Show Hide
Enjoy the nighttime extravaganza Fantasmic! at Disney Parks

Explore Walt Disney’s Vision of Tomorrow: Join ‘The Optimist’

posted on July 8th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort

Of all the ways to describe Walt Disney — dreamer, innovator, filmmaker, television pioneer, theme park creator — perhaps “visionary idealist” is the most intriguing. That trait takes center stage in “The Optimist,” a new alternate-reality game presented through a partnership between Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development and The Walt Disney Studios.

Explore Walt Disney's Vision of Tomorrow in ‘The Optimist’

In this narrative adventure, participants around the globe linked by social media will join fictional characters to explore both virtual and physical realms, piecing together an imagined story of Walt Disney, the Imagineers and other visionary thinkers and their potential involvement in a secret project that sought to build a better future.

“In this alternate reality experience, one of our characters has discovered some previously unknown facts that could change what we think we know about Walt Disney, Imagineering and Disneyland park,” said Scott Trowbridge, head of Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development. “Players can participate at different levels of engagement over the six-week story — from leveraging social media and mobile devices to visiting unique physical sites from the story in and around Los Angeles.”

While some characters and situations in “The Optimist” are based on real people and events, Scott noted that the overall experience is fictitious and does not intend to represent historical accuracy. The experience culminates at the ultimate Disney fan event, D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif., August 9-11, 2013.

“At Imagineering, we are constantly exploring and developing new ways to engage our guests in compelling, interactive experiences,” Scott said. “With ‘The Optimist,’ we are excited to connect people with each other around the world to uncover a story that seems so unbelievable — and at the same time, so encouraging — that it could only come from Disney.”

Visit to learn more about the experience and get started.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

D23 Expo 2013 Dream Store Showcase: Art, Collectibles, Books and More

posted on July 5th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

Okay D23 fans, if you have been waiting to catch a glimpse of some of the art and collectibles available as part of this year’s D23 Expo 2013, taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center, August 9 – 11, then you’re in luck. I have all the details on what is scheduled to be released. While I might not be able to show you everything here, I hope you will stop by the Dream Store and check it out.

So let’s get started. First up is the Signature Collection from our talented team of Disney Design Group Artists, including Natalie Kennedy, Alex Maher, Randy Noble and Darren Wilson. These four captivating pieces are filled with imagination and bring to life Sorcerer Mickey and some of Disney’s most beloved characters. Look for these images to be available in deluxe print format or via Art on Demand.

D23 Expo 2013 Dream Store Showcase: Signature Collection with Sorcerer Mickey

Debuting in the Dream Store will be some of the latest releases from: Alex & Ani, ACME Archives Limited, Disney Fine Art by Collectors Editions, Dooney & Bourke, Precious Moments, Stuller Fine Jewelry as well as Costa Alavezos, Dave Avanzino, Eric Caszatt, Ron Cohee, John Coulter, Larry Dotson, Valerie Edwards, Rodel Gonzalez, Dana & Melanie Harvey, Manny Hernandez, John Henselmeier, Caley Hicks, Rob Kaz, Art Lewis, Hiko Maeda, Alex Maher, Gerald Mendez, Miss Mindy, Noah, Paige O’Hara, Robert Olszewski, David Pacheco, Ian Ray, Linda Rick, Tim Rogerson, Michelle St. Laurent, Disney Legend and Chief Archivist Emeritus Dave Smith, Thomas Scott, Jim Shore, Javier Soto, Michael Sullivan, Erica Virgin and Darren Wilson, among others.

For all of you who love to read, like I do, make time to add these next few books to your “must read” list. Kingdom Keepers VI – Dark Passage by Ridley Pearson, Dream It, Do It! by Disney Legend and retired Imagineering executive, Marty Sklar, Remembering Roy E. Disney by David A. Bossert and Tinker Bell: An Evolution by Mindy Johnson.

Autograph Sessions Will Take Place Throughout The D23 Expo

If you are wondering whether you will have an opportunity to meet any of the artists and authors listed above, the answer is a most definite, yes! Autograph sessions will take place throughout the D23 Expo. For a complete list of signings times, visit, and of course, be sure to keep up to date by checking the list which will be posted daily at the D23 Expo Dream Store.

