familiar with Disney artist Dave Avanzino. Known for his impressive and intricately detailed paper sculpture art, Dave will be making appearances in the Dream Store during the D23 Expo, where he will debuting a new program in which you can select some of your favorite Disneyland Resort attractions and icons to spell your name.

What else? How about a handful of new releases from ACME Animation Archives or the latest DVD and book releases that are sure to set your imagination spinning. Renowned authors Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry will be making an appearance, along with author and filmmaker Don Hahn. Also on hand for signings and meet-and-greet opportunities will be Ted Thomas and Kuniko Okubo, Gregg Sherman and Jeff Sherman as well as Alex Maher, Robert Olszewski, Larry Nikolai, Noah, Linda Rick, Eric Scales and Thomas Scott. Want a list of signings to help you plan your day? Check out ArtofDisneyParks.com or stop by the Autograph Area at the D23 Expo for up-to-date information on who will be appearing and when.

There’s so much more for you to see, so be sure to stop by the Dream Store, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Tell them I sent you!

Take a look back at more of the merchandise you can expect to see at this year’s D23 Expo:


  • What is ACME Animation Archives? I noticed the Artists of Acme are also at the Disney Living Pavilion on Friday at the D23 Expo.

    • Hi Katherine! You have probably seen a lot of ACME Archives artwork in our art and collectible locations throughout the Resort. They work with an array of artists on developing artwork themed to a variety of different films, characters and icons, which we then sell in the parks.

  • Hi! I am a HUGE fan of Dave’s work and I am heading to the expo on Friday, is there a specific time that he will be making appearances??

    And how much would a personal shadow box be?

    Cannot wait! 😀

    • Hey Ashley! You will find Dave Avanzino in the Dream Store from 1:30 – 4:30 pm on Friday, August 19. Prices vary on the personalized items. It truly depends on the length of your name, etc. We will have pricing there as well as different selections to choose from. See you in a few days.

  • Yeah, I’m really looking forward to the Parks and Resorts pavilion! 🙂

  • Hi, I’m looking for information on the Mary Blair exhibit currently in the Disney Gallery. Is there a way for out-of-towners to purchase artwork? Thanks!

    • Crystal, I would recommend calling our Merchandise Guest Services number 800.362.4533 in regards to your inquiries on purchasing Mary Blair artwork. There are quite a few of the images available on art on demand. Hope that helps.

  • Hey. It’s my name! Wish I could afford to go. God knows I need a good dose of Disney to get me through.

  • I love the name picture by Disney artist Dave Avanzino! I cannot attend the Expo. Any chance that will be made available to the public in The World? I’ll be visiting this Christmas and would LOVE to have my own!

    • Jessica, right now the plan is to debut the “Name Program” by Dave Avanzino at the Expo. We hope to roll it out to the Parks in the future. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

  • I can’t wait for D23!!! The artists are amazing! So cool that Dave can create a personalized piece of artwork for the guests! I know he has wanted to do this for a long time! AWESOME!!!

    See you at D23!!!!

  • When will the new D23 PokitPal be sold? Where in the D23 Expo will it be sold? There is no information listed at the Art of Disney link.

    Also, will there be a D23 Hallmark ornament for this Expo? If so, is there an artist signing for that Hallmark ornament?

    • Hi Michael! Sorry for the delay. The D23 Member pokitpal will be sold on starting August 19th at the Dream Store. We are currently in the process of updating the artofdisneyparks.com website, so hopefully the information will be up ther shortly. To my knowledge there will not be a D23 Hallmark ornament as part of this year’s Expo. The only one that I know of is the prototype that is part of the D23 Expo Live Auction. Hope that helps you out.

  • Michelle, if there was one thing you could have from the items up for bid, what would it be? I’ll make sure to stop by and say “hello.”

    • Hi Ricardo! You have no idea how hard of a choice this is. I’ve seen a lot of the auction lots up close and personal. There is a little something about each of them, that just makes you want that piece. If I had to pick one thing, I guess it would be the Tour of the Animation Building and Ink & Paint Department at the Walt Disney Studios. Growing up, I wanted to be animator, so to be able to see the process and learn more about the artists, and what they did and how they did it, would be ideal. Especially since I have been fortunate enough to meet so many of them over the years. But I’ll tell you, I just got a peek at the Chip Foose Custom Bike. Two words for you, “Sweet Ride.”

  • Will the “Name Program” by Dave Avanzino only be available on Friday while he is there, or will it be available all weekend?

  • Michelle….D23 was amazing. The artists were amazing at the signings and everything was beyond imagination. Tell everyone who put this together THANKS!!!

  • Hi Michelle! Nice answers. The two I couldn’t choose between were the Walt Disney check and the Animation Studio tour. I admire Walt Disney so much, but I am going to school to be an animator so the ideal winning would have been the Animation building. I’m also a big Chip Foose fan – whom I met at Disneyland by-the-way! Don’t be jealous. Hope you had a great time at the Expo. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet you, but it was hectic and I was probably in line to see an amazing panel.

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