Published: August 8, 2007 at 11:50 PM
I just had dinner tonight with someone in Disney Events (Florida)...yes, it's true that attendance is as high as it's ever been. blah blah blah...let me give you my take on this whole YEAR OF A THOUSAND DREAMS (YOATD) stuff. BOOOOOOOOOORING. Yep, it's boring. When I first started hearing the marketing over a year ago for YOATD, I didn't realize it was a year-long celebration. It just sounded like some typical Disney commercials. Of all the Disney "year-long" celebrations (which are usually 15-months, from Oct. thru Dec. of the following year), YOATD is the least exciting I've ever heard. And the least enticing. It in no way enticed me into the Disney parks.
I mean, the 50-year celebration was actually celebrating something. Same with the Millenium Celebration (which I LOOOOVED!!!). And same with Disney World's 25th anniversay (hated that cake, but I LOOOOVED the theme music). On the contrary, YOATD is celebrating NOTHING. It's just a marketing-invented event. Just the same way that Secretaries Day is created by Hallmark.
So, my favorite Disney celebrations are the ones that actually celebrate something special....and my favorite celebrations are also the ones that CREATE something new. For example, the Mellenium celebration created the new Illuminations show, the Parade of Nations, the "hand" (yuk), and the Leave a Legacy...that was a HUGE capital investment. The "100 Years of Magic" created the new giant Sorceror's Hat Icon at MGM (affectionately called the Big Ass Hat by cast members), an extensive new Walt exhibition and film, and a brand new parade in each park (loved the new Animal Kingdom Parade).
What is it that the YOATD is creating? A new hotel suite in the castle for families to stay in? That's it? And after the celebration is officially over, that suite will be rented out at astronomical prices. This is truly not a very appealing celebration for me. Not at all--when I walk into the parks, I don't see ANYTHING that has a cohesive celebration theme.
And, in case any of you think that the celebration is being extended because it's so successful, think again--it's being extended because Disney doesn't have anything ready yet to take its place, and it's cheaper to "extend the celebration" than it is to create a new one. Giving out pins and fastpasses for another year is the cheapest way to go. In years past, they'd simply go a year without a themed celebration...don't expect to see very many non-themed years ahead. I could go on...
...and I will for just this last statement: those of you complaining about not getting "picked"; get over it. Free pins and fastpasses are weak incentives for happiness, right? And to the people who suggested that giving out prizes according to random ticket-taking at the gates would be more fair--GET RID OF YOUR ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY. Giving away prizes gives almost as much joy to cast members as it does to guests, so don't expect them to give that over to "machines." It's not about being FAIR. It's all about being random. The process isn't fair, it's not perfect, but most of all, it's not why anyone has come to the parks in the first place...if anyone out there is going to a Disney park just because you're hoping to be chosen for a free pin, or a free fastpass, please call me--the swampland in Florida is gone, but I can probably dig up some desert out here in California.