BURBANK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–After a momentous 2006, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is poised to unveil a full slate of exciting new attractions and entertainment in the coming year, highlighted by the continued rollout around the world of its groundbreaking Where Dreams Come True initiative.
"As proud as we are of all that we accomplished in the last year, particularly with the great, global success of Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration, we have even more exciting things in store for 2007 and beyond," said Jay Rasulo, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "In addition to making dreams come true for our guests around the world, 2007 will be a year in which we continue to invest in our business by adding world-class attractions and entertainment that tell great stories – especially those based on some of Disney's great creative franchises."
"We'll also continue to look for new areas with which we can grow our business and expand our share of the global travel market," Rasulo added. "We think there are incredible opportunities for us on this front, and we're eager to bring the Disney vacation experience to new audiences and places around the world, much like we've done with one of our newest businesses, Adventures by Disney."
(For more information on the new attractions, entertainment and experiences to be unveiled in 2007, please see the list at the end of this news release.)
Where Dreams Come True
In October, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts – a part of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS –News) – launched Where Dreams Come True, the first-ever initiative to fully integrate and encompass Disney's entire worldwide portfolio of parks and resorts. The campaign is anchored in the principle that families everywhere, regardless of boundaries or culture, share the belief that Disney parks are a magical escape where they can experience a world of fantasy and imagination.
"Our Dreams initiative brings that belief to life," Rasulo said, "through attractions, entertainment, and, most importantly, Disney cast members, who are raising our already high levels of guest service to even greater heights."
Dreams also serves as the long-term unifying theme for products and services at each park around the world. Under the Dreams umbrella, each international Disney resort will present specially tailored celebratory themes in 2007, such as the 15th anniversary of Disneyland Resort Paris, the start of the celebration of Tokyo Disney Resort's 25th anniversary, and the continued introduction of the Disney experience to a new region of the world at Hong Kong Disneyland.
In the U.S., Dreams has come to life under the banner of The Year of a Million Dreams – a celebration of Disney guests and the way their dreams come true at Disney's parks and resorts. Since The Year of a Million Dreams began in October, cast members have made more than 200,000 dreams come true for guests at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts. (a)
Experiences Only Disney Can Provide
Randomly awarded, these dreams include such "money can't buy" experiences as a Dream FASTPASS badge with unique access to some of Disney's most popular attractions; private meetings with favorite Disney characters; shopping sprees; and a variety of unique Disney vacation experiences, including the chance to spend the night in a special suite inside Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World or in the Mickey Mouse Penthouse at the Disneyland Hotel.
"Our cast members are playing a central role during The Year of a Million Dreams," Rasulo said. "They're helping make our guests' dreams come true and they're delivering extraordinary guest service, which is really at the heart of what we do and who we are as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts."
Leveraging Creative Franchises
In addition to a strong focus on guest service, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will unveil a full slate of exciting new attractions, entertainment shows and experiences in 2007, demonstrating its commitment to continually invest in its business. Many of these new attractions – such as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at the Disneyland Resort, or the Cars Quatre Roues Rallye at the Disneyland Resort Paris – feature stories and characters that have become key creative franchises for all of The Walt Disney Company.
"Whether it's 'Pirates of the Caribbean' or 'Finding Nemo' or 'Toy Story,' Disney parks and resorts are truly where we make these great stories – stories that are known and loved around the world – come to life," Rasulo said. "And now, we're able to use cutting-edge technology to make these stories even more magical, exciting and memorable for our guests."
Enhanced with Technology
For instance, thanks to proprietary, state-of-the-art, computer-animation technology, guests on the new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (due to open at the Disneyland Resort in June) will be able to look out through the submarine's portholes to see Nemo and his animated friends swimming and interacting nearby – with guests seeing the scenes as though they were on a magical underwater voyage through the film.
Sophisticated computer-animation technology will also bring to life Mike Wazowski and his friends at the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club, which opens at the Walt Disney World Resort in spring 2007. Guests will be able to laugh, joke and match wits with the Monsters, Inc. characters in real time, and guests will even be able to text-message jokes backstage for possible use in the show.
