We are pleased to join forces with Disney D23, the official fan club for Disney fans, to offer one lucky Stitch Kingdom reader a pair of tickets to what is easily one of the most exciting events to date — Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features being held at the Disneyland Resort on August 11 & 12, 2012!
This very special two-day event honors more than seven decades of rich animation history, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs through Wreck-It Ralph and features many of the company’s luminaries from both the worlds of animation and Disney Parks. Speakers include the newly announced directing team of John Musker & Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog), producer Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, Frankenweenie), Burny Mattinson (Sleeping Beauty, Winnie the Pooh), Eric Goldberg (Pocahontas, Fantasia 2000), Andreas Deja (The Lion King, Lilo & Stitch), Walt Disney Imagineering’s Tony Baxter and Eddie Sotto, Tinker Bell live action model Margaret Kerry, voice over actress Kathryn Beaumont, legendary composer Alan Menken, a performance by Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix and many, many more with even more announcements to come!
Tickets to attend the event, being held at the Disneyland Hotel, are $225 each, but one lucky reader will win a pair of them for free (transportation not included, nor is theme park admission which is not required to attend the event) — that’s a $450 value for an experience that will truly be priceless. The awarded tickets are non-refundable, non-exchangeable and non-transferable so please ensure you will be able to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event.
For more information on the event including a full list of panelists and schedules (subject to change) and to purchase tickets (limited quantities remaining), visit the official event page. To enter for your chance to attend, fill out the form below:
Remember, entries can be made daily, so be sure to enter every day as the contest will run through July 25! Each entry will increase your chance to win tickets to Disney D23 presents Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animated Features.
On Friday, July 6, 2012, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library will debut its newest rotating exhibit in partnership with The Walt Disney Company, ‘D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Library.’ This will represent the largest single, assembled collection of items from the Studio’s Archives ever on public display which is fitting as the Reagan Library’s Museum is the largest of its kind, welcoming more than half a million visitors annually and housing an actual Boeing 707 jet which served as Air Force One for several United States presidents, including Ronald Reagan, the last to use this specific plane.
Although Walt Disney shared personal relationships with several U.S. Presidents, his relationship with actor-turned-governor-turned-president Reagan is arguably the strongest. Reagan, of course, served as one of the television hosts at the opening of the Disneyland theme park and maintained a relationship with the company for decades more, holding his second inaugural parade at Epcot. Many of the items on display in the exhibit are in fact on loan from the Ronald Reagan Foundation.
The Disney Archives exhibit is so large in fact, that the Museum voluntarily removed a partition wall to accommodate it. Consisting of more than 500 items, the Archives exhibit chronicles roughly 90 years of Disney history, beginning with Laugh-O-Gram’s Alice comedies to the creation and loss of creative control of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to the birth of Mickey Mouse and what would become The Walt Disney Company. While many of the items have been on public display before, such as at the Disney D23 Expo displays and at the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland and other places, many items have never been on public display before. In addition, there are several firsts at the exhibit including the first time the prop books used in the openings of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty have ever been on display together as well as all 44 busts from the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. What makes the collection even more significant is up through George W. Bush, all of the sculpts were created by master sculptor Blaine Gibson who would come out of retirement temporarily to do so (Gibson also famously created Partners statue seen in the central plaza area of many of the Magic Kingdom parks). Valerie Edwards, who studied under Gibson, created the sculpt for Obama.
We are proud to have been part of a small, invited group allowed to preview the Archives before it opens to the public later this week and sent Samantha Henriksen to experience the new exhibit and report on it which she has done through the video and photos presented below. Despite the sheer number of photos presented here, we can assure you that there are at least just as many that we opted not to share at this time and there’s still plenty she didn’t capture on camera.
In the video below, the group is addressed first by Foundation Executive Director John Heubusch, who talks a bit about the museum and the historical significance of the partnership. Also speaking is D23 head Steven Clark, along with a brief appearance by Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline. Samantha then takes us for an amazing up-close look at some of the items on display such as Walt Disney’s formal office from the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank (both offices were at one time on display at Disneyland, but the other office is now part of the One Man’s Dream exhibit at Disney’s Hollywood Studios), the Hall of Presidents sculpts, the 11 foot model of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and a large wall collage saluting contemporary animated films from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios.
Below is our gallery of photos of some of the items on display at the Archives. Click on any of the thumbnails to see larger versions:
Obviously it will take some time to peruse through the photos (we are told it’s not uncommon for those previewing the items to take upwards of three hours on the Disney exhibit alone), but here’s some personal favorites from the collection shared above:
- A three page telegram from Charles Mintz to Walt Disney regarding his and Universal’s reaction to the second Oswald short (hint: it wasn’t kind). Mintz even makes suggestions that Oswald should be ‘young and snappy looking’ and sport a monocle. Included is Walt’s hand-written response which ends with ‘forget the monicle [sic].’
