Thursday, June 28, 2012

Breaking News From D23: The Official Disney Fan Club

To celebrate D23: The Official Disney Fan Club reaching 100,000 "likes" on Facebook we're presenting a special membership offer that we like to call "23 on 23 for 23!"

Disney fans can save 23% on a new D23 Membership for 23 hours beginning tonight (June 28) at midnight Pacific Standard Time until 11pm Pacific Standard Time on Friday, June 29.

All fans need to do is visit, put a new D23 Membership (Gold or Silver) in their cart and at check out enter the promo code D23FB100k and the 23% will be automatically deducted!

Please note, this is only good for new D23 Memberships and cannot be applied to renewals.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

D23's Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration Details


The Official Disney Fan Club Salutes Three Decades of Epcot on Sept. 30, 2012,
as the 21st Century Begins Again With the Most Comprehensive Retrospective Ever Mounted

BURBANK, Calif. – June 7, 2012 – Hailed as the most groundbreaking theme park of its time, Epcot marks its 30th anniversary on Oct. 1, 2012, and D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is preparing a unique celebration of one of Disney’s crowning achievements.

On Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, D23’s Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration will whisk D23 Members back to a time touted as when “the 21st century begins”—those early Epcot years when guests first marveled at “Astuter Computers,” “Smellitzers,” and the novelty of “riding on sunshine,” and were awed by a massive geodesic sphere called Spaceship Earth.

This journey to yesteryear, the future, and around the world takes place one day only: on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. inside Epcot (Park admission is required and not included in the event ticket price). Each D23 Member may bring up to three guests.

“When Epcot opened in 1982 it was a monumental achievement and its opening was an unforgettable moment for Disney fans everywhere,” says Steven Clark, head of D23. “We know our members have a deep passion for this park, and we’re producing a memorable experience that lets our members relive some of their favorite Epcot shows and attractions of the past while experiencing the incredible Epcot legacy that continues today.”

D23’s Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration will offer the most detailed look at the design, development, and evolution of Epcot ever presented by The Walt Disney Company and will include rare and never-before-seen artwork; film and video footage and photos; along with a number of pioneers of Epcot, including such Disney Imagineers, Legends, and Epcot luminaries as Marty Sklar (exclusive pre-taped presentation), Tony Baxter, Ron Schneider, Charlie Ridgway, Ron Logan, Bill Sullivan, Bob Garner, Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, Alex Wright, Duncan Dickson, and Steve Taylor.

Tickets will be available for purchase on June 21 at 10 a.m. on There are two levels of D23 Member participation:
 World Passport general admission is $65 per guest and includes:
-        Access to all presentations
-        A commemorative gift
-        Access to exclusive D23 merchandise

World Key level admission is $185 per guest and includes:
-        All features of the World Passport admission
-        Reserved seating for all presentations
-        A special dessert reception at 8 p.m. inside an exclusive Future World lounge
-        Exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity with Disney Legends and Epcot luminaries
-        Reception will also include screenings of rare film footage of Epcot’s early days

Presentations Include:

Hooray for the 21st Century – Disney Legend and former Walt Disney Imagineering Principal Creative Executive Marty Sklar joins D23 guests via a virtual presentation, where we see and hear what it was like to work with Walt Disney on his original vision for an Experiemental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Along the way, learn about Marty’s favorite memories working on the EPCOT Center project with a team of passionate Imagineers.

Presentations Include:

Hooray for the 21st Century – Disney Legend and former Walt Disney Imagineering Principal Creative Executive Marty Sklar joins D23 guests via a virtual presentation, where we see and hear what it was like to work with Walt Disney on his original vision for an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Along the way, learn about Marty’s favorite memories working on the EPCOT Center project with a team of passionate Imagineers.

The Music of EPCOT Center – Some of Epcot’s most passionate fans agree that the park’s soundtrack has created one of its most lasting legacies that continue to help “makin’ memories” around the world. Join Disney historians and songwriters as we explore the incredible world of Epcot music, celebrating the talents of such Epcot songwriters and composers as Bob Moline, Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, George Wilkins, Buddy Baker, X. Atencio, Peter Stougaard, Russell Brower, Edo Guidotti and others who have left a permanent musical mark on the park’s creative legacy. Along the way, hear stories about the recording sessions, learn about some fascinating alternate versions of some of your favorite melodies, and sing along to your favorite Epcot tunes!

