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California 2009 Recap Part 3: D23 Disneyland USA Event – Bonus Video: "Magical" Fireworks Show

Hi everyone!

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 D23 Disneyland 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!

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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 Disneyland President 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.

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We watched the beautifully restored version of Walt Disney’s 1956 “People and Places” featurette in 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”.

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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!

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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.

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The dessert party included Celebration cupcakes, along with coffee and tea. The area isn’t the best for the fireworks, but I saw Magical around 10 times during my trip with castle-front views, so I enjoyed more spending time with friends in a non-crowded setting.

Thank you to D23 for another fantastic event! I am glad to be a charter member. For my report on the D23 Flower & Fireworks event at Epcot this summer, please click HERE.

Bonus Videos – “Magical” Fireworks Show from Disneyland

“Magical” Fireworks Show – Part 1 from Disneyland

“Magical” Fireworks Show – Part 2 from Disneyland

Available Now – Latest Release:

disneyland-parade-classics-copyJeff Lange’s Disneyland Parade Classics Vol 1

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)!

Running Time: 60 Min

For more information

or to purchase this item, please click HERE.

Also available: Jeff Lange’s Magic Kingdom Parade Classics Vol 1 and Jeff Lange’s Magic Kingdom Parade Classics Vol 2.

More New Releases:

wdw-1986-coverJeff Lange DVD Presents: Bob Welbaum’s Walt Disney World 1986 DVD

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!

Running Time: 65 Min

For more information

or to purchase this item, please click HERE.

Also available: Jeff Lange Remembers: Fantasyland Classics and Jeff Lange Remembers: Tomorrowland Classics

Also available:

disneyland-classics-vol-5-smallJeff Lange Remembers Disneyland Classics Vol 5

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.

Also available: Jeff Lange Remembers: Disneyland Classics Volume 1 – 4.

Also available:

magic-kingdom-wishes-cover1Jeff Lange’s Magic Kingdom Wishes DVD

Jeff Lange takes you to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to experience the best of all the “Wishes” nighttime fireworks spectaculars!

Features: Wishes – A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, Happy HalloWishes Fireworks, Holiday Wishes – Celebrate The Spirit of the Season plus Bonus: Magic, Music & Mayhem Fireworks!

Running Time: 61 Min

For more information or to purchase this item,

please click HERE.

Click here to browse the JeffLangeDVD store.

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.

JeffLangeDVD hits the road, 25th Anniversary NFFC National Convention, Disneyland Resort, D23 Disneyland USA Event and More

Hi everyone!

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since the last California NFFC Convention, but I’m packing my bags to attend next week! In addition to this special Disneyana event, I have a packed schedule which will include the special D23 Disneyland USA event!


NFFC National Convention:

“The 25th Anniversary Convention is shaping up to be the biggest and best NFFC Disneyana bash in the club’s history, with such Disney favorites as Don Hahn (Disney producer extraordinaire), Paige O’Hara (the voice of Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), and Jodi Benson (the voice of Princess Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid) scheduled to be part of Celebration Banquet, A Royal Gathering.

Seminar presenters include Steven Clark, head of D23. Steven’s presentation will include history of the creation of D23 and a preview of the first D23 Disney Expo, which will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center this coming September.

Also scheduled to appear is Rebecca Cline, manager of the Disney Archives. Rebecca will be giving a presentation of rarely-seen film footage and items from the Mickey Mouse Club Circus.

Many of your favorite Imagineers and Disney artists are planning on attending the 25th Anniversary NFFC Disneyana Convention and NFFC All Disneyana Show and Sale.

The convention schedule is updated as speakers are confirmed and you can see the latest HERE.

I will be attending the entire convention and will have a table at the giant NFFC Disneyana Show and Sale. The sale date is Sunday, July 19th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Resort (12021 Harbor Blvd. Garden Grove, CA). If you are attending, please stop by and say hello (click HERE for a flyer with a $1.00 off coupon). I look forward to meeting everyone! I will also be opening my room at the convention hotel for room hopping on Saturday, July 18th. For more information about the NFFC please click HERE.

Disneyland’s 54th Anniversary:

One of the highlights of my yearly trip is celebrating Disneylands Birthday! As a diehard Disneyland enthusiast (and Disney in general!), I’m known to never leave the park before closing – and July 17th is no exception. My Disneyland birthday tradition is to join friends for a full day in the park, riding all of the opening day attractions from 1955.

D23 Disneyland USA Event – July 17th 2009

I am also lucky enough to be attending the D23 Disneyland USA event the evening of July 17th – what a hard ticket that was to get! The D23 events page gives this description:


“Join D23 as we wish Disneyland a happy anniversary with a very special screening backstage at Disneyland of Walt Disney’s recently restored 1956 “People and Places” featurette Disneyland, U.S.A., along with a panel discussion including Imagineer Tony Baxter, Disney Legend and Chief Archivist Dave Smith and Disney Studios Film Archivist Ed Hobelman. Then enjoy a dessert reception with your fellow D23 members, along with some very special surprises throughout the night!”

Check back here after the event for a full report!

Disneyland Anniversary DVDs – Available Now:

Just in time for Disneyland’s 54rd Anniversary we have these title available now! Jeff Lange Remembers: Disneyland’s 35th Anniversary, Jeff Lange Remembers: Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary, Jeff Lange Remembers: Disneyland’s 40th Birthday and Jeff Lange Remembers: Disneyland’s 45th Anniversary!

Disneyland fans may also be interested in my best selling series Disneyland Classics Vol 1 – 5 available HERE.

As always, while I am traveling you will still receive the same level of quality service you have come to expect from JeffLangeDVD. 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.

Click here to browse the JeffLangeDVD store.

Click here to browse all Disneyland titles.