by Scott Lopes and Monica Cesar
Photos by Scott and Barbara Lopes
It was a long awaited day for Disney fans in Boston, MA, as Disney’s D23 held its third Fanniversary event on May 20 at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.
(I’ll stop at this point to add a disclaimer: the rest of this article contains spoilers and if you already have tickets for an upcoming Fanniversary event -- or are hoping that they add more stops on the tour -- you might want to stop reading at this point.)
We headed to Boston by train, which we think Walt would have appreciated, and arrived in Boston around 12:30 p.m. The event was scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and we were let into the museum around 1:30.
We then proceeded to the contemporary art wing, where we joined hundreds of other fans in line waiting to get into the Remis Auditorium.
Since this was a Disney event, there were lots of little Disney details that you might expect. For example, as I walked into the museum I noticed a hidden Mickey formed by a trash can and two in-ground lights. Also, it sounded like they used the same announcer from the parks to do the pre-show countdown, making you have to think twice as to if you were in Boston or waiting to see the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom.
After arriving in line each person was handed a D23 button and D23 members received a 2012 Fanniversary pennant. After being checked off the list, we entered the auditorium. Once in the auditorium we selected our seats and I was able to take one last picture, as photography, video or audio recording were not permitted during the presentation.
The show began with the introduction of the hosts, Becky from the Walt Disney Archives department and Jeffrey from D23. Also on hand during the presentation were cast members from local Disney stores, such as North Attleboro, MA.
It was clear from the outset that Becky and Jeffrey were passionate about Disney, and they were clearly excited to be amongst numerous Disney fans. The Fanniversary presentation consisted of a 90-minute slideshow of major Disney anniversaries being celebrated this year. The kick-off began with the 85th anniversary of the debut of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a prelude to none other than the most famous Disney character created, Mickey Mouse.
Speaking of famous Disney characters, it was also brought to the audience’s attention that the lovable character of Goofy turns 83 years old this year. A special treat was provided when we got to see Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy since 1985, on the screen welcoming us D23 fans.
Disney’s first color animation, Flowers and Trees, debuted 80 years ago, thus paving the way for a future of great accomplishments in the world colored animated features. One such animated feature was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Snow White not only celebrates a 75th anniversary this year, it also accomplished a few firsts back in the day. It was the first animated film to have a soundtrack released and the first film to have merchandise associated with the film sold to the public. Fans of any generation have Walt Disney and his creation of Snow White to thank for their favorite movie dolls, cups clothes, etc.
Next on the list, the beloved Bambi made its debut 70 years ago. As Jeffrey and Becky presented in their slide, Bambi was a difficult movie to make. The artists had to work diligently to create an animated world of forest animals. These artists and others worked closely not only with Walt Disney himself, but also with the gifted group of Imagineers -- a team Walt created 60 years ago of individuals who were not only engineers, but were tasked to use their wild imagination in creating Disney products.
The last animated feature personally supervised by Walt was the Jungle Book, which debuted 45 years ago and is still a favorite among Disney fans everywhere.
Walt’s Imagineers worked hard to make his vision of a futuristic environmentally conscious world in the creation of Epcot, which opened in Disney World on October 1, 1982. Walt’s imagination was not contained after his untimely death: Disneyland Paris opened its doors 20 years ago and is to this day the most popular tourist destination in Europe. Many more Disney anniversaries were highlighted, proving to the fans present that the next generation of Disney fans will have much to celebrate.
It certainly would not have been a Disney fan event without hearing and seeing Walt Disney on screen in rare, never-before-seen footage of him working to create his magic.
After the event guests were able to chat with the presenters, Becky from the archives and Jeffrey from D23.
Becky and Jeffrey were very personable and were very informative both during the presentation and after. Overall we recommend this event to any Disney fan!
NOTE: Tickets for this event went on sale for D23 members on March 16; general admission opened on March 30. The remaining D23 Fanniversary events (Orlando on June 23, and Chicago on June 24) are sold out, however there is a waitlist for Orlando. Pricing for the event is $18 for D23 members and a guest and $25 for general admission. Fanniversary events have already been held in the following cities: Los Angeles, CA on April 27, San Francisco on April 28, Boston on May 20, and New York City on May 22.
The previous post in this blog was Be aware of changes at Disney's Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends.
The next post in this blog is Meet Merida from Disney-Pixar's Brave at Magic Kingdom.