RetroMagic – A 50th Celebration – Tickets and Information
The Lake Buena Vista Historical Society cordially invites you to
- RetroMagic 50 Celebration and Luncheon (Sunday April 24th) – A day-long event at the Contemporary Resort* marking the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. Join us as we enjoy the “blessings of size” in the Fantasia Ballroom for:
- Panels and stories from Disney Legends, Imagineers, Cast Members and other notables
- A luncheon buffet featuring selections from Walt Disney World’s culinary history
- Visit our “Lake Buena Vista Village” area at the event featuring:
- Rare artifacts, souvenirs and photos on display
- Exclusive custom created set of (5) “floating pens” featuring glimpses of WDW history
- Unique documents and memorabilia from the collection of Ted Linhart of DisneyDocs.net
- Meet & Greet our VIP guests
- Special Photo Opportunities
William “Sully” Sullivan
Marcy Carriker Smothers
Debby Dane Browne
**List Incomplete At This Time
Schedule of Events (Last Updated April 20, 2022)
Saturday, April 23rd
- Early Check-In/Registration for Gold Key Ticket holders with Special Experience at Contemporary Resort (check your email for details)
- Social Mixer with LBVHistory Crew & Friends at The Outer Rim in the Contemporary Resort Hotel from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Sunday, April 24th
- 8:00 AM – Registration windows open at West Registration in the Fantasia Ballroom lobby
- 8:30 AM – Doors Open to Fantasia Ballroom
- 9:00 AM to 12:15 PM – Morning Presentations
- Opening – The cast and crew of RetroMagic welcomes you
- Preserving Disney’s Documents – Ted Linhart discusses his personal efforts to preserve, protect and defend rare original documents and images related to the history of the Walt Disney World property and resort. Ted will be displaying and discussing items from his collection in our Lake Buena Vista Village area throughout the day.
- The WORLD Is Not Enough – Disney Executive Dave Vermuelen shares his fascinating and storied history leading some of Walt Disney World’s most interesting projects and initiatives including his 1981-82 time as the project lead for the never-built Mediterranean and Asian monorail resorts. He was involved in pre-opening foodservice and event planning for Walt Disney World, served as an early General Manager for both the Polynesian and Contemporary resorts, managed the Grand Opening events for both EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland and spent six years as the General Manager of Magic Kingdom. During his time as the director of WDW food administration he was part of the team that introduced The Handwich to Walt Disney World. His 48-year career with Disney saw him hold executive positions at every Disney theme park on the planet and he has fascinating stories to share with us.
- We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat – Geoffrey Snider shares his tale of rescuing and preserving Disney’s last surviving Plaza Swan Boat that operated in the Magic Kingdom from 1973-1983. He will be displaying a very special artifact from the boat in our Lake Buena Vista Village area.
- Norm Inouye: 21st Century Designer – Retired Imagineer Norm Inouye shares tales from his storied career. Norm was the designer of EPCOT Center’s unique pavilion and park logo designs. Working with the great John Hench he’ll also share astonishing stories about creating some of EPCOT’s most enduring imagery. Prior to his time with Imagineering he co-designed the “Screaming Chicken” graphic that adorned the iconic Pontiac Firebird in the 1970’s and 80’s and was the signature car of Burt Reynolds in the “Smokey & The Bandit” film series.
- Ask Me Anything – Hold on to your caps and sleeves because this here will be the wildest Q & A session in the wilderness. Bob Gurr is a Disney Legend who will answer YOUR audience questions about his time designing some of the most iconic attractions and transportation solutions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Bob designed “everything that moved” at Disneyland and is the father of the Disney monorail system.
- Opening The World – Five individuals who were part of the pre-opening cast of Walt Disney World. Three are members of “Club 55”, the unofficial club for those who worked at Disneyland in its inaugural 1955 season. Tom Nabbe is a Disney Legend and Club 55er who worked at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in their infancy. His career spanned over 40 years and his appearances are always a fan favorite. William “Sully” Sullivan is a Disney Legend and Club 55er who worked at Disneyland in its earliest days before coming to Florida to build and open Walt Disney World. Sully helped train the cast members who would open Disney’s Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts in 1971. He served as Director of PICO (Project Installation and Coordination Office) during the construction of EPCOT Center. He later served as EPCOT’s Director of Operations and Vice President of Operations at Magic Kingdom. Billie Hoelscher is another Club 55 opening year cast member of Disneyland who came to Florida to help open and operate the Walt Disney World Preview Center. During his decades at WDW he served as Ticket Sales & Outdoor Recreation Manager, Director of Resort Operation, Manager at Disney University and Fort Wilderness Campground. Steve Baker was the opening day manager of Walt Disney World’s parking lots and bus transportation. His 23 year career with Disney included a ten year stint as EPCOT Center’s Development Director from 1978-1988 where Steve played an integral part in creating the EPCOT Center beloved and remembered by many fans. Debby Dane Browne is the trailblazing first ambassador for Walt Disney World. Selected from a pool of finalists to represent the new Florida park while working as a hostess at the Preview Center. She later served in other roles with the company including time at the Contemporary Resort in Guest Services.
- 12:15 PM – 2:00 PM History In The Baking: Lunch Break (Lunch service 12:15 PM – 1:45 PM) (Menu below)
- 2:00 PM to 5:15 PM – Afternoon Presentations
- Hungry For Some History – Marcy Carriker Smothers is an author known for her works including Eat Like Walt about Walt Disney’s favorite foods and recipes including many that made it to Walt Disney World. She was also part of the team that published the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Cookbook. Her just-published book “Walt’s Disneyland” was newly released by Disney Editions. We’ll chat with Marcy about her projects and then she’ll remain on stage to help lead our next panel discussion.
- Feed The World: A Culinary Chefs Reunion – We reunite some of the culinary artists who created some of Walt Disney World’s most memorable park and resort foods and made history at the 1987 Culinary Olympics. Chef Keith Keogh unknowingly played a role in our 2019 RetroMagic event when we featured a video of him from 1995 explaining what a Handwich was on an episode of “WDW Inside Out”. He was the team captain of the 1987 Culinary Olympics team and served as Executive Chef at EPCOT Center at the time. Chef Reimund Pitz spent two decades with Walt Disney World during which time he helped the first Disney team to 14 medals at the Culinary Olympics in Switzerland. He was the Executive Chef who opened Disney-MGM Studios and held key positions in the other Florida parks and resorts during his long career. He is the present owner-operator of Le Coq Au Vin in Orlando. Chef Johnny Rivers may be most remembered today as being the originator of Tonga Toast but his storied career as Walt Disney World’s first Executive Chef overseeing the food in every resort hotel on property is so much more than that. These chefs will share amazing and funny stories you’ve never heard before and leave you HUNGRY for more.
- Tropical Serenade: Orchestrating Florida’s Parks – George Wilkins was a protégé of Disney Legend composer Buddy Baker serving as Director of Music for Walt Disney Imagineering. In this role he created some of the most revered theme park attraction music beloved by fans. Horizons, Country Bear Christmas Special, Space Mountain, The Living Seas, Country Bear Vacation Hoedown, Goofy About Health, Food Rocks, Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management), It’s Tough To Be A Bug!, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Test Track are just some of the places you’ve heard his music. Accompanying George on stage to discuss and share his WDW compositions will be the musical talents of historian and professional musician Jeff Crawford, co-host of the Progress City Radio Hour podcast. Tammy Tuckey hosts the Tiara Talk Show podcast and returns to RetroMagic to lend her hosting and entertainment skills to this panel and throughout our event.
- Harriet Burns: The First Lady of Imagineering – Jim Sarno returns to share stories and remembrances of Harriet Burns, the first woman hired as an Imagineer who acted as Jim’s mentor while they worked together on EPCOT Center and close friend for the rest of her life.
- Imagineering The 90’s – Jerry Rees is a one-man creative force whose work on Disney theme park attractions includes Sounds Dangerous at Disney-MGM Studios, the live-action sequences of Cranium Command at EPCOT, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Disney-MGM Studios, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney-MGM Studios, and Walt Disney Studios Paris, Extra-Terrorestrial Alien Encounter at Magic Kingdom, Michael & Mickey at Disney-MGM Studios and he directed the pre-ride film at Disney’s Animal Kingdom ride Dinosaur.
- 5:15 PM – Stage Event Closes. Lake Buena Vista Village Display and VIP Room Remains Open for 45 Minutes
- 6:00 PM – Event Ends
Schedule and panels are subject to change.
Previously announced guests Peggie Farris and Julie Svendsen have both developed scheduling conflicts and will be unable to travel to Florida for the event. We are working with them to record interviews which ticket holders will have exclusive access to before their eventual release to the public. We hope to bring both of them to Florida for a future event.
Chef Ross Gosswiler has developed a conflict with his previous availability and will no longer be able to attend the event. We hope to have him at a future event.
- RetroMagic Celebration (Sunday, April 24th) – Tickets on sale now!
- General Admission – $125 per person
- Gold Key Preferred Seating – $200 per person (limited number of designated seats close to the stage in the front part of the room)
- Gold Key Private Table – $2000 (a reserved table for 10 guests closest to the stage in the front 2 rows)
All tickets include our exclusive gift set of (5) “floating pens” custom made by our artists for this event.
Tickets do NOT include admission to any Walt Disney World Theme Park, parking or other Disney imposed fees/charges. All ticket purchases are final; refunds will only be provided if the entire event is canceled. RetroWDW reserves the right to change venues and modify the plans to as required by Disney Event Services. This is a private event that is not affiliated with The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney World or D23.
All travel and lodging for our VIP guests are handled by our partner Ashley Suit with Believe Vacations. Utilize Ashley’s free services for the best rates and locations directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Merchandise: T-shirts and more are available at www.retrowdw.com/supportus
Proceeds of this event benefit the Lake Buena Vista Historical Society. Event Sponsorships welcome; Interesting service trades will be considered, please contact email@example.com for more information.
Notice: Filming, photography, and other recordings will take place at this event. By attending, you consent to and authorize RetroWDW and LBVHS to record you via audio, video or the similar to be used for distribution on our website.