This past Thursday night we held our first meet-up at the Disneyland Resort offering an after-hours experience themed after Toy Story Mania! Fans lined up early, and not even an unusual light drizzle could dampen their spirits. Upon checking in each of the attendees received a goody bag with some Toy Story Mania! treats and the rare Disney Parks Blog pin. Disney California Adventure park was closed for part of the evening, but not for our meet-up! Attendees were escorted into the Park for the first of many stops.
The first stop was a group photo with Lotso and Woody at the Hollywood Backlot Stage. Disneyland photographer and blog author Paul Hiffmeyer organized the meet-up crew into a one-of-a-kind shot with the stars of Toy Story 3. (If you’d like the full-size version of this photo click here.)
After taking this photo, attendees headed to the Animation Academy for a behind-the-scenes look at concept art that was created for the new game at Toy Story Mania! Kevin Rafferty, Senior Concept Writer from Walt Disney Imagineering, shared how he and his team came up with the ideas for the new game and also showed art for games that didn’t make it into the attraction.
After the presentation, Kevin answered a slew of questions about the attraction and his long history working on Disney Parks attractions around the world. For those who couldn’t make the meet-up, we took questions from our Twitter followers and tweeted Kevin’s answers live.
To cap off the night, attendees were treated to a look at what the Park is like after hours and had a chance to test their skills on Toy Story Mania! (by the way, who got the highest score?)
I’m excited to report that some of our guests traveled from out of state and Northern California. Kat Ogletree and her son, Taylor, left their home in Monterrey, California at 7:30 a.m. in order to make it to the meet-up in time and told us “it was well worth the drive.” Here are Kat and Taylor just before riding Toy Story Mania!
As I said that night, I really enjoyed meeting and speaking with many of you and connecting your faces with comments you’ve left here on the blog. Your enthusiasm and contributions help make this blog and events like the meet-up a success.
Thanks to all those who RSVPed. I hope to meet many more of you at meet-ups in the future. Please stay tuned to the blog for the latest.