The second annual D23 Fanniversary roadshow kicked off this past Friday night in Burbank at the Walt Disney Studios and Colorado Dad and I were on hand to experience the fun. For those of you who have tickets to an upcoming show, or are maybe trying to decide if you want to go or not, I thought I’d give a quick recap of the evening.
If you’re not familiar with it, the Fanniversary is an hour and a half presentation celebrating Disney milestones that are celebrating anniversaries this year. The nice thing about these shows is that they are hosted in cities all across the U.S., so chances are, there is one coming to a town relatively close to you. Although there isn’t a show scheduled for Denver, we had a couple options fairly close to use with Phoenix, Chicago and the three Cali shows (San Diego, Burbank and San Francisco). Colorado Dad was already going to be out in California for work, so we decided to head to the first show in Burbank.
Although the pre-arrival email we received said that we shouldn’t arrive at the Studios before 7:30, we pulled up around 7:20 and there was already a line of cars checking in at the gate. We were directed to the Zorro parking structure (so named because it is built on the original site of the town set used in the filming of the Zorro series). There was not going to be photography allowed at the presentation, so I had decided to leave my camera back at the hotel, but I did snap this pic of the outside of the parking structure. Love it!
Zorro parking structure – Walt Disney Studios
Parking was easy and we were heading toward the theater and the check-in line within a few minutes. While we waited to check-in, we chatted with a few of our friends who joined us as well as Laura and Becky from the D23/Archives team (they are both two of the nicest ladies you’ll ever meet. Make sure to say “hi” if you see them around). After checking in, we were handed 3 glossy booklets, for Wreck-It Ralph, Brave and Frankenweenie, as well as a program and commemorative button.
Some of the “swag” fron Fanniversary 2013
I didn’t notice it until we got home, but the three booklets are the promotional glossies sent to Academy members during the Oscar voting period – they are gorgeous, full-color booklets and a really nice takeaway.
Promotional books for Wreck-It Ralph, Brave and Frankenweenie
Laura kicked off the night by asking us to please put away cameras and then she introduced our two hosts for the evening – Billy Stanek, aka the “new” Disney Geek from the D23 team and Justin Arthur from the Archives. I spent time with both these guys during last year’s Marceline trip and they are both great guys who have a passion for Disney, but I must say they seemed a little nervous getting started. It was their first run-through of the material in front of an audience though, so I can certainly understand it!
The 90–minute presentation went through a number of Disney milestones from film to television to the parks and beyond. I won’t go through all the anniversaries here so I don’t ruin it for anyone, but I will highlight the “youngest” of the three because they have special significance to me. 15 years ago, in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened, the film Mulan was released, the Disney Cruise Line started with the launch of the Disney Magic AND Colorado Dad and I got married! Not only that, but for our honeymoon, we booked a land and sea package that allowed us to visit Animal Kingdom and sail on the Disney Magic where we watched Mulan for the first time. 1998 was a quite a year, not only for Disney, but for the DisneyFan Family as well!
The rest of the show provided a lot of great pictures, stories and memories, going back 90 years (Happy birthday, Walt Disney Company!). After the show, we had an opportunity to get a closer look at one of the exclusive pieces from the Archives – a gaucho doll given to Walt Disney during his trip to South America while filming Saludos Amigos in the 1940s.
It was fun to reminisce and overall, I really enjoyed the show. I probably wouldn’t have flown all the way to LA just for the show, but since we were already going to be out there, I’m glad we attended and it was worth the price of admission. There are still tickets available for the shows in Orlando (Mar. 8th), Chicago (Mar. 10th), Boston (Mar. 24th) and Seattle (Apr. 5th) and you can purchase tickets on the D23 event page.