Theme Park Insider

James White celebrates Super Bowl win at Walt Disney World

February 6, 2017, 3:42 PM · With the Super Bowl last night, today meant it was time for one of the stars of the NFL's annual championship game to head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

This year's post-game celebrity was James White, who clinched the first-ever overtime victory in a Super Bowl with his third touchdown of the game, helping his New England Patriots over the Atlanta Falcons to the largest-ever comeback in Super Bowl history. White appeared at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom this afternoon, speaking to reporters, greeting cheering fans and appearing in a parade down Main Street USA.

The "I'm going to Disneyland/Disney World!" tradition started 30 years ago with New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, in 1987, following a PR brainstorm by future Disney Legend Jack Lindquist. In the years that followed, champions in a variety of sports have appeared in post-game commercials and in-park appearances to promote the Disney theme parks.

The location of the game tends to dictate which resort the athletes visit. This year's Super Bowl was in Houston, which made Orlando a relatively convenient stop on White's way back to the Patriots' home town in Boston. Last year, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos visited Disneyland in Anaheim following his career-capping win in Super Bowl 50 in San Jose, Calif.

This year's Super Bowl also might have been of interest to theme park fans who don't particularly care about the teams involved, thanks to the halftime show. This year's performance by Lady Gaga also included a drone show above Houston's Reliant Stadium, powered by the same Intel drones in Walt Disney World's Disney Springs recent holiday show. And the halftime performance featured many light-up props that looked like a "Glow with the Show" style display, too. If you missed the show, or just want to see it again, here's the link. (The NFL won't allow embedding.)

Disney's not the only theme park to employ these technologies. The grand opening of Dubai Parks and Resorts in December also featured drones and light-up props, as well. We'll see how many more parks — and concerts and special events — end up using these effects in the year ahead.

Lady Gaga killed it during her performance, BTW. Universal Orlando's entertainment director seemed ready to crown her as a worthy replacement for the late "King of Pop."

What do you think of that idea?

Replies (2)

February 7, 2017 at 9:33 AM · Just want to say how great it is to live in New England and watch our beloved Patriots win #5....

I could not sleep and had to take 1/2 off on Monday... Too excited. #RogerThat (Inside joke from a local Brady commercial).

Going to the Gillette Stadium Sunday to try and get a picture of the 5 trophy's... Yes I know most of you don't care but just imagine if this was your favorite team...

PS - James White scored 3 times plus a two point conversion. So he scored 20 points in SB 51.

February 8, 2017 at 10:49 AM · It is my favorite team too

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