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California 2008 Recap Part 1, Disneyland's 53rd Birthday, Sleeping Beauty Castle Announcement, Disneyland Dream Suite Preview & Production Update

Hi everyone!

I had such an unforgettable trip to California, with more unique experiences than I could possibly fit into one article. Look for weekly updates on my trip, which will include my photos (and thoughts on) the NFFC convention, as well as Club 33, Disney’s Burbank Studios, El Capitan, the Disneyland Dream Suite, Comic Con, and so much more! Thank you to everyone who stopped by during the room-hopping and NFFC Show and Sale! I enjoyed meeting everyone and appreciate your support.

Disneyland’s 53rd Birthday – Tony Baxter Announcement:

One of the highlights of my California trip each year is to celebrate the birthday of Disneyland. It really is a special day for me, and I was lucky to get to spend it this year with friends and at a special NFFC event! Normally the NFFC leaves the day completely open – but NFFC members were treated to a special announcement in the Lincoln Theater by Tony Baxter. It wasn’t a surprise that the Sleeping Beauty walk-through was going to be reopened, it’s been apparent for quite some time.

However, we not only were there for the official announcement of the “reawakened” version of the walk-through, but shown original artwork and models as well. Presenters were: Andy Siditsky, Sr. Vice-president of Walt Disney Home Entertainment, Tony Baxter, Sr. Vice-president of Walt Disney Imagineering, Chris Merritt, Art Director for WDI, and John Gritz, Technical Director for WDI.

“It is fitting that we are announcing the return of a classic on the 53rd anniversary of Disneyland,” said Tony Baxter. With the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” approaching, Baxter said that the excitement around the movie created interest in the return of the Disneyland attraction.

The attraction is expected to open for the holiday season 2008, in tandem with Sleeping Beauty’s 50th Anniversary. Or, as Tony Baxter stated “Before the autumn leaves fall, Sleeping Beauty will again walk the halls”

Disneyland’s 53rd Birthday – Special Birthday Celebration:

As in previous years, the re-dedication ceremony was conducted by the Mayor of Main Street, flanked by Mickey Mouse and his friends.

During the ceremony Walt Disney’s original opening day speech was played. “To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past… and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

Disneyland Dream Suite – Preview:

While covering the NFFC convention, I was one of 30 lucky winners to win a tour of the Disneyland Dream Suite for myself and one guest from designer Kim Irvine. The Disneyland Dream Suite includes a living room, open-air patio, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Please check back soon for a full report with photos from this very special location!

Production Update:

I am currently working on the following titles:

* Disneyland Resort After Dark

* Disneyland: The Sixties (“Class of” Series featuring attractions from 1960-1970)

* Complete Main Street Electrical Parade (WDW, DL, DCA)

* Walt Disney World: Resort Classics

* Walt Disney World Class of 1971

As always, if you want to request a future DVD idea, Photo Memory topic or comment on anything, just drop me a line at suggestions@JeffLangeDVD.com.

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