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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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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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