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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.


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.


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 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 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).


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!


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.


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

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AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Will Transport, Transform Guests

posted on October 14th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks

Over the weekend, Tom Staggs wowed the crowd at the first-ever D23 Expo in Japan with an early glimpse of what’s planned for AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. He shared some breathtaking concept renderings of floating mountains, bioluminescent plants and other awe-inspiring experiences guests will encounter in the mythical world of Pandora.

Also at the D23 Expo Japan, Tom shared video of filmmaker James Cameron and Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde highlighting the creative work already underway on the project. Joe said when the AVATAR-inspired land is completed, it’ll be a transformational experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Today, we wanted to share the entire video with Disney Parks Blog readers.

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D23 Expo 2013 Dream Store Artists and Silent Auction Recap

posted on August 13th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

The D23 Expo has come to a close and while it was certainly a lot of hours, it sure was a ton of fun! I can’t believe how many of you came over to check out the Dream Store. It was great to see so many familiar faces, meet some new and very excited Disney fans and spend time with all of you who are part of our Disney family.

It was amazing to have so many of our talented Imagineers, Disney-inspired artists and authors all in one place at the Dream Store. Fellow Disney Parks Blog authors Erin Glover and Paul Hiffmeyer stopped by to say hello, and I’m so thankful they did. Paul had his camera ready and was able to capture many of our artists in action. For those of you who missed this year’s D23 Expo, it’s okay … check out some of the great photos Paul took in the Dream Store:

Here are a few more of the highly sought-after Silent Auction lots on display, including one of his favorites, the Zebra Bar from The Adventurers Club at Walt Disney World Resort:

Matterhorn Bobsled, One of the Silent Auction Lots at the 2013 D23 Expo Zebra Bar, One of the Silent Auction Lots at the 2013 D23 Expo Alice in Wonderland Prop & Oversized Mickey and Minnie Chair, Two of the Silent Auction Lots at the 2013 D23 Expo Attraction Vehicle from Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, One of the Silent Auction Lots at the 2013 D23 Expo

I hope you had as much fun as I did! What was your favorite part of the D23 Expo? And did you take home any souvenirs?

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runDisney at the Start Line of the D23 Expo with D2.3 Fun Run

posted on August 12th, 2013 by Robert Hitchcock, Content Director

What do you get when you combine the magic of runDisney with some of the most passionate Disney fans in the world? A runDisney D2.3 Fun Run kicking off the D23 Expo in style.

D23 Members Run Through Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park; Photo Credit: Scott Brinegar

Last Friday, a select group of D23 members had the unique opportunity to sample the runDisney experience. Attendees enjoyed an early morning 2.3 mile fun run through Disney California Adventure park, and a meet and greet with Sorcerer Mickey and Ali Vincent, host of “Live Big With Ali Vincent” and season 5 winner of the “Biggest Loser.” Participants also received a runDisney Mickey Vinylmation with a limited edition D23 medal.

runDisney Vinylmation With Limited Edition D23 Medal; Photo Credit: Scott Brinegar

It’s always exciting to provide these runDisney experiences for runners and to share photos and video of this event with you.

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Imagineer Tony Baxter Among 2013 Disney Legends Honored at D23 Expo

posted on August 10th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

Imagineer Tony Baxter was one of eight new Disney Legends honored today at the D23 Expo 2013, produced by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, at the Anaheim Convention Center. A 26-year tradition, the Disney Legends Award is the highest honor one can receive from the Walt Disney Company, reserved for the visionaries and artists behind the Disney magic.

Tony Baxter and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Model Before Attraction’s 1979 Opening

Baxter was chosen to receive this award due to his years of developing now-classic Disney Parks attractions, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Journey Into Imagination, Splash Mountain and experiences like the 1983 New Fantasyland project at Disneyland park. In the course of his 43-year career with Walt Disney Imagineering, he also served as overall creative executive for the opening of Disneyland Paris, Indiana Jones Adventure and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

The other 2013 Disney Legends recognized today were:

