Disneyland Explored

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Friday Find: Sampling of Cosplay at D23 Expo 2017

One of the most fun things to do at the D23 Expo is to people watch. Sure it's a great time to wear you favorite Disney shirt and ears but it's also the time to put on your best Disney themed costume. The Disney universe also encompasses the Star Wars and Marvel worlds. There are some people who wear traditional clothes of familiar Disney characters and there are some who create some entertaining interpretations of Disney characters. You'll also find people who are dressed as well-known Disney Park attractions or icons. Other go deep catalogue and create costumes from supporting or lesser known characters from a specific movie. 

Here are a few photos that my husband, MacSparky, and I took today. 

You can also search social media under the hashtag #D23expo and you'll find lots of photos of people at the expo all dressed up in their favorite Disney clothes/costumes. 

Happy (belated) Friday! 


My Tour of Walt Disney's Office Suite Part 2 (Working Office)


Welcome to Part 2 of My Tour of Walt Disney's Office Suite.

This post highlights what I was able to see in Walt's Informal Office. This space is considered more of Walt's working office where he would meet with his Imagineers to discuss things in production. The furniture including the drapes are all original.

In the photo above you can see Walt's Irving G. Thalberg Award that he received in 1941. Next to the award is a tiny deer that you might mistake as Bambi. The Disney Archivist giving our tour mentioned that the deer was carved by Walt Disney himself.

You can see this space was more informal with the work table to hold several people. It was designed this height so that plans could be rolled out on top of the table and people could easily carry on a discussion.

All the furniture, papers, and knick knacks are original items. 

One of the most interesting things is the hidden kitchenette that was part of the informal office. The wood panel would slide open to reveal a very modern kitchen of that time period. It was usually stocked with favorite items like Walt's favorite cans of chili.

I did ask about the cans that were in the cupboards as shown in the photo. They are not the original. The Disney Archives went through the effort of the reproduce items that would have been on the shelf during Walt's time. The labels were are also reproduced to be accurate for the time period.

One of the interesting items in this informal office is this map of Disneyland. The small red plaques meant projects that were completed and the yellow ones highlighted of things to come to Disneyland.

This yellow note was interesting as it pointed to 1001 Future Ghosts of the Haunted Mansion. When the Haunted Mansion opened in 1969, all Disneyland press materials spoke of 999 Happy Haunts that resided in the mansion.

One last interesting item in Walt's informal office was this photo of actor Ed Wynn. According to the placard by the photo, not only was he a good friend but sort of a good luck charm for Walt.

We spent maybe a 30 minutes touring the suite. It was really exciting to be in the actual place where Walt Disney worked and created Disney magic. I wanted to try to take everything  in but I was also feeling a little overwhelmed at the history and significance of Walt's office suite. As we left through this hallway, I was trying to look at all the different photos of Walt. We were a little rushed at this point so I didn't have time to look at each framed photo but I could tell that they were various photos of Walt in a working environment.

D23 did a great job to resorting Walt Disney's Office Suite known as "3H". They do hope to offer more tours but it is a premium opportunity. Even just to walk onto the Walt Disney Studio lot was great.

If you missed Part 1  of My Tour of Walt Disney's Office Suite (Formal Office), you can go back HERE to catch up. There is one more post for this series that I am working on. There was one more area located in the location that was part of the suite. I've also have some closing notes about my tour.

Stay Tuned,




My Tour of Walt Disney's Office Suite - Part 1 (Formal Office)

One of the benefits of being a D23 Gold Member is being able to get a chance to attend some of their premium events. So when the chance to be one of the first to get a peek into Walt Disney's office suite came up, I quickly put it on my calendar and diligently waited for the tickets to become available. 

On January 29th, I made a drive up to the Burbank and made way to the Walt Disney Studios. There are usually no public tours or access into this working studio except for special events put on by official company entities like D23. After getting clearance at the gate, I found parking and happily stepped onto the Walt Disney Studios lot. 

Walt Disney Studios lot - Burbank, CA.

Walt Disney Studios lot - Burbank, CA.

