It gets harder and harder for me personally, to be cognizant as to how fast the years seem to race by! I feel as if I am writing last year’s review of our club’s Disneyana Christmas party. But, alas, another year older and another review! 2016, thanks in part to the historic and incredible Presidential election, ranks up there as one of the most memorable in years. This can also be said of the colossal changes and anticipated new lands and adventures that await Disney fans, as Shanghai Disney resort opened on June 16th, 2016, and with the world awaiting the opening of Avatar Land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we have witnessed new entertainment at WDW… At the Studios, Help! Santa’s gone missing…as the stars of ABC’s Prep & Landing search high and low for Kris Kringle, nightly at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from November 14 through December 31, 2016.
Also at the Studios’ each night from November 14 to December 31, 2016, guests enjoyed the Christmas season as buildings and rooftops come alive, and submerged you in treasured scenes from Bambi, Cinderella and a sequence from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. That is Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! We witnessed the opening of Disney Springs, and at Norway in EPCOT, Frozen after ever Boat Ride and the Frozen meet and greet attractions immerse frozen fans in that universe. Let’s not forget the amazing new Soarin’ around the World, with its new 3rd theater. At the Studios, Star Wars Land will be the biggest area at WDW. You will be able to ride in the Millennium Falcon and much more. And around Toy Story Mania, a new 11 acre land will emerge, emerging guests into the toys perspective of Andy’s backyard.
These are the highlights, and I have not included anymore because of space constraints. So you can see that MAJOR enhancements and changes are coming to our beloved Walt Disney World. So what has this have to do with the Disneyana Christmas Party? Well probable the best was to experience these offerings would be as a member of the international Disney fan club, the Disneyana Fan Club. A quick history of the club is in order…In the early ‘70’s there was a swelling interest in Disneyana items, collecting and trading and selling. Many Disney lovers formed the first club to host sales and events in 1980, called the “Mouse Club” started by Ed and Elaine Levin. There was an annual convention held in Anaheim in the summertime. The club expanded and was run by Kim and Julie McEuen in 1985. The club was not endorsed or sponsored by the Disney Co. And the last event was held in 1993.
Several members of the club split in 1984 to form their own club, “The National Fantasy Fan Club, or the NFFC. Again, not sponsored by Disney, it operated as a nonprofit club and like the Mouse Club, held meeting and conventions in Anaheim, coinciding with Disneyland’s birthday. The club has 30 chapters all over the country and has an international branch. The club changed its name to the Disneyana Fan Club in 2009. The Florida chapter is called, most appropriately the “World Chapter”.
As a member of the club, you are privy to amazing events, tours, parties and a chance to mingle with like-minded Disney lovers! We are a non-profit organization and during most of our events, we host live and silent auctions, most items donated by members and sponsors. ALL proceeds go to the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Florida Hospital. Over the years, we have hosted so many incredible events; one super event that quickly comes to mind was our backstage tour of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, hosted by none other than the voice of Rod Sterling, Mark Silverman. Mark was our personal tour guide of this iconic attraction; we also had the chance to ride the Tower with the lights on!
For this year, our Christmas Holiday party was held at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista, right on Hotel Plaza Blvd. by Disney Springs. One of the best highlights of our Christmas parties is our guest speakers. Over the years, we have had the Sherman Brothers sons, Gregory V. Sherman and Jeff Sherman, past members of the Mickey Mouse Club, and Margaret Kerry, the model for Tinkerbell. This year we have the good fortune to have Ron Logan, a Disney Legend and Executive Vice President and producer for Walt Disney Entertainment. For close to an hour, Mr. Logan enthralled the membership on the intricate history of the Production of the Festival of the Lion King. For fans of this amazing show, the history behind it is even more magical. In addition, Mr. Logan was instrumental in creating and producing all the live entertainment for the Walt Disney Company, including the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Institute, Tokyo Disney Resort, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Entertainment productions, and Walt Disney Entertainment world-wide.
He was also the executive vice-president of the Disney Special Programs, and was the founder of the Disney Theatrical Productions. It was quite illuminating. Our Dinner, included a mixed salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Grilled Chicken Breast, accompanied with a Red Wine Rosemary Sauce, roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Green beans and Roasted Red peppers. Dessert was a decadent Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry Sauce. We of course held our silent auction, were members could place a bid on any item by writing their bid on the bid sheet. Along with the food, auction and guest speaker, there was plenty of time to mingle and catch up with fellow members. All in all, another “Magical” event put together by our event team.
If any Disney fan would like to join the club and be a part of all the fun and a heaping helping of Disney Magic, they need only to contact the International Chapter at…”Disneyana Fan Club”, P.O. box 19212 Irvine, CA, 92623-9212 and at www.disneyanafanclub.org. Once you are a member of the International organization, you can join ANY of the countries local chapters if you want. Remember, the Club is the “club for Disney enthusiasts”, comprised of members from all over the world. To contact the local “World Chapter” our address is…”World Chapter of Disneyana Fan Club”, PO box 470116, Celebration, Florida 34747-00116. And at www.disneyanaworldchapter.com. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary. We meet bi-monthly at the Museum of Military History, 5210 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, Fl. 34746.
Please enjoy this gallery of pictures that Bill Iadonisi has attached to this article.