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Disney To Bring Back In-Person D23 Expo

The biggest gathering of Disney fans in the world is on track to take place again in September.

After two years of pandemic-related delays and pushbacks, Disney  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report plans to once again host an in-person version of its biggest gathering of fans.

D23 Expo, a major gathering of Disney Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel fans held in Anaheim every two years, will take place in-person from September 9 to 11. Common events include sneak peeks of yet-to-be-released films, presentations on new rides at the amusement parks and appearances by various film and voice actors.

"D23 Expo 2022 will feature more than 50 shows, presentations, and panels, including the Disney Legends Awards Ceremony, which honors the talented individuals who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy," the film studio announced in a press release.

Tickets will go on sale at 12 p.m. P.T. on Thursday, January 20 and cost $99 for a single day and $279 for an all-weekend pass. (Members of the D23 Gold loyalty program get first dibs on buying and discounted prices.)

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The company is yet to release about specific panels and scheduling but confirmed that the popular Mousequarade costume contest will return and be hosted by popular "RuPaul's Drag Race" contestant Nina West.

Prior to the pandemic D23 Expo would draw in hundreds of thousands of Disney fans for the conference. When COVID-19 first started spreading in the U.S., the company chose to bump it from 2020 to 2021 before pushing it back one more year to 2022.

Disney did not provide specifics of how an event like this would fit into the current epidemiological situation — while some companies are slowly trying to resume travel and events, rising cases and new variants are pushing others like Google  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report and Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report to delay returning to the office indefinitely.

The state of California is requiring that, at the moment, large indoor conventions - such as D23 Expo - require proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test for entry. All attendees age 18 or older also need to provide photo ID in addition to proof of vaccination or a negative test at such events.  

Things might change by September.