Happiest Celebration on Earth Press Event 2005
by Pete Werner
DIS Founder / CEO, Dreams Unlimited Travel, Inc.
DIS Coverage Sponsored by: Dreams Unlimited Travel, Inc.
Day 1 - (MGM):
Day 2 - (Magic Kingdom & Epcot):
If you’ve never had the good fortune to attend a Disney press event, let me try and sum the experience up for you like this – take all the elements of a great Disney vacation (a beautiful room at the Walt Disney World Swan, passes to the parks, copious amounts of food and alcohol), throw in some A list entertainment (Ashanti, Smash Mouth, Barenaked Ladies), dot the parks with celebrities (Paige Davis, Alan Cummings, Joey Fatone among many others), and you have yourself a good ole fashioned Disney press event.
Our team for the event consisted of myself (video, content), Corey Martin (photos, site design), Regina Hinrichs (content), Kevin Klose (content) and Bob Varley (video, photos, running people over with his cart). We were also joined by my partners in Dreams Unlimited, John Magi and Donna LeFever (with a big shout out to mail boy). So, we were well represented, and I think you'll agree that our coverage reflects it!
For a Disney fan, the chance to attend one of these parties is akin to a pilgrimage to
Our press event experience began by moving what seemed to be every piece of computer equipment we owned into the three rooms we had at the Walt Disney World Swan. If you want to get lots of odd looks, traipse through the lobby of hotel with 5 computers in tow. With our equipment (and a complimentary high speed internet connection in each of the rooms) - we were ready to work. But first we had to eat. We decided on Palio, a nice Italian restaurant at the Swan. We figured we'd have a nice meal and plan out our week. However, it's hard to talk about plans when everyone is grunting and groaning about how good the food is. In lesser hands, this entire event might have been entitled "oh my god this bruschetta is so good" followed by a Homer Simpson-esque throat rumble. Kevin Klose wrote up the experience (click here).
Before I get in to the event itself, I have to say this. The 'heavenly beds' that figure so prominently into the Swan and Dolphin experience should, by all rights, be outlawed. If you choose to lay on one of these beds after a day of running around the parks you should abandon all hope of ever getting up. Coupled with excellent food room service - the combination is deadly (the Pizza's are excellent, and great fuel when it's 4am and your video editing software won't work).
DAY 1 - MGM - Shaken not stirred
The first event was held on May 4th at MGM Studios, for the dedication of Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show (hereinafter referred to as LMA) . The espionage theme of the show was translated well onto the streets of MGM, as streetmosphere players dressed as secret agents (and punk rockers, and bums and movie stars) mingled with the eclectic mix of press, travel and celebrity attendees. Of course my team missed no opportunity to get their pictures taken with as many celebs as possible (and it wasn't hard – the place was lousy with ‘em). That night we were treated to a concert with
DAY 2 - It's All Been Done
Day two of the press event saw the official launch of the 50th anniversary at the
That evening, the party shifted to Epcot for the dedication of Soarin' and a concert by the Barenaked Ladies. For those not familiar with Soarin', it is sent (by the Gods in my opinion) from Disney's California Adventure (where it is known as Soarin' over California). While it's the same attraction, this version is designed to change films every so many years. I think the next one should be "Soarin' over New Jersey'. Just imagine the smells they could pump in over Elizabeth!! (and I'm from New Jersey, and love it - so don't send any hate mail).
In keeping with the
- All 3 remaining weekends sold out for Harambe Nights - July 26, August 2 and August 9 are sold out.
- Annual passholder discount for Spice Road Table - Through 9/17/14, Annual Passholders can get a 30% discount on their bill.
- 2015 Military Ticket Discount info released - Members of the military can purchase 4-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper option for $177 each.
- Changes to reservation times for Wishes Dessert Party - Reservations are all being set for 6:00pm, no matter when Wishes is taking place. The dessert party will actually take place one hour before Wishes.
- Frozen Summer Fun Premium package is sold out for all remaining dates - This package gives guests at Frozen Summer Fun Live reserved viewing for several events.
- Wild by Design tour to be discontinued after 9/26/14 - This tour takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fantasy Football Convention coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports - The convention will give attendees access to ESPN talent, a live fantasy football draft and more.
