You read MiceAge and MiceChat because you are, for lack of a better term, Disney Geeks. For years, weíve brought you the unofficial inside the Mouse House news, rumors and gossip you crave. Last year, Disney jumped into the fan arena as well with the launch of D23, Disneyís official fan club. They followed up with a magazine, an expo, events in Disneyland, Disney World and beyond. And they even spawned their own video blog, The Disney Geek, hosted by Jeffrey Epstein.
Today we have a fun little interview with D23Ďs Jeffrey Epstein. And since Jeffreyís show is hosted by a Disney Geek for a Disney Geek, we thought weíd have MiceChatís geeks ask their own questions to Disneyís geek. Got it? Good!
They call him the Disney Geek for a reason
Well MiceChat, I asked you to submit questions and Jeffrey has answered them. Let's see what's on your minds and on his . . .
TravisMT81: Are you single?
Jeffrey: Um, interesting first question. Yes. Next!Wumbololy: Why do your hands always revert to the same position in every video?
Jeffrey: Thatís actually a good question, and I have an answer! When we first started shooting the show, I moved around a lot more. But my hands would end up in positions whereóto the cameraóit looked like I was missing an arm all of a sudden. Or a hand would fall out of frame entirely. So we came up with the happy resting-my-hands-together-in-front-of-me position you see me in frequently. Fascinating, right? Silver7: Who would win in a race on the Aquaduck (Disney Cruise Line's feature water slide on the new Disney Dream), the Disney Geek or Fishbulb?
Jeffrey: Disney Geek, duh! But to be fair, Iíll let you know after I ride it in January. KEBDS: When will the schedule for the D23 Expo 2011 be announced?
Jeffrey: We will continue to announce additions to the Expo throughout next year. The closer to the event, the more details weíll have, but there are no hard and fast dates we can provide as many of the amazing panels and presentations being put together wonít be announced until each detail is locked into place. But I can say, based on what Iím hearing, itís going to be another outstanding experience. Ryanvalle: Is your desk really decked out in DisneyGeekery 24/7 or is that only for the show?
Jeffrey: Yes, that is really my desk. While I love all things Disney, my desk was a lot neater before we started filming the show (see episode one). Then Steven Clark, the head of D23, looked at the episode and felt it didnít look geeky enough. So the scene that played out in episode two is very much true to how it happened (well, Tink wasnít in our initial meeting). I love being surrounded by all the fun items. But sometimes a plush falls on me when Iím typing. Ryanvalle: Also, if you could only visit one Disney Park (keyword - Disney park, not resort) for the next 10 years, which one would it be?
Jeffrey: Thatís a difficult one. Disneyland Paris is just stunning. And the technological wonders of both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea never cease to amaze me. And who doesnít enjoy visiting the countries around the Epcot lagoon for a libation (of course Iím referring to fruit smoothies)? But letís face it, thereís only one park that has it all: the legacy, the magic, the ingenuityóDisneyland. Ryanvalle: And favorite Disney fun fact?
The Disney Geek can sing! (That's Anna Ortiz on the right)
Jeffrey: Wow, Ryan, you have a lot of questions. There are so many amazing things about Disney. I just started touring groups during the D23 Day at the Walt Disney Studios and Archives, and as I was doing research, I was fascinated with how incredibly forward thinking Walt was when building the Studio. While Walt Disney World totally rules with their complex Utilador system beneath the Magic Kingdom, I love that thereís a 176 foot long underground tunnel on the Burbank Studio Lot that connects the original Animation Building to the Central Plant and the Ink and Paint building. Itís the original Disney tunnel!Risa: I bought 3 gift memberships to D23 last year, as Christmas presents.
Why have I had to call the Disney Store 5 times already about the D23 memberships?Ö I really wish I could actually talk to "real" D23 people so we can get all of this straight. Sorry for the rant. Hopefully Disney geek can help me!!
