'World of Color' at Disney California Adventure Park

A Celebration of Disney Trains at the Walt Disney Family Museum

posted on November 20th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


As The Walt Disney Family Museum unveils its new exhibit, All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains, we look back at some rarely seen photos and a very special moment in Disney train history.

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On May 10, 2005, at 7 a.m., a ceremony took place before Disneyland opened for the day. On the occasion of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, about 100 people gathered at the New Orleans Square Station of the Disneyland Railroad to honor animator and Disney Legend Ollie Johnston, one of Walt’s Nine Old Men, for how he inspired Walt Disney with his love of trains. Ollie inspired Walt to build his backyard railroad, the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Walt’s love of giving people rides on this little steam train in his backyard eventually led to the building of Disneyland.

After the speeches that early May morning, Ollie was presented with a plaque from the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society. Then everyone heard a toot of a steam whistle and up pulled a gleaming steam train. Ollie at first thought it was a Disneyland engine, then his son Ken leaned down and said, “Dad, that is your engine.” Ollie then realized it was his beloved Marie E. and he started to cry. And then so did everyone else.

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I then told Ollie that the Marie E. needed a real engineer to drive it around Disneyland and asked if he would like to do it. “Boy, would I!!” was his answer. He climbed up into the cab of the Marie E. with the help of the amazing Disneyland Railroad crew and they strapped him in with seatbelts borrowed from one of the old Matterhorn bobsleds.

At 94 years old, Ollie expertly engineered his Marie E. — the only outside train ever run on the rails of Disneyland — three times around Disneyland to the cheers of everyone there.

It was said that of all of the year-long events celebrating Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, the morning of May 10 was by far the most special.

- John Lasseter

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This memory told by John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, recalls a very special moment in Disney train history. It’s one of many train tales being celebrated in All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains, a new exhibit at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, Calif. On view through February 9, 2015, this comprehensive exhibition explores the influence that railroading had on Walt Disney’s life and work. It also tells the story of how his railroading legacy lives on to this day in Disney films and theme parks around the world.

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The arc of this exhibition doesn’t start and end with just Walt, though. All Aboard explores the interest and passion for railroading of Walt’s friends and staff, including Ollie Johnston. The Disney Legend was able to make his Disney railroad dreams come true at Disneyland before he passed away in 2008.

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Exclusive Merchandise Revealed for Destination D: Attraction Rewind

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


A few months ago, D23, Disney’s Official Fan Club, unveiled some of the exclusive merchandise that will be available at Destination D: Attraction Rewind this fall at Walt Disney World Resort. The event, which takes place November 22 and 23, celebrates beloved attractions and entertainment of yesteryear while also looking at what’s to come with Disney Legends, luminaries and Imagineers.

Just for the occasion, Mickey’s of Glendale — the famous Walt Disney Imagineering store — is setting up a pop-up shop with exclusive merchandise just for event attendees. Earlier this summer, D23 previewed a few of the items that will be available, and now we are happy to share even more of the collection here on the Disney Parks Blog.

Exclusive Merchandise for Destination D: Attraction Rewind

In addition to all this, there will be a Mystery Box pin set featuring the Pleasure Island club marquee logos including Mannequins Dance Palace, Comedy Warehouse, 8TRAX, Pleasure Island Jazz Co., Rock ‘n’ Roll Beach Club, and Adventurer’s Club.

And just wait … there’s even more to come! So pick up your tickets today.

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D23 Expo 2015 — Tickets Now Available!

posted on August 14th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


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What happens when all the wonderful worlds of Disney come together under one roof for three magical days? Find out at D23 Expo 2015! Tickets are now available for the Ultimate Disney Fan Event. From August 14-16, 2015, at the Anaheim Convention Center (just across the street from Disneyland Resort!), D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is putting on the biggest Disney event in the world uniting Disney, ABC, LucasFilm, Pixar and more for a spectacular weekend.

Once again, guests will enjoy a look at what’s new and what’s next from the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as well as the Walt Disney Studios, Disney Interactive and much more! Returning to the event will be the Disney Legends ceremony, honoring those who have made a significant contribution to the Disney legacy, as well as a brand new Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit.

Special Early Bird tickets are available now through December 31, 2014, and D23 Members enjoy extra savings. See you at the Expo!

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D23 Brings More Magic to Disney Fans

posted on June 3rd, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


We know you love Disney. So we at D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are bringing the magic of Disney to 11 cities (including at stop at Walt Disney World Resort!) across the country starting this August during out D23 Disney Fanniversary Celebration roadshow.