- The original animation script for Steamboat Willie as drawn by Ub Iwerks and typed by Walt Disney. Walt reportedly kept the script in his desk permanently. Besides the illustrations, what’s equally great is the scripting for all of the sound as this would be the first film to feature a synchronized soundtrack.
- Herb Ryman’s concept map for the Disneyland theme park. What we love about this is that you’ll note Jungle Cruise is located on the opposite side of where it ended up due to demands by vegetation.
- Costumes from the Disney Dreams photo campaign by Annie Leibovitz including Peter Pan as portrayed by Mikhail Baryshnikov and Tinker Bell as portrayed by Tina Fey.
- A giant teapot from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland for when she was small in the film and used it to hide in.
- A letter from then-nine year old Amy Carter to the Walt Disney Studios professing her affection for Evinrude from The Rescuers and requesting a picture of him.
The ‘D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Library’ will open July 6, 2012 and will be presented through April 2013. The museum, located in Simi Valley, California, is open daily except for a few major holidays. Because of the museum’s popularity, it is advised that those interested in visiting the museum take advantage of the new online ticketing system which will guarantee entrance on a specific future date/time. The system also allows future guests to reserve use of its innovative audio tour (narrated by Gary Sinise and includes information on the Disney Archives exhibit) which doubles as a photo/video camera, and pre-purchase meals and souvenirs such as the Disney exhibition catalog. In addition, D23 members receive a small discount on admission and may enter the Disney exhibit as early as 9:30 am half an hour before non-members (requires 9:30 am – 10:00 am timed ticket).
Although the museum has a fairly liberal camera policy in most areas, we have been advised that the Disney exhibit permits only the use of non-flash photography and does not permit videography of any kind. Lastly, as mentioned earlier in the article, prepare for ample time to visit the exhibit, approximately 3 hours for the Disney exhibit itself along with 2-3 hours for the remainder of the museum.
Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort has already released an innovative flash app to promote its new Cars Land expansion, allowing online guests to virtually tour the new land (by car, of course), visiting each of the residents of Radiator Springs to see their wares and learn more about the new shopping, dining and attraction experiences. Guests can even create, customize and share their own virtual Cars-inspired avatar for the virtual road trip.
Now the theme park is revving up to plus the experience, offering a new online game titled ‘Cars Land Racers.’ When the site is complete, guests will be able to visit CARSLANDRACERS.COM and compete their custom vehicle in races against friends and even the Radiator Springs residents on tracks inspired by their respective real-world attractions (Lightning McQueen’s Radiator Springs Racers, Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires).
Winning races awards players prizes such as better acceleration, handling and top speeds, while leaderboards show how players stack up against their Facebook friends and worldwide. Add to that, there’s a total of 20 (at launch time) achievements one can unlock by completing various challenges.
Disney Legend Dave Smith, founder of the Disney Archives and Chief Archivist Emeritus, will be making a special appearance at the Disneyland Resort on July 14, 2012 to sign his new book, Disney Trivia from the Vault.
Beginning with the July 1983 issue of Disney Channel Magazine, Dave Smith began answering Disney trivia questions from viewers of the Disney Channel. In the ensuing thirty years, his column has continued through multiple publications, including Disney Magazine, the on-line Disney Insider, and most recently the Disney D23 website. ‘Ask Dave’ questions have come from Disney enthusiasts the world over, and have covered topics ranging from Cinderella’s last name (Tremaine) to the number of triangles covering the surface of Epcot’s Spaceship Earth (11,324 facets comprising 954 triangles.)
Over 1,100 questions have been fielded by Dave Smith, the now-retired Chief Archivist of The Walt Disney Company, and this book is a compendium of the most interesting and revealing of those queries. The book is divided into chapters that each cover an aspect of Disney history, including Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney films, Disney television, and Disney characters. Many of the questions bring up interesting information that has not been published elsewhere, and readers will delight in discovering some of the secrets behind their favorite movies and theme parks. ‘Did the same actress provide the voice of Maleficent, as well as the voice of Madame Leota, the head in the crystal ball in The Haunted Mansion?’ ‘Who was the first athelete to say “I’m going to Disneyland!”?’ Only Dave knows the answers!
The event will take place from 9 am – 11 am PT at the Disneyana Shop on Main Street, U.S.A. in the Disneyland® park. Disney Trivia from the Vault will be available for $9.99, plus tax beginning at shop opening on the day of release. Park admission is not included and is required.
Disney Trivia from the Vault is also available for pre-order on Amazon.com with a release date of June 26, 2012.
From the initial announcement of the expansion at Disney California Adventure in 2007, through the opening of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street today, the ‘sizzle reel’ video we are pleased to share with you below takes a look at the announcements and changes that have helped shape Disneyland’s second gate into what it’s become.
