Presentations looked great, so glad you got to go.
Saturday 14th May 2011
Another early start today, as I had to head back over to the Contemporary Resort to start queuing for the first set of Destination D sessions. Whilst I was waiting for the bus to take me to the Magic Kingdom, I got chatting to another guest staying at All Star Sports called Denise. It turns out she is also a D23 member and was on her way to the Contemporary as well to join in the fun. So we inadvertantly became travelling partners and enjoyed a good chin-wag for the next twenty minutes or so. When we got to the Magic Kingdom, we took the footpath under the monorail line to the Contemporary (about 10 minutes walk). Denise and I parted ways after arriving at the Convention Center as she hadn't registered for the event yet and didn't have her lanyard/welcome pack. So as she went off to get herself geared up for the next two days, I joined the end of the queue. There was still around 90 minutes to go until the doors were due to open to the Fantasia Ballroom, so I made myself comfy on the floor and listened to some park music on my iPod to keep myself occupied.
One thing that I really did appreciate was the fact that there was more than enough room for everybody to queue up in the comfort of an air-conditioned building. Unlike at Destination D in Anaheim, when we were forced to stand outside in the blistering sunshine (over 40oC on one of the days!!). At least we weren't all sweaty messes by the time the doors opened and we were allowed in the Ballroom.
Before too long, the queue began to shuffle along a little bit, as people started to stretch their legs and squeeze in closer in anticipation of things kicking off. When we were finally allowed in to the ballroom, everybody dashed inside to find the best seats possible. Again, an improvement over Anaheim's event, in terms of seating. ALL of the seats had a direct view of the stage and although there were big screens erected to help people who were right at the back see what was going on, at least there was no side-sections that were too far away from the action to be any good. Being on my own, I was lucky enough to find an odd seat all by it's self on left of the stage, second row.
I'm not going to go through all the presentations in great detail, as there have been dozens of indepth reviews already uploaded online. But here are my thoughts on the talks and panels that we were treated to on the Saturday. Also, I apologise for the poor quality of some of these pictures – we were not allowed to use a flash in the ballroom, which meant taking nice sharp piccies was VERY difficult (hence some of the wobbly ones!):
Welcome to D23 with Steven Clark - Steven Clark came out and did a brief introduction to welcome us all to Orlando and tell us a bit about what to expect over the coming weekend.
There was an amusing but brief video/presentation with Josh Turchetta, poking a bit of good-natured fun out of the head of D23 and generally putting the audience in to good spirits before things got going properly. We also got to meet the first ever WDW ambassador (Diana Dane) who told us some stories of when she worked in the preview center and some of her duties as the first ambassador to the parks.
Weird Disney with Becky Kline and Paul Anderson - this was one of my favourite presentations from the Anaheim event and Paul Anderson is one of my favourite Disney 'personalities' - he's just a very entertaining guy and he and Becky did a great job on this part of the morning. There was a little repetition from the California event, but after around 20 minutes, the pair got on to the truly funny side of Walt Disney World. The video about Grad Nights was hsyterical (with a Pied Piper leading all the 1970's students to Walt Disney World for a night of fun) and there was the usual blend of creepy/scary/just plain weird photos taken throughout the parks' history.
Walt Disney World: The Way We Were with Dave Smith - this was a really interesting presentation (I love anything Dave Smith does anyway, so I'm a bit biased). We got to see lots of a wonderful photos and video of the parks being built. We also saw images of attractions that have been and gone, as well as long-lost characters like the Orange Bird and Dreamfinder. It was a very nostalgic 90 minutes.
Epcot: Walt Disney's Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow with Paul Anderson and Steven Vagnini - another great presentation. A little different to what I expected, but a very indepth and intelligent look at how Walt dreamed Epcot would look on it's completion and a comparison to what we have now. There were some very cool comparisons between Walt's vision and things thave have actually been implemented in the spirit of his original ideas. Paul and Steven did a great job in this segment and I learned A LOT. If Walt had just lived another decade, I think we would have been so much closer to seeing his original concept come to life.
Past Forward: A History of Walt Disney World on Television with Rob Klein and Tim O’Day - an interesting look at old video featuring Walt Disney World, including lots of footage that hasn't generally been seen before. There were some great old clips from the original Disney Channel and a few segments from the awesome Inside Out series that involved some poor guests trying to ride Big Thunder Mountain with cups of water in their mouths! Messy!!!
