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
- Disney's Hollywood Studios plans for 25th Anniversary celebration - Schedule of events for May 1, 2014.
- Full list of celebrities attending Star Wars Weekends 2014 - New on the list this year are Mark Hamill and John Ratzenberger.
- Race dates for Disney's Marathon Weekend and Princess Half Marathon - List of all the individual race dates for both weekends.
- Happy 50th anniversary to it's a small world! - it's a small world opened at the New York World's Fair on April 22, 1964.
- Blog - Review: Epcot After Hours Wind Down
- Registration opens for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon - Registration spots for the races fill up quickly. If you know for sure you want to participate in one of the events, we recommend you register as soon as possible.
- Happy 16th anniversary to Disney's Animal Kingdom - Disney's Animal Kingdom opened on April 22, 1998 - Earth Day.
- Thinking about booking your trip with a travel agent? - Why it's important to book with a travel agent that specializes in Disney vacations.
- Anna and Elsa meet and greet moves to Magic Kingdom today - These popular princesses will no longer be seen in Epcot's Norway pavilion.
- Planning to be at Disney World on Easter? - List of church services, dinners and special activities taking place at Walt Disney World on Easter.
- Blog - Ranking our 5 Senses in Disney's Theme Parks
- Spots still available at Tables in Wonderland event on April 19 - This buffet will bring Tables in Wonderland members together during the Festival for dinner and drinks, then you will head to the Flower Power Concert series to hear the sounds of The Grass Roots.
- Menu items for Epcot After Hours Wind Down - Tickets, which can be reserved in advance, include one beverage and a selection of light snacks.
- Rehabs planned for two of Disney's golf courses - Disney's Magnolia Golf Course and Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course will be closed 5/21 - 6/4/2014.
- Guests at the Swan and Dolphin can now book their FastPass+ 60 days in advance - Onsite resort guests and guests at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin can make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance. Annual Passholders and offsite guests can make their reservations up to 30 days in advance.
- Blog - Actors Fund Gala Tickets Honoring Disney Theatricals on Sale Now
- Changes to Earl of Sandwich menu - Prices have increased by about 50 cents per sandwich. New sandwiches have been added and others have been removed.
- Epcot After Hours Wind Down lounges to be available - Stick around after IllumiNations for an evening at one of 4 exclusive lounges featuring food and beverages from award-winning Epcot chefs and sommeliers.
- Annual passholders can save up to 35% on WDW hotels, plus get free Memory Maker photos! - Guests will save up to 35% on their room, plus get free Memory Maker digital photos. Discount is valid for travel between 6/16/14 - 8/2/14.
- Blog - VIDEO: Disney reveals first look at animatronics and scenes inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Meet the Easter Bunny at the Magic Kingdom April 13-20 - The Easter Bunny will also have a special pre-parade appearance on 4/19 and 4/20/14. He will be joined by other springtime characters, dancers and the Azalea Trail Maids.
- Carbon-Freeze Me experience at Star Wars Weekends to offer X-Wing Pilots and more - In addition to the carbonite figure, last year's Stormtrooper will be available, as well as two new figurines - an Alderaan Princess and X-Wing Pilot.
- Blog - Third Annual Easter Egg Display at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Easter activities and special dining menus at Walt Disney World resorts - List of events planned at Walt Disney World resorts.
- Blog - Disney Infinity Teases Marvel & Confirms Version 2.0
- October 2014 Walt Disney World park hours released - List of times for parades, fireworks, and park hours.
- Blog - What To Expect When You're...Cruising with Disney and a Baby: Part 2
- Big Thunder Mountain closed for 2 days for rehab - The attraction will be closed 4/7-4/9/14.
- Surprising your family with a trip to Disney? Check out our tips! - Surprising the kids with a Disney vacation is part of the thrill for some parents. Others would love to do it, but aren’t sure how to pull it off. Here are some different approaches to creating that special surprise for your family!
- Blog - New Lawsuit Attacks Disney’s New Disability Access Service
- VIDEO: Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot - Enjoy a special fireworks viewing area and desserts from around World Showcase paired with sparkling wines.
- Tables in Wonderland event at Golden Oak's Markham's restaurant - For this special evening, guests will dine at the exclusive Markham's restaurant at Disney's Golden Oak Club, Walt Disney World's private residential community.
- Blog - Review: Epcot's new IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party
- Blog - Review: Epcot Gardens of the World Tour
- Dates announced for Sounds Like Summer Concert series - The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series features some of the greatest tribute bands rockin' to U2, The Bee Gees, the Eagles and many more during select nights from June to July.
- Night of Joy tickets now on sale - Disney's Night of Joy features contemporary Christian performers. The star-studded lineup is always outstanding and features a host of Dove Award and Grammy Award winning artists.
- Blog - DVC Owner To File Class Action Demanding More FastPass+ Experiences
- Blog - Walt Disney World is now selling MagicBands to Offsite Day Guests
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - World Showcase - The American Adventure - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at World Showcase - The American Adventure, February 12, 2014 - Afternoon.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - World Showcase - Italy - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at World Showcase - Italy, February 12, 2014 - Afternoon
- Parking prices increase at Walt Disney World - Prices have increased $2 for each category.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Echo Lake - Academy Hall of Fame - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Echo Lake - Academy Hall of Fame, February 12, 2014 - Morning
- Cirque du Soleil discount offered for Tables in Wonderland members - Discounted tickets are available for performances April 1-May 10 and May 27-June 28, 2014.
- Tables in Wonderland Flower and Garden Festival Special Dining Event - This buffet will bring Tables in Wonderland members together during the Festival for dinner and drinks, then you will head to the Flower Power Concert series to hear the sounds of The Grass Roots.
- Fittipaldi Cup racing event planned for Walt Disney World Speedway - The Exotic Driving Experience and 2014 Rolex 24 winner Christian Fittipaldi are putting on a half-day racing event at the Walt Disney World Speedway.
- Grand Floridian hosts Edible Easter Egg Display - This is the third year the resort has hosted the display of hand-painted edible Easter eggs; the eggs are 16 to 20 inches tall.
- Star Wars-themed character meals at Hollywood Studios! - For a limited time, guests will have the opportunity to dine with Star Wars characters or Disney characters dressed up in their Star Wars costumes.
- New 2015 Disney Crusie Line Destinations - Disney Cruise Line has added new destinations for 2015! For the first time, the Disney Magic will set sail for Northern Europe, visiting the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Seven- and nine-night sailings will depart from Copenhagen, Denmark and will immerse guests in the Viking history of this mystical land, which served as the backdrop for Disney's blockbuster film Frozen. Sail past mountains, glaciers, geysers and fjords and stop in port cities reminiscent of storybook villages.
- Kouzzina by Cat Cora to close September 30 - A new restaurant will open in its place this fall.
- Blog - Saying Farewell to Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom
- Blog - The Dream of Retiring to Central Florida
- Egg-stravaganza Easter egg hunt planned for Epcot - Search for special hidden Disney character "eggs" at Epcot.
- Blog - Review: “Muppets Most Wanted” Now Touring Worldwide and in Theaters!
- Blog - Five Reasons You Should Go See 'Muppets Most Wanted' This Weekend
- Mark Hamill - Luke Skywalker - will be attending Star Wars Weekends! - This will be the actor's first appearance at Star Wars Weekends.
- PEEPS-themed Easter events planned for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin - The resort will be celebrating a PEEPtastic week 4/16 - 4/20/14.
- Brunch planned to debut new Disney Collection by Vera Bradley design - "Mickey's Perfect Petals" will be showcased at the brunch and will be available for purchase.
- Blog - New Frozen Merchandise at Disney Parks
- Extended preview of Maleficent film at Disney's Hollywood Studios - The upcoming Maleficent film, starring Angelina Jolie, opens in theaters May 30. Theme park guests can see an extended preview of the film beginning April 18 and running through mid-June.
- Food Truck Park to open at Downtown Disney - The Food Truck Park is currently under construction and should open this summer between Bongos and Starbucks.
- Blog - Review: Disney's 'Saving Mr. Banks' Now Available On Blu-ray, DVD, & Digital Download
- Blog - Review: "Frozen" Blu-ray Hits Shelves
- Blog - Top 10 Reasons Why March 18th Is The Best Day Ever For Disney Fans
- Disney guests to have access to extra FastPass+ each day
- First quarter earnings for Universal Orlando
- Cell phone charging stations added to Magic Kingdom
- Today Show to film at Universal Orlando on Friday
- James Cameron pleased with Disney's Avatar Land design
- Disney one of the world's most disappointing destinations?
- Universal Orlando painters sent to hospital
- Kickstarter campaign hopes to raise money for "Dark Side of Disney" film
- Disney plans four Star Wars children's books
- SeaWorld Orlando offers summer camps for kids
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 11:00
9:00 - 9:00
11:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 9:30
9:00 - 8:00
10 - 6:00
10:00 - 6:00
Extra Magic Hours Morning: Magic Kingdom