Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Disney Insider Article

The newest issue of the Disney Insider (the email newsletter) features an article on Marge Champion.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Give a Day get a Disney Day

This program, that was announced this week, will begin next year. Check out the Disney Park Blog for additional details. The theme park page has some additional information but it won't become active until January 1, 2010. Good for Disney to encourage people to make the world a better place. I am curious the availability and type of volunteer opportunities and the when/where they will occur. Have to wait for more details. You can sign up now to be on the email list for updates. The image came from the prize generator at the Muppet promotional website.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Today I made it down to Hollywood to pay my first visit to El Capitan Theatre. The current feature film is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. After having a shake at the soda fountain and buying all the released Snow White pins - it was time for the show. The theater really is a great building, and the organ is massive. I was a little disappointed that the stage show prior to show time was just Snow White (no dwarfs- or any other characters) and the popcorn buckets weren't special for the feature. It is amazing that a film that is over 70 years old can capture an audience still - adults and children. I was sitting next to a father who had brought a group of girls - each dressed as a different princess - and he was laughing out loud as Grumpy was being forced to wash.
Although Hollywood isn't very far at all to travel, I generally avoid the area, as what should only be a short car trip often quickly turns into an hour voyage on the southern California freeways. It was fun to see the movie in this setting and while I would enjoy seeing another feature there - it will probably be a while.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blu-ray Website

The new Snow White Blu-ray Website is very animated (ha! ha!) and includes down loadable backgrounds and email signatures (seen here is one). After a cute promo video you can explore the areas, find the 15 hidden diamonds and unlock the diamond mine where you can download the locked characters things as well as a certificate to be the "eight dwarf" and a chart that shows the dwarfs names in a variety of languages.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What to Do?

Disney store is pre-ordering the Diamond Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray DVD. So many options. The Limited Edition 17 inch doll set appears to have sold out. So now there are three options: the Limited Edition Collectors set (with book, Lithograph set, and pin set), the Book and DVD combo, or the Plush and DVD combo.
Let's just be honest - I don't need the plush. So I'm torn between the collectors set or the book/DVD. But spending $189.99 or $49.99, for the collector set or the book set respectively, maybe it isn't really a choice...
I remember when the video was released in 1994 and then later the DVD was released in 2001. All the stores were given gifts when you pre-ordered: lithographs, buttons, and even pogs (remember that fad?). Now it seems we could by the limited edition doll for $99 and get the DVD as the bonus. My how times have changed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Disney Family .com

At the Disney Expo, handed out cutie Mickey and Minnie foldables and prince/princess crowns. These were so cute I had to check out what else was on the website. I love the Snow White Printable. The skirt of her dress folds so that she stands. I just have to find the right card stock to print out. I also found these Magic Mirror Invitations. They print as two separate sheets - the outside of the mirror and a page to glue inside that invites you to the Princess Birthday Party. There is a whole page of Snow White inspired crafts as well.
While it's not snow white, I also love the Hitchhiking Ghosts. I thought I remember seeing the Toy Story martian at the expo but I can't find him on the website. Anyone had any luck?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fairest of All

Disney Publishing has released Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino. The book is for young adults and follows the Evil Queen's journey. I haven't read the book yet, but the cover art is fabulous. The Evil Queen is on the dust jacket and on the hardcover book is the Hag. Can't wait to read it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Walt & El Groupo

Walt & El Groupo looks into a difficult period of time for the Disney Studios. The South American goodwill tour produced two features: Saludos Amigos and the Three Caballeros.
This film was beautifully done. I loved the way the film makers tied the vintage photos, film footage, and images from today. There were fabulous shots of beautiful inspiration art work (including many of Mary Blair's developing signature style). I learned a lot I didn't know from this film. Any Disney fan will enjoy the the history and art featured throughout. Plus, we each got a great pin featuring the movie poster (It is limited edition 1,000).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Snow White Expo Merch

Another post about D23. The Snow White Swag from the expo.

These two pins are the exclusive Snow White pins realsed at the expo earlier this month. The Dopey pin was sold in a box (mystery pin style). This pin is 7 out of 10 and Limited Release. The Snow White and Dwarf Pin is the Artist Choice pin released on Saturday of the expo. Artist Tyler Dumas edition size of 1500.

The magnet on the right side was given as a promotional item to celebrate the upcoming release of the Diamond Edition Blu-Ray and DVD. I believe there was also a tote bag given out - but I didn't get one of those.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday at the D23 Expo

Sunday morning we were in the expo are at 8:00 am and immediately joined the line waiting for the future of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation talk with John Lasseter. Well, I should say my brother waited in line and I shopped. We had decided to leave the cell phones and cameras in the hotel rather than turn them in. To turn them in, you filled out an information card, put that, the electronics, and ID in a bag to redeem after the show. After having bags checked and going through the metal detecting security – we entered the area. Crammed into the bottom show floor we waited for an hour and a half. Lucky I had foreseen this and had copies E-Ticket with us to read and had some great conversation with neighbors.

