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NEWS: What will you celebrate? 2009 Promotion

17 September 2008


Everyone who visits a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park on their birthday in 2009 can get in free, as Disney Parks embraces a newly identified family travel trend called “celebration vacations.”

In this new national trend, American families are hitting the road to mark life’s special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, reunions and more – with a “celebration vacation.”  In 2009, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts will lead this growing trend with new entertainment and services that allow guests to turn their personal milestones into magical Disney experiences. 

And to kick it all off – a first-ever opportunity for guests to receive a free ticket to one of the Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme parks on their birthday in 2009.

“Birthdays are the one occasion that we all share every year,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We thought a free birthday ticket would be the icing on the cake as we extend this new ‘celebration vacation’ trend to Disney Parks.”

Disney parks provide the perfect setting for this new style of vacation that celebrates the special occasions in life, Rasulo added.

Whether a guest is celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, Quinceañera or any special occasion, Disney parks already are filled with favorite characters, world-class attractions and entertainment, and legendary guest service – exactly the “something for everyone” that trend-watchers say families look for in a “celebration vacation.”   

“The special moments in your life become truly magical when you celebrate at a Disney park,” Rasulo said.  “Sharing a milestone at Disney connects families, friends and generations.”

Nationwide Survey Reveals ‘Celebration Vacation’ Trend

A nationwide survey of nearly 4,600 adults conducted by Ypartnership – co-author of the influential National Travel Monitor – showed that 70 percent of U.S. leisure travelers have taken a vacation with the primary purpose of marking a special occasion in their lives – a “celebration vacation,” as Ypartnership President and CEO Peter Yesawich termed it.

Respondents mentioned a broad range of events worth celebrating with a special vacation – not just birthdays and anniversaries but a first vacation with children, a job promotion or recovery from an illness.

Whenever something positive happens in their lives, people seek out ways to make them more special, Yesawich said, and vacations are clearly perceived as both an appropriate and desirable way to do so.

“Time does pass quickly and there is a growing trend to slow down our frenetic lifestyles and stop to rejoice around the things that matter,” he said.  “Families on ‘celebration vacations’ are looking to truly commemorate moments in their lives – in special places everyone can enjoy.” 

Research showed that when they take that “celebration vacation,” families are looking for destinations that provide activities for children and – better yet – activities adults and children can enjoy together.

“Given these findings, it’s not surprising that Disney Parks topped the list of destinations where families would most like to celebrate these special occasions,” Yesawich said.

Turning Life’s Special Moments Into a Personal Disney Celebration

“We see our parks as the ideal setting for a personal celebration,” Rasulo said.  “Guests can immerse themselves in their favorite stories and their favorite characters, creating a visit they’ll never forget. 

“And when our cast members get involved, it feels as if the entire park is celebrating along with you.”

At Walt Disney World Resort, guests can add on to the fun, choosing from more than 200 experiences ranging from breathtaking (magical fireworks cruises, sunrise safaris, diving the depths with undersea creatures) to mirth-making (Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, character dining, kids’ pirate adventures).  At Disneyland Resort, celebrants can book more than 50 magical experiences, including “My Disneyland Birthday Party” and unique Disneyland guided tours.

With all there is to do in Disney parks, guests can tailor their celebration with favorite attractions, favorite characters and special experiences.  Maybe they have a “princess” day with themed meals, shows, attractions and perfectly princess merchandise at Disneyland.  Or they turn Walt Disney World “wild” with trail riding, bass fishing and water skiing.
Even before the Ypartnership findings, Disney noticed the celebration trend happening in its parks, Rasulo noted.  For instance, guests have visited the parks to propose marriage, celebrate a child’s passage into high school, or pull the whole family together for the golden anniversary of their parents.  “But Walt Disney World and Disneyland are now poised to champion milestone vacations for families and friends in a breakthrough way,” he said.  

“We’re asking our guests, ‘What will YOU celebrate?’ 

“Part of the celebration is all the firsts that magically happen at Disney Parks,” Rasulo said.  

“Guests become the star of their own celebration.  It could be a first trip to Disney or a first family vacation without the stroller.  We want to make a first visit – and every visit – even more memorable.”

Even if they’re not celebrating, Rasulo said, guests will be immersed in a “Celebrate Today!” spirit, making every day a party.

Making it Easier than Ever to Plan
Planning any event can be a challenge.  With Disney’s new celebration planning tools, it’s easier than ever for guests to plan celebrations large and small, customizing and personalizing each experience and tending to all the details, from a special cake to an elaborate one-of-a-kind celebration that only Disney could create.

Thanks to new Web tools, guests can discover magical experiences, unique events, dining enhancements and more.  
Disney’s planning services allow guests to stay focused on what really matters – the people closest to them.  And vacation packages make celebrating at Disney right for any budget. 

Customizing Your Celebration

Depending on the Disney park they are headed to, guests can order everything from special dining to princess tea parties, from yacht cruises to treasure hunting on a pirate sailing adventure, from a quiet trail ride to parasailing thrills.  Or they can opt for magical experiences for their group – from dessert parties to a Magic Kingdom fireworks cruise to special entertainment. 

Among add-on experiences guests can choose to customize their “celebration vacation”:

  • Custom Bakery Cakes and Signature Desserts: Disney chefs create an unforgettable finale to a special dinner with a beautifully decorated cake themed to any occasion or a new line of celebration desserts.
  • For Lovebirds: Sweetheart dinners for two in which couples can clink “Celebrate Today!” champagne flutes.
  • Family Portraits: Capture the memory with a portrait session with Walt Disney World photographers.  Build a custom photo album with Disney’s PhotoPass.
  • Personalized Souvenirs: Mark your occasion with personalized Mouse ears, character T-shirts and collectible pins.
  • Decorate Your Disney Guest Room: Step into a resort room decorated to fit your celebration theme with confetti, banners, surprises and more.
  • Stay Inside a Dream Theme: Book a themed guest room at either destination – princess-themed or Mickey-inspired at Disneyland or – coming in 2009 – pirate-themed at Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Set Sail: Book a private romantic cruise on a yacht or set your party afloat on a shared magical fireworks voyage.
  • Go Inside the Magic: Behind-the-scenes tours take you inside the storytelling, adventure and history of Disney Parks.
  • Disney Story Book Experiences: Choose from pirate adventures, tea parties, princess makeovers and more – all with the magic of Disney.
  • Disneyland Parties: “Celebration Roundup and Barbecue at Big Thunder Ranch,” all-new, is a full-blown party complete with frontier entertainment, goodie bags and a surprise treat for everyone – no matter what they’re celebrating.  “My Disneyland Birthday Party” features cake decorating, party hats and even Mickey and Minnie pay a visit.

Celebrating in the Parks

Disney is unwrapping all-new entertainment with memory-makers in mind, allowing guests to focus their celebration on favorite characters, favorite attractions and favorite stories to create a custom celebration in the park.  New park experiences coming in 2009 for all park guests to enjoy:
  • Street Parties: Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Park come to life with interactive street parties.  The call to “Celebrate Today!” goes out to guests, music floods the streets, dancing kicks into high gear and the parks become “the happiest party on Earth.”
  • Tomorrowland Party: A high-energy, retro-futuristic music video dance party features Stitch, an interactive dance troupe, and a DJ celebration host who’s inviting all Walt Disney World guests to come party, dance and celebrate.
  • Park Décor: The parks will be decorated with colorful banners, balloons and festive party hats – as if awaiting your celebration.
  • Buttons: Complimentary celebration buttons will help Disney cast members and fellow guests recognize you and your celebration.

Memories to Last a Lifetime

Disney parks are the ultimate setting for any celebration, turning a special occasion into a magical Disney experience.  And with the opportunity of free admission to a Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort theme park on your birthday in 2009, it’s even more special.  All it takes is a valid ID including proof of birth date.  Guests can get more details and start the process by registering their birthdays at www.disneyparks.com.
“We believe Disney parks are uniquely positioned for any celebration and offer the ultimate setting for marking a cherished milestone,” Rasulo said.  “People trust Disney to make an occasion truly magical.  And now more than ever, Disney will help guests seize those special moments and turn them into memories that will live forever in their hearts.”
For more information or to book a Disney “celebration vacation,” guests can visit www.disneyparks.com, call 407/W-DISNEY or contact their local travel agent.

Free theme park admission details:

To receive free admission to one of the Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme parks on your birthday in 2009, guests must bring valid ID including proof of birth date.  Guests who already hold a valid multi-day ticket they will use on their birthday may choose from other birthday treats instead, however, no cash refunds or credits will be given.  To register your birthday and find out more details, visit www.disneyparks.com.

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Halloween Time Returns!


