This year is the 55th anniversary of Disneyland Resort, and D23 is celebrating this milestone year with the premiere of Destination D: Disneyland ’55, a brand-new, two-day event that illuminates the fascinating history behind Disney’s flagship park.
Destination D: Disneyland ’55 will take D23 Members on a mesmerizing journey through the design, creation, debut and magical history of the world’s first Disney theme park. The event will offer two full days of special presentations, panels, screenings and guest speakers that give fans an inside view of this fascinating era in Disney history and let them meet and talk with key figures in Disneyland’s history. Future Destination D events will explore other important aspects of Disney’s amazing creative legacy. Following its premiere in September, Destination D will alternate annually with the enormously popular D23 Expo.
Event highlights include our Mickey Mouse Club 55th Anniversary presentation, reuniting original Mouseketeers Sharon Baird, Doreen Tracey, Bobby Burgess, Karen Pendleton, Sherry Van Meter (formerly Alberoni), Tommy Cole, Cubby O’Brien, and Mary Geoff (formerly Espinosa) for a delightful trip back in time to the dawning of the television era with the club that was, like D23, “made for you and me.”
Destination D will also mark the debut of the Disney Legends Celebration, a heartfelt tribute to those who have made a lasting contribution to the Disney legacy. All Destination D attendees and Disney Legends will be invited to attend E-Ticket: Music from the Disney Parks, a concert of memorable tunes through the years at the Disneyland Resort with some very special guests, including Disney Legend Richard Sherman.
All guests will also receive a limited-edition set of colorful, vintage Disneyland postcards from the Walt Disney Archives Collection. It’s a reproduction of actual postcards sold when Disneyland opened in 1955 — it’s just a coincidence that the complete set features 23 images!
There will also be a selection of limited edition merchandise available for purchase at the event.
Shown below is the current lineup for Destination D: Disneyland ’55 (times to be announced later this summer; panels and talent subject to change):
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2010
Mickey Mouse Club 55th Anniversary
Join original Mouseketeers including Sharon Baird, Doreen Tracey, Bobby Burgess, Karen Pendleton, Sherry Van Meter (Alberoni), Tommy Cole, Cubby O’Brien and Mary Geoff (Espinosa) for a magical walk down memory lane as they recall their favorite behind-the-scenes stories from the classic Disneyland attraction Mickey Mouse Club Circus.
From the startling visuals of the 1930′s Fanchon & Marco “Mickey Mouse Idea” vaudeville shows to Disneyland’s “Kap the Kaiser Aluminum Pig” and the “Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow,” Disney’s history has included some pretty offbeat stuff. Join Archives Director Becky Cline and Disney historian Paul Anderson as they act as your tour guides on a fun-filled, irreverent and often-surprising road trip through the wonderfully weird and wacky side of Disney.
From Quirky to Collectible: The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise
Curiouser and curiouser! From a Mark Twain Riverboat AM radio to a Matterhorn bank, we will present a treasure trove of timeless trinkets and unique souvenirs. Merchandise mavens Stacia Martin and Paul Anderson and Disney Archivist Rob Klein will take you to a collector’s Cloud Nine, including the “Top 5 Rarest Pieces of Disneyana” and the “Top 5 Strangest Items of Disneyland Memorabilia.” You won’t believe what they have found!
The 1964 New York World’s Fair and the Development of Audio-Animatronics® Characters With so many incredible Disney achievements over the years, it’s hard to pick one as most impressive. But one milestone — Disney’s contribution to the 1964 New York World’s Fair — arguably stands far and above any other for its impact on Disneyland, the dawning of Walt Disney World and now, the Disney theme park experience around the world. Hosted by historian Paul Anderson, this is a fascinating and remarkable story of how 50 years ago Walt and his Imagineers broke the barriers of technology and pioneered an entirely new chapter in the history of entertainment, and in doing so, drastically changed the course of Disney theme park history.
Imagineering the Magic of Disney
Disney Legend Marty Sklar hosts a prestigious panel of some of Disney’s most creative minds made up of Imagineering Legends and current Imagineers. Join us as Bob Gurr, Blaine Gibson, Dave Durham, Kathy Mangum, Kevin Rafferty and other Imagineers share their memories and favorite moments about creating iconic attractions at the world’s most popular theme parks.
E-Ticket: Music from the Disney Parks
As part of this year’s inaugural Disney Legends Celebration, D23 Members are invited to join some Disney Legends for a colorful concert of music from the past and present of Disneyland Resort. Highlighting the concert will be Disney Legend Richard Sherman, who — along with his brother Robert — has contributed a multitude of songs to the Disney parks legacy, including “it’s a small world,” “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” and many more. Performing will be a host of special guests, including John Tartaglia (Avenue Q, Johnny and the Sprites), Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty), Wilson Cruz (Rent, My So-Called Life), members of the Disney Employee Choir and many more, all paying tribute to some of the most enduring tunes in the Disney canon.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2010
Disneyland Through the Eye of Television
Archivist Rob Klein presents this unique look at the history of Disneyland as it was first seen by the general public — on television. This vibrant presentation includes Walt’s first announcement of Disneyland, highlights from the original Disneyland television anthology series showing progress on the park and classic anniversary specials, as well as rarely seen promotional spots for Disneyland from the ’60s and ’70s for the Matterhorn, Main Street Electrical Parade, “New” Tomorrowland 1967 and much more!
No creative idea, no matter how marvelously imagined, is guaranteed to make it from the sketchbooks of Disney Imagineers to the parks. 2010′s D23 Member gift, Disney Undiscovered, pays tribute to Disney’s enduring creative spirit by celebrating the work of some of Disney’s greatest dreamers and artists, whose feats of creative daring — even if never completed — will stand the test of time as masterpieces of the imagination. Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the further fascinating details about these rare, never-produced park attractions and the Imagineers who dreamed them up.
Disneyland: The Happiest Place in Pop Culture
A humorous and informative journey through 55 years of popular culture as reflected in the original Magic Kingdom. Featuring rarely seen photos and film clips, the presentation, hosted by Disney authority Tim O’Day, will take you down memory lane, narrowly escaping bad fashions, bad hair and park entertainment, and events and attractions that definitely belong in Memoryland.
Disneyland: The Way We Were
Remember the Mickey Mouse Club Circus, Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, TWA Rocket to the Moon, The Frito Kid, or America Sings? Join Disney Chief Archivist Dave Smith as we explore some vintage images of Disneyland: first some rare color photographs taken during the park’s construction, then a look at some beloved, gone-but-not-forgotten attractions, shops and restaurants. Throughout this presentation, Dave will reminisce about early visits to Disneyland, taking the audience back to some classic moments in the park’s rich history.
A Word from the President
Disneyland President George Kalogridis shares a very special presentation with D23.
The Wonderful World of Vintage Disneyland — In Color!
Media Preservationist Ed Hobelman and Imagineer Tony Baxter share a trove of archival treasures and screen rarely seen color footage of Disneyland from the 1950s and 1960s.
Disneyland, U.S.A. Screening and Panel
A big-screen presentation of the classic 1956 People and Places featurette, Disneyland, U.S.A., followed by a panel featuring members of the film’s restoration team, Disney Imagineers and Disney Legends who experienced the park first-hand during those early years, including Tony Baxter, Ed Hobelman, Dave Smith and Geri Bumpass. Hosted by Tim O’Day.