D23 Magic & Merriment 2012 at Walt Disney World – Archival Presentations on Day One

Let the Magic & Merriment Begin...

Let the Magic & Merriment Begin…

Our hosts for the D23 Magic & Merriment at Walt Disney World were Laura Sanchez (Special Events D23) and Jeffery Epstein (Marketing D23)

Jeffrey & Laura

Jeffrey & Laura

The archival presentations at D23 Magic & Merriment were much better than the D23 Epcot 30th Anniversary presentations at Walt Disney World. We were pleasantly surprised… A lot of our notes coincide with photos, so this will be a photo heavy post.

Graham Allen – Disney Historian – Holidays at Disney throughout the years!

Graham Allen, Disney Archivist

Graham Allen, Disney Archivist

In 2007, he went through the archives looking for material for an article for the D23 Magazine (this isn’t that article, but it’s sure to contain some of the material)

Contemporary with red and green changing lights

Contemporary with red and green changing lights

Candlelight Processional and it’s changes in history is very well documented…

D23 Magic & Merriment 2012 at Walt Disney World - Archival Presentations on Day 1 - 06

In 1959 the largest ever Candlelight Processional at Disneyland, 2574 performers (note Epcot has 450 performers & Disneyland has 600 these days)

1959 also saw the Singing Christmas Tree

1959 also saw the Singing Christmas Tree

In the early 1990’s, there were 12,000 performers at Disneyland. It was a huge challenge to rehearse and to move all those people (especially the high school students!)

In the early 1990's, there were 12,000 performers at Disneyland. It was a huge challenge to rehearse and to move all those people (especially the high school students!)

In 2005, Disneyland scaled back to 600 performers and went back to the Main Street Train Station

Then, there’s the Christmas at Disneyland Festival, in 1956 it was “Christmas from Around the Globe” and included…

Sheep shearing...

Sheep shearing…

Wonder what in the world this sheep is thinking!?

Wonder what in the world this sheep is thinking!?

Another year, there was a circus (not popular with the guests!)

Lady on an elephant

Lady on an elephant… Don’t you love those Mouse Ears?

Circus tents

Circus tents

Inside the circus tent

Inside the circus tent

Parade with LIVE animals

Parade with LIVE animals

The Christmas Tree in 1956, a live tree, nothing like the extravagant concoctions of these days

The Christmas Tree in 1956, a live tree, nothing like the extravagant concoctions of these days

Then for the next few years, Disneyland celebrated Christmas with a Parade of Toys (this was the debut of the toy soldiers, a couple of youtube videos here & here)…

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It also included the “Disneyland Big Bass Drum”

Toy Soldiers!

Toy Soldiers!

 

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Really goofy looking reindeer during a Christmas Parade at Disneyland – that kid doesn’t look too happy!

Changes to Disneyland Reindeer throughout the years

Changes to Disneyland Reindeer throughout the years

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The dancing gingerbread men have also changed over the years

Toy Soldiers, then and now

Toy Soldiers, then and now

Entertainment at various Disney Theme Parks around the World…

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Hong Kong Disneyland celebrates with an Ice Festival

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not sure which theme park this is from… but doesn’t Santa look rather precarious in that seat?!

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We think this is from Tokyo Disneyland

D23 Magic & Merriment 2012 at Walt Disney World - Archival Presentations on Day 1 - 30

This is either from Tokyo Disneyland or Hong Kong Disnelyand

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Disneyland Paris (live reindeer!)… you can see the Lights of Winter overhead, they originated at Disneyland Paris and are based on Italian tradition

Christmas Trees! Disneyland was the last park to have live trees (1995), the current Disneyland Christmas Tree has 62,000 LED lights

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Disneyland 1961 (live tree)

D23 Magic & Merriment 2012 at Walt Disney World - Archival Presentations on Day 1 - 33

Disneyland Christmas tree (1995)

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Disneyland Paris (notice, real snow!)

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Tokyo Disney Sea celebrates Christmas

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then, before the Big A** Hat, and now, before you enter the theme park)

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland (we think!)

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Holiday decorations from various theme parks

Other seasonal things…

It's not a tree... did you know that Disneyland has/had an animal display that included live reindeer and live turkeys?

It’s not a tree… did you know that Disneyland has/had an animal display that included live reindeer and live turkeys?

