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Mickey and Friends at Disneyland Park

D23 Events Go Coast to Coast—and Park to Park

posted on November 18th, 2011 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

From Walt’s boyhood hometown to an animation celebration, D23Disney’s official fan club—is making 2012 a fan-tastic year with more unique immersive experiences than ever before – events we know passionate Disney enthusiasts will enjoy.

D23 Events Go Coast to Coast

We’re sure many of you have seen the famed “Partners” statue with Walt and Mickey at one of the Disney parks. If you look closely at Walt’s tie you will see the letters “STR”—that stands for Smoke Tree Ranch, an exclusive Palm Springs resort Walt called “my own laughing place.” And January 23 – 25, D23 Members will have a chance to experience this retreat the way Walt did during the “Smoke Tree Ranch Roundup” with three days of screenings, presentations, activities and delectable meals, all while staying in a Smoke Tree Ranch cottage.

If you have ever visited the “One Man’s Dream” attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Presented by D23) then perhaps you enjoyed learning about Walt’s early years in Marceline, Missouri? This March, D23 will take members on a Journey to Marceline for full-day experience seeing the town that partially inspired Walt’s creative vision for Main Street, U.S.A.

D23 Events Go Coast to Coast

This spring will see the debut of a new event called D23 Fanniversary Celebration, a series of cross-country events marking over 40 magical milestones in Disney’s rich history from attractions and theme park openings to live-action and animated films and beyond. Disney fans will be able to join the “celebration” in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New York and Orlando.

D23 Events Go Coast to Coast

Speaking of anniversaries, in March D23 will celebrate its third anniversary with a special event at Disneyland park followed by Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animation which will be held at the Disneyland Resort this August honoring the diamond anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Disney feature animation. At Walt Disney World Resort, D23 will celebrate Epcot’s 30th anniversary and fan favorites like the holiday tradition Magic & Merriment will return along with Sip & Stroll, which in 2012 will get a Halloween twist and become Sip & Scream!

Want more? Well, there’s the new screening series From the Vaults at the Walt Disney Studios, which brings beloved live-action films from the past back to the big screen, like Newsies, Sister Act and Treasure Island. The 50 and Fabulous screening series returns, as do D23’s signature tours of the Studio and Walt Disney Archives—which will double in capacity!

And that’s just the beginning! Look for even more events to be announced in the upcoming months as D23 continues to create one-of-a-kind events for Disney fans.

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Some of Hollywood’s Biggest Names Bring Walt Disney World Attractions to Life

posted on August 9th, 2011 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

How many times have you been on a Disney Parks attraction and said, “Hey, that guy looks familiar!” or “I recognize her voice”? We love how Imagineers seamlessly work celebrities into some of our favorite attractions. It can add additional layers to the storytelling as well as the enjoyment a guest experiences when they have the “Ah ha!” moment of, “Hey, that’s Jamie Lee Curtis playing against Ellen DeGeneres on ‘Jeopardy!’”

Ellen's Energy Adventure at Walt Disney World Resort

To celebrate the new issue of Disney twenty-three magazine in honor of Walt Disney World Resort’s 40th anniversary, D23 chatted with some of the incredible talent who appear on and in attractions around the Orlando resort. Currently featured on the D23 website is Illeana Douglas (Ghost World, Goodfellas, Cape Fear), who plays the hilarious rock band manager on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. She told us she was shocked when she was asked to be a part of the high-speed attraction. “At first I thought it was a joke,” she said. “Growing up, Aerosmith was my favorite band ever!”

Journey Into Imagination with Figment at Walt Disney World Resort

We also chatted with Eric Idle who contributed his talents to two Epcot attractions (Journey into Imagination With Figment and Honey I Shrunk the Audience), who is thrilled to a part of Disney history. “I love being able to appear fifteen times a day without having to turn up!” he joked.

Coming up this week we have exclusive interviews with two other big-name talents, including an actress who experienced an Alien Encounter and an actor who sent guests careening into space by giving voice to a lovable robot. We’ll finish up the series with a round up of stories and quotes from a dozen other stars (including a mischievous pirate, a chief flight attendant and lovable bug)! You’ll be able to find them all on the D23 website.

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Are You A Disney Genius? Prove It!

posted on July 28th, 2011 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

Disney Trivia Tournament at D23 Expo

Can you recall the first three E-Ticket attractions at Disneyland Resort that premiered in 1959? Do you know how many Academy Awards were personally awarded to Walt Disney? Which was the first animated Disney film that Alan Menken composed music for? If you know even some of these answers, you may want to head to the Anaheim Convention Center on Thursday, Aug. 18, for the Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament presented by Hasbro Trivial Pursuit: Disney for All Edition!

The final rounds will be held as part of the D23 Expo — the ultimate Disney event for fans and families! — on Friday, Aug. 19, and the winner of the Tournament receives a special preview cruise on the Disney Fantasy! Here are five sample Disney Parks-related questions to whet your appetite for the fun (answers at the bottom, so don’t cheat!):

  1. The Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction at Disneyland park is based on what Disney live-action film?
  2. What is the name of the attraction that closely resembles The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Paris?
  3. What Epcot attraction narrator makes a cameo appearance in the 2011 film “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides?”
  4. What Hong Kong Disneyland attraction features a thrilling finale where fire and water gods battle one another?
  5. Name the pet store once featured at Lake Buena Vista Village (today known as Downtown Disney Marketplace) in which guests could purchase hamsters, parrots, and … albino skunks?!

