Our third day of DisneyanaMania Convention 2011 had a little bit of everything, from a look at a new Disneyland parade to a performance by a Disney princess!
We kicked off today's seminars with a presentation by Kevin Kidney, part of the wonderful artistic and design team known to Disney fans as "Kevin and Jody". Kevin joined to to take us behind the scenes of Disneyland's new entertainment spectacular, "Mickey's Soundsational Parade", telling us about what inspired him and his creative partner Jody Daily to create the fantastic floats in the parade and how those floats went from drawing and paper sculptures to reality on the Disneyland parade route.
We also got a sneak peek at some great looking retro-inspired merchandise Kevin and Jody created for Walt Disney World's 40th anniversary, and got to enjoy fun things like an antique Spanish music box that Kevin played for us!
Our next presenter was Karlos Siqueros, manager of food and beverage concept design for the Disneyland Resort and a long time member of our club. Karlos' presentation showed us how some special offerings at the resort's restaurants and food carts help add to the Disney park magic.
Karlos took us on a tour of the new food locations at the Resort, such as Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta at Disney California Adventure and Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Hotel, and special offerings like popcorn buckets and dessert steins shaped like R2-D2 from Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.
Our first presentation in the afternoon was by Ron Miziker, entertainment and television producer, who took us back forty years to the opening of Walt Disney World.
Ron and his team helped put together the three-day spectacular that officially opened the Vacation Kingdom of the World, and Ron's stories, supplemented by sounds, images, and video, was the next best thing to hopping in a time machine and experiencing the opening ceremonies first-hand.
At our next presentation, we were all hearing voices - Disney character voices, that is! We were joined by Bret Iwan (the new voice of Mickey Mouse), Bill Farmer (the voice of Goofy), Tony Anselmo (the voice of Donald Duck), and voice recording producer Ben Hoppe, who helped explain the process of giving our favorite characters the ability to speak.
The highlight of the panel on character voices was a demonstration of how the characters' voices are recorded, with Bill running the sound recording equipment (Goofy running sound equipment?!?) and providing dialogue along with Bret and Tony in time to a snippet of classic Disney animation. It was a lot of fun to watch, and they definitely demonstrated that adding voices to cartoons isn't as easy as you might think!
Our final seminar of the day featured animation historians and critics Jerry Beck and Charles Solomon, who shared their vast knowledge of animation history in general and Disney animation in particular. Their discussion give us a greater appreciation for what Walt and his animators created and the men and women who continue his legacy continue to create today.
Last but definitely not least was this evening's Celebration Banquet, where our special guest was actress and singer Susan Egan. Fans of Disney on Broadway know Susan as the original Belle in the stage version of Beauty and the Beast; fans of Disney animation also know her as the voice of Megara in Hercules.
Susan joined us to sing Meg's signature tune from Hercules, "(I Won't Say) I'm in Love" and the title tune from Beauty and the Beast; Susan also shared her experiences appearing on Broadway and working as a voice actor for Disney.
Susan made the evening magical for our Conventioneers, so the Club decided to return the favor by surprising her with a Disneyana Fan Club Legend Award! She was absolutely thrilled to receive the honor, and we were just as thrilled to see her receive it.
Tomorrow, we'll be enjoying one last set of presentations, and then we'll be adding two more distinguished individuals to our list of Disneyana Fan Club Legends - animator Eric Goldberg and Imagineer Kevin Rafferty. Join us here tomorrow for more highlights from DisneyanaMania, or better yet, come join us tomorrow for the fun and on Saturday for the All Disneyana Show and Sale. More DisneyanaMania to come - stay tuned (or is it blogged?).