This past weekend in Atlanta, D23 hosted the Disney Fanniversary Celebration at the High Museum of Art. This event travels the country celebrating the Disney Anniversaries that are occurring throughout the year. D23 describes the Fanniversary as: “commemorating dozens of unforgettable Disney milestones celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2014!” During the celebration you get to see never seen before video clips, actual artifacts from Disney archives, and meet some fellow Disney fans or bloggers. I was lucky enough to finally meet Elantrice from Diz Thru Brown Eyes, be sure to check out her site for more Disney fun.
As you entered the Celebration you’ll find a selection of buttons to choose from. The pins showcase a variety of Disney Anniversaries. Our event was hosted by Rick Lorentz (Archivist, Collection and Exhibits) who has been with Disney for 7 years, and Billy Stanek (Content Strategist and Digital Producer) who has been with Disney for 11 years. These entertaining hosts did a great job walking us through all the clips and providing stories. There were even special effects along the way.
Below is the long list of items that you get to hear and see during the Celebration. To view remaining dates and locations be sure to check out the D23 Website.
1964/65 World’s Fair
The presentation started with a look at the 1964/65 Worlds Fair and the attractions that were created by Disney. These attractions are celebrating their 50th Anniversary.
- it’s a small world – Some of the original commercials are shown. These commercials were thought to have been filmed on the actual ride at the fair, but a closer look revealed that it was shot in a studio. An Alice Davis interview provides a look at the thought that went into the final scene of the attraction. To pull people to it’s a small world, Disney built the “Tower of the Four Winds” this tower would be the first Disney Weenie, creating an easy meeting spot for those at the fair. I’m sure you have heard about the park weenies, but did you know that the weenie term came from the car lot as salesmen used hot dogs to lure potential customers onto the lot?
- Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln – original concept art is shown along with a video of Walt and the first animatronic developed – Mr. Lincoln.
- Progress Land presented by GE (Carousel of Progress) – one of the most popular attractions at the fair – we get a look at the original concept art of cousin Orville created by Marc Davis and voiced by Mel Blanc
- Ford’s Magic Skyway – a road trip through time. A video is shown as they developed the first Omnimover boarding area. The omnimover ride system continues to be used at the parks on attractions such as the Haunted Mansion. The narrator of this attraction was Walt himself. This was the only ride that didn’t make it fully back into the parks. Portions of it can be found today in the Primeval World section of the Disneyland Train.
- 45th Anniversary – The Love Bug
- 55th Anniversary – Darby O’Gill and the Little People
- 60th Anniversary – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – complete with 4-D effects (squirt guns)
- 30th Anniversary – Splash – released under Disney’s – Touchstone Films label
- 35th Anniversary – The Muppet Film – including an interview with the frog himself, Kermit.
- 30th Anniversary – Muppet Babies
- 15th Anniversary – Star Wars – we learn that this was the last film where Yoda was not computer generated.
- 75th Anniversary – Marvel Comics – you get to hear from Stan Lee on the early days of Spider-man.
- 25th Anniversary – The Little Mermaid – again complete with 4-D effects (bubbles)
- 85th Anniversary – Silly Symphony – a video is shown with one of the original sound effect used in The Skeleton Dance in 1929
- 80th Anniversary – Donald Duck – an actual artifact is displayed called the “Duckster Award” – this award was given to those that gave a significant contribution to the Disney Company. Roy even gave Walt this award. A fun video for Donald’s 50th Birthday featuring Dick Van Dyke wraps up this anniversary.
- 70th Anniversary – The Three Caballeros
- 65th Anniversary – Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad
- 55th Anniversary – Sleeping Beauty – a song that was written but never recorded, Evil Evil, will be released this year. This song was shared with the audience and will be available on upcoming CD’s.
- 10th Anniversary – The Incredibles
- 15th Anniversary – Toy Story 2
- 20th Anniversary – The Lion King
- 5th Anniversary – Modern Family
- 15th Anniversary – Zenon Girl of the 21st Century – I didn’t remember ever seeing this.
- 60th Anniversary – Davy Crockett – you get to sing along with the theme song, but do you know the whole song? Turns out the song has over 20 verses, wow!
- 30th Anniversary – Television Animation, including Disney Afternoon – soon as I got off the bus from school I was running home to watch this.
- 20th Anniversary – Gargoyles – another one I didn’t remember ever seeing.
- 20th Anniversary – Aladdin TV Series
- 60th Anniversary – Disneyland Television Series – used by Walt to spread the word about Disneyland. Amazingly this was shot in both color and black and white. The color version has never been seen, but was shared during the presentation including some funny outtakes.
Parks and Resorts
- 55th Anniversary – E Ticket
- 55th Anniversary – Disneyland Expansion
- 45th Anniversary – Haunted Mansion at Disneyland
- 20th Anniversary – Tower of Terror at Disney World – some original concept art is shared including one in which you would end up on your back at the end.
- 25th Anniversary – Adventures Club – Pleasure Island – oh how we all miss the club.
- 25th Anniversary – Typhoon Lagoon – Marc Davis’s original concept art is shared
- 25th Anniversary – Splash Mountain – Disneyland
- 35th Anniversary – Big Thunder Mountain – Disneyland – a Tony Baxter interview is shared on the inspiration behind this attraction.
- 25th Anniversary – MGM Studios – it will always be MGM to us.
- 50th Anniversary
- Videos of the original storyboards along with an interview with Julie Andrews are shared.
- Another artifact from the archives is shared – Mary Poppins hat. This hat was actually found
- Finally a song that was never recorded for the movie has been recorded and is shared, Chimpanzoo.
- And to wrap it all up, we all leave singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
- Be sure to stick around after the celebration to get your up close view and pictures of the artifacts.