Michael Young on the 2004 WDAC Convention
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Recently we met with Michael Young, Director of Walt Disney Art Classics, to discuss the recently announced 2004 Celebration of Walt Disney Art Classics event, planned for next May at the Disneyland Resort. Michael has been with Disney for over 12 years and has been instrumental over the past year in leading the team at Walt Disney Art Classics to great success, including the 2003 Celebration of Walt Disney Art Classics event on the Disney Wonder cruise ship this past May.
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LaughingPlace: Thanks for sitting down with us to discuss next year's big event.
MY: My pleasure. I'm a big fan of LaughingPlace.com. We appreciate your interest in our yearly event.
LP: You're welcome. Many of our readers are, in turn, big fans of the Walt Disney Classics Collection and are members of the Walt Disney Collectors Society - - is that a pre-requisite for attending your event?
MY: Absolutely not. Although a large percentage of our guests are members of the Collectors Society and exclusively collect the Classics Collection we also have guests who just attend for the experience - - so our fan base for the event runs the gamut.
LP: But aren't your event activities geared just to WDCC collectors?
MY: No. Many of our activities focus on Disney history or are hands-on experiences or performances. We've had such Disney Legends as Peter Ellenshaw, Mary Costa, Kathryn Beaumont, Marc and Alice Davis, Ilene Woods, X Atencio, Richard M. Sherman, Sam McKim, Dean Jones, etc. participate in our event. Seminars might touch on new WDCC releases or surprise retirements that theme into the subject at hand, but no, our event is not 100% all about the Classics Collection or Society.
LP: This is only the second time that the annual Celebration of Walt Disney Art Classics event has been staged at the Disneyland Resort, correct?
MY: Correct. Our premiere event was in 1999 at Walt Disney World and primarily focused on "The Haunted Mansion.â€? We remained in Florida for our next two events in 2000 (Theme: "Pirates of the Caribbeanâ€?) and 2001 (Theme: Fantasyland). However, we moved the event to the west coast in 2002 with the theme of "Made in California,â€? celebrating Disney's home state. It was an incredible event and people still talk about those wild camp shirts we produced and the wonderful tour of the Disney Studio. I think if you ask anyone who attended our 2002 event at the Disneyland Resort they might say it really put the "specialâ€? in special event.
LP: But in 2003 you took the event out to sea.
MY: Yes, we had our "Disney Adventure on the High Seasâ€? just this past May. Now that was a truly "specialâ€? special event. Four hundred and fifty of our collector friends on-board the Disney Wonder for an unforgettable experience. We're very proud of the fact that our last two events, 2002 and 2003, received just unbelievable guest feedback. That's a great reward for us, knowing that our guests had a truly memorable experience. The cruise was simply fantastic!