D23 Members celebrate Alice in Wonderland

D23 Members Celebrate a Very Important Date!

In Alice in Wonderland (1951), our heroine may not be interested in her history lesson, but on Saturday, March 19, 175 D23 Gold Members and guests gathered at AMC Disney Springs 24 at Walt Disney World Resort to celebrate Disney heritage and 65 years of the animated classic!

D23’s Very Important Date: 65 Years of <em>Alice in Wonderland</em>—Florida

After greeting 2015–2016 Walt Disney World Ambassador Nathaniel Palma and friendly D23 volunteers, guests entered the auditorium—with grins rivaling the Cheshire Cat’s—for a special presentation showcasing behind-the-scenes images and trivia.

Nathaniel Palma

At 10 a.m. Nathaniel kicked off the event, revealing his personal adoration for Alice in Wonderland and sharing a story about a famous icon whose curiosity, like Alice’s, also sent him exploring new paths: Walt Disney, himself. Nathaniel then introduced D23’s Steven Vagnini, who shared rare stories, anecdotes, and videos from the nearly 15-year development of the animated feature.

Alice in Wonderland concept art

Among the extraordinary material showcased was recently digitized concept artwork by Hollywood artist David Hall and Disney Legend Mary Blair; rare footage of Disney Legends Kathy Beaumont and Ed Wynn acting out their parts on a Disney Studio sound stage; and a glimpse at the very memorable grand opening of the Alice in Wonderland attraction at Disneyland in 1958.

Mad Tea Party

D23 Members also recalled the many connections between Alice in Wonderland and Walt Disney World—including a look at the Mad Tea Party and former Mickey Mouse Revue attractions at Magic Kingdom Park, as well as hidden references to the film located throughout the Resort.

Before the lights dimmed for the special presentation of Alice in Wonderland, Steven handed it off to Kathy Beaumont, the voice of Alice, who delivered a special virtual greeting from Walt Disney’s recently restored office at the Disney Studio lot in Burbank.

D23 Members

While most guests had a fabulous time celebrating their unbirthdays, several D23 Members celebrated their birthday at the event—many dressing up in outfits inspired by their favorite Alice in Wonderland character. And speaking of characters, each guest received an exclusive commemorative lithograph featuring the film’s stars by Disney artist Lon Smart!