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Mouseketeer Cheer at D23 EXPO

posted on July 8th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


Did you know the original Mouseketeers first appeared at Disneyland Resort before they started their beloved television run? It’s true! They were there on opening day, July 17, 1955, before the first incarnation of Mickey Mouse Club aired on ABC starting in October of 1955. That means the iconic show is also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. In honor of this milestone, D23 EXPO 2015 will hold Celebrating Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club — 60 Magical yEARS on Sunday, August 16, at 5 p.m. in Stage 23. Author Lorraine Santoli will host the panel of original Mouseketeers including Sherry Alberoni, Sharon Baird, Bobby Burgess, Tommy Cole, Darlene Gillespie, Cubby O’Brien, and Doreen Tracey, along with “Spin and Marty” actors Tim Considine and David Stollery!

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Plus, the Disney Dream Store will offer a small collection of 60th anniversary Mickey Mouse Club items, which several of the Mouseketeers will be on-hand to sign that day.

For more details about the event—and a host of other panels just announced, including A Goofy Movie 20th Anniversary Reunion!—click here.

D23 EXPO 2015 runs August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, just across the street from Disneyland.

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Sing Along with ‘Frozen’ Favorites During Frozen FANdemonium at D23 EXPO 2015

posted on June 15th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


Frozen” fans have already enjoyed the opportunity to sing along with Anna and Elsa at Disney California Adventure park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and now D23 EXPO 2015 will present another unique opportunity to enjoy the music from this fan favorite.

Sing Along with Chris Montan During Frozen FANdemonium at D23 EXPO 2015 Sing Along with Kristen Anderson-Lopez During Frozen FANdemonium at D23 EXPO 2015 Sing Along with Robert Lopez During Frozen FANdemonium at D23 EXPO 2015

On Sunday, August 16, at 3 p.m., in the 7,500-seat Hall D23, host Chris Montan, president, Walt Disney Music, and the Oscar®-winning songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez will take D23 EXPO 2015 attendees on a once-in-a-lifetime musical journey through the world of “Frozen” during Frozen FANdemonium: A Musical Celebration! This one-day-only performance will feature sing-along experiences of your “Frozen” favorites such as “Let It Go,” “In Summer,” and more. Plus, fans can expect special surprises and fascinating stories behind some of your favorite Frozen songs. The performance will even feature Anna and Elsa!

D23 EXPO 2015 runs August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, directly across the street from Disneyland Resort. Tickets are available here.

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D23 Celebrates Disneyland Resort

posted on May 26th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


The new issue of Disney twenty-three is a love letter to Walt Disney’s original theme park with more than 40 pages of photographs, artwork and stories that span from the inception of Disneyland to the excitement of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

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D23, Disney’s Official Fan Club, takes readers on a fabulous and fascinating journey in the new issue, available exclusively to D23 Gold Members. Disney Legend Marty Sklar and Walt Disney Imagineering Chief Creative Executive Bruce Vaughn take a stroll through the park together reminiscing about Disneyland’s rich history while looking to its exciting future.

Plus there’s something for every Disneyland fan, from features about the pitch portfolio full of dazzling concept artwork used to sell Walt’s dream of Disneyland to East Coast investors and a story on unique collectibles through the years to a look at rare photographs from the Disneyland Hotel and a “sampling” of some of our favorite park treats (churro, anyone?).

Dive in and enjoy, and if you’re not already a D23 Gold Member, you can join today and get more information here.

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Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit at D23 EXPO 2015

posted on May 12th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


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With the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration about to get underway, the Walt Disney Archives just announced it will be saluting the 60th anniversary of the world’s first theme park at D23 EXPO 2015 with Walt Disney Archives presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit.

The display — the largest ever presented by the Archives at the Expo — will showcase more than 300 props, costumes, Audio-Animatronics figures, attraction vehicles, photographs, pieces of artwork, and memorabilia from six decades of the resort’s rich history.

Costumes from the Mickey Mouse Club to be Displayed at Walt Disney Archives Presents - Disneyland: The Exhibit at D23 EXPO 2015 Audio-Animatronics from Disneyland to be Displayed at Walt Disney Archives Presents - Disneyland: The Exhibit at D23 EXPO 2015

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Included in the dazzling exhibit is the #1 Ticket to Disneyland purchased by Roy O. Disney on July 18, 1955, as well costumes from the Mickey Mouse Club (as the Mickey Mouse Club Circus opened in November 1955 at the park). Plus, there will be many items that have never been displayed previously by the Archives including a prototype for vehicle for the Alice in Wonderland attractions, the Abominable Snowman from the Matterhorn Bobsleds, and a Disneyland pitch portfolio used to help sell investors on the East Coast on Walt’s dream for the park.