The Walt Disney World That Never Was with Tony Baxter - this was an awesome presentation featuring my favourite imagineer. We got to see some fantastic concept art of attractions that never made it in to the parks, including the iconic Western River Expedition which was designed to be Florida's counterpart to Pirates of the Caribbean in California. How I wish this would eventually make it in to reality one day - it looks amazing!
From The Vault: Walt Disney World on Film with Tim O'Day and Tony Baxter - this was our last session of the day and consisted of several old rarely seen mini-movies about Walt Disney World, some of which had been restored especially for the event. It was great to see these videos and have Tony and Tim narrate for us - really interesting stuff and a great way to round off the (long, but exciting) day.
So that's a VERY brief summary of the presentations we were treated to during the day. In between, we had short breaks for lunch and dinner (an excuse to hop on the monorail to the Polynesian for a bite to eat at Captain Cooks). Best of all, many of the presenters and guests over the weekend were actually in the audience to enjoy some of the presentations themselves. As a result, I became a bit of a Disney 'celebrity' stalker and got a few photographs during the day - Bob Gurr, Dave Smith and my favourite - Richard Sherman!!! Result!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say I was walking around with a whopping great grin on my face for the rest of the day!
I should also point out that the Disney Archives had laid on a small exhibit for us, which included lots of paper souveniers from when the park was first opened, including letters from presidents to Roy, no less! There was also some pieces on display from old attractions and an audio-animatronics programming board, which I completely geeked out about when I saw!
After the first day was over, I decided to hang out at the Magic Kingdom for a copule of hours. I arrived just in time to catch the end of Wishes. Whilst most of the guests were battling their way back down Main Street to the exit, I decided to make my way over to Tomorrowland via the Tomorrowland Terrace for a ride on one of my faves - the TTA - sorry Peoplemover, or whatever they're calling it nowadays!
Then I had a nice relaxing visit to Walt's Carousel of Progress ("there's a great big beautiful tomorrow!!"). Seeing as Tomorrowland was pretty quiet, I had a chance to take some photos of a few little details (like some posters I'd not noticed before around the corner from Stitch's Great Escape).
Back on Main Street, we were just a couple of minutes away from the Main Street Electrical parade - it was the first time I'd seen this one so was looking forward to comparing to Spectromagic. I have to say, that as much as I loved the MSEP, my fave is still Spectro. Although the Pete's Dragon float is fab. Would love to have a little one of those sat on my desk.
After the parade was over, I decided to give my aching limbs a rest and head on back to the hotel. I had another early start again in the morning, so wanted to get at least four hours sleep if possible! Stopped in a few shops on Main Street en-route (for my Vinylmation and pins!) and finally crashed out in my room at around 1am. Phew!
*** PROUD CHARTER-DAY GOLD MEMBER OF D23! ***
***DISNEYLAND ANNUAL PASSHOLDER***
MY DISNEY TRIPS:
October 2012 - Walt Disney World (Coronado Springs) Halloween, Food and Wine, Christmas Season ***UPCOMING TRIP***
August 2012 - Disneyland California (Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animation ***UPCOMING TRIP***
August 2011 - Disneyland California (Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Expo
May 2011 - Walt Disney World (All Star Sports) D23 Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary
November 2010 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Cheyenne) Bonfire Night Celebrations and Halloween Season
September 2010 - Disneyland California (Disneyland Hotel and Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Destination D: Disneyland 55th Anniversary
February 2010 - Walt Disney World (All Star Music and Polynesian Resort)
May 2009 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Santa Fe) Mickey's Magical Party
October 2008 - Walt Disney World (All Star Movies, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside, Polynesian Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge) Halloween and Food and Wine
January 2008 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Cheyenne) Christmas Season
June 2007 - Disneyland Paris (Newport Bay Club) Disneyland Paris 15th Anniversary Celebrations
January 2006 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Santa Fe) Christmas Season
September 2004 - Walt Disney World (Pop Century) Honeymoon
Presentations looked great, so glad you got to go.
awesome!! sounds so fun!
"A dream is a wish your heart makes..."
Me (Jamie) - 33 DD (Kayla) - 6
TRIP REPORT AUGUST 2011 http://www.wdwradio.com/forums/showt...l=1#post972048
Sounds awesome. On my last DCL Cruise Imagineer Mark Kohl did a couple of presentations. It was fantastic. I can only imagine how great this was for all of you having been on such a greater scale..
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1) Totally jealous of your pic with Richard Sherman
2) Is that one of the original Figment props I see??
Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.Visited In: 1983, 1988, 1989 x2, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (passholder), 2007 (x2 x3), 2008, 2009 (x2), 2010, 2011 (x2)
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