For more information the D23 Expo please visit and for a look at some of our Dream Store merchandise check out

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Rare ‘Behind-the-Magic’ Look at Walt Disney Imagineering Set for D23 Expo

posted on June 28th, 2013 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks

If you’re one of the many readers who love our peeks at Walt Disney Imagineering, then you won’t believe what’s planned for this year’s D23 Expo. In honor of their 60th anniversary, Walt Disney Imagineering is hosting an “open house” that’ll offer fans an unprecedented look at its creative processes and a rare opportunity to see just how the magic is created.

Mystic Point at Hong Kong Disneyland The 2013 D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai`i

D23 Expo guests will get an up-close look at an eclectic array of Imagineering’s creative minds – ride engineers, model builders, pre-visualization artists, special effects designers, inventors, and show animators. You’ll also have the chance to glimpse the “workspaces” of several project teams from around Disney’s global portfolio of parks and resorts.

And for the first time at the D23 Expo, Walt Disney Imagineering will be showcasing some of its most historical and revered concept art from its Art Library, including Herb Ryman’s original drawing of Disneyland park.

In the Disney Parks pavilion, D23 Expo guests will have the chance to explore Mickey’s of Glendale, an outlet of Walt Disney Imagineering’s employee-only store, to shop for unique souvenirs and collectibles and Walt Disney Imagineering merchandise not available anywhere else.

D23 Expo attendees will also be able to attend 12 unique presentations and panel discussions that will take fans on the incredible journey behind the latest Disney resorts, attractions, and entertainment including:

  • The Art and Artistry of Aulani – Imagineers Joe Rohde and Jeanette Lomboy will share the authentic tapestry of art and stories found at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa.
  • Mayhem, Mischief, and Monkeys: The Magic of Mystic Manor – Join Imagineers Joe Lanzisero and others for the strange stories behind Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Manor, the newest and one of the most sophisticated attractions ever built.
  • Undiscovered Disneyland – Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter shares rare and never-before-seen footage of the early days of Disneyland park, from design and construction through opening day.
  • Broadcasts from Buena Vista Street – Enjoy the latest “soundtrack” from Buena Vista Street, featuring a live performance of Scary Symphony from radio station KBVS and a panel discussion led by Imagineers.
  • Disney Ambassadors – Join current Disney Parks Ambassadors from around the world as they discuss this renowned program and share insights about its rich heritage, current outreach efforts, and the importance of sharing Disney goodwill.
  • Voices of the Disney Parks – Back by popular demand, this panel of famous Disney voices will gather for an encore panel discussion, including recreations of some unforgettable Disney Parks sayings.
  • Charles Phoenix Presents – Noted humorist and self-proclaimed “retro daddy” Charles Phoenix shares some of his favorite images from around Disney, featuring classic kitsch, clashing color schemes, and hairdos that truly defy gravity.

Disney’s D23 Expo is August 9-11 in Anaheim and tickets are now on sale. On Sunday, August 11, there will be a full day dedicated to the celebration of Walt Disney Imagineering’s 60th anniversary. The presentations in the 2,000-seat Stage 23 Theater with current and former Imagineers will explore a wide range of topics from working with Walt Disney himself, to the exploration of creativity, innovation, and humor in the parks, to a lively discussion of what it’s like to lead one of the world’s most creative organizations.

Let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comments below.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

D23 Expo 2013 Pins Coming to the Dream Store

posted on June 25th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

For those of you attending the D23 Expo 2013, the ultimate Disney event for fans and families from August 9–11, at the Anaheim Convention Center, here’s a look at a few more items you might just need to add to that ever-growing Dream Store list. First up, D23 Expo 2013 open and limited edition pins!

You’ll find Sorcerer Mickey, Goofy, Donald Duck and Chip ‘n’ Dale on designs that are reminiscent of a stained glass.

D23 Expo 2013 Pins Coming to the Dream Store D23 Expo 2013 Pins Coming to the Dream Store D23 Expo 2013 Pins Coming to the Dream Store D23 Expo 2013 Pins Coming to the Dream Store

Of course, the Disney Legends and Piece of Disney History – 2009 Expo Banner pins.

D23 Expo 2013 Pins Coming to the Dream Store D23 Expo 2013 Pins Coming to the Dream Store

A D23 Member Exclusive pin.
Remember a D23 Membership I.D. card must be presented to purchase this one.

