Disney Legends to be Honored at Historic D23 Fan Event

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

Attention Disney fans! New details for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event in Anaheim (Aug. 9-11) just dropped and it’s going to be amazing.

Three days of exciting Disney experiences for fans will include something special – a Disney Legends Awards Ceremony featuring a class of inspiring game-changers and familiar faces, including 50-year Disneyland cast member Martha Blanding and former Imagineer Joe Rohde. And today, we have updates to share!

D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, presented by Visa, will be bigger and more immersive than ever before with jaw-dropping Disney showcases, sneak peeks, performances and of course, fun surprises.  It’ll highlight our Disney storytelling and innovation around the world as well as the people behind it all. 

D23 Showcases – Disney Legends Awards Ceremony 

For the first time at a D23 event, the beautiful Honda Center will host spectacular Disney showcases, including a must-see Disney Legends Awards Ceremony filled with heartwarming tributes to honorees, along with special guests and performances during a show like no other.

The special ceremony (hosted by Ryan Seacrest on Aug. 11) will celebrate the 2024 class of Disney Legends, including Martha and Joe.

As you’ve seen here on the Blog, Martha helped put “happy” in The Happiest Place on Earth.  She started at Disney in 1971 and is one of the first Black women in resort history to be a full-time VIP Tour Guide, as well as the first Black female buyer and first Black female manager.  Martha also co-founded PULSE, a Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) for Black cast members and employees, is one of the few pioneering producers of the Official Disneyana Convention, a forerunner of today’s D23 and now, becomes the first Black Disney Parks employee designated a Disney Legend.

Over the years, Joe was a regular on the Disney Parks Blog as well with Walt Disney Imagineering as the overall creative executive and supervising designer for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, including later expansions such as Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain and Pandora – The World of Avatar.

And as many of you know, Joe’s other notable projects include The Adventurers Club (formerly a part of Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World); Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko and in 2022 he received the Disney Conservation Fund’s first Conservation Legacy Award and has appeared on numerous documentaries about Imagineering.

Martha and Joe join other exceptional honorees, including Colleen Atwood, Angela Bassett, James L. Brooks, James Cameron, Jamie Lee Curtis, Miley Cyrus, Steve Ditko, Harrison Ford, Mark Henn, Frank Oz, Kelly Ripa and John Williams.

The Disney Legends Award honors artists and visionaries throughout our history who have pushed the envelope of creativity, challenged conventional wisdom, and broken the restraints of the status quo in search of new possibilities and excellence.  If you don’t know, the Disney Legends Awards program is a 37-year tradition of The Walt Disney Company, which began when Fred MacMurray (“The Shaggy Dog,” “The Absent-Minded Professor,” “The Happiest Millionaire”) was honored in 1987.

Also, a day earlier on Aug 10, Josh D’Amaro will host the Disney Experience Showcase highlighting new and anticipated projects around the world for Disney parks, experiences and beyond. There will be show-stopping performances, global announcements and the usual fun surprises all Disney Parks Blog readers will want to see.

There are many more incredible Disney experiences, shows, panels and presentations during the three-day event, including a Disney Entertainment Showcase that you can learn more about right now.

D23 Will Have Bigger, More Immersive Disney Experiences

This year’s event will also have the largest show floor in D23 history. There will be plenty of new sights along with returning fan-favorites, including pavilions from Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney+, Marvel Studios, Disney Experiences, Lucasfilm, and a first-of-its-kind exhibition from the Walt Disney Archives.

Disney fans will have unique shopping opportunities at D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event as well. Returning favorites include Mickey’s of Glendale; The Hollywood Studio Store; and The Emporium. And, for the first time, The Walt Disney Company Store will make its debut featuring exclusive D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event branded items.

New Ticket Options for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event 2024

For this year’s event, D23 is offering several different ticket options:

  • D23 Ultimate Fan Pass 3-Day Ticket –  includes a 3-day assigned seat for evening shows at the Honda Center and 3-day access to all experiences at the Anaheim Convention Center—starting at $297/ticket.
  • D23 Ultimate Fan Pass 1-Day Ticket – includes a reserved seat for that day’s evening show at the Honda Center and same-day access to all experiences at the Anaheim Convention Center—starting at $99/ticket.
  • D23 Preferred Ultimate Fan Pass 3-Day Ticket is exclusive to D23 Gold Members, includes a 3-day floor seat for evening shows at the Honda Center (same seat each night), and 3-day access to all experiences at the Anaheim Convention Center—starting at $999/ticket.
  • D23 Fan Pass provides access to the Anaheim Convention Center only:

1-Day Pass

Gold Members: $79/ticket

General Members: $89/ticket

3-Day Pass

Gold Members: $209/ticket

General Members: $259/ticket

NOTE: D23 Gold Members will have first access to a limited number of 1-day and 3-day tickets for a limited time beginning March 26 at 12PM PT.  D23 Gold and General Members who are also Visa cardholders—and who pay with their Visa—will have pre-sale access to a limited number of 1-day and 3-day tickets, for a limited time, beginning March 27 at 12PM PT. Tickets for all D23 Gold and General Members will go on sale beginning March 28 at 12PM PT, while supplies last.

There’s much more to learn about, including details on special D23 Days at Disneyland Resort and Angel Stadium, a “Fan-tastic” sweepstakes and other experiences on the D23 page

Be sure to keep checking back right here on the Disney Parks Blog for future updates on D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event.