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Disney Parks

Helpful Thanksgiving Tips from Disney’s Experts

With the holiday season officially here, the helpful experts at Walt Disney World have put together a few instructional videos that will make your Thanksgiving celebration easier. First make your tables sparkle with clever themed floral decorations. The Disney Florists make it simple to do.… Read More »Helpful Thanksgiving Tips from Disney’s Experts

2009 Worldwide Disney Park Ambassadors go back to where the magic began

As part of a recently started tradition for 43-year history of the Disney Ambassador program, the worldwide 2009 Disney Park Ambassador team gathered for a week of training at the Disneyland Resort. Each of the eight Ambassadors pictured above represent the five Disney Resort locations… Read More »2009 Worldwide Disney Park Ambassadors go back to where the magic began

Disney Partners with Verizon for In Park Facts and Fun

I’ll start by saying I’m not in favor of platform dependent services when it comes to mobile or wireless internet services. That said, I understand that this is the way things get built at Disney Parks. You have a great idea, you find a partner, and then you work with them to make it a win-win for both sides. Hopefully the guests get something good out of it too.

So what’s the big deal coming to the U.S. based Disney theme parks? How about a park guide with real time information on your mobile phone? It’s about time, I say. The ability to know how long a queue is without having to walk to the attraction yourself is practically invaluable to the Disney park goer. Finding last minute dining reservations, special deals, interactive games and adventures, and so much more offers to enrich the theme park experience dramatically.

Beginning next year, guests will be able to access an array of features on their Verizon Wireless phones while at the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort to help them make the most of their Disney experiences. Planned services include an exclusive mobile application that will give guests with Verizon Wireless service the ability to easily locate shows, restaurants and the Disney characters anywhere inside the Parks; get real-time attraction availability information; access mobile games; receive messages from characters and more. Verizon Wireless is also continuing to invest in its wireless network from coast to coast, and the relationship with Disney means the wireless users will benefit from further enhancements to the Verizon Wireless network in the Parks.

Verizon gets access to millions of Disney guests each year and a good chance of converting frequent theme park visitors to their service. I hope they’ll also offer ‘test’ units to those who don’t currently have Verizon as a provider. If it’s cool and useful, it might be enough to make me switch. Any current Verizon Wireless users want to chime in with your experiences?

The full press release is below the cut:

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Analysts see dark clouds over Disney Parks

Forbes magazine pulls a few quotes from travel industry analysts who see a soft future for Disney Park’s attendance numbers. It’s no doubt true that not even Disney is immune from the massive change occuring in the economy. But they are far better prepared to… Read More »Analysts see dark clouds over Disney Parks

RFID at Disney Parks

RFID, or Radio Frequency ID, is a way of tracking things without having to physically scan the item. Just proximity to an RFID Scanner confirms the presence of the item. All new US Passports have them. Your credit cards likely have them. It’s rumored that… Read More »RFID at Disney Parks

Winner of My Favorite Disney Parks Memory contest announced

Nate Silverman is the winner of Disney Park’s contest “My Favorite Disney Parks Memory.” Of course, it involves a very cute child. Nate and his family will receive a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Disneyland Resort, including a night in the Disneyland Dream Suite, airfare, 2-day… Read More »Winner of My Favorite Disney Parks Memory contest announced

Disney Parks New Promotional Theme: Celebrations

Disney Parks has announced their new promotional campaign for 2009. The theme is ‘Celebrations’ and the tag line is “What Will You Celebrate?” The goal — get you and your family to book a trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World to celebrate an event or occasion together.

The campaign website ( – Note there’s a video that starts automatically on this page with no way to pause or mute it. Bad form on Disney’s part.) is where you’ll find a contest where you can win a Disney Vacation, learn about fun ways to celebrate milestones in your life, and find out the schedule for a new promotional tour. Also highlighted are tools to plan your vacation with. Additionally, they’re promoting Disney Environmentality with a message not to release your ‘Mickey Balloon’ into the air. The biggest news would seem to be that you can register to get free admission to a Disney Theme Park on your birthday in 2009 (you must register first, and there are other treats available if you already have admission).

Without even reading the Disney Press Release on this. It would appear that Disney is hoping to capitalize on what is already a major trend in their customer base. Disney has known for years that since families tend to save for years to make the trip to the parks, they often do it around a special occasion. A few years ago the campaign was called “Magical Gatherings” and it was essentially the same thing where Disney would organize special events for you based on the occasion you were celebrating. Finally, the whole campaign ties into a vacation planning package that will walk you through hotel, dinner, and event registrations. It was obviously successful enough they want to try it again.

I hope this is a successful campaign for Disney and brings in hordes of guests. However, my initial response is to be a little underwhelmed. Disney is probably facing a significant drop in attendance and spending at its domestic parks for at least the next 12-18 months and this all they came up with to bolster the numbers?

What happened to the great promotions of the past where Parks, Films, and Parades were all tied together. Mickey Mania, Party Gras, The Lion King Celebration? Where’s the exciting Tagline? In the past we had “Where the Adventure Begins,” “Where the Magic Never Stops,” and “Where Dreams Come True.” Where we should have inspiration, instead we get a question. Where’s the announcement of the new parades, shows, and attractions that will encourage repeat visitors to return and send prospective new visitors to travel agencies to book. Instead we get a ‘Street Party’. What is that?

What disturbs me most about this promotion is how Disney is equating themselves with the local Chuck-e-Cheese. Little Johnny’s having his Birthday? Where do we want to celebrate? How about Chuck-e-Cheese? Or maybe Disneyland? That’s not an effective way to get people to drop their “staycation” and travel to Anaheim/Orlando instead. You have to offer excitement and value.

Disney isn’t in the same category as local options, and they shouldn’t act like it either. I’m not saying Disney should not offer Birthday and other Celebrations. But it should be part of the whole package, not the cornerstone of the big promotion for the year.

Okay. It’s the 3rd year in a row of less than exciting promotions for Disney Parks. So let chalk this one up to being an ‘off-year’. Due to the soft economy Disney isn’t expecting much to happen this year. They’ve planned no new shows, no new parades, and only one new attraction (American Idol at DHS) for 2009. Perhaps there is some fiscal merit to not going overboard with a major promotion. But then again, maybe they could have done something that would knock your socks off.

A promotional video and the full press release is below the cut:

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