Mystery Collection Pin Sets themed to the D23 Expo and Disney•Pixar.

D23 Expo 2013 Pins Coming to the Dream Store D23 Expo 2013 Pins Coming to the Dream Store

I know that some of you in the Sorcerer Level package have already seen other collectible items, Vinylmation, logo merchandise, etc … I promise you Disney fans, I’ll be sharing it all with you soon, right here on the Disney Parks Blog.

To find out details on D23 Expo 2013, visit

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

There’s A ‘Lot’ Happening at the D23 Expo 2013 Silent Auction

posted on June 7th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

A couple of weeks ago, I shared the first look at D23 Expo 2013 official merchandise. When I did, it seemed to me there were a lot of you out there anxious to see what we have up our sleeves for this year’s D23 Silent Auction. Any interested bidders, better get ready.

There are more than 70 lots in the mix, which include everything from experiences and artifacts to attraction vehicles, signs, pin sets, props and more.

Here are a few I knew you just had to see!

Matterhorn Bobsleds Tandem Vehicles
Remain Seated Please! Permanecer sentados por favor! Why? Because, these vintage Disneyland park Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction tandem vehicles will let your mind race thru Alpine passes, around ice caverns and past an abominable snowman.

Matterhorn Bobsleds Attraction Tandem Vehicles Will Let Your Mind Race Thru Alpine Passes, Around Ice Caverns and Past an Abominable Snowman

Mickey Mouse Club Drum
If people often tell you that you march to the beat of your own drum, then have I got the ticket for you. Check out this Mickey Mouse Club drum prop which was previously displayed at Mickey’s of Glendale at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Mickey Mouse Club Drum Prop Which was Previously Displayed at Mickey’s of Glendale at Walt Disney Imagineering

Siamese Cats – Si and Am Props
Don’t be so catty about this next set! The cats in this lot are Siamese, if you please. For years, these two felines were used as display pieces in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. If you are wondering why I chose to show you Si and Am, it’s because first of all, they’re troublemakers, and I can relate, but mostly it’s because “Lady and the Tramp” is one of my favorite animated films.

Siamese Cats - Si and Am Props from 'Lady and the Tramp'

100 Mickeys – Pin Set
Calling All Pin Traders! This one’s for you! Developed in 2002 in celebration of the 100th birthday of Walt Disney, this framed commemorative pin set includes one-hundred limited-edition pins inspired by the artwork of artist Eric Robison and featuring American icon, Mickey Mouse.

Developed in 2002 in Celebration of the 100th Birthday of Walt Disney, this Framed Commemorative Pin Set Includes One-Hundred Limited-Edition Pins Inspired by the Artwork of Artist Eric Robison

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Oversized Chair
Finally, take a seat and let us help you get to the heart of the matter. This oversized metal chair, once used as a photo opportunity at Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort, features Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse who are bound to bring loving comfort and a ‘heart-y’ décor to your home. When I say oversized … I’m not kidding. This chair actually measures 16’ ft tall by 6’ wide.

This Oversized Metal Chair, Once Used as a Photo Opportunity at the Walt Disney World Resort, Features Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse

Silent Auction tickets are $23 per guest. The ticket includes the opportunity to participate in the silent auction, a mini-catalog, commemorative pin and credential. The auction is set to take place Saturday, Aug. 10. Tickets for the auction will go on sale June 11, 2013, at 11 a.m. Pacific via Ticket information is available now. View this year’s D23 Silent Auction lots online at Separate D23 Expo admission is required.

Remember the ultimate Disney event for fans and families takes place August 9–11 at the Anaheim Convention Center. To find out details on D23 Expo 2013, visit

As they say in the auction world… Going Once… Going Twice… Gone!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

First Look at D23 Expo 2013 Official Merchandise

posted on May 30th, 2013 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

Are you counting down to the D23 Expo? I am. Mainly because I have so much to tell you about before the spectacular event kicks off August 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center. For the record, today marks 69 days and counting. So let’s get started! Here’s your first look at the logos that will appear on a variety of D23 Expo official merchandise and will be available at the D23 Expo Dream Store.