The 100-minute shows — hosted by an archivist from the Walt Disney Archives and a D23 Team Member — feature rarely seen images, photography, video, and music that honor Disney milestones celebrating landmark anniversaries. And of course there are many Disney Parks anniversaries to celebrate, including Disneyland Resort Monorail, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Submarine Voyage (55th anniversary), Haunted Mansion (45!), Splash Mountain (25), and the opening of Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios, celebrating its 25th anniversary). Plus we’re celebrating films, TV shows and much more when we hit the road.

D23 members can purchase tickets now at a discount, and tickets will be available to the general public July 9. Get all the details here.

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Also, D23 just announced the names of even more Disney Legends and Imagineers who will join Destination D: Attraction Rewind this November at Walt Disney World Resort. This member-exclusive, two-day event will feature panels and presentations — including some unbelievable images and terrific stories — about beloved Disney Parks attractions of the past, with an entire day dedicated to Disney’s participation in the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York City. Disney Legends scheduled to appear include Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, Alice Davis, Charlie Ridgway, Ron Logan, and Bill Sullivan. And from Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), Gary Landrum, Jason Grandt, Dave Minichiello, and Pam Rawlins will take part. (Talent subject to change.) Plus there will be a special pop-up shop from Mickey’s of Glendale — WDI’s employee store, featuring a selection of Imagineering merchandise as well as collectibles created just for the event. And the closing party will be Pleasure Island: Rewind, an evening celebration themed around the Downtown Disney nightlife district. For more info and to get tickets, click here.

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D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind — Party Like It’s 1964!

posted on March 26th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


Remember If You Had Wings? Did you love Adventure Thru Inner Space? Recall your first time taking the dive on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? So do we at D23: The Official Disney Fan Club!

November 22 and 23 at Walt Disney World Resort, we’ll be celebrating beloved attractions of yesteryear during D23 Destination D: Attraction Rewind presented by H2O Plus. Not only will the event celebrate these attractions, but Disney Legends such as Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, and Alice Davis will be on hand for a full day of presentations and panels in honor of Disney’s contributions to the 50th anniversary of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York City, where attractions like Carousel of Progress, “it’s a small world”, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln made their debuts.

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In addition to two jam-packed days, there will be an exhibit curated by The Walt Disney Archives, created just for Destination D. Plus, the weekend will end with a special nighttime party—Pleasure Island: Rewind, a party inspired by the Downtown Disney nightlife district. Look for areas dedicated to the Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse, Mannequins, and 8 Trax. And of course there will be a “New Year’s Eve” celebration to cap the night.

And for those with an eye for shopping, Mickey’s of Glendale, the Walt Disney Imagineering store located in Glendale, Calif. will create a pop-up shop just for the event! Expect collectibles inspired by the attractions and entertainment of the past, as well as a selection of WDI merchandise.

For information on how to get tickets, visit D23.com. See you at the party!

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The D23 Expo Will Return in 2015

posted on March 18th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


The Ultimate Disney Fan Event is returning to Anaheim in 2015. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will present the D23 Expo the weekend of August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, right across the street from the Disneyland Resort. Once again, all the wonderful worlds of Disney will come together under one roof including film, television, music, games, and — of course — theme parks!
The D23 Expo Will Return in 2015

In 2013 fans were treated to appearances from such superstars as Angelina Jolie, Chris Evans, and Billy Crystal; enjoyed performances by Idina Menzel, as well as R5 featuring Ross Lynch; took in a once-in-a-lifetime concert from Disney Legends Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken; and much, much more! Plus, guests were invited to Journey into Imagineering as WDI celebrated its 60th anniversary, and Tony Baxter was honored at the Disney Legends Ceremony.

2015 promises to be the biggest Expo ever with the Disney Legends Ceremony returning as well as the spectacular Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit. The show floor will be bursting with pavilions where guests can experience what’s new and what’s next from Disney, and the Collector’s Forum will offer guests the opportunity to buy sell and trade collectibles, memorabilia, and merchandise.

Tickets will be available August 14, and D23 Members receive a special pricing on entry. Visit D23Expo.com for more details and learn how you can join D23 for free today!

