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D23's Fanniversary 2013

The D23 Fanniversary event is a traveling multimedia presentation that will venture coast to coast visiting ten cities in March and April 2013. Stops include Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando, Chicago, Washington DC, Newark, Boston, Seattle, and San Francisco. For more information or to purchase tickets to an upcoming stop visit the official D23 Website at http://disney.com/d23

Tickets are available to purchase to all, but D23 members were able to purchase earlier and received a sizable discount ($21 vs $35).

The event consisted of two presenters. One from the Walt Disney Archives and one from D23. For the 5pm show it was Rick Lorentz from the archives and Cythia Momdjian from D23. There is a second team, Justin Arthur from the archives and Billy Stanek from D23 that will be splitting the tour with them. The presentation time clocked in at just under two hours. You are taken on a trip through many Disney Anniversaries that are being celebrated this year. These include corporate milestones, such as this is the 90th anniversary for the founding of the Walt Disney Company, to films 50 years for Summer Magic or 25 years for Roger Rabbit. As well as Themeparks, 15 years for Animal Kingdom, 55 Years for the Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland. And a great cross section of other Disney milestones. The presentation consists of pictures, video clips from the films, shows, as well as special interviews just for the even, such as Tony Baxter and Kathryn Beaumont along with a running commentary featuring interesting notes, trivia, or observations by the two presentors. Several of the images have not been shown in public ever or have not for years so there are some rare treats. Each event will also feature something from the archives collection that you can see. Friday's event featured a Gaucho Doll that was given to Walt Disney while on his South American tour. Some of the other items that will be making the rounds are a film tin from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, patches from the audioanamitronic cast of Horizons or a foam pumpkin from the Nightmare Before Christmas.

My first impressions: This was the first Fanniversary Event I was able to attend. I missed the 2012 events due to scheduling, namely I was at WDW during the Burbank stop and was on my way back to LA on the day of the Orlando one. So I cannot compare to previous years. I really enjoyed the event, for a disneygeek how can you not like celebrating the anniversaries of many of your favorite Disney attractions, parks, films, TV shows, etc.. It was a fast paced tour through Disney History. The presentation itself had a good flow to it and the number of video clips helped to break up the slides. This presentation was geared to a much wider audience than say the Destination D or Epcot 30th ones which were more "geek" focussed. There were several kids in the audience and from what I could tell the presentation held their interest and they seemed to enjoy it. A conversation I had with a group of guests on the bus back to the resort after the Epcot 30th event popped to mind. They felt that that event was too far in the "geek" or as they put it inside/almost academic feel. This one would have been a much better match for their expectations as it cast a wider net and was not as fine grained but still had nuggets of trivia and stories for the geek. I am going to resist listing the anniversaries covered so those of you attending can enjoy the surprise/presentation. If someone is interested I can generate a list after the run. But needless to say they hit upon the major park, film, and TV milestones as well as several of the less common ones that would pop to your mind probably.

My Experience: I am going to try something different with this event compared to my normal coverage. Since there were no photos allowed during the presentation I have posted some pictures and my experience below, more as a blog type/in-line post.

March 1, 2013 - The first Fanniversary of 2013 was held at 5:00pm on the Walt Disney Studios Lot in Burbank, CA.

I arrived around 4:30pm and was directed into the Zorro parking structure. Here is a picture of the elevator/stairwell.

D23 Fanniversary - Zorro Parking Structure Stairs

I then walked through the Studio Lot passing some famous landmarks, including the water tower and several sound stages.

D23 Fanniversary - Walt Disney Studios Water Tower

The event was held in the Studio Theater

D23 Fanniversary - Studio Theater

I had a few minutes until the registration tables opened so I wandered down the block to get a picture of this famous street post

D23 Fanniversary - Disney Studios - Mickey Avenue and Dopey Drive intersection

The event check in was directly in front of the theater and a line was forming, it looked longer than it really was.

D23 Fanniversary

Across the street from the theater is the original animation building (if you are interested in seeing more of the Walt Disney Studios you may want to check out pictures from a D23 Studio Tour I took in 2009).

The registration process moved really quick and in no time at all I had my button and handouts for the event.

In the lobby of the theater are two display case. One features items from Summer Magic which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The other Son of Flubber.

Waiting for the event to begin. Here is the screen and where the two presenters would be for the show. Due to the nature of the presentation and the material presented no pictures or video was allowed. Which meant I could sit back and enjoy!

A look at the Studio Theater, this is after the show and most of the guests had exited.

D23 Fanniversary - Studio Theater

After the presentation there was an opportunity to meet the presenters (as well as other D23 Team members who were around) and take pictures.

D23 Fanniversary

Rick Lorentz from the Walt Disney Archives was one of the two presenters for our show. Here he is with a Walt Disney Gaucho Doll, this was presented to Walt during his South American Tour and had not been on public display before.

D23 Fanniversary - Rick Lorentz

The other presenter at the 5pm show was Cythia Momdjian who is a member of the D23 team (and a fellow USC Alum - FIGHT ON!).

D23 Fanniversary presentors

One last look at the theater before heading for home. The guests for the 8:00pm Fanniversary were just starting to arrive.

D23 Fanniversary

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