I consider this first one … magical and filled with character. Why? Well take a look!
Find Characters Like Goofy, Donald Duck and Chip n’ Dale Trying to Make Their Mark as a ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ at the D23 Expo
Where else can you find characters like Goofy, Donald Duck and Chip n’ Dale trying to make their mark as a ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’? As you can tell, Mickey Mouse is still the real deal. Look for this art to appear on a variety of merchandise including tees for kids and adults, fleece, a baseball cap, mug, souvenir tote and more.

This next piece is, simply, a classic! The silhouette of Sorcerer Mickey will appear on a sampling of items including a ladies tee, adult t-shirt and bowling shirt.
The Silhouette of Sorcerer Mickey Will Appear on a Sampling of Items Including a Ladies Tee, Adult T-shirt and Bowling Shirt
If you are looking to make a statement at this year’s expo, do I have a tip for you! Check out this sneak preview of one of the new Seatbeltbags from HARVEYS. The collection, featuring Sorcerer Mickey and classic D’s, was created especially for this year’s expo. I can’t show them all to you, but here’s a look at my favorite silhouette.
The New Seatbeltbags from HARVEYS features Sorcerer Mickey and Classic D’s, and was Created Especially for This Year’s Expo
What else do we have up our sleeves? How about designer jewelry, accessories (and yes this line has the letters D&B in it), signature collections, artwork, collectibles, D-Tech, Duffy the Disney Bear, appearances by renowned artists Dave Avanzino, ACME Archives Ltd., Collectors Editions, Noah, Robert Olszewski, Precious Moments, Linda Rick, Jim Shore and more.

Finally, if you are wondering whether there will be an auction this year, you are in luck. As part of this year’s D23 Expo, a silent auction will be hosted by Disney Theme Park Merchandise giving you – our ultimate Disney fans – the chance to bid on unique Disney artifacts, artwork, experiences, props and more. The Silent Auction is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Aug. 10. Tickets for the Silent Auction will go on sale June 11, 2013, via Keep in mind, separate D23 Expo admission is required.

Anyone want to see a sneak peek of the pin you receive when you register to participate in the silent auction? Take a look.
Cheshire Cat Pin from D23 Expo Silent Auction Saturday, Aug. 10
Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog, and over the next few months, because I will be sharing all of the details and much, much more when it comes to Disney Theme Park Merchandise releases, artist appearances, the silent auction and the D23 Expo 2013. If you have yet to get tickets to this ultimate fan event, check out all the details here, and let the countdown begin!

See you there!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Special Events

Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken to Perform ‘The Disney Songbook’ at the D23 Expo

posted on May 28th, 2013 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

It’s virtually impossible to walk through Disney Parks without hearing the music of the Sherman Brothers and Alan Menken. And for one night only, Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken will take the stage together to play some of their most beloved compositions at the D23 Expo. This once-in-a-lifetime event, entitled “Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken: The Disney Songbook,” will take place Saturday, August 10, as part of the Ultimate Disney Fan Event at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Richard M. Sherman Will Perform 'The Disney Songbook' with Alan Menken at the D23 Expo

In the parks, the Sherman Brothers music can be heard on such attractions as “it’s a small world,” Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Carousel of Progress. Alan’s work is highlighted on the numerous attractions and shows based on “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin” in many parks. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and guests at the D23 Expo can expect to hear many of their favorites during the show.

“I can’t express how excited I am that my esteemed friend Alan Menken and I will be sharing the same bill for the very first time,” said Richard. “Alan is an incredible talent, and I know we’re both thrilled to be performing for Disney’s most ardent fans — they’re the best, and I can’t wait to be a part of what promises to be a very special night for all of us.”

“And I can’t think of anyone I’d prefer to share that stage with,” added Alan. “Richard, along with his brother Robert, wrote songs that filled my formative years with joy and fantasy.”

The concert will take place inside the 4,000-seat D23 Expo Arena and will be simulcast into a 2,000-seat overflow theater inside the Convention Center. For more information about the concert, click here, and to purchase your tickets for the D23 Expo, click here.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

D23’s Fanniversary Celebration Brings Disney Magic to Guests Across the Country

posted on February 12th, 2013 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is taking the show on the road once again! After a sold out tour in 2012, D23 is bringing an all-new Disney Fanniversary Celebration to 10 cities across the country. This 90-minute multimedia show, hosted by a Disney archivist and a member of the D23 Team, will highlight dozens of unforgettable Disney milestones, celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2013 through rarely or never-before seen artwork, photography, film footage and exclusive interviews with Disney Legends and luminaries.

