D23 Fanniversary – May 20

On Sunday May 20, Derek and I made a day trip to Boston, Massachusetts to check out the D23 Fanniversary.  They announced this event a couple of months ago and it piqued our interest – particularly since the price was reasonable ($18pp).  I have been a member of D23 since the charter year, but, since we don’t live near Anaheim or Orlando, we haven’t been able to take advantage of most of the special events, so we thought we’d check this one out since it was relatively close by.  Plus – we have some good friends in Boston so we figured we’d make a full day of it and see our friends for brunch.

After a wonderful and very filling brunch at S&S Deli in Inman Square, Cambridge, we headed over to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  The event was to start at 2pm and the instructions were clear that registration wouldn’t open until 1:30pm.  Silly me, I wasn’t thinking that there would be long lines – so we weren’t in any particular hurry to get over there.  We ended up arriving almost exactly at 1:30pm.  And of course – the line was already snaking back and forth quite a distance!  Not a big deal, as I knew there would be seats for everyone – but I’m still kind of laughing at my naivete to think that we could just waltz in whenever we wanted!

When you checked in – they handed the D23 member a pennant and any guests a button.  Cute – not sure what I’ll do with the pennant (or the button, for that matter) – but it’s always fun to get swag.  Actually – Becky Cline (Disney historian) and Jeffrey Epstein (the former? Disneygeek) were the ones handing out the pennants and buttons at the entrance.

The event started a bit later than planned because of the line and registration process.  Becky and Jeffrey were the presenters and they acted as narrators for the various film clips that were shown.  The show itself lasted about an hour and a half and went through various animated characters, animated films, live action films, themepark places, and other Disney properties that are celebrating an anniversary this year (I think they counted any 5 or 10 year anniversary).  They didn’t allow any photography during the event itself.

I’m sure that I won’t recall all of the things that were covered but ones that I do recall include:  Goofy; Huey,Dewey, and Louie; Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; Epcot; Pirates of the Caribbean; Disneyland Paris; the Jungle Book; Oswald the Lucky Rabbit; Newsies; DuckTales.

They shared old footage, some never-before-seen drawings or footage, and some clips of interviews.  Highlights for me included the footage of the first ride-through of Pirates, the interview clips of Richard Sherman talking about the Jungle Book music recording; a video of Bill Farmer (voice of Goofy); a bit about Bob Iger and the Disney Co reacquiring the rights to Oswald; and an interview clip of two guys from the original Newsies cast.

It was over before you knew it.  We enjoyed the presentation and felt that it was priced reasonably, but we don’t think we’ll do something like this again.  Definitely not if we have to drive some distance.  We’re big Disney fans – but more so of WDW than of Disney as a whole.  One of the challenges of a D23 event like this is that they are covering all of Disney – and, I don’t really follow all of it, so some of the things were less interesting (probably the ones I can’t remember and thus haven’t mentioned here).  But for a hard core historian, fan, etc. of Disney – I imagine that the never-before-seen drawings and footage would be worth the effort to see.

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