The presentation began by showing the opening of Toy Story 2 in 3D. John talked about the upcoming double feature and Toy Story 3. Some announcements were made about what actor was lending voices (although not what character they were) with the exception of the return of Barbie and the debut of Ken. My favorite part of the whole presentation was seeing the lost footage of the Ken interview that was cut short due to the interviewers insinuation that perhaps Ken was not as manly as he believes he is (due primarily to the fact that he is a girls toy and Barbie’s name is so much larger than Kens on Ken’s box). We also heard about Cars 2, Winnie the Pooh, Tinkerbell, Rapunzel, and naturally, The Princess and the Frog. We were also treated to premieres of shorts inspired by Cars.

Once the presentation ended we joined the mass of people trying to exit. Luckily we had no phone to pick up so we were able to maneuver out with out waiting in line and make it to The Muppets Presentations. There we were told all about the upcoming events for the Muppets and treated to some content made just for D23. The best part? They gave away prizes! Everyone got a bracelet- but the raffle prizes were really quite nice. Sam appeared in Muppet (can’t say in person – can I?) and guests could wait to meet Fonzie and Gonzo – Kermit was on location at the VMA’s.

After the presentation we went back down to the hall to meet Wall-e and see Lucky again. We also got some more autographs from artists featured in the upcoming Art of Disney Princess Book. I also spent some time in the vendor area – rejoining the NFFC, buying back issues of magazines (Laughing Place, Tomart’s, and E-Ticket – we will miss you!) I have to shout out to the Laughing Place. I was missing issue 1 after buying all the back issues and I ended up winning one! That made my day.

I didn’t end up buying that much for the collection – just a Happy/Grumpy Cast Member Lanyard and the Dopey expo pin released Thursday that I had missed. I am sure there was more collectables earlier in the expo – but I waited to long. Which is fine, I certainly already did enough damage.

We had planned on staying through the Toy Story presentations but by 5pm we realized that driving home and going to work on Monday was be way to difficult, so as the voice of Disneyland announced that there was some confusion about the line and that people in line should call people not in the building to come back in, we left.

Can’t wait till next year.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday at D23 Expo

On Saturday I spent the morning on the show floor. The Snow White pin I wanted was released and I had decided to just do all my shopping that morning. After getting in line at 7:45, I got my voucher (It was a good thing what I wanted wasn’t LE 500 – those vouchers were gone already). When I got into the store around 8:30, I casually shopped around. When I was done, I turned the corner to pay and found a huge line! Well, I don’t remember how long I was in line for, but I am thankful I had my iPod as I watched an entire episode of Psych and still had leftover time. Silly me, Even with my past experience as a cast member, you would think I would remember that the pin fans are ser-i-ous!

I then went to the consumer products area to collect all the freebies, enter all the contests, and check out all the promos I could. There wasn’t a ton of stuff, but there were some great displays. I fell in love with the plush Pook-a-Looz (coming to Toys R Us soon) and the art of the Disney Princess Book and Couture line (pre-ordering book on amazon!)

While in line at the dream store I had the made the decision to forgo Imagineering Disney Parks in the D23 area in order to make it the Snow White panel (my true love…). I heard from others that it was impossible to make it from the area to the upstairs area quickly. We (my brother joined me for the rest of the weekend) went back up the third floor and the Snow White panel was great. Truly great animators were there, two great historians, and the live action model for Snow White shared her memories of being 14 and posing for the original animators. I loved the footage they showed – some of which will be on the new release.

We then went to show floor to explore. The Park and Resort pavilion was done right! Oh course there was a que line, a preview show movie, and a really cool entrance! The Cars land display was amazing but we totally fell in love with the audio animatronics display. We waited in line to meet Lucky the Dinosaur. That was so amazing! When is Disney bringing this technology to Disneyland? After wandering around the displays about Hong Kong, the upcoming Alaskan cruises, and Hawaiian resorts we left the pavilion.

The technology pavilion was where you could take a picture with the electrical parade turtle. I love that parade and it was a great idea to have him there with the photographers. (Love the photo pass idea and that there was always two cast members – one to take the photo pass picture and one to use your camera.) I tried out the Toy Story Mania Wii game – I had been highly anticipating that as I adore the attraction, but I was not impressed with the demo…we’ll see about that. The 3D technology showing the previews really was amazing. was giving out the cutest paper crafts and I can not wait to print out more at home!

