There are so many factors to consider while planning a Disney vacation: the season, location, and type of trip you want to experience. D23 Member Jason Bayer bases his decision on Disney milestones. He attended the 50th anniversary of Disneyland, the 25th anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland, and the 10th anniversary of Tokyo DisneySea. And in recent years, Jason has also joined in the celebrations of the grand openings for new Disney destinations and experiences, including Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; the maiden voyages of the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy cruise ships; and Cars Land… plus the grand re-opening of Disney California Adventure. Jason, who lives in Anaheim, California, and works as an engineer, is beginning to pull together quite a collection of memories from these once-in-a-lifetime moments! Here are a few more.
“I have too many memories to count. One of my first is from my childhood, involving a meet-and-greet with Mickey. In the ’80s they didn’t have nicely formed lines to meet characters. It was more a ‘free for all’ where the kid (or parent) that pushed the hardest got the next picture and autograph. Because of this, meeting Mickey was really hard for me because I was shy and not very aggressive. He always had the largest crowd around him. On a trip to Walt Disney World, I remember toward the end of a trip I was upset because I didn’t think I’d get to meet him. We were in the old Communicore building (Innoventions today) at Epcot, and when we walked out, there was Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto all in space outfits—with no one around them! It was amazing. I got their autographs and had what felt like an hour to hang out with them before other people found out where they were hiding. As an adult, meeting John Lasseter on the Disney Fantasy and at the grand re-opening of California Adventure was pretty amazing.”
“Of my favorite old-school characters, I’d have to go with Goofy. I just love his playfulness and how he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Regarding newer characters, I’d have to go with Buzz Lightyear. He’s the man.”
Sign of the Times
“As is the case with most Disney fans, I definitely collect a lot of Disney things. Also, similarly to most Disney fans, I have a lot of exclusive merchandise from the events I’ve attended. I have to say, though, that my favorite Disney souvenir is still my autograph book from when I was young, probably because it’s not just the autographs inside, but the memories of getting those autographs that are tied to it.”
By D23: The Official Disney Fan Club’s Billy Stanek