Started off the morning with a 6:45am wake up call. Was down at Everything Pop at 7am for breakfast and on a bus heading toward the Magic Kingdom a little after 7:30. Arrived at the main entrance just as the opening celebration was underway and the train was pulling in. Took a couple quick pictures then hopped on the monorail to the Contemporary where I hopped in line for Destination D and spent the rest of the morning there. For lunch decided to just head out to the Sand Bar (the quick service place by the pool). For dinner the plan was to go to the Magic Kingdom but thanks to the afternoon sessions running long and the rain outside I opted instead for the Contempo Café. After the evening session hiked over to the Magic Kingdom bus stops and headed back to Pop Century to call it an evening.
- I spent the entire Day at the D23 event. Below is an excerpt of my thoughts and observations, for more complete information be sure to visit my D23 section at http://www.disneygeek.com/d23
D23 Destination D: Day 1 Thoughts & Observations:
- Welcome to the World
- Steven Clark started things off with a welcome that included a short video and an overview of the days ahead. He also shared some facts from the event. For example approx 20% of those in attendance were staying at the Contemporary while another 20% were at Pop Century.
- He also talked about the great response D23 had to its first survey last year and that this years will be coming out soon. They had a 60% response rate last year.
- The next welcome was from Debbie Dane Brown who was the first ambassador of Walt Disney World and started her career at the welcome center in 1970.
- Weird Disney: Walt Disney World & Beyond
- This session was again led by Becky Cline who is the archives director and Paul Anderson who is a Disney Historian and works for the Disney Family Museum.
- The first half hour of the presentation was a best of featuring slides and the baby new year story by Tim O' Day which were also shown in Anaheim before diving into the new Walt Disney World specific items for the rest of the presentation.
- Walt Disney World: The Way We Were
- Dave Smith, retired Director of the Disney Archives gave this presentation and it focused on a little of the history of the property, then a bunch of construction shots, and concluded by looking at some of the gone but not forgotten changes around WDW.
- If you have ever looked at one of my park update sections you know I really enjoy following the construction and changes in the parks and Dave did not disappoint with a great selection of pictures showing the construction of all the parks. I could have looked at another hundred shots!
- Epcot: Walt Disney's Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow
- Presented by Steven Vagnini from the Disney Archives and Paul F. Anderson who is a Disney historian. This presentation looked at Walts vision for EPCOT and solving some of societies problems. They traced Walt's interest in urban planning through several projects and decades and discussed some of his inspirations. They then went on to show some of the EPCOT concepts that made it into reality. Throughout the presentation they had some great photos and film, including an alternate ending for the EPCOT film we have all come to know that was made just for the residents of Florida to sell the project.
- Past Forward: Walt Disney World on Television
- Rob Klein from the Disney archives and Tim O'Day took us through several clips of Walt Disney World on TV. Ranging from commercials, to network shows, to Disney Channel pieces.
- The Walt Disney World Resort That Never Was
- Tony Baxter from Walt Disney Imagineering and Steven Vagnini from the archives took us through quite a few pieces of concept art for attractions that never made it off the drawing boards in their original form. The highlight of this presentation was a virtual ride through the Western River Expedition attraction. Unfortunately this session did not allow photography of any type so there are no pictures to share. Here is a brief listing of some of the art we were shown:
- Cape Cod Bay on Bay Lake - Three areas of three concepts for Motels (1967)
- Sleeping Beauty Ride (1968)
- Mary Poppins Ride
- Wizards Duel - Based on Sword in the Stone)
- An expanded Carousel of Progress that started with the dawn of time and covered the history of the wheel
- Pleasure Island Park
- Denmark -> Ice Skating
- Africa -> Dining overlook of a savanna and a raft ride
- Japan -> Omnimover attraction, Meet the World, Mt Fuji
- Germany -> Rhine Cruise
- Western River Expedition and then a virtual ride with concept art of the boat ride
- From the Vault: Walt Disney World Resort on Film
- Tony Baxter was back and this time joined by Tim O' Day for the evening session which consisted of four WDW films that were produced. Again no photography of any type was allowed during this presentation.
- WDW Phase 1 Print 8 (1968) - This untitled film took you on a tour of the Florida property examining the concept art including all the resorts of the Magic Kingdom area.
- Project Florida (1971) - This re mastered film featured a look at what the Magic Kingdom was going to be and a lot of the film was used in the preview center.
- The Magic of WDW (1974) - Was released as a featurette with the Snowball Express
- The Dream Called EPCOT (1981) - This internal film was used to promote EPCOT and show the companies efforts as they made the final push toward opening the massive project
Pedometer Information for the day:
Walking Time 53