Disney Knows How To Throw a Media Event Like No Other!
Fireworks, pixie dust and a whole lot of magic filled every aspect of our trip last week!
We arrived a day early, staying at another Disney resort the night before, and checked in to the famed Grand Floridian on Tuesday. Walking up to this hotel is like entering into a 1940’s fairytale. Strolling past carriages and historic artifacts parked outside and making our way into the crisp white building (not a chip, peel or stain in sight) feels almost movie-like. Top it off with hosts that are so kind, so warm and so elegant, you are literally left speechless with a grin from ear to ear.
Entering the Grand Floridian is even more astounding. Disney hasn’t copied Victorian elegance, they have created it, with architecture, chandeliers and a colour scheme that would have Royalty taking notes. This was something that surprised me actually. I wasn’t expecting something so original, so elegant, so…perfect, but it was.
Upon check-in we were told that our room was located in the Sago building, across from the pool, so we checked in to our bright and airy garden themed room with a balcony.
After getting ourselves unpacked, we took a short stroll to the conference centre, in order to finish the cruise check-in for the following day. Greeted by astoundingly courteous staff, we were given a complimentary Disney Dream embossed iPod Touch, that had been pre-loaded with a unique application called “Dream Cruise”, that reveals exclusive videos about the Disney Dream and helps you to locate various spots on the ship. Additional materials included park hoppers for our family, a Admiral Donald USB flash drive and press materials.
The Magic Kingdom was closed to the public at 6 p.m. for a special media event. While my husband and our girls enjoyed the park, I made my way to the media-only briefing at Mickey’s PhilharMagic auditorium. 2011 and 2012 are going to be busy and exciting years for Disney! Toy Story, is a new attraction being built at the Paris Disney World, Aulani, a brand-new Disney family resort is set to open in Hawaii this summer, Wild Africa Trek at the Animal Kingdom is a new adventure older kids and adults will love, Star Wars Tours is coming to Disney Parks in 2011 and of course, the Disney Fantasy, sister ship to the Disney Dream will be sailing on her maiden voyage in April 2012.
Fantasyland will be doubling its size in 2012 making way for the new “Be Our Guest Restaurant”, a themed eatery that will seat up to 550 guests, located in the new Belle’s Village. Guests will have the opportunity to meet Belle and Lumiere, visit Maurice’s workshop and more. A new Seven Dwarfs Train system will be just one of the exciting new rides coming to the park and, Princess Fairytale Hall will give kids more opportunities to meet with their favorite princesses one on one. You can view renderings and read more about the expansion here.
After the presentation, we met up with our families, took pictures with Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Woody, Jessie and Donald Duck, followed by a beautiful buffet that had been spread throughout restaurants in Liberty Square and Frontierland. After dinner, kids and their parents took to the streets to take part in a group dance with the characters, making their way to Cinderella’s castle, where we were about to witness the world premiere of The Magic, The Memories and You!
Taking pictures of the families who had enjoyed the park that same day, Disney has made them ‘the stars’ by projecting video, photography and animation together on the surface of Cinderella’s Castle. The show is truly spectacular and a must-see when visiting the park!
Finishing our evening with Wishes! Fireworks spectacular took me off guard slightly as that show has a tendency to move me to tears, and even though I had watched it the night before…it did yet again.
Stay tuned for Part II of our Disney Dream trip!
*Disclosure: Disney paid all of my expenses, travel and accommodations during this trip.*