I can’t tell you how excited we are here at D23, Disney’s Official Fan Club! Last fall during our “Destination D” event celebrating Disneyland’s 55th anniversary, D23 head Steven Clark announced we’d be holding an all-new event this year to celebration four decades of Walt Disney World Resort magic.
Well, we have secured some incredible talent and put together some outstanding presentations and exciting panels for “Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th,” which will be held May 14 and 15 in the Fantasia Ballroom of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The roster of names boasts a cavalcade of Disney Legends, luminaries and Imagineers including Marty Sklar, Dave Smith, Tony Baxter, Bob Gurr, Jack Lindquist, Eric Jacobson, Charlie Ridgway and Ron Logan as well as Debra Browne, the 1971 Walt Disney World Ambassador.
The unique presentations will cover topics such as bizarre and wacky moments in Walt Disney World’s past, Walt’s vision for Epcot, a peek at the Walt Disney World that never was and even a glimpse into the Resort’s future! The event’s grand finale will be “Magic Journeys: Flights of Fancy through 40 Years of Walt Disney World Musical Memories” featuring Disney Legend and Academy Award-winner Richard Sherman. The event is open exclusively to members of D23, and you see the entire line-up and schedule by clicking here. Hope to see ya there!
Hi everyone…D23, the Official Community for Disney Fans, celebrated its first anniversary in style this week at Disneyland Park, as more than 1,500 D23 Members and their guests took over Fantasyland for an after-hours blow out with classic attractions, beloved characters, scrumptious desserts, and some very special guests!
After Disneyland theme park closed to guests on Wednesday night, D23 Members were welcomed into the happiest land of all with a burst of pyrotechnics from Sleeping Beauty Castle. From there, guests—who had traveled from 25 different states as well as from places like New Zealand and Japan to be at the event—crossed the drawbridge to enjoy the event.
As part of the festivities, D23 announced the next D23 Expo, which will be in Anaheim in 2011, as well as a new D23 Member event—Destination D: Disneyland ’55, which will take place at Disneyland Park in September of this year, and will celebrate the rich legacy of Walt’s original theme park. For more information about D23, Destination D, and the D23 Expo 2011, visit Disney.com/D23.
Disney’s official fan community, D23, is starting off 2010 with a unique gift that’s sure to get any Disney fan excited — Disney Undiscovered: A 23-Month Calendar of Disney’s Unrealized Masterpieces.
The calendar is brimming with rare and never-before seen images from Disney theme-park, live-action and animation projects that were not completed, many of which have achieved legendary status among Disney fans. “Disney Undiscovered” features art from never-built project like the Mineral King ski resort and Walt Disney’s St. Louis Project, theme park lands such as Discovery Bay at Disneyland, and unproduced films including a watercolor from the original Little Mermaid that Walt had in early preproduction in the late 1930s.
D23 is giving Disney Parks Blog readers a first look at three of the pages in this stunning calendar. They show Mickey’s Madhouse (conceived as part of Dumbo’s Circusland at Disneyland back in 1976 before Toontown was created), the Swiss pavilion at Epcot (designed in 1985 and meant to stand between the Italy and Germany pavilions), and Rock Candy Mountain (which, had it been created back in 1957, would have been Disneyland’s first “mountain”). Have a look and enjoy!
Everyone who joins or renews their D23 Membership in 2010 will receive a calendar.
For more information on D23, visit Disney.com/D23.
Hi, I’m Jeffrey Epstein guest writing for the Disney Parks Blog about our latest unique experience at Walt Disney World. For two candy-coated days and nights, D23, the Official Community for Disney Fans, presented Magic & Merriment at Walt Disney World. December 12 and 13, 200 D23 members and their guests (from 25 different states!) were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at how Walt Disney World transforms each year into a winter wonderland with the help of some of Disney’s most creative talent.
Holiday Services’ Lisa Borotkanics talked about the incredible team that installs hundreds of trees, wreaths, and snowy displays throughout the resort (and the Disney Cruise Line!) before handing out sets of multiple FASTPASSes to the group for the weekend. Then Erich Herbitschek, Master Pastry Chef of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Stefan Riemer, Pastry Chef, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts came out and decorated one of their signature gingerbread houses before everyone’s eyes (and were pretty hilarious while doing so). And Saturday evening on a darkened Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Show Director John Phelan talked about the origins of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights—before flipping a giant switch (with the help of a young guest), igniting the Spectacle to glorious fanfare.
Other weekend highlights included reserved seating to see Tony award winner Chita Rivera narrate Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, a private feast on the set of Lights, Motors, Action!, a delightful lunch inside the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon with a visit from the Dapper Dans, tours of the Cinderella Castle Suite, and tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party—complete with a cookie-filled hospitality suite on the Liberty Belle!
Whether they came from Iowa, Oregon, or just down the road, the weekend was truly memorable not only because of the incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences shared by all, but thanks to the passionate D23 members in attendance, whose enthusiasm and passion about Disney may only be matched by a certain special mouse.