Saturday, December 15, 2012

Trip Report: Dress Like Walt Event

For many, December 5 is just another date on the calendar. For Disney Geeks, it's the day that it all started: Walt Disney's birthday. In honor of the genius behind the movies and theme parks, a group of Disney aficionados got together at Disneyland for a "Dress Like Walt" event to celebrate Walt's birthday. The fun began thanks to the generosity of Armand and his wife Robbin (wearing the required vintage clothing), who put together a collection of photographs from Candlelight to present to orchestra director Nancy Sulahian.

She was overwhelmed by the gift, and said that Candlelight was a career highlight for her. The book contained photos from my collection as well as those of Joe Flowers, who is shown here signing Nancy's book.

It was a real honor to meet Nancy in person, and she was just as gracious as one would expect.

The next part of the event had us all gathering in front of the Walt/Mickey Statue in Buena Vista Plaza at DCA.

The outfits everyone put together were real showstoppers, causing even the cast members to join in our picture taking fun.

Thanks to a few strings pulled by event attendee and Disney Legend Bob Gurr, we were able to spend some time in 1901. Each time I took a photo and he was within earshot, Bob was able to tell the shutter speed just by the sound. This guy is a genius.

The Christmas Tree had a not-so-hidden Mickey ornament adorning it:

Seeing the guests in their vintage finery was like stepping back in time.

Bob's outfit was a tribute to what Walt would typically wear at the studio.

1901 really is a beautiful lounge to kick back and enjoy some down-time from a day at the park(s).

The displays are very well done, and give guests plenty to look at while relaxing and sipping their cocktails:

Before we knew it, twas time to park hop and get to our dinner destination of Club 33. Waiting outside the door, I was able to enjoy my favorite area of Disneyland: New Orleans Square:

We could see inside of the Club through a window above:

Once inside, everyone marveled over the beautiful centerpieces, put together by the talented Del Langdale:

The Club looked extra festive, decorated for the holidays:

The buffet dinner stations were in The Trophy Room, allowing me time to snap photos while filling up my plate with the delicious entrees and side dishes.

The guys at the Pasta Station were full of personality, which matched their ability to whip up a tasty tortellini concoction with marinara sauce and shallots.

Armand also presented Bob Gurr a copy of his Candlelight photo tribute; you'll note Armand's dog Dakota in the photo, too. Naturally, since Dakota's birthday is also on December 5, she had to attend the dinner!

Michaela and her husband Matt, two-thirds of the Tours Departing Daily trio, looked as picture-perfect as the photographs that they display daily on their website:

As the hostess and host of the evening, it was no surprise that Grace and her husband Dale looked absolutely stunning:

And as if there hadn't been enough fun already, there was a prize raffle to boot! Here, Bunnie shows off her prize booty:

A red velvet cake was wheeled out at the conclusion to provide a sweet ending to the event:

As we hesitantly left the Club at the end of the evening, we took a few more photos on the Club's staircase:

A painting of the original Royal Street Bachelors graces the wall; you can almost hear them playing when you look at it:

I was really looking forward to shooting photos on the way out of the park, when it would be virtually empty from guests. That was, until a cast member from the Club announced that there would be NO PHOTOS allowed as he escorted us to the front gate. I think my face says it all.

Despite that minor disappointment, it was a wonderful evening and a fantastic way to celebrate the birthday of Walt Disney.

See more Dress Like Walt Event photos on my Dress Like Walt web page.

1 comment:

Tim Crozier said...

Great shots Dave. Thanks for being there with all of us, and all of the great Disneyland photos.