- Blog - Sneak Preview of What's Coming to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Dates and pricing released for ICE! at Gaylord Palms - Using two million pounds of ice, this Gaylord Palms Resort special ticket exhibit will be transformed into the North Pole.
- Blog - Disney's Magical Express Age Limit Changes: A Parent's & Teacher's Perspective
- Blog - Five Reasons Why We're Not Seeing "Planes: Fire & Rescue" in Theaters
- Blog updated - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You? - The author has taken the tour she discussed in the blog - check out her thoughts to see if she would do this again!
- Harambe Nights sold out this weekend - Harambe Nights is sold out for the weekend of July 19. Tickets are still available for the remaining weekends.
- Blog - July 2014 Magic Kingdom Construction Update
- Information for Food & Wine Festival special dining experiences - book 7/31 - Premium events will be announced July 24 and can be booked on July 31 beginning at 7:00am EST. To book, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).
- Princess Half Marathon fills in less than 24 hours - The Princess Half Marathon, the Princess Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out, filling less than 24 hours after registration opened.
- Registration now open for Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Registration is already filling up. Prices are listed here and will go up after a certain date.
- Seats still remaining for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview - Sample food's from this year's Festival and hear speakers discussing the new marketplaces, special events and more!
- Dolphins at Epcot will be offstage through August 7 - Guests will not be able to see the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Dolphins in Depth Tour will be unavailable during this time as well.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Speeds in the area will be reduced, as well as lanes closed. Buena Vista Drive will be expanded to 10 lanes.
- Blog - Disney Responds to Disability Access Service Lawsuit
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Magic Kingdom Turnstiles - Main St. Station - Wish you were at Disney today? Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Magic Kingdom Turnstiles - Main St. Station.
- Less than a month left to book a Disney vacation with free dining! - Guests can book a Walt Disney World room and ticket vacation package that includes a stay at a Walt Disney World resort, and receive the Dining Plan for free!
- Backstage package begins today Cirque du Soleil - Package is available for 6:00 performances on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Create a personalized Coca-Cola label at Club Cool - Guests at Walt Disney World will be able to create a personalized label for a 7.5 oz Coca-Cola can.
- Blog - Like This at Walt Disney World? Try That at Universal Orlando.
- Viewing locations for final World Cup games - The final three games will be shown in multiple locations.
- Blog - Some Dos and Don'ts of Frozen Summer Fun
- Candlelight Processional dining package info released - Information includes list of restaurants and approximate prices. Reserved fireworks viewing is not included this year.
- Minor changes to menu at Harambe Nights party - The lamb chops with tamarind pomegranate sauce will no longer be served. A Moroccan beef kefta dish will be served at the buffet after the show instead of the pre-show reception.
- Blog - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You?
- It's Tough to be a Bug closes for refurb - The Animal Kingdom attraction will be closed from 7/7/14 - 8/11/14.
- Photos of Oaken's Trading Post and merchandise available at Frozen Summer Fun - We've added merchandise photos and photos of Oaken's Trading Post to our blog on this event.
- VIDEO: Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome featuring Kristoff at Frozen Summer Fun - Frozen Summer Fun has come to Disney's Hollywood Studios and the first daily event is a Royal Welcome parade for Anna and Elsa with a special appearance by Kristoff. At the end of the parade, the two princesses appear on the Sorcerer Mickey hat stage for a sing-along of "Let It Go" with Olaf!
- New backstage package offered at Cirque du Soleil - This $250 package includes ticket, snacks, gift bag and backstage meet and greet.
- Minimum age lowered to travel solo on Magical Express - The minimum age to travel alone on Magical Express has been lowered to age 12 from age 16.
- Flying Fish Cafe to serve breakfast this fall - Reservations are now being accepted for 10/1 - 12/7/14.
- Florida residents can save 35% on a Room Only reservation - Florida residents can save when booking a room-only reservation at select Walt Disney World resorts for stays most nights July 2014 - September 2014.
- Premium Package added for Frozen Summer Fun Live - Package will include reserved seating and viewing for three of the day's events.
- Changes to PhotoPass print packages at restaurants - Beginning 7/27/14, PhotoPass print packages will no longer be offered table-side at Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Tusker House Restaurant.
