Both Disney World and Disneyland will be adding the "Toy Story Mania" attraction as well as new parades and entertainment. Stay tuned to the DIS for updates.
Year of a Million Dreams Overview
By Kelsie Johnson
I just can’t help but take a look at Disneyland’s ‘Year of a Million Dreams’ without reflecting on my Disney experiences over the past 30 years. When I first heard about this new promotion, I thought what more could Disney do to make dreams come true for a million MORE people? Let’s face it, they are in the business fulfilling Dreams for millions of children and adults so how can they top this?
Looking back, my love of everything Disney started as a kid while watching the ‘Wonderful World of Color’ and seeing my first ever movie in a theater, Mary Poppins. I always wanted to go to Disneyland but it was not something my parents could afford so it wasn’t until I was 19 and married that I experienced Disneyland for the first time. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to my feelings as I entered Main Street for the first time, I felt like a child again and knew my love of everything Disney had only just begun. Since that time, I have taken every opportunity to share the magic of Disneyland with anyone possible. OK, I admit I may have used a lot of my family members as an excuse to go to Disneyland and although most of them enjoyed the experience, not all came away feeling as if they could go again next week.
I’ve had far too many “Dream” moments to list but one specific moment comes to mind. After 20 childless years, I finally had a daughter to share my love of Disneyland. Of course, her first experience (maybe her first 3 or 4 experiences) was when she was much too young to remember but I was convinced even though she wouldn’t remember she would have a magical time. It was when she was about 8 that I knew she finally ‘GOT IT’ and would share her Mothers obsession. It had been a very long day but as usual, we didn’t want to leave, Disneyland had been closed for almost an hour and the shops were starting to close so we knew if we didn’t leave soon, they would be ‘politely’ escorting us out of the park. There was only a hand full of people on Main Street as we walked toward the exit. We stopped one last time to look at the castle when my daughter asked “Mom, where is Walt Disney buried”? I told her I wasn’t sure but I assume he is buried in Southern California (I made it a point after this to find out he is buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California). When I asked her why she asked that, she said “Because Mom, I would like to put some flowers on his grave to thank him for today”. So, when I look back on all my experiences at Disneyland, it’s difficult to imagine better moments than that.
Disneyland’s ‘Year of a Million Dreams’ promises to fulfill One Million Dreams of visitors to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I’ve read a lot of negative responses to Disney’s newest promotion as some feel it’s a bit of a disappointment after the ‘Happiest Celebrations on Earth” but realistically, 50th Anniversaries deserve a lot of fanfare and one can’t expect Disney to top that celebration any time soon.
On October 1, 2006, the ‘Year of a Million Dreams’ kicked off with some new and improved attractions. In Disneyland Park, the long awaited ‘Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage’ is scheduled to open in the summer of 2007. ‘Rockin' Space Mountain’ (didn’t we just do this) had 'California Screamin' new sound tracks thru April of '07.
Disneyland is also enticing all ‘Disney Princesses’ with the new ‘Princess Fantasy Faire’ in the Fantasyland Theater. This promises to make a Disney Princess out of all little girls at a price to their parents, of course.
The Pirates have Landed at New Orleans Square where Captain Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean are on the prowl. Throughout the day they'll be enlisting recruits to take the 'Pirate Oath'. There's even a singing Pirate trio. Opening in May is the revamped Tom Sawyer's Island which is becoming a "Pirate's Lair."
Disney didn’t leave out the ‘Jedi’s’ in your family and has added the ‘Jedi Training Academy’ at the Tomorrowland Terrace (Yes, it’s no longer Club Buzz Stage, YEAH!). Here, your little Jedi’s can train alongside ‘official’ Jedi’s to learn the fine art of light saber fighting (Yes, this is also going to cost you). Once your little Jedi graduates, they will be treated to a ‘real’ test of their skills with the likes of ‘Darth Vader’ himself. In Disney's California Adventure Park, you may even get a smile out of your ‘tween’ during the new ‘High School Musical’ pep rally.
Some of the ‘Dreams’ at the Disneyland Resort include, Fifteen 4 day/3 night Vacations at Disneyland including admission and $75 per day per guest to be used for dining, One night stays at the Mickey Mouse Penthouse in the Disneyland Hotel, Dinners on the balcony of the Disney Gallery in Disneyland's New Orleans Square, VIP tours of the Walt Disney Main Street apartment in Disneyland, Disneyland Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage press event entries, Dream Fast Passes to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, Pin and Lanyard sets, ream Mouse Ears and Where Dreams Come True Photo vouchers.
Now that I know a little more about the ‘Year of a Million Dreams’, I can see how this is going to be a year full of surprises. I do worry about the millions of people who are traveling to Disney over the next year expecting to be one of the lucky ones, only to be disappointed. There is already a certain expectation built into a Disney vacation and this may only increase that expectation and make it more difficult for Disney to satisfy everyone who visits the parks over the coming year. I also hope the magic we’ve become accustom to on our Disney vacation continues.
I still believe millions of ‘Dreams’ already happen every year. So the ‘Year of a Million Dreams” promotion will only add to the magic.