What will YOU celebrate at the Disneyland Resort next year?
by, 07-02-2008 at 09:35 AM (4849 Views)
If the commercial being filmed on Main Street yesterday afternoon can be taken as confirmation of a rumor I've been hearing for a couple of months, it looks like the Disneyland Resort will promote the Year of Celebrations in 2009, with the tag line "What Will You Celebrate?"
Portions of Main Street were roped off yesterday so film crews could tape footage of a princess gown-clad child and her mother walking down the lane, with the grandparents keeping pace a few feet behind. Cast members in stores up and down the street were chatting about the new promotion, though details at the hourly CM level are sketchy at best.
Everything I've heard about the new promotion - and I'll admit that most of what I've heard is rumor from people who may or may not be in the right departments to know the full details - is that this is a revamped version of the Magical Gatherings product from Walt Disney World (link to the WDW page).
Celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, a family reunion? Come to Disneyland! (Or as a cast member snarked to me regarding the lack of new rides being built at Disneyland, "We got nothing, you think of a reason to visit.")
2009 is a bridge year for Disney - the 55th anniversary is in 2010 - so a low-key promotion makes sense. During an interview session at the opening event for Toy Story Midway Mania I asked Xiomara Wiley, Vice President of Marketing for the Disneyland Resort, if an annual promotion is even necessary. Couldn't we just designate 2009 as the "Year of Being Open!" and move on?
What remains to be seen is how the Disneyland Resort tailors a WDW-sized product to a SoCal market. The Disneyland Resort can certainly position themselves as a destination park for milestone celebrations, but not on the same terms as Walt Disney World. WDW expects that you are going to bring a crowd and stay for the week to celebrate little Bobby's 3rd birthday or your parent's 25th wedding anniversary.
I've often celebrated a friend's birthday "on property," sometimes with groups of a dozen or more, but none of us even rent hotel rooms, much less stay for a week. For many locals, a family reunion may mean that their annual-passholder relatives in Arizona drive in for the weekend.
I'd like to see Disneyland create offerings and unique experiences that don't require a lengthy trip. This is really a great opportunity for the Disneyland Resort to reevaluate some of the offerings they currently have - like the impersonal group birthday party at the Plaza Inn - and look for ways to make them more appealing to locals and repeat visitors.