D23 EXPO 2015 runs August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, directly across the street from Disneyland Resort. Tickets are available now.

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D23 Asks, When Did It Start For You?

posted on April 9th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


When did you know you first loved Disney? It may not be your first Disney memory—and it may not even be your favorite Disney memory. But when was the first time Disney made your heart sing and your spirit soar?

When did it start for you? That’s the question D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is asking fans, celebrities, Disney luminaries, and even cast members!

Imagineer Vinny Logozio recalls his experience visiting Epcot for the first time when he was just six.

Disney Legend and founder of the Walt Disney Archives Dave Smith remembers going to Disneyland and meeting Walt Disney himself!

These are just a few of the memories people are sharing with us — plus there’s Lance Bass, Disney Legend and animator Floyd Norman, Disney Archivist Kevin Kern, “Cinderella” star Lily James, and a bunch of fan-tastic Disney fans.

And we want to hear your stories too! Post them below and share them on social media using the hashtag #WDIS4U and maybe you’ll see your story on D23.com!

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Design Your Dream Disney Castle in the D23 Expo Design Challenge

posted on March 13th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


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Sleeping Beauty Castle has been a Disneyland icon since the park opened in 1955. Now D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is giving fans the opportunity to give this Disney Parks landmark their own personal touch—and to win (appropriately) “D23-Hundred Dollars”!

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In honor of the upcoming Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the D23 Expo Design Challenge asks artists young and young-at-heart to craft their own interpretation of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Fans can use a variety of mediums to express their creativity, and 23 lucky finalists will have their pieces exhibited at D23 Expo 2015, from August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. And the first place winner will receive a cash prize of $2,300!

Entrants do not need to be members of D23 to participate. Just click here for more details and get the complete set of rules.

Good luck—and we hope to see you at the Expo!

No Purchase Necessary. Ends 11:59 PM (PT) on 4/30/15. Entry/Rules: d23expo.com/designchallenge. Void where prohibited. Limit three (3) Submissions per person. Prize does not include travel to or accommodations in Anaheim, CA.

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Today in Disney History: Mickey’s Comic Debut

posted on January 13th, 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


Because Mickey Mouse is such a huge presence in Disney Parks around the world, we just had to share this special “mouse” moment in Disney history with you. We’re sure many of you are well aware that Mickey Mouse made his big screen debut in 1928 in the short “Steamboat Willie.” But just over a year later marked another milestone for our favorite mouse — he began a longtime run in newspapers across the country in his very own comic strip.

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After his auspicious debut, the country—and the world—fell in love with Mickey, so it didn’t take long for the little mouse to become a big cheese. There were more Mickey shorts, character merchandise, local Mickey Mouse Clubs and—on January 13, 1930—a comic strip, which celebrates its 85th anniversary today. Written by Walt Disney himself and drawn by Ub Iwerks, the earliest comics would follow Mickey’s adventures far and wide, starting with his attempt to build his own airplane. What could go wrong with that?

By the summer of 1930, the comic strip appeared in up to 40 newspapers across nearly two-dozen countries, helping to usher in Mickey’s golden age and establish the mouse as the foundation and universally recognized symbol of the Disney organization.

Here on the Disney Parks Blog we have the very first Mickey comic strip for you to see. And if you’d like to see more, head over to D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, where Steven Vagnini has pulled together the entire first week of Mickey comics! Trust us, you’ll want to see how this turns out!

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D23’s Holiday Gift to You

posted on December 1st, 2014 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing


To kick off the holiday season, Disney’s official fan club is giving Disney fans something truly special. “D23 Days of Christmas” kicks off today to add some sparkle to the most wonderful time of the year.

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Every day for, well, 23 days, fans can “unwrap” a special gift at D23.com/23days. And we have goodies for everyone who loves a little Disney under their tree. We’ll have exclusive videos with Disney talent, special artwork, printable downloads and a trio of sweepstakes anyone can enter that will make the season even brighter.

So ho, ho, hop over today and start seeing what D23 has stuffed in your stocking!

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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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