“We Can Do It!” – Disney Legends and EPCOT Center creators review the immense challenge that loomed ahead of them when bringing Epcot to reality in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Guests will hear stories of trips to foreign countries to secure participants in the World Showcase concept, what life was like inside the largest private construction project in the world, and how they readied its highly anticipated opening day.

“We’ve Just Begun to Dream” – Join Disney Legend Ron Logan and other key Disney entertainment veterans as they reminisce about the official EPCOT Center opening festivities that remain among the most elaborate Disney has ever staged. This presentation will include rare footage from the grand openings of various Future World and World Showcase pavilions, which were held throughout October 1982.

“Makin’ Memories: Epcot on Film” – Join former Disney Imagineer Bob Garner and Disney author and historian Tim O’Day as they cast a “Magic Eye” on the marvelous world of Epcot on film. Bob was closely involved in the creation of film documentation and production at Epcot, including special video elements of Future World and World Showcase pavilions and such promotional films as EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration.

“Looking Back at Tomorrow” – Few Epcot visitors, even its most avid fans, realize The Land pavilion was almost called “Harvest Tomorrow” or that Figment was slated to co-host an “Images & Imagination” pavilion with “Professor Marvel.” With recently discovered materials from the Walt Disney Archives, join Disney archivists as they examine how the “dreamers and doers” developed favorite Epcot attractions of the past including Horizons, Journey into Imagination, Kitchen Kabaret, World of Motion, the Astuter Computer Revue, and the original Universe of Energy.

“The EPCOT Center That Never Was” – Using rare concept artwork, guests will glimpse what it was like to design Epcot with Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Vice President Tony Baxter, designer and producer for several beloved Epcot pavilions, and explore early versions of Epcot attractions that never made it off the drawing board.

“Imagineering Epcot: An Extra Perceptive Close-up Of Things – Fans of wall-to-wall carpeting and leapfrog fountains unite! Disney Imagineers Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, and Alex Wright return with a humorous exploration of the details that make Epcot so unique. From miniature gardens to massive buildings (and every international food and beverage offering in between), they’ll show what makes Future World and World Showcase like no place else on earth.

More details about the program and tickets for D23’s EPCOT 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION can be found online at

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

News from D23: Destination D Details

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is very excited about its upcoming DESTINATION D: 75 YEARS OF DISNEY ANIMATED FEATURES, and this morning to be able to reveal details about exactly what's included in this amazing two-day event.

There are more than a dozen presentations, entertainment offerings and panels offered during the two days of DESTINATION D, which are described below. 


August 11 and 12, 2012 – Grand Ballroom, Disneyland Hotel

 $225 per person (Diamond Level, $1,000 per person, is sold out)

Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features is an unprecedented celebration of the art, storytelling, music, voices, imagination, and innovation of Disney’s benchmark films.

From Walt Disney’s groundbreaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the upcoming Wreck-It Ralph, guests will experience a two-day journey through the art of Disney feature animation – filled with fun, laughter and rarely or never-before-seen artwork, photos and film clips of beloved Disney characters and stories – all the while surrounded by some of the world’s leading animation legends, artists and authorities.

While more announcements are forthcoming, the detail about Destination D below is current as of June 4, 2012.

This promises to be an extraordinary celebration … with additional participants and presentations to be announced in the weeks ahead:


Walt Disney and the First Golden Age of Disney Animation
Walt and his original team of animators and artists invented an entirely new genre of filmmaking storytelling. Together they created unparalleled bodies of work that continue to delight audiences around the world. Join our panelists who participated first-hand (or witnessed) the remarkable creation of Walt Disney’s feature animated films:
Joe Hale—43-year Disney veteran who contributed his artistic talents to such films as Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Mary Poppins.
Burny Mattinson—Disney Legend and 50-year veteran of Disney animation who contributed his artistic talents to such “Golden Age” favorites as Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and The Jungle Book.
Ted Thomas—Son of legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas and director/writer of the acclaimed documentaries Frank and Ollie and Walt & El Grupo.

Roy E. Disney and the Second Golden Age of Disney Animation
Roundtable discussion of Roy E. Disney’s influence on the “Second Golden Age of Disney Animation”—from The Black Cauldron and The Great Mouse Detective through the modern-day classics of the 1990s. Join our panelists who participated first-hand (or witnessed) Roy E. Disney’s remarkable stewardship of Disney’s contemporary animation renaissance:
Dave Bossert—Author of an upcoming book on Roy E. Disney, and creative director and head of special projects at Walt Disney Animation Studios; artistic coordinator and visual effects supervisor on Fantasia/2000 and associate producer of the short “Destino” among many other accomplishments.
Roy P. Disney—Son of Disney Legend Roy E. Disney, former Disney Imagineer, and first-hand witness to Disney animation’s second “Golden Age.”
Don Hahn—Noted author, Disney animation historian, and producer of some of Disney’s most successful animated films of the second golden age, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Emperor’s New Groove.

