The biggest complaint about the D23 Expo events of the past was the limited seating – and thus extremely long lines – for each of its many popular presentations. Whether held in the huge D23 Arena or the smaller Stage 23, thousands of fans queued up for hours on end, with hundreds turned away as the venues reached capacity.
This year, 2013 D23 Expo attendees can take advantage of a new addition called StagePass, offering a limited number of tickets, at no additional charge, to guarantee seating at some of the sessions within Stage 23 and Stage 28.
D23 head Steven Clark first revealed this detail in our interview back in August 2012. At the time, he simply called StagePass a “wristband,” though today it’s been revealed they will be tickets.
“You can just go up, get your wristband,” said Clark. “You do not have to wait in line. If you have your wristband, you are guaranteed a seat and you can come back probably 20-30 minutes before the show begins and if you have a wristband you will get in. If you want to stand in line and have the first row, front row seat, then you’re welcome to stand in line for as long as you like but you don’t have to do that in order to be a part of those experiences.”
D23 Expo attendees will be able to obtain a StagePass ticket by visiting a distribution area, located inbetween Halls A and B on the Show Floor, during normal operating show floor hours
For sessions starting prior to 11:00 a.m., StagePass tickets will not be available. For those taking place from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., ticket distribution will begin at 9:00 a.m.. And for sessions after 3:00 p.m., ticket distribution starts at 12:30 p.m.
Guests will need to present their D23 Expo admission ticket to receive a StagePass ticket, limited to one for each window. One person may acquire StagePass tickets for their entire party, provided that they have everyone’s D23 Expo tickets in hand. These tickets are good for first-come, first-served admission to the presentations, not for a specific seat.
And those looking to go to the biggest presentations will still need to wait in lines, as StagePass tickets will not be available for the D23 Arena sessions. But the Arena has been made bigger, increasing its capacity to around 4,000 seats for 2013.
In addition, an overflow theater will live stream many of the Arena presentations for up to 2,000 people.
When asked why more seats aren’t available in the Arena, which has some areas roped off, Clark explained, “The reason those seats aren’t used is because of the sight lines. You wouldn’t be able to see the screens and most of what we present during these presentations is all on-screen. It’s all clips from films and concept art and 3D as well, so even if you could see part of the screen the 3D’s not going to work. Those are the factors that come into play here. As you would probably guess, being Disney we want it to be the highest quality viewing experience and you can’t do that if you sit in the seats that we’ve blocked off.”
The 2013 D23 Expo will take place August 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center.