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Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor
Celebrating Walt - A look at plans for Walt Disney's 100th Birthday

Publicity photo  Disney
Publicity photo Disney

Most people find that their cake- and- ice- cream- party years are over when they become teenagers. But for Walt Disney, who would be celebrating his 100th birthday this Wednesday, the cake is just the beginning. From Los Angeles down to Disneyland, a party-goer can fill their day with Walt-centric events and activities. Here's a run-down of the events:

Disneyland Park will kick off their year-long celebration at 11:30 a.m. with a ceremony rededicating the Partners statue in the hub. Cynthia Harris and Mickey Mouse will be joined by Disney legends John Hench and Richard M. Sherman.

The Partners statue at Disneyland's hub - This image is available as a free desktop!

At the ceremony, Hench and Sherman will share their recollections of working with Walt Disney during the creation of his beloved motion pictures and theme park attractions. In his 60-year tenure with Disney, John Hench worked as an artist on classic films like Dumbo, Peter Pan and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." He was involved with creation of Disneyland's original Tomorrowland, "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln," "it's a small world"; and went on to contribute to the other Disney parks around the world.

Richard, and brother Robert, Sherman wrote Walt's favorite song, "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins. The Sherman Brothers wrote more than 200 songs for Disney including the theme for the Enchanted Tiki Room, and "it's a small world"

The Main Street store windows will also be decked with nostalgic photographs of Disney at Disneyland. While you're window shopping, be sure to step inside the stores to see the line of collectible merchandise which will debut that day.

When you find yourself getting a little hungry, stop by any of the restaurants throughout the park. Each will be highlighting menu items that were Walt's special favorites. A trip to the Plaza Inn, which was decorated by Lillian Disney, might be appropriate. Save room for dessert, because the Blue Ribbon Bakery will be offering a mini- anniversary cake with Walt Disney's image, along with a souvenir button.

You are also invited to join MousePlanet staff and readers for a Walk in Walt's Footsteps guided tour. This 2 1/2 hour experience, hosted by a Disneyland Resort tour guide, will give you a new appreciation for the park as Walt knew it. For more information about the tour, see Brian Bennett's review. As the tour is limited to around 15 participants, please e-mail me to reserve a spot.

DCA's Animation Building - This image is available as a free desktop!

If you have a chance, head across the esplanade, where California Adventure's Disney Animation Screening Room is premiering "One Man's Dream," a 16-minute film of Walt Disney's life and work. But don't be late for our MousePlanet / MousePad reader meet. Find all the details at this thread on our discussion boards.

Disneyland does not have a lock on celebrations for Walt's birthday. In addition to a employee event at the Studios, there are a few other events to enjoy:

At noon, Pacific Time, don't forget to join Disney fans around the world in a global "Thank You Toast" in honor of Walt Disney. The idea was hatched at the Marceline, Missouri birthday celebration, and has spread by word-of-mouth and e-mail.

Walt Disney's railroad barn
Walt Disney's railroad barn

The Carolwood Pacific Society is hosting a Centennial Celebration, from 3:00 - 5:00, up at Walt's Barn in Griffith Park. Artist Bob Byerley and author Michael Broggie will be on hand to sign their works. The Society will be collecting of items for Walt's Time Capsule and serving free Centennial Birthday cake. The first 100 guests and families will receive a copy of Michael Broggie's new book, "Walt Disney's Happy Place" If you can't make it to the celebration, you can also mail in letters or item for inclusion in the time capsule.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will be the site of "A Centennial Tribute to Walt Disney". This unique film program, hosted by Leonard Maltin and presented by the Oscar people, will trace the life and career of this beloved storyteller, and include a number of rare cartoons, home movies, innovative live- action clips as well as "behind the scenes" footage. Family members and creative talents from Disney's films and studio staff will join host Leonard Maltin on stage to share their memories of this true Hollywood original. (Al Lutz attended one of these special Academy events for a Mary Poppins anniversary a few years ago - you may want to read his report on it to give you an idea of what to expect.)

Advance tickets to the event were $5, and have sold out. However, you may be able to get walk-up tickets when the doors open at 7 PM. The event begins at 8 PM, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. For more information, call 310-247-3600.


Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix is the super-shopper behind MouseShoppe, your personal and unofficial shopping service for the Disneyland Resort, and the owner of CharmingShoppe, a Disney collectibles store located in Anaheim.

In addition to scouring the park to find you the latest and greatest merchandise, she keeps you updated on all of the merchandise events happening in the parks.

If you want to talk to her about this column, merchandise, or events, contact her here.


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