There were a limited number of tickets to about 50 people. There were some people who drove up from San Diego, drove down from Northern California and some even flew in from Chicago, Kansas and Florida. We were all excited to be the first public group to be able to tour Walt Disney's office suite. 

On our way to the the office suites, we passed by this famous sign. It was actually made as a prop or The Reluctant Dragon movie and remains as one of the most popular spots on the lot. 

Walt Disney Studios - Burbank, CA

Walt Disney Studios - Burbank, CA

As we made our way to the Animation building, we were divided into smaller groups. The office is located on the third floor of this building. 

Original Animation Building - Walt Disney Studios lot (Burbank, CA)

Original Animation Building - Walt Disney Studios lot (Burbank, CA)

We arrived at the office suite, “3H”, the specific location or suite of Walt’s office. We were shown into a small holding room where we met Walt Disney Archive Director, Becky Cline. She gave us some background about how the restoration of Walt's original office suite came to be. She told us that Walt’s office remained untouched for about year after he died. It was then that Disney Archivist, Dave Smith was brought to inventory and pack up the office. Smith took many photographs and accounted for every item down to how many individual paper clips were on the desk. The detailed inventory would play a vital role to the restoration of Walt’s office.

After the Walt's office was inventoried and packed up in the late 1960s, a variety of companies and people occupied the particular space. Like many working studios, the space was leased out to anyone who needed it and paid the rent. The last tenant was Cherry/Wind Productions. It was the working office of producer Marc Cherry (Devious Maids, Desperate Housewives) up until about a year ago.

Photo from Jan 2015. Last year, Cherry/Wind Productions occupied this suite. 

Photo from Jan 2015. Last year, Cherry/Wind Productions occupied this suite. 

As we entered the office suite, our small group was asked to put our purses and jackets in a holding room. It is a very controlled environment and can only hold a very small amount of people in the intimate space. One of the first things you notice as you enter the suite is this Olympic Torch. 

The torch was given to Walt Disney as he was chairman of the Pageantry Committee for the Winter Olympics in 1960 (Squaw Valley, Ca). Walt produced both the opening and closing ceremonies. 

Turning the corner you get a glimpse of this tiny reception area. 

Reception area for Walt Disney Office Suite

Reception area for Walt Disney Office Suite

Everything in the room is original with a couple exceptions. The first is that the desk had been saved. The Disney Archives had the photos so they could reproduce the receptionist desk.

This showcase is original as well as the trophies with the exception of the special Academy Award on the top of the case. The original Oscar statue with 7 smaller ones that was presented to Walt for Snow White. The original award is housed at the Walt Disney Family museum in San Fransisco. Everything else is real and placed exactly where they once occupied the space. 

We watched a short film presentation about the restoration of Walt Disney's office suites. It was neat to see some behind the scenes. The Disney Archives had to build and reconstruct much of the actual space to recreate the original office location. 

Note the original ashtray stand between the chairs.  

Note the original ashtray stand between the chairs.  

The restoration was a tedious process. Thanks to the detailed photos and inventory efforts of Smith, the Disney Archivists meticulously assembled Walt's offices as it looked in 1966. Finally we entered the Formal Office.

While Walt's office has been on display in various locations through the years, I think to see it in its original location and environment is very special. To know that this is what it looked like when Walt occupied this actual space was a little overwhelming. If the desk could talk.

There were lots of ashtrays everywhere. You noticed it on the desk, the coffee tables and right by all the chairs.

Here is the famous piano that the Sherman Brothers would play their latest creations on. I bet the piano could tell lots of great stories. 

The Disney Archivist informed us that this piano had to be custom designed to fit into the tight space as well as fit into the office decor. The books on the shelves were meticulously placed back in their correct order as detailed by Smith's catalogue and photos. Nothing on the shelves behind the piano are out of place and they are all original items. 

This sofa in the following photo is a reproduction. The original went missing a long time ago. When the office was on display at Disneyland for many years, the area where the couch is would have been the place where the glass wall would have been. Where the sofa is placed would have been the where ropes or a barrier would be in place. Disney Archives had to rebuild the wall and reproduce the sofa to re-create this space.

Here are some other photos of things that made up Walt's formal office.

There was this framed photo of Walt in the lobby area where he is holding this animation device called a praxinoscope.

One of my favorite things I saw was this framed Walt Disney image. It is actually the original art work that graced the Times cover in 1954

Stay tuned for Part 2 in the next couple of days. I'll be sharing my tour of Walt's Informal Office. 

Wishing you all things Disney!


Music Monday: D23 Talks Christmas Carols from the Disney Vault

Recently, D23 had a great post about "Christmas Carols from the Disney Vault." It had a lot of really good information about Christmas carols related to Disney recordings. Check it the post HERE

Image from D23 - Disney Valut

Image from D23 - Disney Valut

Hope you are enjoying preparing for your Christmas festivities. 


4 Things I Learned From the D23 Expo

I was lucky enough to get the time and energy to attend the D23 Expo 2015. I went all 3 days and here are 4 things that I learned.

D23 Expo was held at the Anaheim Convention Center

D23 Expo was held at the Anaheim Convention Center

1. Disney is much more than Mickey Mouse

In the last 25 years, The Walt Disney Company has grown by leaps and bounds. With notable acquisitions like Pixar, Marvel and LucasFilms, the Disney family tree has many branches. Divisions like Disney Consumer Products and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts have grown side by side so their elaborate booths and presence on the show floor reflected that. In addition to Consumer Products and Parks and Resorts, here were the other parts of the Walt Disney Company that were featured at the D23 Expo:

Walt Disney Archives

The Walt Disney Disney Studio (Pixar & LucasFilms fall under this division)

Disney Movies Anywhere

Disney Citizenship

Disney | ABC Television Group


Disney Music Emporium

Disney Desk

Disney Interactive

Maker Studios

Disney Visa Card

The Walt Disney Company will continue to grow and evolve in order to position themselves as the leader in worldwide entertainment. They are not just about Mickey Mouse and the theme parks. They can really leverage all the members in their family tree in order to create magical experiences in film, television, music, consumer products, theme parks and resorts.

2. You Get to Hang Out with Fellow Disney Fans

Whether you are a fan of the theme parks, movies, or art, there were lovers of Disney from all over the world. I met people from Australia, Germany, Costa Mesa, Texas, and everything in between. Lots of fans planned their vacation around this event that included lots of Disneyland on the side. Everyone was wearing some kind of Disney apparel, costume or were Disney Bounding. We all had something in common, a love for Disney. 

Me and some dedicated Disney fans.

Me and some dedicated Disney fans.


3. You Get to Meet the People Who Make the Magic

D23 Expo was a place where you could meet the people behind the scenes who make the Disney magic happen. From Disney Legends, actors, and current animators, there were many opportunities to meet some of these people. I have to confess I had some fan girl moments. It was fun to briefly meet some of my favorite Disney Imagineers responsible for creating landmark theme park attractions. 

4. You Get to Hear About How They Make the Disney Magic

There were a variety of panels where you could hear a variety of people talk about their crafts and experiences. It was tough to make some choices but the opportunity to hear some behind the scene stories from first person point of view is so interesting. There were presentations and panels of all sorts of sizes and content. There was a new Walt Disney Archives stage that was a smaller venue with speakers who presented historical and intimate "peeks behind the magic." 

Pixar presentation at Walt Disney Studio area. 

Pixar presentation at Walt Disney Studio area. 

Whew! It was an exhausting but mot fun D23 Expo yet. D23 began in 2009 as a Disney fan club. The D23 Expo (conventions) are held every other year. I remember going to the first one and you could see everything in a couple hours, there were not many presentations yet, and the Disney family tree was still small. Each D23 Expo 2015 exploded with so many offerings. I'll be back for the D23 Expo in 2017.

Sending lots of pixie dust!


If you looking to see some great video and photo recaps of the D23 Expo 2015, check out Inside the Magic and Disney Examiner.