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
- Dates and seminars announced for Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic - 2014 will be the 5th year for this event that features wine and beer seminars, tasting stations and live music.
- VIDEO: 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - One of the most welcome signs of spring is Epcot's annual International Flower & Garden Festival. While the grounds at Epcot are always beautiful, the Flower and Garden Festival takes them to the next level. At the festival you'll find gardens, topiaries, play areas, outdoor food kitchens, exhibits, music, and more.
- Blog - Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade debuts at the Magic Kingdom!
- VIDEO - Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade - Festival of Fantasy is the brand new daily parade at the Magic Kingdom bringing the characters and stories of New Fantasyland to life! Brand new floats and costumes were produced for the parade featuring characters from Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Princess and the Frog, Brave, Dumbo, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Tangled, Fantasia, Snow White and more!
- Photo Gallery of the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade - The "Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade" celebrates New Fantasyland with new innovative floats, costumes and an all-new soundtrack that features songs from popular Disney films.
- VIDEO - Topiaries at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is better than before in 2014 and features some of the most beautiful and elaborate topiaries seen anywhere. New this year includes 'Spring is in the Air!' featuring Goofy, Donald and Daisy as you enter the park; Soccer Goofy and Donald; and Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy inspired by "Muppets Most Wanted". Returning favorites include Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Buzz Lightyear, Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Phineas and Ferb, Tinker Bell, Bambi and Friends, Peter Pan and Captain Hook, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Classic Disney Couples, Woody, Lady and the Tramp, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Lion King, Pandas, Troll and Fantasia!
- VIDEO - Outdoor Kitchens at Epcot Flower & Garden Festival - After the popular introduction in 2013, the outdoor kitchens are back at the 2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival serving up some of the finest and freshest food at Epcot in a similar fashion to the Food & Wine Festival. Outdoor kitchens include Pineapple Promenade, The Buttercup Cottage, Fleur de Lys, Taste of Marrakesh, Hanami, The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews, Primavera Kitchen, Florida Fresh, Lotus House, Jardin de Fiestas, and the new Urban Farm EATS!
- VIDEO - Festival Center at the Flower & Garden Festival - Video of the Festival Center at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2014. The festival center is where you can find many of the seminars and presentations featured during the Festival.
- 2014 Flower & Garden Festival Photos - 2014 photo gallery of Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival
- Inaugural Disney Fit Challenge to be held in September - Competitions will include tests of power, speed, balance, strength and endurance.
- Blog - A Shopping Oasis: Merchandise at Disney's Flower & Garden Festival
- Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney will be closing 3/19/14 - Pollo Campero, Bodie's All-American Grill and Babycakes NYC will be closing 3/19/14. Babycakes NYC will still be providing gluten-free items to select Walt Disney World food courts and restaurants.
- Blog - 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival opens in Epcot
- Registration for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon opens today - This race is held in conjunction with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
- Blog - Haunted Mansion Merchandise Materializes in Disney Parks
- New dates for D23's Destination D - The event will be held November 22-23, 2014.
- 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon dates - Registration for the 2015 marathon begins 4/22/14.
- Blog - A Brit's Perspective - Changing of the Seasons at the Orlando theme parks
- Rebel Rendezvous merchandise event planned for Star Wars Weekends - Attendees will receive exclusive access to Darth's Mall a day before it opens to the public.
- Blog - A February Stroll through the Magic Kingdom
- Walt Disney World restaurants add Braille menus - Beginning March 1, select restaurants will be adding Braille menus, though a list of participating restaurants is not yet available. The Braille menus will have examples of the menu items but may not list all the short term or temporary items.
- Family Ticket offer - get one free day! - Get one FREE additional day on each ticket when you buy 6 or more 4-day or longer Magic Your Way tickets!
- Blog - Disney's Polynesian Resort is Changing in a Big Way
- Just announced! Festival of Fantasy parade will debut March 9! - This parade will run daily in the afternoons at the Magic Kingdom.
- Celebrate Earth Day at Disney's Animal Kingdom - The park is also celebrating the release of Disneynature's newest film Bears, which hits theaters April 18.
- Car Masters Weekend to be held at Downtown Disney - This event takes place June 14-15.
- Walt Disney World ticket prices increase - Ticket prices have gone up effective today, Sunday, February 23.
- Mighty St. Patrick's Day Festival planned for Downtown Disney - Downtown Disney celebrates St. Patrick's Day with live music, a step-by-step Irish jig workshop, classic Irish food and drink, Irish storytellers, Irish history and merchandise at Raglan Road's Shop.
- Star Wars Weekends - extra weekend added, plus Hyperspace Hoopla cancelled - A nightly fireworks show has been added instead of the Hyperspace Hoopla party.
- Rapids ride evacutated at Universal Orlando
- Leadership changes at Walt Disney World resorts and transportation
- Disney and unions extend contract
- Major staff cuts at Disney Interactive
- Blackfish director denies receiving confidential information
- Hank Wiliams Jr. and Alabama to perform at SeaWorld
- Universal Orlando parking garage closed for suspicious vehicle
- SeaWorld calls for investigation of OSHA inspector
- Preview of food items for Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion
- Disney announces theme parks will stay open for 24-hour party
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 1:00
9:00 - 9:00
11:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 9:30
8:00 - 8:00
10:00 - 5:00
Extra Magic Hours Morning: Epcot FW