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.