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First Look: D23 Celebrates the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair

posted on February 13th, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


As Disney fans from all around the globe know, the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York was a veritable explosion of Imagineering creativity. Guests marveled at magnificent wonders from “it’s a small world” and the Carousel of Progress to the groundbreaking Audio-Animatronics figure of Abraham Lincoln and Ford Magic Skyway (part of which would become the Primeval World along the Disneyland Railroad).

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The spring 2014 issue of Disney twenty-three magazine, the publication of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, celebrates Disney’s contributions to the 50th anniversary of this landmark happening. And we at D23 are excited to give Disney Parks Blog readers a first look at a few of the pages from the exciting new issue!

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In addition, the celebration will continue online in the upcoming weeks as D23 unveils a closer look at the artwork from “it’s a small world’s” Tower of the Four Winds as well as a drive through the Ford Magic Skyway, with an extensive photo gallery.

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Disney twenty-three is available exclusively to Gold Members of D23; D23.com is available to all levels of D23 Members. To learn more about Disney’s official fan club — and to join for free today — visit D23.com.

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Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken to Perform ‘The Disney Songbook’ at the D23 Expo

posted on May 28th, 2013 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


It’s virtually impossible to walk through Disney Parks without hearing the music of the Sherman Brothers and Alan Menken. And for one night only, Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken will take the stage together to play some of their most beloved compositions at the D23 Expo. This once-in-a-lifetime event, entitled “Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken: The Disney Songbook,” will take place Saturday, August 10, as part of the Ultimate Disney Fan Event at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Richard M. Sherman Will Perform 'The Disney Songbook' with Alan Menken at the D23 Expo

In the parks, the Sherman Brothers music can be heard on such attractions as “it’s a small world,” Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Carousel of Progress. Alan’s work is highlighted on the numerous attractions and shows based on “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin” in many parks. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and guests at the D23 Expo can expect to hear many of their favorites during the show.

“I can’t express how excited I am that my esteemed friend Alan Menken and I will be sharing the same bill for the very first time,” said Richard. “Alan is an incredible talent, and I know we’re both thrilled to be performing for Disney’s most ardent fans — they’re the best, and I can’t wait to be a part of what promises to be a very special night for all of us.”

“And I can’t think of anyone I’d prefer to share that stage with,” added Alan. “Richard, along with his brother Robert, wrote songs that filled my formative years with joy and fantasy.”

The concert will take place inside the 4,000-seat D23 Expo Arena and will be simulcast into a 2,000-seat overflow theater inside the Convention Center. For more information about the concert, click here, and to purchase your tickets for the D23 Expo, click here.

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D23’s Fanniversary Celebration Brings Disney Magic to Guests Across the Country

posted on February 12th, 2013 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is taking the show on the road once again! After a sold out tour in 2012, D23 is bringing an all-new Disney Fanniversary Celebration to 10 cities across the country. This 90-minute multimedia show, hosted by a Disney archivist and a member of the D23 Team, will highlight dozens of unforgettable Disney milestones, celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2013 through rarely or never-before seen artwork, photography, film footage and exclusive interviews with Disney Legends and luminaries.

From the creation of Mickey and Minnie Mouse to classic animated films like “Peter Pan” and “Mulan”; from the launch of Disney Channel to the momentous founding of The Walt Disney Company 90 years ago in (of course) 1923, no speck of pixie dust will be left unturned.

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Of course Disney Parks play a huge role in this show, with such beloved attractions as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland park and Horizons at Epcot celebrating anniversaries, as well as entire theme parks like Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland (15 and 30, respectively). Not to mention the launch of Disney Cruise Line in 1998!

Tickets are now on sale to both D23 Members and the general public for shows in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Click here for complete details.

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D23 and The Walt Disney Archives Decipher the Contents of Brad Bird’s Mysterious ‘Tomorrowland’ Photo!

posted on February 7th, 2013 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


D23 and The Walt Disney Archives Decipher the Contents of Brad Bird's Mysterious 'Tomorrowland' Photo!

Disney fans, Twitter followers, and the media have been speculating on the contents of a perplexing box labeled “1952,” since Pixar Animation Studios writer/director Brad Bird and screenwriter/producer Damon Lindelof posted photos of this curious container on their personal Twitter accounts on January 23. Last week, The Walt Disney Studios announced that the film, which will release on December 19, 2014, is now titled “Tomorrowland” (it was previously known as “1952″). But what do the box’s contents reveal? D23: The Official Disney Fan Club called upon the Walt Disney Archives’ Director Becky Cline to examine the box’s contents. Check out the complete story on D23.com to see 12 interesting items she uncovered!

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