The summer issue of Disney twenty-three magazine hits stands May 3, filled with features that will take readers from the depths of the sea to the edges of outer space. In the swashbuckling cover story on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, director Rob Marshall and actors Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane and Richard Griffiths take D23: The Official Disney Fan Club into the action-packed world of the highly anticipated film.
With full details to come, along with study aids, Disney D23 has announced the addition of the ‘Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament’ at the 2011 D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center.
According to the announcement, ‘no corner of the magical empire will be left unexplored in this quest to find that uniquely talented individual who knows more about Disney than anyone else.’
The competition will begin on August 18, when the playing field will be whittled down to the select few that have risen to the challenge. The semi-final and final rounds will take place during the D23 Expo in the Arena, where all D23 Expo attendees will be invited to watch.
Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is marking this milestone May 14 and May 15 with their highly anticipated member event Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th, another unforgettable experience available exclusively to D23 Members. The event will take D23 Members on a journey from the moment when the first parcels of land in Central Florida were purchased in 1964 through the opening of EPCOTCenter in 1982 and beyond.
On Monday, February 14 at 10 am, Disney Consumer Products is inviting a limited number of D23 members to attend a special Disney/Pixar Cars 2 event at Chelsea Piers in New York City in conjunction with the International Toy Fair.
Guests will be one of the first to preview new clips from the movie as well as check out some of the merchandise that will be coming out later this year in support of the movie. In addition, a panel featuring talent from the film including Michael Caine (Finn McMissile) and Emily Mortimer (Holley Shiftwell) will be onhand to commemorate the event.
The spring issue of Disney twenty-three magazine hits stands February 1, loaded with articles to delight both Disney fans and the general public.
The cover story gives readers a stem-to-stern tour of Disney Cruise Line’s awe-inspiring new ship, Disney Dream, a mighty 4,000 passenger vessel equipped with cutting-edge technology and activities and entertainment for ultimate family fun on the high seas. Featuring an exclusive guided exploration of this third and largest ship in the Disney fleet, the spring issue of Disney twenty-three lets readers learn exciting details from the Imagineers who helped transform their creative vision into one of the world’s most spectacular floating vacation spots.
For the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York, Walt Disney was commissioned by the Pepsi-Cola Company to produce an attraction to benefit the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). With less than a year to create it — and with the vision of former Disney Imagineer Mary Blair and catchy tune by the Sherman Brothers — Disney introduced “It’s A Small World” to the public. In 1966, the attraction re-opened at Disneyland, albeit in a modified form, and ‘the happiest cruise ever to have sailed’ has been a perennial favorite for millions at Disney Parks around the world since.
Now through April 17, 2011, D23 Members can enjoy significant savings when seeing the Disney Theatrical production of Mary Poppins on Broadway. Now in its fifth phenomenal year at the beautiful New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street, Mary Poppins has astonished over 6 million people with its own brand of pure Broadway magic.
Featuring the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand-new breathtaking dance numbers and spectacular stagecraft, Mary Poppins is everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show! So get swept up in the fun of this high-flying musical the New York Post gives four out of four stars and calls “a perfect piece of musical theater.”
The musical legacy of The Walt Disney Studios will be celebrated at the 2011 edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. Turner Classic Movies (TCM), in collaboration with D23, The Official Disney Fan Club, will host a multi-faceted celebration of the studio’s history of bringing music and film together. Presentations at TCM’s four-day festival in April 2011 will include a screening of the recently restored groundbreaking classic Fantasia (1940), which integrated great works of classical music with some of the most innovative animation ever put on film; a collection of Silly Symphonies animated shorts, curated and introduced by film historian Leonard Maltin; and a special tribute to Disney live-action musicals.
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is pleased to announce the coming year’s slate of special events, designed especially for its diverse and growing membership base.
Among the exciting offerings for 2011 are exclusive D23 Studio Tours throughout the year, four free 50 and Fabulous film screenings on the Walt Disney Studio Lot in Burbank, D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World, the highly anticipated Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th, the perennial favorite Sip & Stroll event during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, a D23/Disney Junior ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ event on the Burbank Studio Lot for the budding Disney fan, the festive Magic and Merriment event at the Walt Disney World Resort to kick off the holiday season and, of course, D23 Expo 2011.
D23 Members receive advance notification of all special events through D23’s biweekly FanFare email, and all events are offered on a space-available basis. More details on events, and on becoming a D23 Member, can be found at www.D23.com.
Early yesterday morning, a small group of Disney D23 members were invited to visit the all new Disney Store Times Square before it opened its doors to the public for a private shopping experience and in-store continental breakfast. With the store operating in soft mode since last Thursday, Disney Store President Jim Fielding was on-hand to celebrate with the Disney D23 members as was Jodi Benson, the voice of The Little Mermaid’s Ariel and Toy Story 3‘s Barbie.
With check-in for the event commencing at 7:30 am sharp, guests were ushered into the lower level of the store which features a combination of New York City-themed merchandise, exclusive to the Disney Store Times Square location, as well as seasonal Disney Store merchandise and that aimed towards an older demographic, but more on that later. At the event’s official start time of 8 am, guests were invited to journey upstairs to the more ‘traditional’ ‘Imagination Park’ concept store which is where Fielding addressed the crowd from the store’s gazebo which serves as the 350 square foot Disney Store Theater.
Fielding talked about the store’s genesis in August of 2008 and how when he first saw the location at 1540 Broadway, former home to the world’s largest Virgin Megastore, he knew he had to have the space. According to Fielding, it took nearly a year for Disney Store to obtain the lease for the store because the space was in such high demand. He spoke of the nearly 250 cast members, some of which had returned to the company, it took to conduct interviews, hire and train new staff for the store which maintains 24 hour shifts to keep the store in tip-top shape. Although the store is open until Midnight most days, Fielding noted that they have had to keep running the store to 1 am due to large groups of guests still remaining inside. He mentioned that by year-end, they will have opened 19 of the new concept stores with an expected 30 – 40 in 2011, including two in Canada (but declined to identify where specifically). Surprisingly, the most profitable store worldwide is the Paris on the Champs-Élysées store according to Fielding, but he joked that the Times Square store calls Paris daily to make sure they’re beating them.
Of course Fielding spoke to the store itself, which consists of two floors, although the Virgin Megastore it partially replaced was four. He explained that the mezzanine from the former store was removed, resulting in a longer escalator ride and that half of the fourth floor, which houses the store’s internal offices, was also removed, allowing the store to have its high ceilings. About 80% of the merchandise found on the lower floor, according to Fielding, is unique to Disney Store Times Square while the upstairs is what he referred to as ‘”Imagination Park” on steroids.’ The ‘Imagination Park’ portion at Disney Store Times Square is roughly twice the size of the norm so far, all told easily making it the largest Disney Store in North America. The store is so large in fact that its Disney Princess castle is 20 feet tall and features not one, but two of the magic mirrors.
After tackling a brief Q&A session in which Fielding responded to questions along the lines of the current location of the Mickey and Minnie Mouse figures that once hung over the entrance to the former World of Disney store (they’re in storage at Walt Disney Imagineeering as the World of Disney was operated by Disney Parks and Resorts, not Disney Consumer Products as Disney Store is), he introduced Jodi Benson to the attending crowd.