When I first learned about the Wednesdays with Walt series happening at Disneyland, I was very eager to check them out. Scheduled to run weekly through July, the series would offer Annual Passholders an exclusive opportunity to “...get a unique glimpse into the creative genius of Walt while enjoying highlights from the ‘Disneyland’ Television Series.”
Arriving at the Main Street Opera House around 1:30p, I found a podium there surrounded by cast members. I requested to attend the 5pm screening, and they scanned my pass before putting an orange wristband on me. There were different colors for the other two show times. The CMs recommended I arrive about twenty minutes before 5 for check-in. On the sign nearby, I noticed the evening's theme was the Mickey Mouse shorts.
Steamboat Willie (1928)
Mickey’s Trailer (1938)
The Band Concert (1935)
Clock Cleaners (1937)
The Brave Little Tailor (1938)
While these shorts played, there was a fairly steady stream of guests who sidled down the rows in the darkened theatre to leave. They'd seen what they wanted to see of the presentation already and of course, could see these all online (click the links above) or on DVD. While I enjoyed them, I will say it was kind of annoying not knowing when they would the last one was over, since nothing was provided to let us know which or how many shorts would be screened. Sitting in that opera house is comfy but my eyelids always tend to get heavy if I'm inside there too long. But they looked great, especially keeping in mind something Rick said at the top of the evening.
At the very start of the presentation, he'd shared the story of meeting a park guest outside. When the guest learned that the evening would include screenings of Mickey Mouse shorts, the guest said "I'll skip this. I could just see those on the internet." But Rick made the casual distinction that we would be seeing them tonight "in high def".
As a Blu-ray geek, that phrase rang loudly in my ears. Has Disney quietly started to remaster their golden age library in high def? I think they have! I attended another Disney function earlier this year, D23's Fanniversary event, in Burbank. Included in that presentation at the theatre on the Walt Disney Studios lot was footage from the "Disneyland" episode "Disney Goes to the World's Fair". When I saw it, it had obviously been remastered and it looked glorious! It's a smart move to start getting material prepared to use in screenings such as this. But when's their home video release? It would be so awesome to have stuff like this on Blu-ray!!