"At the heart of all our entertainment is great storytelling," said Rasulo. "Yet we're always looking for new tools, and new technologies, to enhance the way we tell these stories – and the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club are two wonderful examples."
In the coming year, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will also continue to roll out technologies and tools to help guests make their vacations with Disney more personalized and customized. For instance, at the new DisneyParks.com website, an online feature helps guests customize their vacations with specific styles of entertainment. The site then generates a personalized map that guides guests to their priority activities once they arrive at a Disney park, with special tips for personalized fun.
Another feature of the DisneyParks.com website is a customizable "widget" that can be downloaded to a desktop computer. The widget functions as an interactive message center – providing information about new attractions and events at Disney parks, custom messages for annual passholders, and vacation planning tips and tools.
Magic in New Places
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will also continue to expand its signature brand of family entertainment to new corners of the global vacation market in 2007.
This summer, the Disney Cruise Line will set sail for Europe to offer its first-ever Mediterranean itineraries. This spring, Adventures by Disney – Disney's guided group vacation program – will launch a greatly expanded list of itineraries for 2007, with new adventures planned for many more cities in Europe and new cities in the U.S. And in late 2007, the Disney Vacation Club will open the first phase of its eighth resort at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge at the Walt Disney World Resort.
"We are excited about what the future holds for us," said Rasulo. "From new attractions and entertainment, to bringing the Disney experience to new corners of the globe, to new storytelling horizons and technologies, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and its cast members will continue to make dreams come true for people all over the world in 2007 and beyond."
New Attractions and Entertainment
Following is a list of the exciting new attractions, entertainment and experiences being offered by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in 2007, during the Where Dreams Come True and Year of a Million Dreams initiatives:
- Cinderella Castle Suite (Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort) – On most days, a randomly chosen guest will be invited to spend the night, with his or her family, in the new royal bedroom suite inside Cinderella Castle. (Opens January 2007)
- "Finding Nemo – The Musical" (Disney's Animal Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort) – The Great Barrier Reef comes to colorful life in this all-new musical by a Tony Award-winning composer, inspired by the hit Disney-Pixar film. (January 2007)
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends (Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort) – Guests will join Nemo's friends to search for the playful clownfish in one of the world's largest saltwater aquariums. (January 2007)
- Rockin' Both Parks (Disneyland Resort) – With new lighting and all-new soundtracks, Space Mountain and California' Screamin' are being temporarily transformed into unique rock 'n' roll experiences. (January 2007)
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club (Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort) – Guests will find the power of laughter in an engaging, interactive adventure inspired by Disney-Pixar's "Monsters, Inc." (Spring 2007)
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort) – Inspired by the Disney-Pixar film, this all-new attraction will take guests on a real (and unbelievable) underwater excursion. (June 2007)
- Animation Academy (Hong Kong Disneyland) – Guests get the chance to pick up a pencil and be part of the Disney creative experience – through art. (Summer 2007)
- Mickey's WaterWorks (Hong Kong Disneyland) – In this day parade designed uniquely for Hong Kong Disneyland, Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy show how they keep the landscape looking so lush. (Summer 2007)
- Cars Quatre Roues Rallye (Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Resort Paris) – Guests take a spin through the desert landscape on a wild, figure-8 racecourse inspired by the Disney-Pixar film "Cars." (Summer 2007)
- Crush's Coaster (Walt Disney Studios, Disneyland Resort Paris) – Guests surf the East Australian Current onboard a spinning turtle shell in this new attraction inspired by the film "Finding Nemo." (Summer 2007)
- Disney Cruise Line – For the first time ever, Disney Cruise Line will set sail for Europe with itineraries from the port of Barcelona, Spain, to eight Mediterranean ports of call, including stops near Rome, Florence, Pisa, Marseilles and Cannes. (Summer 2007)
- Adventures by Disney – Disney's guided group vacation program will expand its list of itineraries in 2007 to include such exciting destinations as Spain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Ireland, the American Southwest and an American heritage tour through the Northeastern U.S. (Summer 2007)
- Disney Vacation Club – Disney's vacation ownership program will open the first phase of its eighth resort: Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, which will be part of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge at the Walt Disney World Resort. (Late 2007)
- Dream Along with Mickey (Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort) — In this new, 20-minute live stage show, Mickey and friends treat guests to a dreams-inspired party on the forecourt stage of Cinderella Castle. (Opened October 2006)
- Mickey Mouse Penthouse (Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort) – Most days, a randomly chosen guest is invited to bring his or her family to spend the night inside the all-new Mickey Mouse Penthouse, with magical views overlooking both the Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure parks. (Opened December 2006)
The debut of these attractions, entertainment shows and experiences follow the opening of many other attractions at Disney parks around the world in 2006, including:
- Monsters, Inc.: Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! – Disney's California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort (opened January 2006)
- Expedition Everest – Disney's Animal Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort (April)
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast – Disneyland Park, Disneyland Paris Resort (April)
- Autopia – Hong Kong Disneyland (July)
- Stitch Encounter – Hong Kong Disneyland (July)
- UFO Zone – Hong Kong Disneyland (July)
- Tower of Terror – Tokyo DisneySea Park, Tokyo Disney Resort (September)
For accredited news media only – more information and images can be found on the following media websites:
Disneyland Resort: www.disneylandnews.com.
Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Vacation Club and Disney Cruise Line: www.wdwnews.com(user name: disney; password: magic)
Tokyo Disney Resort: www.tokyodisneyresort.com
Disneyland Resort Paris: www.disneylandparis.com
Hong Kong Disneyland: www.hongkongdisneyland.com
Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of our views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance as of the time the statements are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update these statements. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from actions taken by the Company, including acquisitions, dispositions and restructuring or strategic initiatives and information technology improvements, as well as from developments beyond the Company's control, including international, political, health concern, weather and military developments that may affect travel and leisure businesses generally and changes in domestic and global economic conditions that may, among other things expenses of providing medical and pension benefits and demand for our entertainment offerings. Changes in domestic competitive conditions and technological developments may also affect performance of our businesses. Additional factors are set forth in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended October 1, 2005 under Item 1A – Risk Factors.
(a) NO PURCHASE NECESSARY to enter or win in the Disney Dreams Giveaway. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Open only to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico & UK. Void elsewhere and where prohibited. Giveaway runs October 1, 2006 – December 31, 2007 (mail-in entries postmarked starting September 18, 2006 & received by January 14, 2008 on 3.5×5 postcard with complete name, address, daytime phone#, birth date and proper postage sent to PO Box 8629, Elmhurst, IL 60126 USA). UK residents only mail to 483 Green Lanes, London N13 4BS. Castle Suite stay and Penthouse stay will be awarded most days starting January 25, 2007 and December 1, 2006, respectively, will likely be awarded early in the day, will be for a stay that night and is only available to eligible participants at the parks and Downtown Disney® area in Florida and California, respectively. Some prizes, such as Dream FastPass badge, are only awarded at certain theme parks for use that day. Some prizes, such as Special After-Hour events, are only awarded on certain days at certain parks and must be used that day. Mail-in winners of prizes that must be used that day, such as Castle stay and Dream FastPass badge will receive a prize of comparable value. Approximate retail value of prizes listed: Cinderella Castle Suite Stay US $587, Mickey Mouse Penthouse Stay US $572, Disney Vacation Club Membership US $83,701, Grand Marshal World Tour US $45,370, Pin and Lanyard set US $23, Dream Mouse Ears US $12, Disney Cruise Line cruises from US $9,880 to US $16,900, Adventures by Disney vacation packages from US $15,500 to US $25,400, shopping spree US $500, Dream FastPass badge US $5, Special Park After-Hour event from US $3.83 to US $4.76 and Tour of Walt Disney's apartment and dining experience US $340. Prizes in the Giveaway range in value from US $3.83 to US $83,701. All prize awards are subject to verification. Odds of winning on a given day depend on the number of eligible participants at a selected location or within the mail-in entry pool for the time or date (as applicable) selected. Subject to official rules atwww.DisneyParks.com/rules. Sponsor: Magic Kingdom Productions, Inc., PO Box 10000, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830.
For residents of Canada, a mathematical skill-testing question must be correctly answered to win any prize.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Lisa Haines, 818-560-4107 or Donn Walker, 818-560-4067
Source: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts