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Who’s Next for Disneyland “What’s Next?”

What’s the one thing Steelers fans want see this year? A repeat of this commercial from 2009:

It’s not just a matter of winning the Superbowl anymore, but who will be chosen for Disney’s famous ‘What’s Next?” campaign.

It’s been asked of star athletes, singers, scholars and even Santa Claus since a Sunday evening in January 1987 when New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms grinned into a camera and screamed the response, “I’m going to Disney World!”

Simms’ pronouncement in the moments of celebration immediately after Super Bowl XXI became part of a television commercial produced overnight and aired nationally the following day – at the time regarded as a pioneering accomplishment.

The 43 “spots” during the first 24 years of the campaign have featured players and coaches from 23 Super Bowls. Thus, with Super Bowl XLV taking place Feb. 6 in Dallas, will someone from the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers be “next”?

“The intention always has been for there to be some secrecy and surprise around the commercial,” said Scott Cassidy, senior vice president of Disney Destinations Global Alliance Marketing. “That said, we do have people at the Super Bowl looking for a story of courage, poignancy and triumph that could be celebrated in a commercial.”
If they pinpoint such a story, a production team will work with the National Football League to cover a few measures of Disney’s iconic song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” with appropriate video from the game … followed by the iconic question … and the response that has become a catchphrase for a generation during the last quarter century.

Who might it be? Based on the most recent 15 Super Bowl-based spots, it is not predictable. During that time, someone other than the game MVP has been involved eight times – including a coach twice.

“That’s some of the fun of it: we don’t know,” Cassidy concluded.

Along with the role in the commercial, those involved are scheduled to participate in a celebratory parade in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort (or at Disneyland Park in California). Plans are underway for a parade on Monday in Florida pending the wrap of the commercial and the availability of the hero or heroes involved.

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