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2018 isn't that far off, and with that D23: The Official Disney Fan Club has announced a full year's worth of new events for fans around the country to enjoy. The 2018 slate of events includes a special birthday celebration for Mickey Mouse, advance movie screenings, exclusive tours, Broadway shows, and a return to Walt’s hometown of Marceline. Check out the full details below!

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One of the highlights of this summer's 2017 D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, was the opportunity to shop for exclusive merchandise from across the Disney spectrum. Walt Disney Studios, Disney Animation, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm were all represented in the Disney Dream Store, and for Star Wars fans, one of the most sought-after purchases was the latest from the Disney Parks Droid Factory Build-A-Droid action figure series: R5-D23. This 3.75" scale droid is a perfect companion for Star Wars action figures from the original Kenner vintage series (1977-1985) or the modern Hasbro collections. Having attended D23 Expo myself (as a guest of Disney), I had a chance to stop by the Dream Store, and I picked up an extra R5-D23 with the sole purpose of passing him along to one of you!

This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Marvel Studios

We moved through the dark and cavernous space behind Hall D23 quickly - catching glimpses of technicians whose faces were illuminated only by the cool glow of their computer screens. I likened it to the inner workings of the Imperial Death Star, a skilled crew making sure that the technical aspects of the presentations on the main stage at this summer's D23 Expo went off without a hitch. Like The Emperor's Royal Guards, they would also serve as silent protectors - Guardians preventing untimely leaks of footage from upcoming films that in some cases are more than two years out from their official release. As our group made its way through the backstage labyrinth of makeshift green rooms crafted of black pipe-and-drape, we arrived at our destination for a meeting with a mysterious figure known called "Josh Snow."

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This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

I don't recall what I was doing on Friday, June 24, 1994, but chances are I was probably working my job as Assistant Dairy Manager of the local Hy-Vee grocery store in my then-home of Davenport, Iowa. I was a month or so past my high school graduation, and one of the summer's big movies was Walt Disney Animation Studios' THE LION KING. Aside from the buzz, I don't even remember what initially drew my attention to the film at the time, but I do remember taking a girl to see a matinee screening - not really a "date," but an afternoon adventure. It became one of my favorite films of that year, along with PULP FICTION, AIRHEADS, SPEED, NATURAL BORN KILLERS - and from the absolute opposite end of the cinematic spectrum, a tiny film called PCU, directed by the guy who played Ellis in DIE HARD. Now, with "The Circle of Life Edition" of THE LION KING being issued on Digital HD (out now for the first time) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (out 8/29) as part of The Walt Disney Signature Collection, my appreciation and love of the film burns brighter than ever after attending this summer's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, where I was in the room for a special panel in celebration of this classic slice of Disney perfection.

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This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

There's a moment in the premiere episode of Disney XD's DuckTales in which Donald rolls up to the estate of Scrooge McDuck, his nephews along for the ride. From the back seat, Huey, Dewey and Louie can't believe where they're at - and have seemingly never met their great-uncle. In fact, to them, Scrooge seems to be a legend - a mythical figure whose status is not unlike that of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Just as Rey learned from Han Solo that the stories were true - "all of them," the boys soon realize that when it comes to Scrooge, the stories were also true - most of them. After taking a real-life leap into Scrooge's famed "money bin" at this summer's D23 Expo, I took an early look at the new series alongside Executive Producer Matt Youngberg and Co-Producer/Story Editor Francisco Angones. The sneak-preview prompted a few questions...

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This special feature is brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and The Walt Disney Company

It's been a week since I landed back on the ground in Illinois - arriving on the LAX-O'Hare red eye at 4:35am, knowing that by 9am I'd be back in the groove and taking the girls to their theater camp. That Monday was the end of a week-long journey from coast-to-coast, the back half of which was my first visit to the D23 Expo - The Ultimate Disney Fan Event. Held biennially in Anaheim, D23 is like a Disney-only version of what Comic-Con has become - a place for the most loyal of fans to make an in-person connection to the entertainment they love from across the Disney family of companies. After finally adjusting to the jet-lag caused by jetting forward and backward in time, it's time to share more about my adventures in Anaheim, pulling back the curtain on a Disney event unlike any other.

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