- Time schedule announced for Frozen Summer Fun Live at Hollywood Studios - The world of Frozen is taking over Hollywood Studios this summer. Spend the day enjoying these brand-new interactive experiences.
- Extended operating hours for monorail for 4th of July holiday - The monorail will have extended operating hours on July 3-5.
- Garden View Tea Room at Grand Floridian to undergo refurb - Garden View Tea Room closed 6/30/14 - 8/29/14. Perfectly Princess Tea Party will take place at Citricos.
- Partial list of Candlelight Processional narrators announced - Sharon Stone and Ana Gasteyer are new additions this year.
- Blog - Making the Most Out of a Summer Trip to Walt Disney World
- 4th of July Craft beer event at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel - Eight different brews will be on tap as the hotel partners with Cigar City Brewing of Tampa.
- July merchandise events and signings at the Walt Disney World Resort - Disney artists will sign their work at locations around Walt Disney World.
- Two new VIP tours added at Walt Disney World - The Ultimate Day of Thrills - A VIP Tour Experience and The Ultimate Day for Young Families - A VIP Tour Experience will both take guests to three parks, giving them VIP access to several attractions.
- Cinderella's Royal Table to be closed for 2 months - The character dining restaurant will be closed for refurbishment 1/5/2015 - 3/6/2015.
- Blog - FROZEN Summer Fun LIVE! Coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Several dates sold out for Animal Kingdom's Harambe Nights - Premium seating is sold out for all dates. General seating is sold out for 6/28 and 7/5.
- Several changes made to park hours for rest of 2014 - Many changes have been made to Extra Magic Hours, as well as park hours extended and more Fantasmic and Main Street Electrical performances added.
- Several refurb dates planned for Winter Summerland mini golf course - The summer course will be closed for several dates throughout the summer.
- Parking lot construction at Animal Kingdom through September - The lot will be expanded in anticipation of larger crowds with the additions coming to the park.
- Agent P World Showcase Adventure to utilize smartphones - Beginning 6/27/14, the current flip phones will be replaced with smartphones.
- Another new meet and greet location for Snow White - She can now be seen on the front porch of Town Square Theater.
- Blog - Downtown Disney - Land of construction walls and cranes
- Blog - Disney Park Favorites in New Vinylmation Park Starz 3
- Rock Your Summer Side Dance Party at Hollywood Studios - This dance party will take place nightly from 6:00-10:00pm.
- Details for 4th of July at Walt Disney World - The parks will have special fireworks shows and Disney characters dressed in patriotic costumes.
- Ticket discounts for Cirque du Soleil - Discounted tickets are available for performances July 1-19, July 14, July 23-Sept 13, Sept 23-27, 2014.
- Summer discounts available for Walt Disney World golf courses - Play early in the day and save on a round of golf.
- Partial character list scheduled for Villains Unleashed event - Villains can be seen in stage shows, character greetings, and more.
- Price increases to $15/hour at Disney's Children's Activity Centers - This is at Club Disney at the Polynesian, Simba's Cubhouse at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Sandcastle Club at the Beach Club, and Cub's Den at the Wilderness Lodge.
- Tables in Wonderland hosts Epcot Food & Wine Festival Preview Event - Sample food's from this year's Festival and hear speakers discussing the new marketplaces, special events and more.
- Wilderness Lodge main pool closing from 9/3-11/27/14 - Main Pool closed 9/3/2014- 11/27/2014. Guests may use the pool at Fort Wilderness or the Contemporary. Transportation will be provided.
- Disney's second quarter injury report: 12-year-old boy cuts fingers on Pirates ride
- 30 years in prison for man who molested girl at SeaWorld
- Possible agreement reached between Disney and unions
- Disney's CEO Bob Iger honored as CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine
- Trattoria al Forno to replace Cat Cora's Kouzzina at Disney World
- Technical glitch causes Universal's Transformers ride to stall
- Report: Monorail evacuated after lightning strike
- Military resource support group launches for Disney cast members
- Magic Kingdom guest got tips of fingers cut off on Pirates of the Caribbean
- Elizabeth Mitchell cast on Once Upon A Time
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 12:00
9:00 - 9:00
11:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 10:00
9:00 - 8:00
9:00 - 8:00
9:00 - 8:00
Extra Magic Hours Morning: Epcot FW