Disney D23 Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th details announced, tickets on sale February 24

in Disney, Events, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Today Disney has released ticket prices and information surrounding the upcoming Destination D: Walt Disney World event celebrating 40 years of Disney theme park history in Central Florida.


UPDATE: Tickets for Destination D: Walt Disney World and The Great Disney Scavenger Hunt are now on sale. Click here to purchase.


Tickets for the event go on sale online February 24 at 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST. The event will feature Disney Legends, Imagineers, musical performances, presentations, screenings, special gifts as well as the first-ever Great Disney Scavenger Hunt at Walt Disney World. It all will take place in the Fantasia Ballroom of Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

This event, open exclusively to Disney D23 fan club members, will take place at Walt Disney World on May 14 and May 15. Last year’s Destination D event was sold-out so fans are encouraged to book early.


UPDATE (3/18/11): D23 members can now bring up to 3 guests (non-members) with them to Destination D: Walt Disney World. Disney cites a “member demand” response and “additional capacity to the venue” to allow this increased attendance.


The weekend’s activities will including a gathering of Walt Disney World pioneers, retrospectives, and screenings of rare and newly discovered film and TV footage and lively presentations.

All Destination D attendees will also receive a free, limited-edition reproduction of the 1970 “Preview Edition” of the Walt Disney World souvenir guidebook from the Walt Disney Archives Collection. The 22-page, colorful book is one of several gifts Members will receive.

The event also will include:

  • Appearances by notable Disney Legends & Imagineers Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, Jack Lindquist, Eric Jacobson, Tony Baxter, Charlie Ridgway and Ron Logan, in addition to Debra Browne, the 1971 Walt Disney World Ambassador.
  • A special exhibit from the Walt Disney Archives featuring rare items and artifacts showing the creation and evolution of Walt Disney World Resort.
  • A multitude of presentations covering topics such as bizarre and wacky moments in Walt Disney World’s past, Walt’s vision for EPCOT, and even a peek at the Walt Disney World that never was.
  • Rare autograph session with Disney Legends and authors.
  • A concert, Magic Journeys: A Flight of Fancy through 40 Years of Walt Disney World Musical Memories featuring Disney Legend and Academy Award®-winner Richard M. Sherman.
  • The cost to attend Destination D: Walt Disney World is $175 per person, or $215 for ticket with registration of one Great Disney Scavenger Hunt team (between two and four people).

    Separately from Destination D: Walt Disney World, D23’s Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World takes place May 12 & 13 and will send hundreds of teams across the Resort’s four theme parks in what will be the largest scavenger hunt to ever hit Walt Disney World. Registration for the Hunt is open to both D23 Members and the general public.

    Here is the complete schedule and line-up for Destination D: Walt Disney World:

    SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2011

    Opening Program
    9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
    D23 Head Steven Clark welcomes D23 Members with some special guests and a few surprises you won’t want to miss!

    Weird Walt Disney World
    10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    Following their laugh-out-loud antics at Destination D: Disneyland ’55, Walt Disney Archives director Becky Cline and Disney historian Paul F. Anderson are at it again — this time taking guests on a fun-filled trip through the strangest and most bizarre parts of Walt Disney World history. A peculiar “lawnmower tree?” A crazy cast of singing fruits and vegetables? Who knows what the duo will unearth as they explore the wonderfully weird and wacky side of the Vacation Kingdom.

    Walt Disney World: The Way We Were
    11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Remember the charm of the Orange Bird and the musical delights of the Mickey Mouse Revue? The elegant Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village and backwoods adventures along the Fort Wilderness Railway? Join Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith as we explore vintage pictures of Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts, including rare photos of construction and a fond look at some favorite attractions, shops and restaurants of the past.

    Lunch Break
    12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

    EPCOT: Walt Disney’s Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow
    2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Walt’s vision for an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow far transcended the realm of family entertainment and for many years remained shrouded in secrecy. Re-enter the 1960s hallways of WED Enterprises with Archivist Steven Vagnini and Disney expert Paul F. Anderson in this unprecedented look at the inspirations and plans for Walt’s EPCOT, and find out the little-known ways that Imagineers brought their late founder’s dream to reality throughout the entire Walt Disney World Resort.

