Disney’s D23 Announces Biennial ‘Destination D’ Multi-Day Event; Sets Dates for 2011 Expo

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It’s a milestone year for the Disneyland® Resort, and D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans is celebrating with the premiere of DESTINATION D, a brand-new, two-day event exclusively for D23 Members that illuminates Disney’s fascinating history.

D23 announced its latest members-only event on its first anniversary – capping a year in which Disney’s first-ever fan community grew to encompass tens of thousands of members from all 50 U.S. states and more than 30 countries worldwide.

The inaugural DESTINATION D, whose theme is “Disneyland ’55,” will be held this Sept. 24-25. DESTINATION D: Disneyland ’55 will take D23 Members on a journey through the design, creation, debut and magical history of the world’s first Disney theme park. The first DESTINATION D will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel.

DESTINATION D: Disneyland ’55 will offer two full days of special presentations, panels, screenings and guest speakers that let fans meet and talk with key figures in Disneyland’s history. Future DESTINATION D events will explore other important aspects of Disney’s creative legacy.  Following its premiere in September, DESTINATION D will alternate annually with the enormously popular D23 EXPO.

The next D23 EXPO is set for Aug. 19-21, 2011, returning to the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets for the 2011 D23 EXPO will go on sale Aug. 19 (one year in advance), with specially priced tickets available exclusively to D23 Members. In addition, D23 Charter Members will have access to a special Charter Member Lounge at the 2011 D23 EXPO, at no additional cost.

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D23 Anniversary Event: Steven Clark Talks D23 Expo, New Upcoming Events and WDI Drops Bombshells

Last night, Disney’s D23 held a private after-hours event for members who attended its (slightly early) first anniversary party in which most of the existing Fantasyland was turned into a bounty of attractions, unique character meet and greet experiences and dessert party.

Aside from the party, there were two key events. The first of which was a buffet style dinner inside the Diamond Horseshoe in which D23 head Steven Clark offered a presentation concerning the first anniversary of the first official community for Disney fans.

Marvel section at Disney Store Times Square Introduced by Walt Disney World ambassador Clay Shoemaker, Clark talked about his own personal experience as a fan prior to joining the company, attending an event in the early 90s in which many Disney legends (past, present and future) were in attendance and presented upcoming projects from The Walt Disney Company. He spoke of meeting Walt Disney Studios archivist Dave Smith whom he had recognized from Dave’s column in Disney Channel magazine. He spoke fondly of Smith’s warmth and how Smith had offered him a private tour of the Studios in Burbank. Clark recalled how he had encountered a custodian with a fanny pack at the Studios and watched as a squirrel ran up the custodian’s leg, took food out of the fanny pack and ran off, appearing to gesture a thank you along the way. It was then, Clark notes, he knew he ‘was at Disney.’ Clark then led the room in a toast saluting D23 and its members and both of their successes. He introduced several key members of the D23 group that were in attendance (and a couple that were not) and spoke of their contributions to the success of the club and the expo.

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LA Times: No D23 Expo This Year

On reporting the D23 First Anniversary Party at Disneyland, which appears to uncharacteristically have problems selling to the point where multiple outlets are giving away free tickets, Geoff Boucher of the LA Times reveals that Disney has no current plans to host the D23 Expo this year.

Instead, according to the report, the event will be biennial, next occurring at some point in 2011. Still presumably in Anaheim.

Last year’s inaugural D23 Expo was officially announced on March 10 as part of the annual shareholders’ meeting / D23 announcement.

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New Bridal Gowns from Kirstie Kelly Inspired by Tiana, Snow White

Adding to her established collection of Disney princess-inspired wedding dresses for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, designer Kirstie Kelly will soon be adding new dresses inspired by Tiana from The Princess and the Frog and an all-new Snow White dress inspired by the Disney Diamond Edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Kirstie Kelly displays the sketch for her Tiana-inspired Dress at D23 Expo. Photo couresty of Disney.In the photo to the left, Kelly (pictured) publicly debuts her sketch for the Tiana-inspired dress  to visitors at Disney’s D23 Expo which took place last month.

The new Snow White dress will be unveiled on the runway later this year, but Brides.com has an exclusive first look at the new dress which you can see here.

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D23 Expo: Lasseter Turns Back the Page on New Winnie-The-Pooh Movie

As part of his presentation Sunday at the D23 Expo, Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter spent a great deal of time talking about the upcoming Winnie-the-Pooh movie from Walt Disney Animation that was announced a few months ago.

Lasseter began by fighting off the notion that Pooh was just for kids and that he and co-directors Steve Anderson and Don Hall recently reviewed the original Walt Disney Pooh films, Winnie-the-Pooh and the Hunny Tree and Winnie-the-Pooh and the Blustery Day and how they found them just as charming and funny today as they did back then and it was there they found inspiration for the new film.

