In a new first, Disney will stream parts of D23 fan expo on Disney Plus

The Disney Plus logo on a phone surrounded by popcorn
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The Mouse revealed some big announcements at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, including plans to bring its biennial D23 fan expo to streaming for the first time in the event's history. Portions of D23 — a pop culture convention that offers Disney super-fans sneak peeks, panels, and other special events — will be streamed live on Disney Plus when the event kicks off from August 9-11 in Anaheim, Calif.

Disney's Chief Brand Officer Asad Ayaz delivered the news during the company's fourth annual Tech and Data Showcase, a brand-focused event geared towards advertisers, at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. For this summer's D23, Disney is gearing up to "take it to a whole new level," Ayaz said, by leveraging its popular Disney Plus streaming platform while also adding other new elements like musical performances and exclusive shopping experiences. Tickets will go on sale on March 26.

Almost 80,000 people attended the last D23 in 2022, Ayaz said, likening the event to Disney's equivalent of a "Super Bowl to Comic-Con weekend." D23 courts “fans who are incredibly passionate, feel a true sense of ownership over our brands and characters and have been with us through multiple stages of their lives,” he continued. "Our fans are not merely passive observers. They’re active participants.”

Ayaz did not go into any further details about which D23 events will be available to stream live on Disney Plus. He also announced that D23 will expand internationally this fall with an event in São Paolo, Brazil, in November. 

Get ready for your favorite Hulu shows to come to Disney Plus

In addition to the D23 streaming news, Disney announced it's set to launch a fully integrated streaming bundle in March that will merge Hulu content into Disney Plus. That way viewers won't need to leave the app to enjoy two of the best streaming services. A beta version rolled out last month in the wake of the Disney Plus and Hulu merger, which saw Disney buy out Comcast's remaining stake in Hulu for $8.61 billion. 

Joe Earley, Disney’s president of direct-to-consumer streaming, mentioned that the beta launch has seen huge success so far as he laid out Disney's plans for its fast-growing streaming business at CES:  

"Since our beta launch began rolling out seamlessly a month ago, engagement with Hulu content in the Disney+ app is beating even our own expectations and continues to grow week-over-week. Consumers are watching more, both in terms of hours and they’re watching a wider variety of programming.”

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.