  • Collin Campbell – Collin’s work with Walt Disney Imagineering includes the development of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as concept illustrations of Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot.
  • Dick Clark – Legendary television personality best known for “American Bandstand” and ABC’s annual “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
  • Billy Crystal – Award-winning actor known as the voice of Mike Wazowski from “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University” and from roles in “When Harry Met Sally…,” “The Princess Bride” and “City Slickers.”
  • John Goodman – Actor of stage and screen, and the voice behind James P. Sullivan, better known as Sulley, from “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University,” also known for notable film appearances in “The Big Lebowski,” “The Flintstones,” “Argo” and “Flight.”
  • Steve Jobs – Visionary who changed the world of consumer electronics as the founder of Apple. He was an early investor and chief executive of Pixar, and became the Walt Disney Company’s largest shareholder in 2006. That same year, he joined the Disney board of directors, and remained an advisor to the company until his passing in 2011.
  • Glen Keane – Since becoming a Disney animator in 1974, he has animated classic Disney characters such as Penny in “The Rescuers,” Elliott in “Pete’s Dragon,” Ratigan in “The Great Mouse Detective,” the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast,” and the titular characters in “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas,” and “Tarzan.” In 2010, Glen served as executive producer and animation supervisor for “Tangled,” a story he developed for more than 10 years.
  • Ed Wynn – Comedian whose career began on Broadway in the early 1900s, appeared in numerous Disney classics of the 1960s, including Mary Poppins, Babes in Toyland, That Darn Cat, The Absent-Minded Professor, and Son of Flubber. Fans of Disney animation know him as the voice of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.
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Meeting Marvel’s Captain America at the D23 Expo

posted on August 10th, 2013 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment

As a big fan of the Marvel Universe, I couldn’t be more thrilled to see the amazing characters and stories of Marvel come to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

When the transformed Disney Magic is re-launched this October, one of the most exciting new spaces on the ship is sure to be Marvel’s Avengers Academy, where young “recruits” will learn to unleash their inner Super Heroes. As part of their experience at Marvel’s Avengers Academy, participants will have the opportunity to meet a true Avenger in person, when Captain America checks in on the progress being made by these future heroes.
Meet Marvel’s Captain America at the D23 Expo

To celebrate, this weekend at the D23 Expo, the Ultimate Disney Fan Event at the Anaheim Convention Center, just across the street from Disneyland Resort, attendees have enjoyed their first chance to meet Marvel’s Captain America. Steve Rogers, on a short break from his duties with S.H.I.E.L.D., is appearing within the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion each day through Sunday, August 11.

If you’re planning to be at the D23 Expo this weekend, be sure to come by and shake hands with the First Avenger, Marvel’s Captain America!

Tickets to the D23 Expo are sold out for Saturday, but still available for Sunday. To get tickets and complete details, visit

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Interview with Marty Sklar, Disney Legend and Author of New Book, ‘Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms’

posted on August 9th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

Disney Legend and retired Imagineering executive Marty Sklar

Today at the D23 Expo, produced by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, Disney Legend and retired Imagineering executive Marty Sklar spoke about his new book, Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms, launching exclusively this weekend at D23 Expo by Disney Publishing Worldwide. In the book, Marty tells the fascinating story of his half-century Disney career, including working as Walt’s literary right-hand man and helping open nine of the 11 Disney parks around the world. Just before the D23 Expo, I had the opportunity to chat with Marty and I’m pleased to share our conversation here with you.

What has been the proudest moment of your Disney career?

That’s an impossible question, but writing for Walt Disney was very special. I talk about this in my book; I tried to find a way that sounded like Walt in my writing. I found a style that suited me, and that Walt liked, and I’m pretty proud of that.

Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on?

People ask me what my favorite park is, and I say Disneyland because it’s where Walt was personally involved. But as far as the projects that I worked on, I’d say Epcot. From a creative standpoint … a challenge standpoint … a leadership standpoint … a marketing standpoint … it was probably my favorite project.

We live in a world of fantasy in many of the parks, but when you get into reality, like at Epcot or Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it’s a different thing. It’s a great challenge, and we love challenges.

As a writer, how do you feel words impact an experience, like a theme park attraction, like visual effects and technology do?

I fought for years not to use word “ride” because I felt that what we do is stories and immersive experiences, and a ride vehicle is just a method of going through the story. We do stories, we do experiences, and we do adventures. Early on, we developed this language so Disney parks attractions would stand out from what everyone else was doing. I always felt that the words convey what we’re doing and what makes us different.

What is your favorite memory of working with Walt Disney?

Well, he was so far ahead of us. He made it very clear to us that whatever we did yesterday was not going to be good enough again, because he was moving on. He always made it clear to us that we could do better the next time.

Jim Cora called you the “Jiminy Cricket for the organization.” Why is it so important to pass along the “Disney way” to future cast members?

I really think what Walt started is important to the whole world. We have so much stress in life. John Hench once said that the parks were about the reassurance that the world can be okay and that things can be done right. The idea that you can do something right and people will respect it is so much the fabric of the Walt Disney Company.

'Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms' from Disney Publishing Worldwide

You can read even more of Marty’s story in Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms from Disney Publishing Worldwide—available on August 13 wherever books are sold.

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