The Greatest Disney Animation You Never Saw
Enjoy a “Behind-The-Magic” peek at the art of Disney feature animation. Academy Award®-nominated film producer and author Don Hahn and Creative Director for Walt Disney Animation Studios David Bossert present rarely seen (or never before seen at all) Disney artwork and animation from more than 75 years of Disney animated features.

Animating The Disney Parks
Disney Parks owe a great deal of their creative development and design to the roots of Disney animation. Join current and former Disney Imagineers as they discuss how legendary Disney Imagineers, including Marc Davis, Mary Blair, Claude Coates, Herb Ryman, John Hench, and many others, successfully transferred their skills and talents from the world of Disney feature animation to “animating the Disney Parks.” Join our panelists who personally worked with many of these Disney animation and Imagineering greats:
Tony BaxterSenior vice president, Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, whose project credits include Disneyland Paris, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones™ Adventure, and Splash Mountain.
Eddie Sotto—Noted experiential designer, mixed-media producer, conceptualist, and former Disney Imagineer, whose projects included the design of Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Paris, early work on Indiana Jones™ Adventure at Disneyland, plus Mission: SPACE at Epcot and Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland.

An Evening Concert: Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix
The fun continues into the night with an unforgettable evening of harmony provided by Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix. The popular vocal quartet is comprised of legendary television, Broadway and film star Dick Van Dyke and three renowned west coast musicians—Mike Mendyke, Bryan Chadima, and Eric Bradley. Songs from Van Dyke’s varied entertainment career, in addition to many well-known Disney hits and timeless pop standards, will be performed by Van Dyke and The Vantastix in a show rich in humor, pure entertainment, and sing-along favorites. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t want to miss!

Exclusive Screening: Walt & El Grupo—The Director’s Cut
Presented exclusively for D23 Members and their guests is the definitive director’s cut (not available on DVD) of the acclaimed 2009 film documentary Walt and El Grupo. Hosted by Director Ted Thomas and Producer Kuniko Okubo, the film chronicles the amazing 10-week trip that Walt Disney and his hand-picked group of artists and filmmaking talent (later known as “El Grupo”) took to South America in 1941 at the behest of the U.S. Government.


Wacky and Wild Disney Animation
Go on a wacky and irreverent ride through some of the most psychedelic and visually stunning animation ever put on film in this fun and humorous retrospective of Disney feature animation. Along the way you’ll learn of the contributions of such “characters” as Disney Legend Ward Kimball, renowned artist Salvador Dali, and many others. Your hosts through this animation “Wonderland”:
Jerry BeckWell-known animation historian, with 10 books and numerous articles to his credit. Jerry is an animation producer, and industry consultant to Warner Bros., and has been an executive with Nickelodeon and Disney and is also a popular blogger on the subject of animation.
Eric GoldbergA veteran director, designer and animator, his Disney credits includes being the supervising animator of Genie in Aladdin, co-director of Pocahontas, animator of Phil in Hercules, followed by Fantasia/2000, which he directed, wrote, and animated two critically acclaimed sequences: “Carnival of the Animals” and “Rhapsody in Blue.” His animation work can also be seen in the Tokyo Disney Seas attraction Magic Lamp Theatre and the recently unveiled Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

Tinker Bell: The Evolution of a Disney Character
Have you ever wondered how a character becomes a “Disney” character? As we take you on a
fascinating trip through the decades in a presentation filled with never-before-seen art,
photos, and film clips, you’ll see how Tinker Bell developed into one of Disney’s most iconic characters. Your tour guides include:
Mindy Johnson—Author of the upcoming book Tinker Bell: An Evolution—(new for Fall 2013 from Disney Editions).
Margaret Kerry—Live-action reference model for Tinker Bell in Walt Disney’s 1953 animated film classic Peter Pan.

Disney Feature Animation Stars—Drawing With Personality
The Walt Disney Studios is often credited with perfecting “personality animation,” creating
from paper and pencil characters that seemingly live and breathe. In this
entertaining and educational presentation you’ll discover the secrets behind the creation of
some of Disney’s most beloved animated stars, plus you’ll get the chance to design your own
Disney animated character under the guidance of a master Disney animator.
Your instructor:
Andreas Deja—30-year Disney animation veteran,
whose impressive body of work includes serving as supervising animator on characters in several classic Disney animated features, including Gurgi in The Black Cauldron, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Jafar in Aladdin, Scar in The Lion King, Mickey Mouse in Fantasia/2000, Lilo in Lilo & Stitch, Mama Odie in The Princess and the Frog, and Tigger in Winnie the Pooh. He’s also a noted Disney animation historian and authority on the work of legendary Disney animator Milt Kahl.

Hearing Voices: A Salute to Disney Character Voice Artists
Meet the artists behind the voices. We put a spotlight on the many men and women who have
supplied some of the most familiar voices ever to grace movies screens. This unique
reunion of Disney character voice talent highlights some of the great voices of the past
as well. Our roster of Disney character voice talent stars include (to date—more to be
confirmed over the next few weeks!):
Dick Jones—Voice of Pinocchio (Pinocchio, 1940)
Kathryn Beaumont—Voice of Alice (Alice in Wonderland, 1951) and Wendy Darling  (Peter Pan, 1953)
Lisa Davis—Voice of Anita (One Hundred and One Dalmatians, 1961)
David Frankham—Voice of Sergeant Tibbs (One Hundred and One Dalmatians, 1961)
Bruce Reitherman—Voice of Mowgli (The Jungle Book, 1967) and Christopher Robin (Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, 1966)
Chris Sanders—Stitch (Lilo & Stitch, 2002)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Still “The Fairest of Them All”
Walt Disney’s animation masterpiece Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs introduced an entirely
new filmmaking genre—the Disney animated feature—and put in motion the creation of an
unparalleled library of films that remain unrivaled in their artistic and storytelling achievements. Join us as we salute this groundbreaking film with a rare west coast appearance by 93-years-young Marge Champion, the live-action reference model for the character of Snow White. Also joining the presentation will be Gabriella Calicchio, CEO of The Walt Disney Family Museum, to provide insights on the museum’s upcoming Snow White exhibition and an exciting new D23 opportunity.

An Evening With Disney Legend and Oscar®-Winner Alan Menken
Please “Be Our Guest” as we conclude our celebration with a rare musical concert by Disney Legend Alan Menken. With eight Academy Awards®, Alan Menken has received more Oscars than any living person. He has written songs and scores for some of the world’s most beloved films: Tangled (Oscar nominee), Enchanted (three Oscar nominations) The Little Mermaid (two Oscar wins), Beauty and the Beast (two Oscar wins), Aladdin (two Oscar wins), Pocahontas (two Oscar wins), Hercules (Oscar nominee), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Oscar® nominee), Little Shop of Horrors (Oscar nominee), Home on the Range, and Newsies.

Menken is currently the first songwriter in 13 years to have three new shows running concurrently on Broadway (Sister Act, Newsies, and Leap of Faith). His Broadway successes include The Little Mermaid (Tony Award® nominee), Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, and Sister Act (Tony Award nominee). His other stage productions include King David, Newsies, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Aladdin. 

Exclusive Screening: Waking Sleeping Beauty – The Director’s Cut
Presented exclusively for D23 Members and their guests is the definitive director’s cut (not available on DVD) of the acclaimed 2010 film documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty. With screening hosted by director Don Hahn, the film chronicles how by the mid-1980s the fabled animation studios of Walt Disney had fallen on hard times. Waking Sleeping Beauty is the true story of how Disney regained its magic with a staggering output of hits—The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and more—over a 10-year period.

D23′s Destination D series has become one of the fan club’s most popular member events. Past “destinations” have celebrated 55 years of Disneyland and 40 years of Walt Disney World Resort. Now it’s time to celebrate the diamond anniversary of one of the most universally beloved and unique film genres—the world of Disney animated features.

GHTA Fundraising Auction

There is a special online auction which has just opened benefitting the GHTA (Gift and Home Trade Association). Enesco has donated a trio of Walt Disney Classics Collection sculptures (in one auction lot) depicting Walt Disney. 

Two of these sculptures are rare Artist Proofs and the third is one of the Disney Archives/D23 pieces, all will be signed by Disney Master Artist Dave Pacheco. The bidding will close on June 17th at 10:00 PM C.D.T.

The link:


Collect all three rare portrayals of Walt Disney himself released in the Walt Disney Classics Collection (WDCC) line of fine porcelain sculptures. 