    Past Forward: A History of Walt Disney World on Television
    3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    Like its predecessor, Disneyland, the early success of Walt Disney World Resort can be attributed to the extensive television exposure it received through both Disney broadcast efforts and news media coverage. Be sure to tune in to this nostalgic journey through Walt Disney World Resort history as reflected in the many national network TV specials and nascent offerings from the early years of The Disney Channel. Join Disney Archivist Rob Klein as he takes TV remote in hand to stroll through some of the many highlights of Walt Disney World Resort on television.

    The Walt Disney World That Never Was
    4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
    What do the Western River Expedition, Asian Resort Hotel and Sleeping Beauty dark ride have in common? While these amazing experiences were crafted in the minds of skilled artists at Walt Disney Imagineering, they comprise a different kind of dimension of Walt Disney World history: the grand experiences that never made it off the drawing board or out of the model shop. With an array of rare artwork and photographs, longtime Imagineer Tony Baxter lifts the curtain and takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour through the incredible world of the Walt Disney World that never was.

    Dinner Break
    5:45 p.m. – 8 p.m.

    From the Vault: Walt Disney World Resort on Film
    8 p.m. – Walt Disney World is not often associated with motion pictures and film, but from before groundbreaking up through the creation of EPCOT Center, Walt Disney World Resort was heavily promoted through such theatrical and internal films as “Project Florida,” “The Magic of Walt Disney World,” “A Dream Called EPCOT” and “EPCOT 77.” Join your hosts Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter and Disney author and historian Tim O’Day as they screen these rare treasures from the Disney film vaults, plus newly discovered and restored documentation footage of the construction and early years of Walt Disney World Resort.

    SUNDAY, MAY 15, 2011
    Sunday Morning Surprise with the Walt Disney World Resort Ambassador Team 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
    You won’t want to miss this very special — and did we mention surprising? — presentation at the start of your day!

    Walt Disney World in Detail
    10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    Think you know everything there is to know about the Walt Disney World Resort? Find out as we join Disney author and Imagineer Jason Surrell as he uncovers the little-known details and design references that have made ride vehicles, cast member costumes and even unassuming trash cans such treasured parts of the magic.

    Imagineering Walt Disney World: From Yesteryear to Tomorrowland
    11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    Join longtime Imagineer Eric Jacobson, who oversees the portfolio for Disney’s largest resort in the world. Eric will share insider stories and images of yesteryear, as well as new and exciting surprises of things on the horizon at Walt Disney World.

    Lunch Break
    12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

    Creating “A Whole New Disney World”
    2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    What began as 27,400 acres of quiet Central Florida swampland blossomed into an incredible, one-of-a-kind vacation destination “Where Dreams Come True.” From the top-secret acquisition of the land to the Imagineering and entertainment behind the magic, hear the stories of how it all happened in this impressive panel discussion featuring: Debra Browne, Orlando Ferrante, Bob Foster, Bob Gurr, and Ron Logan. Hosted by Disney Legend Marty Sklar.

    Making the Magic Happen
    3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
    Opening and maintaining a resort the size of the city of San Francisco was no easy task and our panel of Disney Legends — Jack Lindquist, Bob Matheison, Tom Nabbe, Charlie Ridgway and Bill Sullivan — will recount what life was like making the magic happen, from opening the Magic Kingdom through the debut of EPCOT Center. It’s a story of challenges, misadventures, creativity, and unbridled excitement for the leaders who inherited “A Whole New Disney World” from Uncle Walt and his Imagineers. Hosted by Tim O’Day.

    Quick Break
    4:45 p.m. – 5 p.m.

    Autograph Session with Disney Legends and Authors
    5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    Please note, there is limit of one item per person to be signed for each guest. Thank you.

    Dinner Break
    6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

    Magic Journeys: A Flight of Fancy through 40 Years of Walt Disney World Musical Memories
    8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
    As a spectacular conclusion to Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th, Disney Legend and Oscar® winner Richard M. Sherman, who along with his brother Robert has contributed a multitude of tunes to the Disney parks songbook, headlines this unforgettable tribute to the melodies that helped shape the World.

    Micks N’ Mingle
    9:30 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.
    One last opportunity to meet your fellow D23 Members, the D23 Team behind Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th and some of our special guest participants before we officially bring our extraordinary event to a close.

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