From the creation of Mickey and Minnie Mouse to classic animated films like “Peter Pan” and “Mulan”; from the launch of Disney Channel to the momentous founding of The Walt Disney Company 90 years ago in (of course) 1923, no speck of pixie dust will be left unturned.


Of course Disney Parks play a huge role in this show, with such beloved attractions as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland park and Horizons at Epcot celebrating anniversaries, as well as entire theme parks like Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland (15 and 30, respectively). Not to mention the launch of Disney Cruise Line in 1998!

Tickets are now on sale to both D23 Members and the general public for shows in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Click here for complete details.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

D23 Celebrates Magic and Merriment at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on December 14th, 2012 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

Hundreds of members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club gathered at Walt Disney World Resort this past weekend to enjoy Magic and Merriment, D23’s holly jolly event. Magic and Merriment has grown so popular, the fan club offered the event twice this year!


Both days began with compelling and entertaining presentations. Graham Allan explored how the parks have celebrated the holidays throughout the years with fascinating images pulled from the Walt Disney Archives and beyond. Shawn Slater built on Graham’s entertaining session with a look at how Disney Parks around the world celebrate the holidays today. Disney Parks pastry chefs Jeff Barnes of Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Daren Lanpher of Disney’s Beach Club Resort revealed some sweet secrets about the creation of Christmas treats at their respective hotels. Disney historian and Disney Parks Blog author Greg Ehrbar closed out the morning with “Disney’s Happy Peppy Holiday Music,” a delightful—and informative—presentation on the very merry music Disney has created and recorded over the years.

The rest of the weekend was full of enough festivities to last a lifetime of happy holidays, including reserved viewing of the beautiful Candlelight Processional, private dessert party and viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth with its stirring holiday finale, a “holiday hunt” inside Magic Kingdom Park featuring New Fantasyland, a sumptuous dinner on the sets of two action-packed attractions (Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show for the first cycle of the event and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! for the second) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and finally the unforgettable weekend closed with a private viewing of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, providing the perfect ending to a magical — and very merry — weekend.

Check out some of D23’s exciting events for 2013 here!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

D23 Announces Disney Events Across the Country For 2013

posted on November 28th, 2012 by Jeffrey Epstein, Manager, Marketing

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club has just announced a slate of extraordinary events for 2013, which will cross the country sprinkling pixie dust on D23 Members and Disney enthusiasts of all ages.
D23 Expo 2012 at the Anaheim Convention Center Directly Across from the Disneyland Resort.

The fan club will bring its popular Sip & Stroll event, celebrating the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, back to Walt Disney World Resort in fall 2013, as well as an all-new festive family event, D23’s Holiday Splendor, which will deck the halls in December of 2013.

Walt Disney World Resort will also play host to one of the ten stops of D23’s Fanniversary Celebration, the exciting multimedia road show event, which commemorates dozens of magical milestones celebrating an anniversary in 2013. This all-new show will highlight anniversaries for such park favorites such as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (50th), Tokyo Disneyland Resort (30th), Horizons (30th) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom (15th). Along with its Orlando stop, Fanniversary will bring Disney delight to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

The Walt Disney Imagineering campus in Glendale will host two special events at its Mickey’s of Glendale employee store, flinging open its doors exclusively to D23 Members on Saturday, April 13 and Saturday, June 8, 2013.

Returning in 2013 are D23’s popular tours of the Walt Disney Studio Lot and Archives, where guest have the opportunity to truly walk in Walt’s footsteps, as well as their 50 and Fabulous and From the Vaults film series held in the original Studio Theater on the Burbank Lot.

Of course, D23’s most spectacular event of 2013 will be its third D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, which will take place August 9 – 11, 2013, at the Anaheim Convention Center, directly across from the Disneyland Resort. This can’t-miss, unforgettable three-day experience for Disney fans will once again be brimming with live appearances, musical performances and autograph opportunities by Disney’s top stars from films, TV and music; exclusive sneak peaks of what’s on the horizon at Disney Parks around the world, plus entertaining presentations on a variety of Disney topics. Attendees will also thrill to the always compelling Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit and the exciting Disney Legends Ceremony.

To read more about D23’s 2013 events, click here.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , , ,

Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort