Yesterday the Walt Disney Company held a very special ceremony outside Stage 1 at their studio in Burbank. Stage 1 is historic for being where “The Mickey Mouse Club” was filmed from 1955-1959. The reason for this ceremony was to rededicate it as the Annette Funicello stage in honor of the most beloved of all Mouseketeers, America’s sweetheart, who passed away earlier this year.
On hand for the event were a veritable who’s who of Disney legends of Annette’s era. Many of the remaining Mouseketeers, Richard Sherman, Tim Considine and David Stollery (Disney’s Spin and Marty), and Frankie Avalon, costar of her many beach movies, all shared fond memories of Annette. Her family was also in attendance to hear Disney CEO, Bob Iger dedicate the stage and present them with a plaque that will be mounted on the building.
The video below features the full dedication ceremony along with interviews with Sherman, Considine, Stollery, and Avalon as well as a special message from three of the original Mouseketeers.
Video: Annette Funicello soundstage dedication with interviews
The studio also had props and other memorabilia related to Annette Funicello on display for the special event.
To hear everyone’s love for Annette was very touching. She was a class act and will be dearly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. Following the dedication, friends and family were ushered into a theater on the lot for a memorial service of sorts. Unfortunately, press was not invited, but I’m sure it was nice for everyone to relax and remember their friend without being “on” for the media. Thankfully her work lives on for future generations to discover the effortless talent and infectious personality that made Annette Funicello America’s sweetheart.
More photos from the Annette Funicello dedication at the Walt Disney Studios: