We had a fantastic time at Destination D! The event was full of wonderful Disney memories, and we made some new ones as well. There was even a small Archives area which consisted of characters such as Donald Duck, Panchito and José Carioca from the classic Mickey Mouse Revue (below, left) and Figment from the original Journey into Imagination. (below, right).
We’ve been spending a lot of time around property, checking out the resorts and parks for Christmas (we are trying to get to 8 or so resorts tomorrow!) The Swan and Dolphin (below, left) really did a great job of decking the halls this year – more than ever. The Walt Disney World Swan Resort has an incredible chocolate Santa display (below, right) that is 3 million calories!
It’s been a week since I’ve been back from California, and am finally getting more photos and blog posts up – some photos and the text are courtesy of Mousesteps.com. This article features the D23Disneyland U.S.A. event on July 17th, which was Disneyland’s 54th birthday. I was very fortunate to be one of 200 guests to be part of this D23 event!
We had gotten our wristbands for the event outside of the Disneyland gates, and were given a time to meet at “it’s a small world”.
We were ushered backstage to see the film and panel discussion, hosted by Tim O’Day, that included former DisneylandPresident Jack Lindquist, Chief Disney Archivist Dave Smith and Imagineers Tony Baxter and Bob Gurr. We were told that cameras weren’t allowed to be used at all backstage. It was a longer walk than I expected from Small World to the auditorium (but I could use all the walking I could get before the dessert party!) Before entering, we were treated to some information about the Disneyland fireworks, including the mention that there would be a new Hallowishes show. Everyone was then given bags of candy, pretzels and a bottled water before being ushered inside.
We watched the beautifully restored version of Walt Disney’s 1956 “People and Places” featurettein CinemaScope, “Disneyland U.S.A.” We were given a few things to watch for ahead of time, I was surprised that there used to be fishing at Disneyland – but that soon ended, due to guests leaving their fish behind in the park (which created an odor problem). We were told that there were 17 Disney songs in the film, and you can hear Old Yeller even though it wasn’t yet out.
After the film, each panel guest talked for a few minutes. Bob Gurr talked about how Walt had seen a monorail in Germany, but wanted Bob to design a better one. Gurr had 8 months to design the monorail, but was still learning engineering – he trained himself at Disneyland. He said how it took 13 years to get the Autopia car just right, and that those 1968 cars are still running – and the original subs as well. Gurr also does not like roller coasters, he rode one just to be able to tell Walt that he was doing research for the Matterhorn. Gurr said of his job, “I was paid to design, not ride this stuff”.
Jack Lindquist said that one of his most touching moments in the park was on one Christmas Eve, before the park closed at 6pm. There were only a handful of people left in Disneyland at 5pm, and he fell into step behind a family walking down Main Street. One of the two children in the family turned to their mother and said, “You know mom, you were right. This was better than having a visit from Santa Claus“.
One of my favorite stories of the evening was when Lindquist and Marty Sklar were throwing a party on the evening before the World’s Fair. They ran out of ice, and Lindquist went through an apartment building looking for some – knocking on doors until he finally found a couple who had some to spare. The couple talked to him, and then asked Lindquist if he knew their nephew – Marty Sklar. He did not tell them that Marty had been in town for months!
Geri Bumpass was also one of the panel guests, she was a hostess that can be seen in old film footage and photos with Walt Disney. She told a funny story about how she once slapped Walt’s hand away from reaching from her chest, but it turned out that he was just wanting to take a look at a new pin he’d not yet seen. Bumpass eventually left her job at Disneyland, but returned to work there again many years ago because “I still had Pixie Dust in my blood”.
At one point, we were told that it was okay to bring out the cameras for a photo.
The dessert party included Celebration cupcakes, along with coffee and tea. The area isn’t the best for the fireworks, but I saw Magicalaround 10 times during my trip with castle-front views, so I enjoyed more spending time with friends in a non-crowded setting.
Jeff Lange takes you back in time to experience this first in a series of DVDs featuring vintage parades from the “Happiest Place on Earth”, Disneyland!.
Features the following classic Disneyland parades: Very Merry Christmas Parade (1985), Totally Minnie Parade (1986), Party Gras Parade – Disneyland’s 35th Anniversary (1990) and The World According to Goofy Parade (1992)!
Jeff Lange turns back the clock to 1986, where you will experience Walt Disney World through the eyes of Disneyana documentarian Bob Welbaum. This incredible vintage footage includes select narration from Mr. Welbaum, who shot this video before recording was commonplace.
Walt Disney World 1986 contains clips from the following: Walt Disney World Resorts, Original Disney Shopping Village, Epcot Center, Discovery Island, Magic Kingdom, Seven Seas Lagoon and much more!
Jeff Lange takes you on a trip back in time to experience classic Disneyland attractions. This fifth volume in the series features the following:
Aladdin’s Royal Caravan (1993), Disneyland Railroad (1992) including the burning settlers cabin, Big Thunder Ranch and more, Beauty and the Beast Show (1993), Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (1993), Alice in Wonderland (1993) and Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks (1993)!
Running Time: 66 Min
For more information or to purchase this item, please click HERE.