After dinner we headed back for the Garibaldi show and the auction. I was so surprised at how few people were there. Even the auction bidders area wasn’t full. The art show was very interesting. That type of art is not in my style but Garibaldi is an undeniable talent. It was quite amazing to watch him work.

There were several items not sold in the auction but the items I would want – but couldn’t afford – naturally sold. The Snow White Wedding Dress and Diamond Bracelet went for $1,400 and $2,800 respectively. Of course the crowd favorite was the Peter Pan ride vehicle, which went for $35,000. I, along with all the other fans, wanted lot D23- the archive and studio tour with the fabulous Dave Smith ($13,000).

After the auction concluded we headed right up for the Sleeping Beauty panel and sat across the aisle from Tony Baxter (who waited in line with everyone else – bravo to him). The panel was fun to listen to and they had some neat things to share. What a great day!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday night at D23 Expo

I arrived Friday evening, checked into my hotel (bravo for having such an efficient check-in), and walked directly over the convention hall. Big banners indicated the D23 expo with varies blue sketch characters hung down to show the entrance (although those were not the unlocked doors the rest of the weekend). Upon entering the entire hall I was surprised to see it was filled with electronic ticket check-in counters – and many of them were staffed. The convention center staff scanned the ticket, gave me my silver wristband, guidebook, and tote bag, warned me not to loose my wrist band as it would cost to replace it, and then sent me on my way.

Now like most fans, I had downloaded the guidebook days before and had already poured over the details of the schedule. But something happened when I got that printed book in my hand – I totally forgot my well laid plan and began to wander. I walked right into the main exhibit hall and was amazed at how large the hall is. The D23 welcome area greeted you first and beyond that you could see the colorful resort entrance. I immediately began just wandering around looking at everything. I was headed toward the dream store when I stopped myself and thought- Think! You did all that preplanning and you specifically checked into the hotel and rushed it over here to see a panel. So I regrouped and headed upstairs.

I think of myself as a mama bear fan. I’m not quite as avid a collector as many are but what I have isn’t anything to sneeze at. Additionally, while I won’t be winning any prizes in trivia I’ve read enough to get a few tough ones right. My interests lie primarily in vintage Disney history, Disneyland, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Thus, most of the panels and presentations I choose surrounded on that.

As I rode the escalator up, I was surprised to see lines everywhere. I had hoped that this would not be the case. Upon asking a cast member, I discovered the many lines were in fact one line that twisted and turned down the hall. The cast members were guarding it quite well because of all the breaks that had to be included for crossing (they moved that que line to another area the next days – bravo whoever made that call).

So the first panel I went to was We Make the Music panel in the Storytellers Theater. The panelists were discussing the different attractions and areas that they had created music for. My favorite presenter discussed Space Mountain. He had a natural storytelling ability and really gave us a feel for what it was like. The panel went over the time (many, if not most, things did) so I had to leave before he was done to make it to the next panel.

The Disney Rarities was full when I arrived, but the cast member in charge, bless her heart, allowed us to stand in the back. It was well worth it in my opinion. We were treated with seeing a WWII training film for the Canadians, a informational film (featuring the dwarfs) on preventing malaria, a fantasia inspired short One by One, the Salvador Dali inspired piece from original artwork (yup- it’s odd), another fantasia inspired short featuring a Argentinean cat tormented by his tango partner tail – I can’t remember the cat’s name, and finally a Mickey cartoon that had never been seen – featuring Mickey as a talent agent for a opera sinning bee with a weakness for flowers.

The show floor had already closed but the archive exhibit stayed open until seven. I was able to walk and see items from Walt’s desk, original Pinocchio maquettes, Julie Andrew’s Mary Poppin’s dress, and Herbie. It was quiet and very few people were about so it was great to just wander around and enjoy the displays.

I left then to go get some dinner and returned to see the Walt & El Groupo panel. I can not wait to see this film. The history that was discussed was so lovingly researched that you couldn’t help but know that this film is gonna be great. The Saludos Amigos screening after was fun to watch in a whole new light after the panel had explained so much about the details of the movie’s origins.

After the screening I spent some time looking over the displays around the Walt Disney Studio Theater. I really think the displays were meant to be seen at night. The Tron light cycle looked alive at night. Alice and Wonderland took on a whole new dimension, and the dragon from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice looked magical.

I headed back in for the screening of the Shaggy Dog. This was where I felt the first misstep in my D23 experience was. The panel consisted of two people and they never sat on the stage to talk – it was just a quick introduction and a quick shout out. I enjoyed watching the movie but was especially disappointed after seeing such great discussions previously.