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Disney’s D23 Expo: What We’ll Be Watching

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Alabama chapter.

Disney held its ultimate fan event, the D23 Expo, on September 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Attendees got to view exclusive footage from new Disney projects and interact with celebrity guests including the cast of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and Marvel actors like Brie Larson and Robert Downey Jr. Although everyone at home didn’t get the same experience as those who attended the convention, it’s still exciting to find out what Disney is planning to release in the future. Here are my top picks!  

The Little Mermaid 

The live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” has been long-anticipated since it was rumored that Harry Styles would be playing Prince Eric. Though this isn’t the case, the teaser that was released at the D23 expo has blown up on social media, with Halle Bailey mesmerizing viewers with her rendition of “Part of Your World.” Not only are her vocals amazing, but she is blazing a trail for representation in Disney media as she is the first Black woman to play Ariel. The reactions to her casting on TikTok are precious, and you can watch the teaser here!  

Percy Jackson and the Olympians 

Most fans of Greek mythology are excited for Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” book series getting the live-action adaption it deserves. While the short-lived movie series didn’t do well at the box office, fans have high hopes for the Disney+ new take on the series with Riordan actively on set as an executive producer. Filming only started in June 2022, but the teaser trailer was released at the D23 expo to hold fans over until a date is set for the series’ release. 

Prom Pact 

While “Andi Mack” and the “Zombies” movie trilogy may have both come out after we outgrew Disney Channel, there’s no doubt that Peyton Elizabeth Lee and Milo Manheim will make the perfect couple in their upcoming movie—even if they don’t end up together. “Prom Pact” follows Lee’s character trying to balance the stress of prom and being waitlisted at Harvard. While filming their new movie and season two of “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.” together, Lee and Manheim have filled my Instagram feed with the cutest photos, and I can’t deny that I’m excited to watch them on screen. You can watch both upcoming projects on Disney+ in 2023. 

Descendants 4: The Pocketwatch 

Like “Zombies” the “Descendants” franchise came out more recently, but it’s not over yet. Disney veteran and star of “A.N.T. Farm” China Anne McClain announced the news of a new movie alongside newcomers Kylie Cantrall and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” star Dara Renée. McClain will reprise her role as Uma, Ursula’s daughter, and Cantrall and Renée’s characters have yet to be released. To catch up on the franchise, you can stream all “Descendants” movies on Disney+. 

Inside Out 2 

Nine years after the release of Pixar’s “Inside Out,” “Inside Out 2” is set to release in theaters in June 2024. While the first movie follows an 11-year-old Riley and her struggle with her emotions during a big family move across the country, the sequel will follow a teenage Riley dealing with a new set of emotions. Fans speculate that new emotions may include anxiety, depression and all the other struggles that come along with being a teenager. Though the movie is in the early stages of production, we can’t wait to see Amy Poehler return as Joy and hopefully teach us a thing or two about coping with teen struggles that we still face as adults.  

With so much news released in one weekend, our excitement is off the charts! For more information on every major upcoming Disney project, check out the official D23 website

Hailey is a junior studying public relations with a concentration in sports & entertainment communication management at the University of Alabama. When she's not busy with school, she loves working media for her school's athletic teams, traveling, going to concerts and obsessing over her future.