D23’s Destination D Celebrates Marc Davis, True-Life Adventures


In case you haven’t already heard, D23 is hosting their next “Destination D” event this November at Walt Disney World in Florida. The theme is “Amazing Adventures” and they’ve got some interesting items on the docket.

Chris Merritt, Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Production Designer and the author of an upcoming book on Disney animation legend Marc Davis (1913-2000), will be giving a presentation at the event entitled “The Art and Adventures of Marc Davis.” Marc was one of Walt’s “Nine Old Men” and was a brilliant animator and artist. He contributed to many Disney animated films, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to 101 Dalmatians (1961). He also designed characters and scenic elements for many Disney theme park attractions, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Country Bear Jamboree, and others. Marc was named a Disney Legend in 1989.


Disney Legend Marc Davis

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Pirates of the Caribbean attraction concept art by Marc Davis (© Disney)

Disney historians will present a session about the Walt Disney Studios’ True-Life Adventure nature documentary series which were produced by the studio from the late 1940s to 1960. Some of the True-Life Adventure titles include Seal Island (1948), The Living Desert (1953), The Vanishing Prairie (1954), and White Wilderness (1958). The documentary film series garnered the Disney Studios eight Academy Awards back in the day. The session is titled “A Look Back at Walt Disney’s True-Life Adventures.”

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Disney’s “True-Life Adventure” title card

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Theatrical one-sheet for “Seal Island” (© Disney)

Other topics will include a focus on Walt Disney World-related subjects. The announced sessions include:

  • “New Walt Disney World Adventures: From Soarin’ Around the World to Rivers of Light”—Get an insider’s glimpse into the latest experiences across Walt Disney World Resort as Disney Imagineers provide a behind-the-scenes look at new and upcoming entertainment.
  • “Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Evolving a New Species of Theme Park”—Explore the origins and incredible evolution of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, from early concepts to new experiences to be discovered at the park.
  • “Magic Journeys: 45 Years of Walt Disney World Adventures”—Celebrate the 45th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort with a nostalgic journey through some of the Vacation Kingdom’s most unique and fondly remembered adventures (or, in other words, all of the rides that we loved as kids that they’ve now shut down or let stagnate and rot…depressing).

The Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World on opening day, October 1st, 1971 (© Disney)

Scheduled presenters include Disney Legends Marty Sklar and Tony Baxter; Walt Disney Imagineers Joe Rohde, Chris Merritt (as previously mentioned), Jason Grandt, and Wyatt Winter; producer Don Hahn; and Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline—plus more to be announced.

Also not to be missed is a visit to the Mickey’s of Glendale pop-up store. Mickey’s of Glendale is the Walt Disney Imagineering team/company store located on the Walt Disney Imagineering campus in Glendale, California. They’ll be bringing a selection of exclusive Walt Disney Imagineering merchandise to Florida as well as limited-edition pins, apparel, and collectibles themed to this event. Make sure to save/bring some cash for a visit to Mickey’s of Glendale because it typically is awesome.

“Destination D: Amazing Adventures” will be held on November 19th and 20th, 2016 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Tickets are now on sale on the D23 Events website. Let us know if you go!

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