By Jim Bucher
OK, who out there in Xenia Gazette/Fairborn Herald readership land enjoys Disney? I’m betting lots. And maybe you’re thinking of heading to the happiest place on earth Disneyland or Disney World one day soon. Well, what if I said you don’t have to pack the kids in the Crossover or Mini Van and drive hundreds of miles to get your Disney fix?
It’s actually a lot closer than you think. Just a quick trip to the Fairborn Holiday Inn for the annual Dayton Disneyana event June 11 and 12.
Now, I’m dating myself here, but remember vividly watching ‘Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color’ every Sunday evening on TV. Whatever we were doing it took a backseat to this weekly event. From that point on I was hooked on Disney!
So too are Anita and Gary Schaengold. This husband and wife could possibly be the world’s biggest Disney fans.
Their home is Disney themed from bath to bedrooms it is sight to behold. They should offer tours, but these two Disney FAN-atics are behind the Dayton Disneyana event.
“I’m in love with Disney and it’s so nice to have a life partner who feels the same way.” Anita says.
The Schaengold’s tell me folks from all over the region and beyond attend their local event.
“We have drawn together Disney fans from as many as 12 states and Canada. What great family fun!” She says.
Now, there are hundreds of Disney fan clubs all over the planet, but here Anita and Gary belong to the ‘Plane Crazy Chapter.’ A fitting tribute to our Wright Brothers history.
So, what’s in store for 2016?
“Buch, glad you asked well, we have a weekend of seminars, meeting our special guests who help create the Disney magic, shopping at the Disneyana Collectibles Expo and Disney pin and vinylmation trading.” Gary says.
While attending last year’s event was overwhelmed by the quality of Disney memorabilia. Anything you can imagine from every era is here.
And this year’s special guests?
First, Tom Nabbe is on tap. He started as a newspaper boy at Disneyland on July 19, 1955.
In June of 1956, Walt Disney hired him to portray the character of Tom Sawyer on Tom Sawyer’s Island at Disneyland. After being Tom Sawyer (’56-’61) he worked all of the rides & attractions at Disneyland. He was promoted into management and relocated to Florida in January of 1971. Tom ended up with a long and successful career with Disney, retiring in 2003. In 2005 the Walt Disney Company inducted Tom as a Disney Legend.
Jim Hill is an award-winning entertainment writer who lives in New Boston, NH.
Over the past 30 years, he has interviewed hundreds of veterans of the animation & themed entertainment industry and written extensively about The Walt Disney Company.
Margaret Kerry is an American actress, motivational speaker and radio host best known for her 1953 work as the model for Tinker Bell in the Walt Disney Pictures animated feature, Peter Pan.
And Terri Hardin is a puppeteer, artist, and Disney imagineer.
What’s cool about this again is no long drives to Florida or California to get a dose of Disney.
“The local chapter started a few years back, when a Disney Store cast member and a few of us got together and came to the conclusion, that the magic of Disney, was some pretty powerful stuff and that there surely must be others like themselves who felt the same way.
The chapter holds about 10 meetings each year and some of our members have attended the Organization’s National Conventions, special outings, trips and cruises sponsored by the Disneyana Fan Club.” Anita says.
Besides the business portion of the meetings, members share stories about their various Disney trips, upcoming events, movies and attractions, trade Disney pins, show their latest Disney acquisitions, update members on the latest Disney news, watch Disney videos, play games, trivia and just have fun socializing with their “Disney family”
It’s total Disney emersion!
Also, as a whole the Disneyana Fan Club gives back.
“Through a series of charitable fund raising events, we all pitch in to support inner-city arts programs and to assist families and children affected by major illness to find a little happiness at Disney parks.” Gary says.
For more on the event, times, admission or if you’d like to join the fun, visit www.daytondisneyana.org
So, see you at the Dayton Disneyana event June 11, 12. I’ll be the one wearing the Mickey Mouse Ears.
Cheers or should I say ‘ears?’ – Buch
Jim Bucher is a radio personality, area resident and guest columnist.