That’s a wrap!
Ahead of the Descendants 3 premiere on Friday night, Disney Channel shared a behind-the-scenes clip exclusively with PEOPLE about the making of the movie, complete with footage featuring the actors in costume in front of massive green screens, dance rehearsals, and hanging out together on set.
“There have been so many moments where I’m like, wow, this is pretty incredible,” Stewart, 25, who plays Jay in the popular Disney franchise, says in the clip. “Auditioning three years ago to this, what a journey.”
China Anne McClain, who plays Uma, later chimes in, saying “This is just magical.”
It’s clear that filming Descendants 3 was an experience unlike any other for the cast.
“This franchise is just very, very special,” Hades actor Cheyenne Jackson says in the video. “I can’t wait to see it.”
“We’ve all created such a family bond, and I’m really gonna miss it once we leave here,” McClain, 20, later adds.
The wrap of Descendants 3 was an emotional one for the cast, and actress Carson, 26, who plays Evie, said that filming the movie isn’t an experience she’ll soon forget.
“Even though it might be a wrap on the movie, you know, we’ll always be Evie, Jay, Mal and Carlos, [they’ll] always be in our hearts,” Carson says near the end of the clip, as footage rolls of herself, Stewart, Cameron and Boyce cheering “D3!” and sharing a sweet group embrace.
Carson’s touching words seem all the more poignant after Boyce’s death.
The movie has become more than just a sequel in a popular Disney franchise; it’s now a testament to Boyce’s memory and legacy. Disney donated to the Thirst Project, a non-profit that Boyce was actively involved in, in lieu of the red carpet premiere, which was canceled.
Director Kenny Ortega also wrote a tribute to Boyce in PEOPLE, saying “He was a young person with not only an electric gift as a performer but a big heart. We had plans to continue forward as creative partners, to find that next project.”
Ortega added, “Now it’s not a movie — it’s supporting his family and the foundation.”
“Cameron was one of my favorite people alive in the world. Though I know that’s not unique to me, Cameron was magic — an earth angel,” Cameron, 23, said in a YouTube video after his death. “Over the last six years, since he was only 14, Cameron talked me down from countless ledges, talked me through eating disorders, helped me out of a dark relationship and through endless breakdowns.”
“Letting you go is not something I know how to do. And I just can’t fathom living in a world without you. I love you, Cam. And I will love you. Forever,” Carson wrote in a post.
Descendants 3 premieres Friday at 8 p.m. ET on the Disney Channel. The telecast is dedicated to Boyce’s memory.