On July 9th the 8th Annual Pacific Northwest MouseMeet took place in Lynnwood, WA. This is my 7th year in attendance. Don Morin and his team never fail to bring the magic. My travel buddy and I both live very close to the event but we always spend 2 nights at the host hotel to participate in the events.
The night before the event, D23 hosted a member mixer at the host hotel. They were very secretive before opening the doors and there was even a guard by the door. When we were let in they said there was a special guest. Yep! it was Mickey Mouse! We spent several hours with Mickey, along with Tyler and Chris from D23. Then those guest attending the MouseMeet moved to the next room and we were able to pick up our “Fast Passes” for the next day and some other event information. There was trivia, pin trading and other events going on for attendees. However, we were not able to join in as we had to finish our room decorating.
You may recall last year’s column I said we had won the competition last year. This competition was taken up a notch. Our door and window display focused on the New York’s World Fair of 1964. All 3 of the guest speakers had a connection to the Fair and we went with that theme. We created the Tower of the Four Winds on our door and the window had a display of each of the four pavilions Disney presented at the Fair. Our small world had dolls which represented different countries and we had sewn the costumes for. Magic Skyways had the Ford arch, a mustang car and various dinosaurs. The Carousel of Progress had a wheel which when it was turned showed a scene from each of the decades featured. The Illinois pavilion featured a sillouette of Abe Lincoln and was draped with red velvet curtains. We also had the theme music for the pavilions playing in the background. We gave out Mickey shaped belgium waffles to visitors to our display as they were popular at the Fair. We took second place this year – we were beat out by a family who recreated Marceline’s Bakery, complete with baked goods and chef costumes. However, our big win was that Stacia Martin told us that our display was her favorite and that she took lots of pictures to show the folks at Disneyland what we did!!!
Saturday we were treated to presentations by Stacia Martin, a Disney artist and historian, Bob Gurr, who created numerous Disney vehicles, and Marty Sklar, who wrote speeches for Walt and later became head of Imagineering. Their stories held us captive and they even apologized for running late. We had the opportunity to meet with each of them and have items autographed. The chance to meet with the speakers and have a one-on-one conversation is one of the best things about MouseMeet. Since the tickets are limited, the crowd is kept to 450, you are able to speak with each of the guests. Of course there was the charity auction, vendors, Dole Whips and the day ended with MEI MouseFan Travel giving away a trip to Disneyland (no I didn’t win this year).
On Sunday there was a special talk with Marty Sklar and Bob Gurr moderated by Don Morin. It was wonderful getting another chance to hear more stories of their careers with Disney. They have so much historical knowledge and the fact that they worked hand in hand with Walt himself, it’s always an interesting experience. They had us in laughter and tears with their stories.
This is truly a magical event each year. We get up close and personal time with Disney Imagineers and legends, get to visit with Disney friends whom we only get to see once or twice a year, make new friends and let our Disney geekness out.