D23 Expo to Celebrate 60 Years of Walt Disney Imagineering

Fans of Disney’s theme parks who are headed to this year’s D23 Expo are in for a treat, as D23 announced this week some of the exciting events and exhibits that Disney’s Parks and Resorts Division have in store for the upcoming Expo. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Walt Disney Imagineering, Expo attendees will be able to enjoy exclusive panels, access to Imagineers, merchandise, and more.

Like at the 2011 Expo, Imagineering will be hosting a pavilion on the Expo floor this year that offers a glimpse behind-the-scenes at Imagineering. Themed to an “open house,” the pavilion will give a look at some Imagineer workspaces, which will offer previews of some of the new attractions that Imagineering currently has in store. But the pavilion’s main highlight will be the Imagineers themselves, many of whom will be on-hand to discuss what goes into Imagineering’s creative process.

Also on display at the Expo will be a selection of art from Imagineering’s art library. For the first time, Expo attendees will be able to see such incredible pieces of Imagineering concept art as Herb Ryman’s original drawing of Disneyland. Guests will also be able to once again shop at Mickey’s of Glendale on the Expo floor, which offers exclusive Walt Disney Imagineering merchandise, as well as other souvenirs and collectibles that are usually unavailable to the public.

Attendees will also be able to explore some of Imagineering’s current and upcoming projects with a series of special events taking place throughout the Expo. In lieu of the single general Parks and Resorts presentation that has traditionally taken place at previous Expos, this year’s Expo will instead offer 12 different presentations and panel discussions. Here are some of the events that guests can look forward to:

  • The Art and Artistry of Aulani – Imagineers Joe Rohde and Jeanette Lomboy will share the authentic tapestry of art and stories found at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa.
  • Mayhem, Mischief, and Monkeys: The Magic of Mystic Manor – Join Imagineers Joe Lanzisero and others for the strange stories behind Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Manor, the newest and one of the most sophisticated attractions ever built.
  • Undiscovered Disneyland – Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter shares rare and never-before-seen footage of the early days of Disneyland, from design and construction through opening day.
  • Broadcasts from Buena Vista Street – Enjoy the latest ‘soundtrack’ from Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street, featuring a live performance of Scary Symphony from radio station KBVS and a panel discussion led by Imagineers.
  • Disney Ambassadors – Join current Disney Parks Ambassadors from around the world as they discuss this renowned program and share insights about its rich heritage, current outreach efforts, and the importance of sharing Disney goodwill.
  • Voices of the Disney Parks – Back by popular demand, this panel of famous Disney voices will gather for an encore panel discussion, including recreations of some unforgettable Disney Parks sayings.
  • Charles Phoenix Presents – Noted humorist and self-proclaimed “retro daddy” Charles Phoenix shares some of his favorite images from around Disney, featuring classic kitsch, clashing colors schemes, and hairdos that truly defy gravity.

Finally the Expo will dedicate the final day of the Expo, Sunday August 11, to the celebration of Imagineering’s 60th Anniversary. All day, Disney will offer special presentations on a wide range of topics, including what it was like to work with Walt Disney himself. More information on these exciting events is expected to be announced soon.

For more information about the D23 Expo and to purchase tickets, visit D23Expo.com.

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