Featuring Robert Iger, CEO and President of The Walt Disney Company, along with then Disney Parks Chairs Jay Rasulo and Tom Staggs, as well as chief executive John Lasseter, the video takes us through the addition of Toy Story Mania!; Disney/Pixar Play! Parade; the nighttime fireworks spectacular Magical, which features a flying Dumbo; a re-vamped Fantasmic!; the Paradise Pier re-do with Mickey’s Fun Wheel; World of Color; Silly Symphony Swings; Goofy’s Sky School; Mickey’s Soundsational; The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure; Star Tours 2; Mad T Party; and of course Cars Land and Buena Vista Street.
Disney’s PhotoPass has quietly made its all-inclusive PhotoPass+ service available for pre-purchase at $30 off the retail price for both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts when purchased at least fourteen days ahead of the scheduled vacation.
Good for a period of two weeks once the mailed voucher is redeemed on site, the PhotoPass+ card allows Guests to take complete advantage of the Disney’s PhotoPass system at no additional charges which includes all dining and ride photo opportunities, including Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.
In addition to the PhotoCD and all attraction and dining photos where applicable, the package includes a bonus CD consisting of hundreds of stock photos from the respective resort.
With the grand opening of Cars Land and Buena Vista street at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort rapidly approaching, Walt Disney Imagineering has put together this video package of titled ‘what guests can expect.’
Imagineer Kathy Mangum takes us through the final testing and preview stages of Cars Land which includes a look at the stunning audio animatronics used in Radiator Springs Racers as well as a look at other attractions such as Luigi’s Flying Tires and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and dining option Flos V-8 Cafe.
Meanwhile, Imagineer Lisa Girolami walks us through the new Buena Vista Street, examining all of the shops and offerings along with glimpses of entertainment such as Calvin the Cop of the Citizens of Buena Vista Street and the Red Car News Boys, along with characters dressed in the period, such as Pluto, Goofy and Mickey Mouse.
In honor of Secret of the Wings, which debuts on 3D Blu-ray on October 23, Disney Parks has officially confirmed it will be introducing Tinker Bell’s new wintery friend, Periwinkle, as a meet & greet character at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme parks. No specific date has been given other than her appearances will begin in October.
For Tinker Bell and the other warm season fairies, the Winter Woods remains a mysterious and forbidden place. Secret of the Wings takes audiences on an amazing journey of discovery with Tink, into this forbidden world where she discovers a magical secret that changes her life forever.
Below is a previously released clip from the film:
When Cars Land opens its garage doors to the public on June 15, 2012, a whole new land inspired by the Disney/Pixar films will immerse Guests in an environment unique to the Disney California Adventure theme park. Even the most familiar of faces will have something to talk about as the meet & greet characters of Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen, who have been a staple at the parks for years, will now communicate with guests.
They will trade off at their meet and greet spot, located at the Cozy Cone Hotel, where they will parade down Route 66 of Radiator Springs, chattering away for the first time in a Disney theme park. Voice talents Larry the Cable Guy and Keith Ferguson recorded all new dialogue for the vehicles, who will actively respond to guests based on their appearances. For example, in our video below, Mater comments on the flat ‘tires’ being worn by a passerby. As another example, guests sporting sunglasses may be complimented on their ‘tinted windshield.
Be sure to view our extensive photo gallery from Cars Land and Buena Vista Street here.
Cars Land opens at the Disneyland Resort on June 15, 2012 as part of the park’s expansion which includes Buena Vista Street. A media preview for the event is scheduled on June 14.
Video by Kelly Noble for Stitch Kingdom
Just a few days before its grand opening on June 15, 2012, Cars Land and Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort opened its doors for previews for Annual Passholders, Disney D23 and Club 33 Members. Guests — along with Disney Parks brass such as Robert Iger, Tom Staggs, George Kalogridis and Mary Niven — enjoyed dining, shopping and the attractions in both areas: Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi’s Flying Tires, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and the Red Car Trolley.
New entertainment also kept guests amused as Mater and Lightning McQueen (who now ‘converse’ with guests) traded off at the Cozy Cone Hotel and Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale — all dressed in dapper 1930s garb — greeted guests in the Carthay Circle plaza area. Also making appearances throughout the day were the crowd-favorite Citizens of Buena Vista Street: Donna the Dog Lady, Calvin the Cop, Molly the Messenger and Phiphi the Photographer.
From Oswald’s to the Loz Feloz Five and Dime to Elias and Co., guests time travel along Buena Vista Street as the area ties itself to the other end of the Red Car Trolley line, the Hollywood Tower Hotel (a.k.a. the Tower of Terror) from hints of the hotel’s arrival to posters advertising who’s appearing at the Tip Top Club this week.
Below is our gallery of hundreds of photos from the preview along with video of the Cars Land attractions. Highlights include touring the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe (Starbucks), Cars Land and Red Car Trolley merchandise, the attractions and their queues (including a clever Rust-eze tribute to the old Burma Shave roadside sign campaigns and a nod to Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull) and much, much more.
Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger version of the images.
Photos and video © Jim and Kelly Noble for Stitch Kingdom. All rights reserved.