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(really don’t know where in the world this is…)

Castle Dream Lights around the World (not just Walt Disney World!)…

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D23 Magic & Merriment 2012 at Walt Disney World - Archival Presentations on Day 1 - 43

OUR Castle, Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

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A few last photos of other “Disney” holiday things…

Fake snow at Downtown Celebration, Florida

Fake snow at Downtown Celebration, Florida

Decor at Castaway Cay

Decor at Castaway Cay

from Disneyland Paris

from Disneyland Paris

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Living Nativity 1975-1994 at Downtown Disney, event was so popular that they had to stop doing it (traffic jams and inadequate parking)

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Decorating at Fort Wilderness

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More guest decorations at Fort Wilderness

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Ditto

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One of our personal favorites, we remember seeing this when we stayed at Fort Wilderness with Big Al, Harry, & Sandy

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This is more the level of our decorations that year…

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Seasonal overlays – Nightmare Before Christmas

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Haunted Mansion at Disneyland

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It’s a Small World Afterall – Disneyland again

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more holiday overlay, including CAKE

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Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland

Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Disney Creative Entertainment – “What’s New for the Holidays”

Well, he couldn’t really tell us much because then there’d be no surprise.

  • Disneyland Paris celebrates their 20th Anniversary in 2012, so they got all new decor and lights.
  • Disneyland Tokyo goes bananas for entertainment (98% of their guests are from the Greater Tokyo area – they change things up every 3 years because they’re a much more local theme park). They have live entertainment throughout the day, and do a lot of repurposing of set pieces and costumes
  • Hong Kong Disneyland does a sparkling Christmas – new costumes, new tree with changing LED lights, “Christmas Illumination” is a traditional processional to the tree; “Snow Time” is a traveling show that goes outside of Hong Kong (marketing)
  • Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom – parade during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, entertainment on Main Street while waiting for the parade (they’re called the Kringle Krew), and the castle gets a gingerbread overlay during one of the evening shows
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Comedy Warehouse is back for a Holiday Special
  • Disneyland (California) – Candlelight Processional is 20 nights instead of 2, new fireworks “Believe in Holiday Magic!”, they have glow with the show ears, Three Kings Day is a recognized and celebrated event, you meet Santa & Mrs Claus at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree
  • Disney’s California Adventure – Cars Land has “Season’s Speedings”, the Santa at the Elias & Co Department Store has brown accessories in keeping with the 1920s
Just a cool photo - Dickensian Cast Members and Space Age Cast Members in the same winter sleigh with a Christmas tree in the background

Just a cool photo – Dickensian Cast Members and Space Man in the same winter sleigh with a Christmas tree in the background

 Chef Deran Lanpher – Pastry Chef, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort

Laura & Chef Deran

Laura & Chef Deran

  • 10 years at Disney, has worked in nearly every bakery at Walt Disney World
  • getting ready for the holidays is a constant, ongoing process
  • the carousel horses at the Beach Club change every year, it takes 1.5 to 2 weeks per horse, they’re made of modeling chocolate (production begins in May!!)
  • each resort has unique items
  • the gingerbread Mickey Head cookie is made from a European recipe, it’s more savory & spicy than American gingerbread, not really all that popular thus…
  • added a sugar cookie in 2010, it was more popular than expected, can’t keep up with demand
  • three new items – snowflake gingerbread cookie, chocolate dipped Oreo lollypops, gingerbread cupcakes (we tried one of these)
  • there’s a scavenger hunt on day 2 of D23 Magic & Merriment, the #1 team gets a gingerbread house, #2 gets a gingerbread house kit, and #3 gets a stolen
  • Chef thinks that the stollen is the best of the three! A few details…
    • dried fruit soaked in Grand Marnier for at least a month
    • after baking, poked full of holes & submerged in butter seasoned with vanilla & sugar (they hold it down until it stops bubbling – isn’t that the same thing as drowning?)
    • then it’s rolled in granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla while still sopping from the flavored butter!

Greg Ehrbar – Writer, Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group – Marketing for the Theme Parks

Greg’s passion is music, he’s been with Disney for 27 years and says that Disney and Music are deeply entwined & you can’t have one without the other. Two things that he told us stick out…

Greg Ehrbar

Greg Ehrbar

There was an album and book about a mouse orchestra that Disney Music produced – just couldn’t sell it; the next year, Alvin and the Chipmunks came out, Walt wouldn’t let the team forget that they failed at this!

When nora was small, her parents got her a portable record player and a lot of read-a-long storybooks (most of which were Disney) – Robie Lester was the story reader on the Disney albums for most of our youths.

He also did a lot of trivia questions and gave out DVDs, CDs, and other things.
Nora's favorite character...

Nora’s favorite character…

That’s it for the Archival Presentations during D23 Magic & Merriment! Time to go out into Epcot!

 

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