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D23 Expo: Wizards of Waverly Place Fashion Show, Screening, Panel; Performance by Honor Society

Baljeet, Jeremy, Candace, Buford, Phineas and Ferb in Phineas and Ferb's 'Wizard of Odd' © Disney XD Still flying from winning their Creative Arts Emmy the day before, the cast of Disney Channel’s Wizard of Waverly Place held a panel on Sunday in which thousands of fans were treated also to a brief runway fashion show showing off a clothing line inspired by the show, the premiere of the third season (which airs October 9) and a performance by Disney recording artist Honor Society. Hosted by Radio Disney’s Ernie D, the only cast member unable to appear was David DeLuise who had broken his clavicle at the awards ceremony.

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D23 Expo: Winner of Coveted Rare ‘Duckster’ Award Announced

img_1668 Just prior to the D23 Auction, a ceremony was held in which the winner of the official Donald Duck portrait was announced. The contest was held in honor of Donald’s 75th Anniversary and took advantage of recently-discovered unawarded Duckster awards within the Walt Disney Archives. The award, originally commissioned by Walt Disney, has been awarded less than two dozen times and has not been given out in at least two decades.

Mickey and Donald joined the stage as the winning portrait was unveiled, announcing Jennifer Sleeper as the winner.

Congratulations to Jennifer and all of the other well-deserved finalists.

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D23 Expo: Performance by Disney Fine Art’s David Garibaldi (Photo Gallery)

16 The D23 Expo Auction event kicked off with  ‘Rhythm and Hue’ artist David Garibaldi taking the stage (and often taking to the air). Using a combination of music, movement, paint and inspiration, Garibaldi (who once toured with the Blue Man Group) creates portraits of cultural and historical icons in just 5-7 minutes each right before the audiences’ eyes in a super dynamic performance.

Between paintings (three in all), David would address the crowd and offer words of inspiration and dream chasing, citing his own years as a misguided youth as a street graffiti artist.

Each of David’s three paintings that night were also introduced as surprise lots during the auction. His rendition of Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey, a landscape-oriented portrait (rare for Garibaldi), was not only performed for the first time ever during the event, but also provided one of the auction’s more intense moments with a heated bidding war to help close the night.

Below is a photo gallery of David’s performance of his second two paintings of the night along with some photos from backstage where Garibaldi signed and even dedicated his pieces — at least when he wasn’t being bombarded by his legions of fans.

As always, click on any thumbnail to see a larger version or click on the PicLens link to start the slideshow and be sure to check out Garibaldi Arts.

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D23 Expo Day Two: Dick Cook and the Walt Disney Studios Present Everyone

It was news when it was announced that Dick Cook would be a keynote speaker at the D23 Expo on behalf of the Walt Disney Studios. It was big news when it was announced that he would be joined on stage by actor Nicolas Cage. It was headlines when D23 announced at the eleventh hour that directors Robert Zemeckis and Tim Burton would also take the stage. But what literally thousands of rabid Disney fans bore witness to this morning defies any category of news. Filled with exclusives and celebrities upon celebrities, even those who had an inkling there was more than Disney was letting on couldn’t have imagined what the Walt Disney Studio managed to pull off in front of the capacity crowd.

Getting settled in your seat, it  was impossible not to notice the orchestra setup at stage right – you knew then you were in for something a little extra. The lights dim and the orchestra fills the Arena with epic theme music as clips from Disney films begin to play. Then you start to hear singing voices as a 10 person choir chimes in when there are lyrics to be sung. Theme song after theme song, movie after movie, from Snow White to the Proposal and everything in-between. It has to be at least, oh, I don’t know… 23 minutes long. An absolute masterpiece crafted by Barnette Richie with music and songs sync’d perfectly every frame of the way, remarkably demonstrated by an extended clip of a musical number from Enchanted mid-way.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick CookThen Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook took the stage. He talked of his love for the company ever since he started as a steam train and monoral operator at the Disneyland Resort some 40 years ago. He spoke of quality being the underlying factor in movies produced by the studio. He talked about the animation studios and upcoming projects such as Cars 2 and Rapunzel which will be covered in depth when John Lasseter takes the same stage on Sunday. He talked about how for the first time in history the Walt Disney Studios will open its gate to the public and invite them to see a limited pre-release engagement of The Princess and the Frog in the studio’s newly renovated state-of-the-art theater as well as the special engagement in New York City’s famous Ziegfeld Theatre.

He acknowledged the work of Miramax before turning to the Touchstone Pictures label and its newest upcoming release The Last Song, written by Nicholas Sparks for and starring Miley Cyrus. And he mentioned the upcoming sequel Wild Hogs 2: Bachelor Ride.

Director Robert Zemeckis takes the stage (more…)

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D23 Expo: New Vinylmation on Display, Artist Noah Creates 5′ Vinylmation

Every day at the D23 Expo, from approximately 12 pm – 2 pm, attendees are treated to a look at upcoming Vinylmation releases. For Thursday – Saturday, this opportunity includes Vinylmation product developer Donald Ferro. Donald took some time out to show me some of the figures that have never been on display up until now, which you can see below. We also talked about new Vinylmation products such as the 3″ colored blank for those who prefer to begin with a non-white base canvas. Pictured below, the blanks will initially come in red, black, yellow, pink and purple colors with the potential to retire and/or introduce new colors along the way.

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