Did anyone attend Disneyana?

Horizons Fan

New Member
Hi, all,
Did anyone attend this year's Disneyana convention? I heard the convention-ears had a great party on Friday 8/23/02 evening and Richard and Robert Sherman were among the VIP guests. Richard also signed some of his art work the next day Saturday 8/24/02 when they allowed Epcot day guests in.
Can anyone provide more details on these events?
Thanks in advance!
-Horizons Fan


Active Member
My husband and I went to Public Day on Saturday. They held most of it in the old Millenium Village space, although the Disney subsidiaries were in booths in the long hallway behind Pizza Piazza and the Fountainview bakery (next to Mouse Gear).

The theme for this year's convention was "A Mystery" so everything was based on mysteries and clues. When you enter the building, you go thorugh 2 "mysterious" curving paths, where they show up clues (Convention-exclusive limited merchandise and Silent Auction stuf).

Yes, Robert Sherman was autographing on Saturday...I'm sorry, but he doesn't look well at ALL. They also had about 2 dozen Disney artists and designers available to sign autographs of posters and, if you had them, things they had designed (cute story...as I mentioned in a previous message, an acquaintence of mine is married to one of Disney's artists/designers. She was not chosen to be one of the autographers this year (I guess she has in the past) and was pretty bummed about it. She and her husband were at Public Day on Saturday. Some Japanese conventioneers had some TDL pins that she had designed and were trying to get one of her co-workers to autograph them (not knowing who had made them). Co-worker said he didn't design them but knew who did. Since Dawn had already passed by, he walked around until he found her, and dragged her back so she could sign these copies of her work. Really made her day ).

ANYWAY...so they had the artists and Robert Sherman and his son, Robert Sherman . Oh, and Dave Smith was there to sign the Disney Trivia Vol IV Book. Next part was the Event Exclusive merchandise. Most of the limited edition stuff was already gone by Saturday and what was left was....icky . Next was Minnie's Attic, where they try to sell the stuff Disney can't get rid of on eBay (signs from old conventions, ornaments and 3D plates from Christmas 1998, etc.) After that was the dealer's room, which only had about 15 or 20 dealers in it. Again, the conventioneers had already gone through the stuff in previous days and there wasn't much good stuff left.

After going to Disneyana in 1992 and 1995, I have been on their mailing list until just this year. I stopped going because it seemed like it was turning more and more into an merchandise convention, rather than the fun event it was the first year or two (the ice cream social they had the first year could NEVER be beat!). I also saw the price of the convention go up from $800 in 1992 to close to $2000 by 1991. Obviously you got a LOT for that $2000...special dinners and guest speakers and all that...but $2000, on top of airfare/hotel/food/merchandise/park tickets/special behind the scenes tours, etc. was an awful lot to spend, IMHO. Obviously other people thought so too, because this year the event was less than $600...but a lot of bells and whistles were sacrified. Disney is obviously making this difficult for the dealers as well, because when I was a conventioneer, there was one whole ballroom filled with dealers...now there was a teeny tiny space in the far back of the building...I guess a lot of dealers gave up.



New Member
Hey HF,

I actually did attend the "event" (Disney no longer calls it a "convention"). I have been attending the Conventions since 1998. While it's true they lowered the price, they also managed to suck the magic right out of what was once a really great thing. I won't rant here, but I do have a few choice comments saved for the survey card which apparently is being sent out to attendees in about 3 weeks. I think Disney was smart to let the fire die down before asking opinions. There were many very angry people on Saturday morning after the farewell breakfast.

I will accentuate the positive... as you mentioned, the theme park party in Epcot Friday night was the highlight. To start, they planted us all between the 2 shops at the front of the lagoon for a premier view of Illuminations while serving us cordials and desserts. After the show, we all filed into Future World East where Living Seas, The Land and Journey Into Imagination were open only to us. Mickey made a special appearance in the Living Seas tank - complete with scuba gear, of course. We watched him swim around with the sea creatures while eating our shimp and crab balls. Over by JII, they had a special performance of Tapestry of Dreams. Then back over at Seas, Robert Sherman and his son delighted the crowd with a question and answer session. There were some who were literally moved to tears just by him being there. I'm very glad he was able to make it this year. Richard has made several appearances at the Conventions since I started going, but never Robert. It was great to finally see him in person. Back outside at around 11:30, the finale was a pyrotechnic display to a very lively version of Reflections of Earth. It ranked up there as one of the better theme park parties I've been to.

Prior to the auction on Thursday we were treated to a presentaion by the producer of Treasure Planet and got to see some good chunks of the film with his synopsis of the story and its characters. Looks spectacular, but then again so did previews of Atlantis a couple conventions ago. It managed to fall a bit flat at the box office. They're of a very similar style - visually, musically, etc. I'm crossing my fingers for this one.

The other highlight was the seminars, of course (which are the reasons I go to these things, after all). Dave Smith always has such great stuff with him. In addition, I spent the extra $40 and attended the "Drawn To Be Bad" Evening Presentation with John Canemaker, emceed by Jeff Kurti. They did a special tribute to Ward Kimball - very nice.

I will bite my tongue with the rest so as not to sound like an ingrate. But, the rumor is Disney Events has signed a 5-year deal with Epcot to do these events in the future. So, this is what it has become, I'm afraid. I may be the only one, but I kind of liked the pomp and circumstance of the old Convention IMHO. I will not be attending next year.

And now Vault Disney is gone...