Disneyana Convention 1999 Report
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Each year Disney holds an official Disneyana Convention for collectors and Disney fans from around the world to gather together and purchase, listen, mingle and have fun. The 9th annual Disneyana Convention was held September 7th through 11th at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World, Florida. Following is an extended trip report from two of this year's "ConventionEars".
Our 9th Disneyana Convention held in Walt Disney World at the Contemporary Resort and Convention Center began officially when we registered on Sunday, September 5, 1999. Although the line was long, it moved quickly and we spent a great deal of time visiting all of our old friends from previous conventions. The theme was evident from the moment we entered the convention area. The grand hallway of the Contemporary Resorts Convention Center was festooned lavishly with banners, signs, and even a rusting jeep parked along the faux African village marketplace. Doorways invited you to take a tour guided by Dee Snee Ana or have Antiks made to order. There was no doubt that this was a Safari Adventure. As we approached registration, we had our picture taken with the logo. Next we picked up our welcome gifts. A knapsack emblazoned with the convention logo held all of our information and a welcome gift. The welcome gift was a resin Mickey holding a treasure map while Pluto is pointing at a compass neatly planted in the grassy base. We each received a passport which would be stamped at all of the events during the coming days. Each event had a new safari adventure name: Mickeys Attic was Rajahs Ruins, Artist Showcase was Jungle VIPs, Limited Editions were Treasure Trove and so on. Also, a binder with all of the information we needed for the auction, seminars, limited editions and Disneyana Discoveries, as well as biographies of special guests, was neatly contained in the sack.
The Limited Edition pieces were available for viewing so that you could decide which pieces you were going to try to obtain. Tiles by Marc Davis and Frank Thomas, Armanis Lady and the Tramp, posters by Randy Souders and Don Ducky Williams, Lilliput Lanes Main Street Cinema, and Robert Kings Mickey Mouse with Bear from The Pointer were just a few.
So fari, so good! We were impressed with the theme. The next two leisurely days were available for park hopping, Disneyana Discoveries or just visiting with old friends. We did a little of each. Linda and Mike caught La Nouba at Cirque du Soleil in Downtown Disney and were enchanted by this theatrical and very physical production. We tried Test Track and The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster for the first time. There was a new production at the Sound Show in Disney-MGM called Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey. There was also the new Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh at the Magic Kingdom. We even took time to revisit the Main Street Electrical Parade. A+ for all of the above!
Tuesday night was the welcome barbecue at the Fantasia Ballroom at the Contemporary. Most people were festooned in some sort of safari gear from hats to animal print clothing. Usually this is a night for desserts, but this year for the first time, we had a meal of hot dogs, hamburgers, and beans just like a regular BBQ. A specially produced film, in the black-and-white style of an old 1930s newsreel, chronicled the trek of Mickey and Pluto to the mysterious land of the long lost tribe of the Bow-Wows. This bizarre yet friendly sect hidden deep in the jungle just happened to worship an idol that bore a remarkable similarity to our favorite orange mutt. Not to mention a tri-circular design tattooed on several members of the tribe that resembled a famous mouse of whom you may have heard. The chief graciously arranged to loan Mickey their sacred totem for display at the Disneyana Convention, on condition that it would be returned safely immediately following the event. We held our breaths as the massive crate was opened live on stage, only to discover that (horror of horrors) the idol had been stolen by that infamous collector of all things canine, Cruella DeVil! Cruella vanished with a fiendish laugh, but all was not lost. Disneyana Smith appeared, tall, dark and handsome with sparkling white teeth, promising to track down Cruella and rescue the idol. A mystery to be solved - where was the idol? And where in the world was Disney Anna, our leader of past conventions??