What to do for the 'One More Disney Day'?
Published: January 30, 2012 at 11:20 AM
I'm torn on how effective a promotion this will be for Disney. It's just one day, after all, and on a "school" day at that, when relatively few families of Disney fans will be able to get away for a trip down to Disney World or Disneyland for the event. So I suspect that the attendance will be almost entirely locals - people with annual or seasonal passes, generating no additional admission income for Disney. Some might book hotel rooms for a night or two around the event, but I don't see this "Disney Day" generating any more in-park revenue for the company that a typical summer day would. Sure, it's nice to convert a Wednesday in February to a high-attendance day, but whatever additional income that brings in will be nothing more than a rounding error in Disney's budget.
So what is the value of this stunt? Publicity. The 6am-6am operation at Disney's two top theme parks will attract TV and newspaper reporters, as well as writers from every Disney-fan and theme park website. And all those stories will be drawing the public's attention three months before the start of summer vacation, when many families are considering their summer plans. So it's not the extra money that Disney makes on Feb. 29 that's driving this promotion. It's the extra money that Disney can make from the publicity around Feb. 29.
Hey, we'll play along. But how? That's what I want to talk about today. What should be our coverage angle for Feb. 29?
Here's my idea, and it's deceptively ambitious: Use the 24-hour window to try to visit every attraction at Disneyland. Keep in mind that there are 40 rides and shows at Disneyland, not counting the parade, Fantasmic! or fireworks. (Or Matterhorn, which will be down for refurbishment on Feb. 29.) That's just 36 minutes per attraction. And on a day when many at Disney are expecting to hit park capacity.
Disney's published calendar for Feb. 29 for both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom lists no special entertainment for that day in either park - just the evening parade at Disneyland and the afternoon parade and Wishes at the MK, same as the day before and after. The calendars also note, ominously for this effort, that "select attractions, entertainment and services will be available" on that day. I'm taking that to mean that everything in the park won't be open for the full 24 hours.
So is a clean sweep of the park even possible? Is it worth trying? Is there a better idea for experiencing the 29th? Does anyone want to volunteer to cover the Magic Kingdom, since I'll be in Anaheim? Does anyone in Southern California want to join in for part of the day?
Have at it, in the comments.