The first round starts at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, so rise and shine and remember what you learned in your “Disney A to Z!” Because you can’t win if you don’t play!

Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s a ‘Carousel of Projects’ from Disney Parks at the D23 Expo

posted on July 20th, 2011 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

We’re busy putting the finishing touches on all of the incredible experiences guests will immerse themselves in at D23 Expo 2011, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts just announced an out-of-this-(Disney)-world line-up!

Attendees to the Expo, from August 19–21 at the Anaheim Convention Center, just across the street from Disneyland Resort, will be able to visit the “Carousel of Projects,” a pavilion that pays loving homage to a favorite classic Disney Parks attraction: “Carousel of Progress.” Inside, guests will get a sneak peek at what’s in store for Disney’s five resorts around the world, as well as what’s next from Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and more. There will be figures, props and ride vehicles from Radiator Springs Racers – plus a look behind the scenes and the creation of Cars Land, as well as concepts, models and plans for the tremendous expansion of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort.

D23 Expo at Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs will offer guests a glimpse at some of the biggest projects currently in development at Disney Parks (along with a few surprises!) during his presentation on Friday, Aug. 19. And there will be a slew of other must-see presentations and panels throughout the weekend that park enthusiasts of all ages are sure to enjoy, including Radiator Springs Reality: Imagineering Cars Land for Disney California Adventure with John Lasseter, The Making of Star Tours – The Adventures Continue hosted by Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald, A Good Look at Buena Vista Street (giving guests a closer look at the new entrance to Disney California Adventure park), Imagineering the Dream and the Fantasy, and Legends of Walt Disney Imagineering (a spectacular gathering of talent including Alice Davis, Orlando Ferrante, Bob Gurr and Don Iwerks, with special guest and current Imagineer Kim Irvine, daughter of Disney Legend Leota Toombs – hosted by Disney Legend Marty Sklar).

There’s much more magic in store for guests at the Expo, including the previously announced Disney Legends Ceremony, Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives 12,000-square-foot exhibit, an advance exclusive screening of “The Lion King” in 3D, the D23 Expo Dream Store, the Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament, the D23 Expo Live Auction – plus Disney and ABC stars and much more. To learn more about all the excitement coming to Anaheim this August, visit

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Disney Legends Award Honorees to be Celebrated at D23 Expo

posted on June 17th, 2011 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

Hi everyone! We are thrilled that the prestigious Disney Legends ceremony will be returning to the D23 Expo this year. Taking place on Friday, August 19, at the Anaheim Convention Center, Disney Legends honors those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy.

Disneyland Hotel creators Jack and Bonita Wrather

Among this year’s honorees are many creative and inspiring individuals who have helped shape Disney Parks around the world. For example, this year’s group of worthy recipients include television icon Regis Philbin, previously featured in the “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire: Play It!” attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Jim Henson, whose masterful work can be seen at that park’s Muppet•Vision 3D; Disneyland Hotel creators Jack and Bonita Wrather; Ray Watson, whose vision helped lead the expansion of Walt Disney World including the opening of Epcot; and Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel, who recently attended the opening of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure park.

Other soon-to-be Legends include former Disney Consumer Products Chairman Bo Boyd, Guy Williams who embodied Zorro, and Disney Princesses Paige O’Hara, Linda Larkin, Lea Salonga and Anika Noni Rose.

The ceremony will be hosted by Tom Bergeron of “Dancing with the Stars” and will take place in the Convention Center Arena. For more details about the “Ultimate Disney Event for Fans and Families”— including an exclusive advance screening of “The Lion King” in 3D, visit

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Ready to Race at ‘D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World’

posted on February 17th, 2011 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

D23's Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World

Hundreds of teams. Four theme parks. Two days. One amazing hunt.

Think you know Walt Disney World Resort like the back of your hand? Now is the time to put it to the test! Following on the heels of last year’s incredible hunt at Disneyland Resort, we are thrilled to announce “D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World!” The hunt – set to be the largest in Walt Disney World’s history – is a two-day, four-park event sure to be a blast for serious fans as well as families. Questions will range from the more simple “Miner League” puzzlers to the fairly challenging “Major Domo” clues to the “Super-Difficult-idocious” stumpers! While we know everyone will have fun exploring the parks in new ways, there are also some incredible prizes to be won coming from virtually every corner of Disney!

The hunt is open to both D23 Members and non-members – D23 Members get a specially discounted price. For a complete list of rules and guidelines, click here. Time to lace up your sneakers and get ready to race! Or walk at a safe pace. Hope to see ya there!

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Filed: Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

D23 Announces Line-Up for ‘Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th’

posted on February 12th, 2011 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

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.

D23 Announces Line-Up for ‘Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th’

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!

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D23 Celebrates First Anniversary at Disneyland

posted on March 11th, 2010 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

D23 Celebrates First Anniversary at Disneyland
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.
D23 Celebrates First Anniversary at Disneyland
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

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First Look: D23’s ‘Disney Undiscovered’

posted on January 7th, 2010 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

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!
November 2011: Switzerland Pavilion
December 2010: Rock Candy Mountain
May 2010: Mickey's Madhouse

Everyone who joins or renews their D23 Membership in 2010 will receive a calendar.

For more information on D23, visit

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D23 Members Enjoy the ‘Magic & Merriment’ of Walt Disney World

posted on December 14th, 2009 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

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.
Grand Floridian Gingerbread House
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.

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