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SDCC 2008 Disney Line-up


San Diego Comic-Con is just around the corner (July 24-27, preview night July 23)! We'll be there with "Tinkerbells" on! Here is the line-up of Disney related events and panels:

Thursday, July 24
11:00-12:00 LGBT Portrayals in Comics— With the increased number of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) characters in both mainstream and indie comics today, it's time to examine how they're faring. Has this increased presence meant better and more complex portrayals, or is there more to be explored? Has the call for "positive" portrayals been beneficial, or has it left LGBT characters one-dimensional? And what can we expect in the future? Join moderator Patricia Jeres (Prism board member and talent and industry relations chair) and panelists Perry Moore (author of Hero, winner of the Lambda Literary Award; executive producer of Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia series), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman), Judd Winick (Green Arrow and Black Canary), and Bob Schreck (group editor, DC Comics) for this insightful discussion. Room 10
Categories: Comic Books

11:00-12:00 The Disney Animation Story Process— Nathan Greno (head of story, Bolt), Don Hall (head of story, The Princess and the Frog), Mark Kennedy (head of story, Rapunzel), Joe Mateo (story artist, Bolt), Michael LaBash (story artist, Bolt), Paul Briggs (story artist, The Princess and the Frog), and Josie Trinidad (story artist, The Princess and the Frog) offer an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into the story process at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Coming together exclusively at Comic-Con, these story team leaders will take you from first concept to final story approval as they discuss the art of storyboarding, re-create story pitches, and share boarding styles from their upcoming animated features. Don't miss this revealing and humorous panel and your chance to get a sneak peek at Disney's next animated feature, Bolt! Room 32AB
Categories: Animation | Kids | Movies | Writers & Writing

3:00-4:00 Disney: Race to Witch Mountain— What secrets does Witch Mountain hold? Stars Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino and director Andy Fickman talk about the mysterious, paranormal activity around Witch Mountain. Dwayne, Carla, and Andy will present the first look at the movie and answer audience questions as they talk about the thrilling action-adventure that is set to hit theatres in March 2009! Hall H
Categories: Kids | Movies | Science Fiction & Fantasy

5:00-6:00 The Pitching Hour— Michael Polis (WildBrain Studios, YoGabbaGabba), Jermaine Turner (director, Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group), Jill Sanford (manager, original series, Disney Television Animation), Sam Humphries (MySpace Comics), Paula Gould (PEG PR), Jeremy Love (writer/producer, Gettosake Studios), and moderator Dan Evans (freelance development exec) will take an idea from conception through production for various media. This process will include creating a pitch document, obtaining agents, and getting a pitch meeting. The panelists will explain, through hypothetical example and humorous stories, the process that new creators should adapt to make their way into the Hollywood creative battleground. Knowing that each project is unique, there will be a Q&A to allow the audience to really hone in on the solutions to obstacles they may encounter. Also on hand will be IP lawyer Brendan McFeely to give creators insight on protecting their ideas as they navigate Hollywood! Room 5AB
Categories: Animation | Anime & Manga | Comics Law School | Movies | Television | Writers & Writing

5:00-6:00 Spotlight on Floyd Norman— Comic-Con special guest Floyd Norman talks about his long and varied career in feature film and television animation. His work includes Disney's Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pixar's Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc., and many more fan favorites. Moderated by cartoonist and animation artist Scott Shaw! Room 7AB
Categories: Animation | Comic-Con Special Guest Spotlights & Appearances

Sunday, July 27
11:30-1:00 The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning— The sea holds many deep secrets for young Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, an all new, full-length movie coming exclusively to DVD on August 26. Available for a limited time only, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning takes audiences back to the story’s beginnings with favorite characters from the original film as well as a wonderfully wicked new villainess. With a score that continues The Little Mermaid’s legacy of memorable, life-affirming songs, the latest animated adventure from DisneyToon Studios will capture the hearts of all ages! Room 6B
Categories: Animation | Kids

12:00-1:00 Phineas and Ferb— Join creators Dan Povenmire (Family Guy) and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh (Rocko's Modern Life) along with special guests from the show's cast to learn more about Disney Channel's newest smash hit series, including an insider's look at how the show came to life and what's in store for these inventive step-brothers and their tattletale sister in the future. Plus never-before-seen footage, audience Q&A, and a chance to win Phineas and Ferb merchandise! Room 5AB
Categories: Animation | Humor & Satire | Kids | Television


Disney-Links.com Review

Alan Hooper of Disney-Links.com has given us a great review. We thank him for his time and effort! If you haven't visited his websites yet, take a few minutes and look around. He has compiled a nice collection of Disney links! And if you appreciate our little website here, please take the time to vote for us!