The Walt Disney Company launched WDCC in 1992 to bring our favorite Disney characters and emotions to three-dimensional life in a collection of fine art sculptures applying the same principles and techniques used in classic Disney animation – artistry, storytelling and creativity.

Artist Proof #25 / Porcelain 

In honor of Walt Disney’s 100th Birthday the Walt Disney Classics Collection proudly introduced this unique sculpture in 2001 saluting both the man and the Mouse who started it all. 

Based on a classic 1950’s photo in which Walt fondly posed with an antique Mickey doll – one of the earliest and most popular pieces of memorabilia – the sculpture captures the essence of the man whose imagination enchanted the world and whose spunky little character made it smile. 

This beautifully-sculpted porcelain tribute features chair legs of bronze and pewter and chair rails of brass, while Mickey’s tail is made of wire. The back of the chair reads “Walt Disney Studios,” and the sculpture features a special backstamp commemorating Walt Disney’s 100th birthday. This item is an Artist Proof Version, hand numbered 25/25 on the Certificate of Authenticity and the sculpture backstamp indicating it is Number 25 of 25 and is signed by Disney Master Artist David Pacheco. 

Artist Proofs are not intended for commerce and are created for the sculptors, painters, and animators involved in the project as well as for archival purposes. The regular edition version was Production Year Limited to 2001 and exclusively available to Walt Disney Collectors Society Members. 

From: Walt Disney Classics Collection, Distributed by Enesco, LLC.
Year Introduced: 2001
Sculpted by: Kent Melton
Height: 9-1/2”

Artist Proof #4 / Porcelain 

Created by the Walt Disney Classics Collection to honor Disneyland® Park’s Golden Anniversary in 2005, this exquisite sculpture depicts Walt Disney proudly explaining his plans for Disneyland® to Mickey Mouse. Look closely and you’ll see the 1954 rendering of Disneyland® painted by Peter Ellenshaw recreated on the podium. 

This commemorative piece features a 50th Anniversary Logo on the backstamp of the sculpture and it is plussed with pewter desk legs, brass wire tail for Mickey, and a porcelain inset plaque on a custom hard wood base. The sculpture is an Artist Proof Version, hand-numbered 4/5 on the Certificate of Authenticity and the sculpture backstamp indicating it is Number 4 of 5 and is signed by Disney Master Artist David Pacheco. 

Artist Proofs are not intended for commerce and are created for the sculptors, painters, and animators involved in the project as well as for archival purposes. The regular edition version was a Numbered Limited Edition 1,955 and it sold out in 2005.

From: Walt Disney Classics Collection, Distributed by Enesco, LLC.
Year Introduced: 2005
Sculpted by: Kent Melton
Height: 9”


Before the Mouse there was the Rabbit – Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, that is. Walt Disney’s first cartoon star, Oswald, paved the way for a certain mouse named Mickey with animated antics that had 1920s movie audiences in stitches. 

Plussed with pewter ears on Oswald, this historic sculpture, introduced in 2009 by the Walt Disney Classics Collection, portrays the young filmmaker with his happy-go-lucky hare, who embodies the sassy style of early animation. Presented on a custom hardwood base with porcelain inset plaque, this sculpture is part of the 400 pieces within the sold out General Limited Edition of 1,500 that features a Walt Disney Archives Collection /D23 Backstamp and is signed by Disney Master Artist David Pacheco.

From: Walt Disney Classics Collection, Distributed by Enesco, LLC.
Year Introduced: 2009
Sculpted by Rubén Procopio
Height: 12-1/4”

Pickup Instructions:

Winning bidder can make payment in form of credit card or check submitted directly to GHTA. Certificates or items will then be mailed to winning bidders at the close of Auction once payment has been received.

Donated By: Enesco

Monday, June 4, 2012

Your Favorite of the Summer 2012 Releases!

Favorite Choice of the Summer 2012 Releases Poll has ended. The winner of this poll was Maleficent and Diablo from Sleeping Beauty!

The results to see where your favorite came in are as follows: 

1. 35.97% Maleficent & Diablo 
2. 30.70% Lilo & Stitch
3. 17.54% Donald & Train
4.   8.77% Dug

5.   7.02% Tinker Bell

I will leave the results up for both polls for a few days for anyone who wants to see/compare the final results. 

As with previous polls, Blogger results never add exactly to 100%, so the accountant in me recalculated the results based on the number of people who voted in each category to the total :) 

Thanks to all who participated!