Peter Pan Anniversary

Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – sometimes it isn’t much, either.” – Walt Disney

Over the weekend, the official Disney Fan Club – D23, held a “Magical Screening” of Peter Pan celebrating its 65th Anniversary.  Screenings were held at the Animation Studios in Burbank and the AMC Theater in Disney Springs in Orlando,

Screen shot of event title.

where we are currently visiting.  Events like these are a lot of fun and what keep us renewing our membership!

There is a lot of history about this movie that few know.  Peter Pan took many years to get to theaters; even though Walt obtained the animation rights to the story in 1939, it didn’t make it to the big screen until 1953 due to many circumstances involving finances and America entering into World War II.

The event was hosted by Steven Vagnini, the only D23 Cast Member in Florida, who has now been promoted to Walt Disney Imagineering and will Continue Reading →

80 Years of Animation

As D23 members, we spent an afternoon at the Disney Animation Studios in Burbank celebrating 80 years of animation with a viewing of Disney’s 50th animated full length feature, “Tangled.”

Disney Animation Studios Theater

Seated in the private theater on the Animation campus, the day began with a presentation by Disney Archivist, Dave Smith.  He recapped the 56 animated feature films by breaking them down into eras of Disney history.

He described these eras as:

1937-1942:  The Golden Age.  This was the dawn of animated movies and set Walt on solid footing for his studio.

1943-1949:  War & Reinvention.  These years Continue Reading →

Light Up The Season with D23

One of the perks of being members of D23 – The Official Disney Fan Club, is the special events we get to attend.  On December 4th, Disney created such an occasion.  Usually reserved for Animation Studio cast members, the “Light Up The Season” lighting of the campus has been expanded to include members of D23.  We were privileged to attend this Christmas Lighting event along with hundreds of other Disney fans.

Debbie filling bags with crayons, stickers, playdough and books for kids.

Debbie filling bags with crayons, stickers, playdough and books for kids.

The Burbank studio was set up with lights, decorations, photo back drops, character photos, games, “goodie stations” with hot chocolate, hot apple cider, cookies, popcorn, a train ride to the north pole and much more.  Additionally, the Marine Corps Reserve was there collecting Toys for Tots and a station was set up for making gift bags for kids in hospitals.

Most of the campus was open for exploring, including the Hall of Legends capped by the iconic Team Disney building which has the Continue Reading →

The BFG Movie Review

From the mystical mind of Roald Dahl and magic of Steven Spielberg comes Disney’s latest movie, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant).  We had an opportunity to preview this movie, courtesy of Disney’s Official Fan Club, D23.

BFG

The BFG is a somewhat dark film with intense and scary scenes involving a little girl in a world of giants, most of whom want to eat her and are willing to do anything to satiate their appetite for “human beans.”

There are also funny and light-hearted scenes, strange words, and unusual happenings such as water running uphill or bubbles sinking in a glass.  These are similar to what we see in other classics from Roald Dahl such as Continue Reading →

D23 Expo – 2015

“The Ultimate Disney Fan Experience.”  That’s how Disney describes their biennial 3-day expo.  This year, I would definitely have to agree with that description.  This was only my (Melvin) second expo, but it was heads and shoulders better than the 2013 experience.  Unfortunately, Debbie was not able to attend, and even my trip was limited to just the first day.  But I could have easily stayed all three days if circumstances allowed.

Larger-than-life Buzz Lightyear
Larger-than-life Buzz Lightyear

Outside the entrance, guests were greeted with the giant Buzz Lightyear helium balloon from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Inside, you are treated to three days of everything Disney.  There were pop-up stores with limited edition merchandise (Disney Dream Store and Mickey’s of Glendale), Disney Archives, previews of changes coming to the parks, panels with Disney Legends, Mouseketeers, Artists, Actors, Imagineers, opportunities to meet your favorite Disney star, and just Continue Reading →

D23 Day at Camp Inch

Entrance to Camp Inch

Entrance to Camp Inch

(This post was updated on May 13.  See the end of the story for something cool) 

On May 9, 2015, we had the opportunity to see a special showing of the 1961 Disney classic, “The Parent Trap,” starring Hayley Mills, Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith.  The Animation Studios in Burbank, CA hosted this event creating special photo ops with simulated scenes from Camp Inch, the summer camp where Sharon McKendrick and Susan Evers each discovered Continue Reading →

D23 – The Official Disney Fan Club

Many consider themselves “Disney Fans,” but they aren’t members of the official Disney

D23 Expo!

D23 Expo!

Fan Club, D23.  We have to tell you that this is one of the best memberships we have ever maintained.

Why?, you might ask.  We will tell you why.  All the cool stuff the we get to do and see, exclusive merchandise and discounts and the interesting and famous people we have opportunity to meet.  As Gold members, we Continue Reading →