D23 celebrates 65 years of the Disney theme park with stand-alone fall issue

Sixty-five years ago, Disneyland welcomed its first guests to enjoy a new kind of experience: a Disney theme park. To celebrate, the D23 publication Disney twenty-three has created a special stand-alone issue that looks at the development and evolution of the Disney theme park.


Disney artist Ricky De Los Angeles created an exclusive wrap-around cover for the issue that features colorful illustrations of iconic attractions from the Disney Parks around the world.

65 years of the disney theme park

Inside, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro wrote a special “Editor’s Letter” for readers, which highlights his connection with the parks. Stories in this special issue include exclusive interviews with Disney Legends Tony Baxter and Wing T. Chao; Imagineers Tom Fitzgerald and Bhavna Mistry; original Mouseketeer Bobby Burgess; and president of Walt Disney Imagineering Bob Weis.

Some of the stories included in the issue are:

  • “Walt’s Map to the Magic” – A deep dive into the inspiration, planning, and creation of Disneyland written by Becky Cline, director of the Walt Disney Archives, and publication editor Max Lark
  • “Dateline Disneyland: July 17, 1955” – A guided tour of Disneyland on its opening day by Justin Arthur, manager of content curation for D23 (and former Disneyland park tour guide)
  • “Picturing the Parks” – A curated look at some of the most beloved attraction posters from Disney’s theme parks around the world, written by Disney Publishing’s Editorial Director Wendy Lefkon
national treasures
  • “National Treasures” – Images from several of National Geographic’s many trips to the parks from National Geographic’s Caitlin Holbrook
  • “Rooms with a View” – The evolution of Disney’s immersive resorts and vacation experiences from the Disneyland Hotel to a galaxy far, far away, written by Disney Vacation Club’s Ryan March
  • “Character Analysis: Park Stars” – Beloved characters created just for the Disney Parks, from Orange Bird and Figment to the Country Bears and Chandu, written by Disney Parks’ Charles Stovall

In addition, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is extending the celebration for members with offerings like:

  • Expanded Digital Storytelling – Over a dozen original features on D23.com that examine the Disney theme park, from a look at movies filmed there (“Saving Mr. Banks” and “Tomorrowland”) to vintage Disney Parks recipes
pin set
  • An Exclusive Pin Set – Available only for D23 Gold and Gold Family Members, this 6-pin set includes some of the colorful artwork from De Los Angeles’ cover of Disney twenty-three. The set will be available for $49.99 on Aug. 31 at shopDisney.com
  • Disney Imagineers Celebrate 65 Years of Disneyland Park – From Aug. 21-23, D23 Gold and Gold Family Members will have the chance to watch an exclusive virtual panel created by Walt Disney Imagineering that celebrates the 65th anniversary of Disneyland with Imagineering leaders Jeanette Lomboy, Kim Irvine, and Scott Trowbridge, alongside Disney Legend Tony Baxter, and moderated by Leslie Iwerks, director and executive producer of “The Imagineering Story” on Disney+
  • D23 Trivia Night: 65 Years of the Disney Theme Park – Disney Parks trivia pros can join a fun night of questions that span every Disney Park around the world on Aug. 28
  • D23 Magical Summer Sweepstakes – Starting Aug. 10, all D23 Members will be able to enter to win exciting prizes, including a new D23 Gold Membership and the exclusive 6-pin set
  • Special Gold Member Gift – Exclusively for D23 Gold and Gold Family Members, this issue of Disney twenty-three will include a set of six postcards, with each one representing a different Disney resort around the world.

You can find more details now at D23.com.


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