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“Let The Memories Begin” is New Disney Parks Marketing Campaign

Note: Disney has just sent out this press release ahead of the 12:45 announcement. It’s a new marketing campaign and a list of what’s coming to the parks and cruise lines this year. This is just the raw press release… I will provide some thoughts later tonight or you can chime in in the comments.

In 2011, Disney guests will become the stars of a nightly spectacular when photos taken in the park during the day become larger-than-life projections on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort or “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort. This groundbreaking new experience will celebrate the family vacation memories created in Disney theme parks every day.

And this week, Disney guests will begin starring on television, too, as part of the new “Let the Memories Begin” campaign. For the first time, Disney Parks is featuring the home videos and snapshots of real guests in television ads and other marketing that will allow an audience of millions to share in true-life, heartfelt moments.

“A Disney vacation is the perfect way to create family memories that will last a lifetime,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, at a media announcement Thursday in New York. “We’ll spotlight those ‘only-at-Disney’ moments with family and friends during our ‘Let the Memories Begin’ campaign.”

A just-released survey of U.S. and Canadian families conducted for Disney Parks by Ypartnership, a noted research firm that tracks consumer insights and trends in travel, showed that vacation memories hold a special place in family history.

Nine out of 10 parents said they planned their vacations with the express hope that they would result in a lasting family memory, the survey showed. And those memories stuck with them – nearly three-quarters said they think back “often” or “very often” on their favorite vacation experiences.

‘Memories in the Making’ to be Shared on Disney Park Icons

Beginning in January 2011, some Disney parks guests will find that the memory they just made has become a larger-than-life image during a “Let the Memories Begin” nighttime experience.

At Walt Disney World Resort, the guest photos will be projected on the soaring spires of Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom. At Disneyland Resort, the iconic facade of “it’s a small world” will be the canvas for the show.

In both locations, Disney PhotoPass photographers will capture guests caught up in the Disney experience – a memory in the making – and as many as 500 photos will be used in each location every day, producers estimate.

The nighttime show will use the latest in high-intensity projection technology to create vivid visuals that seem to defy the architecture of the building. A new song commissioned for the show will provide an emotional context for these images of the Disney guest experience.

For TV Ads and More, Disney Parks Issues a ‘Call for Memories’

Beyond seeing their own projected photos in lights, guests also could become the stars of Disney Parks television commercials, online campaigns and social media opportunities that will showcase to the world the power of memories.

The campaign kicks off this week with a TV commercial created from videos posted online in social media forums.

For future TV commercials and other advertising and marketing programs, Disney Parks is asking guests to share their memories by uploading photos and videos at a special “Let the Memories Begin” online hub at From a first meeting with a princess to a laugh-filled watery touchdown on Splash Mountain, Disney Parks is looking for videos and photos that capture those never-to-be-forgotten experiences.

Some memories will be shared online, while others may be selected to share in print ads, brochures and other marketing – including television ads to air across the United States and Canada.

With real visitor images on iconic attractions and home video featured in commercials, the storytellers at Disney Parks are letting guests tell their own stories in 2011, Staggs said.

“We wanted to give our guests a powerful way to share the memories they create every day in our parks,” Staggs said. “Essentially, this becomes our first user-generated show and our first user-generated marketing campaign.

“A day at a Disney park is filled with magical experiences that become cherished and unforgettable memories – and now we’re helping our guests share those memories with the world.”

More Ways to Make Disney Vacation Memories in 2011

To help make special memories last a lifetime, in 2011 Disney Parks is adding new theme park experiences in California and Florida, new vacation opportunities on the high seas with Disney Cruise Line, a new luxury resort on a breathtaking lagoon in Hawaii, and new ways to explore the world with Adventures by Disney.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store:

— “World of Color” (Disneyland Resort): “World of Color,” the new nighttime spectacular presented in Disney California Adventure park, brings classic Disney and Disney-Pixar animation to life with nearly 1,200 powerful fountains, larger-than-life projections, lasers, fire, music and special effects.

— Disney California Adventure Expansion (Disneyland Resort):Next up for the continuing expansion of the park is the first major attraction based on the modern Disney classic, “The Little Mermaid.” The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure will treat guests to a musical retelling of the classic motion picture as the best-loved songs come alive in magnificent scenes all around them.

— New Star Tours 3-D Adventure (Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort):Bridging that “long time ago” between the two “Star Wars” trilogies, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will take flight in 2011 and take voyagers to thrilling destinations throughout the “Star Wars” galaxy. And it will all happen in brilliant, 3-D technology.

— Disney Cruise Line: The Disney Dream, the newest ship of the Disney Cruise Line, launching January 2011, will bring to life grand innovations and more, offering a cruise experience from stem to stern that caters to preferences of the entire family. The Disney Wonder cruise ship will “go west” in early 2011; and new West Coast itineraries for Disney Cruise Line will include, for the first time, Alaska cruises sailing from Vancouver.

— Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina Hawai`i: A first-of-its-kind Disney resort in Hawaii creates a perfect setting for family fun. The new resort, which includes traditional hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas, is being built on 21 acres of oceanfront property, 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki.

— Adventures by Disney: In 2011, Adventures by Disney guests will step off of planes, cruise ships and camels into living chapters of history during seven- and nine-night Egypt itineraries. These guided travel vacations allow families to visit destinations they never dreamed possible – including Italy, South Africa and China – with the assurance of the Disney name.

SOURCE Walt Disney Parks and Resorts:

12 thoughts on ““Let The Memories Begin” is New Disney Parks Marketing Campaign”

  1. It’s a neat concept but seems greatly “downgraded” compared to the last few promotions – “year of a million dreams” where cool things were randomly given away, “what will you celebrate?” where you went free on your birthday and and then the volunteer promotion where you could also “earn” a free day. We have passes so it’s not that it affects us directly but it still seems like another way Disney just keeps giving less while continuously charging more.

  2. “Let the memories begin” Wow I hope they don’t talk to my daughter and her children, because we just all got back from a week at Disneyland and everything that could go wrong, went wrong…One of our rooms was broken into and the security just “duplicated the keys” duh…that isn’t going to work…This was at that Paradise Hotel. If you pay for the dinner for the privledge of “perferred standing” for the World of Color Show, don’t expect your children to be able to see anything and if you want your meal cooked your way (the tri tip, dream on!) Oh yeah, I forgot the waitress brought the tray of desserts for us to look at, but then told us to pack up the desserts that came with the dinner and leave. I call this 0 star dining. Don’t let Zagat rate this place or they are going to have a belly laugh at how unbelieveably bad everything was, never mind the price and kid friendly menu, I won’t go there either, but isn’t this Disneyland? So we hurried to the “preferred standing that we just paid a very expensive dinner for and what did we get…same standing as all those smart people that didn’t pay for that horrible meal! My advice, just wait with the group that they let in at 7:00 and don’t eat at the Wine Country Tratorria. I could go on about the other things that were wrong with this visit. The biggest one is, I think Disney management needs to talk to it’s employees about their attitude, we ran into a lot of “we aren’t here because we love our jobs, we’re here because it’s a paycheck”, even some of the characters seemed to have an attitude this time. When my nine year old grandaughter says I don’t like Ariel anymore because she couldn’t even talk to me when she signed my autograph, that is just sad and pathetic. So I’m glad they are waiting until 2011 to “Let the memories begin” because this family was shocked by it’s 2010 memories. I hope our trip in 2011 is better, the kids look forward to it every year and the adults are now covering up for Disneyland’s sad conditions that I had never seen before and I have been coming since I was a child (50 years). Disney what happened, you are a profitable company so you have no excuse, you don’t need to cut corners, people are still coming to your parks during a recession and paying with their harn earn dollars, give them the value they expect!

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  6. This marketing campaign sounds quite exciting and keeping up with the trend of consumer interaction. I do however agree with Vickie, my family goes to disneyland every year and I have never been as disappointed with the customer service as I was this year (2010). The whole feeling of the park didn’t feel magical or and youthful it felt as if they were aiming for entertaining the adults more than anything and like I mentioned before the service wasn’t the greatest, there were hints of attitude and frustration in employees rather than “I am happy to assist you” enthusiasm. I love Disney though, so I really hope I am not let down this upcoming year.

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  8. “Let The MEMORIES Begin”? VMK (Virtual Magic Kingdom) was quite the memory, and there’s tons of people still trying to get It back, Disney, why don’t you and PLaydom bring VMK back? That’s probably your main goal.

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