Jeffrey: Hi Risa, and Iím sorry youíve had so many challenges with these memberships. I hope you donít mind, but I trimmed down your question as I think this may apply to other people out there. Iím going to answer this question generally. The first step is to email [email protected] with all of your information and the issue. Then, you can definitely call them at 800-328-0368. Sometimes, because D23 is a very specific item they handle, itís easier to email to ensure your issue ends up in the right hands. A ďrealĒ D23 person (like me!) wouldnít be able to help you more than a DisneyStore.com guest services person, though, because they handle all the membership fulfillment. And while Iíd love to be able to hack into their system (there are a few cute ornaments Iíve been eyeing!), we arenít able to access all that information. I know that doesnít truly answer your question, but I want you to know we really appreciate your patience while our partners at DisneyStore.com resolve the issue. NeverNeverLand: When will the next expo after 2011 be announced?
Jeffrey: NeverNeverLand, canít you please let us survive the 2011 Expo?? LOL. The current plan is that the D23 Expo will take place every other year, but we donít have dates yet for a 2013 event. Lurkyloo: Why is it that so many D23 eventsóand/or the itineraries for those eventsóare announced on such short notice? Disney fans are nothing if not planners.
Jeffrey: Great question! And hopefully you have seen our list of just a few of the upcoming events for 2011, which we just released! In some cases, particularly when itís an event on the Studio Lot where D23 resides (like our 50 and Fabulous screening series and the Studio and Archives Tours), we are able to plan further in advance. Other times, we rely on locking down details with our partners across Disney. We want to announce an event when everything is 100% solid. Things like talent and special locations can add layers to an event and make them extra specialóthose magic touches can also add time to get into place. And sometimes (betcha didnít think this answer would be so long!) our partners come to us with an offer that has a short lead-time but we think would be a wonderful experience for our members. We think in those cases itís better to offer the event with short notice than to not offer it at all. We hope you agree!MickeyChick62: This past March there were D23 Anniversary parties held at both DLR & WDW. Are there any plans to make this an annual event?
Jeffrey: We donít have any anniversary parties currently planned. But perhaps on March 10, Disney Geeks and D23 Members around the world can hold house parties to celebrate? Iíll bring the cupcakes! Plus, between the incredible Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th, D23ís Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World and the D23 Expo 2011 across the street from Disneyland, we have some once-in-a-lifetime experiences coming up for our members. DisWedWay: Can you ask if D23 has located a tender car( power engine inside) for the old Natures Wonderland train rescued from Big Thunder and if they will restore the whole train?? The tender was missing from it's last engagement.
Jeffrey: We donít have the tender car, but the Walt Disney Archives does have the rest of the historic train. I was speaking to Archivist Rob Klein recently and he told me there is a plan to restore that train to its former glory. Canít wait to see it! Roger55: How did you get chosen to be the Disney Geek, and are there plans for a "Geeking with the Stars" show on ABC?
Jeffrey: Hi Roger. I was chosen to be the geek mainly because Iím the geekiest guy here at D23. I truly love Disney and everything I get to talk about. As for Geeking with the Stars. I think itís a great idea! That said, you and I may be the only two people who watch it!DustySage: A couple of MiceChatters have commented on the D23 2011 Events Schedule that it doesn't contain enough Southern California area activities for next year. In prior years, folks have complained about not enough events being available in Orlando and other parts of the country. What does D23 see as the right balance for the location of future events?
Jeffrey: Well, Dusty, you had to go and slip in a tough one, eh? Well, as I think you and many MiceChatters know, D23 is made up of a very small team based here in Burbank. There are a few things that we look at when planning events including size, costs, quality and location. While weíd love to do events every weekend all around the country, we are sometimes challenged by these factors. Because we are in Burbank, the historic Walt Disney Studios Lot is a great place for us to host events for our members. Our proximity to Disneyland makes it easier to host events in that areaólike the D23 Expo, which is taking a lot of our attention for 2011. We understand thereís a demand for events at Walt Disney World on a larger scale, which is why we are bringing Destination D and D23ís Great Disney Scavenger Hunt there next May. And we know our members around the country would love more events like the Disney Store preview in Times Square and the Fantasia event in Boston we recently did. We are definitely looking at other opportunities like that for 2011. The list we just released is only the first round of events. So keep your eyes peeled for more!We'd like to thank Jeffrey for taking the time to stop by MiceChat and answer our reader questions. YOU asked the questions and Jeffrey answered all of them. It really does speak well of the Disney Company that they allowed the fans this opportunity to interact.
Aside from his regular full time work with D23, Jeffrey writes and records the weekly Disney Geek video blog. Here's his latest episode: