I had a great trip to central Florida last week, and accomplished all I set out to do. Below are the highlights of the trip:
2008 NFFC Florida Canvention:
This years NFFC Florida Convention was excellent as expected! Highlights included author David Koenig, who gave a highly informative and entertaining presentation on Epcot’s World Showcase concepts that were never realized. Animation Legend Joe Hale (below right) gave an interesting and candid talk about working at the Disney Studios. His recollections included memories of Walt Disney and dealing with Jeffrey Katzenburg, Michael Eisner and more!
Another highlight was Ike Eisenmann (below left), who spoke about his work on the original Witch Mountain movies. He segued into his involvement with the upcoming “Race to Witch Mountain” film and his own animation company. A very special tribute to Disney Legend Ralph Kent featured emotional memories from Gary Sohmers and a panel of Ralphs friend and co-workers. This was followed by a spirited auction where some of Ralph’s memorabilia was auctioned off by Mr Sohmers to benifit Ralph’s estate.
The convention also included a tour of the Walt Disney World Merchandise Warehouse, the induction of three new NFFC legends: Hank Dains, Jess Rubio, Phil Smith and Gretta Verity. A very detailed talk about the history of the Adventurers Club from Disney historian Jim Korkis rounded out the convention and got everyone ready for the special event that followed!
The Adventurers Club Dinner:
When Pleasure Island opened in 1989, I was 22 years old. It was the perfect age to enjoy all that P.I. offered! That included the Comedy Warehouse, a variety of nightclubs – and the mysterious Adventurers Club. I enjoyed the Island on my frequent Disney trips, but was especially enamored with the interactive characters and atmosphere of the AC. When I found out about Pleasure Island’s closing, I was especially saddened as I would not be able to visit the final night. Fortunately, I was given another chance to say goodbye with the NFFC during a wonderful evening as part of the Florida Convention.
I enjoyed a special evening with other NFFC members, who’d waited excitedly to enjoy the Club one last time. All the characters were in attendance, and even more interactive than usual due to the absence of the library shows.
We were treated to a hilarious New Member Induction Ceremony poking fun at all the “Disney Fanatics” in the room plus two Mask Room shows and two Treasure Room shows!
The actors seemed genuinely happy to host our group, and talked out of character a little more than usual at the end of the evening. Jim Korkis ended the eventful night with a final tribute to the Club and the performers (photo below of the cast posting for us).
It was an unforgettable evening, and I will truly miss this unique Disney experience. I hope it returns in some form in the future. For more photos of this very special event, please visit partner site MouseSteps.
I recently spent 3 days recording footage at Disney’s Polynesian Resort for an upcoming DVD and screensaver release! Please feel free to email suggestions for a future resort title to: suggestions@JeffLangeDVD.com.
Be sure to check out my latest release: Jeff Lange’s Trick or Treat 5 (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2008).
As a special thank you to those that order Jeff Lange’s Trick or Treat 5 direct from this site, I am including the guide above as a free bonus while supplies last. This was the Boo! What? Where? When? Party Guide Map given out at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. It makes an ideal companion to the new DVD.
For more details on purchasing this title, click HERE.
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