Hop to It! – Spring has sprung at Disneyland Park with the new Springtime Roundup, presented March 28-April 20 at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland. Guests of all ages may celebrate the season with live entertainment, dancing, springtime décor, crafts and yummy treats. Several times each day, a lively country band takes center stage, inviting guests and dancing cowboys and cowgirls to come together for a hoedown and “bunny hop.” Mickey and Minnie, dolled up in their Easter best, meet guests, along with famous Disney rabbits that hop in for the occasion. Guests may watch demonstrations on egg art and decorate their own bunny-shaped sugar cookies throughout the day. Special snacks include apple pie burritos and cotton candy swirled in lovely springtime pastels.
Want a chance to appear in the Hangout as a featured participant? Ask your question in the Q&A app and we may pick you!
Feeling a bit camera shy but still have a great question to ask? No problem! You can still ask it in the Q&A app or Tweet it using #SmallWorldHangout – our moderator will be asking Mr. Sherman a selection of the best fan-submitted questions during the Hangout!
Fans around the world are also invited to join the global sing-along by visiting www.SmallWorld50.com – a “global hub” of music and harmony where guests may record videos of themselves singing the classic song and create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to benefit UNICEF.
In a historic, global event, guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the world will unite in song to celebrate the 50thanniversary of “it’s a small world,” the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to peace and hope at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Fans from around the world can join the festivities in a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along atSmallWorld50.com.
On Thursday, April 10, 2014, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.”
Fans around the world also are invited to join the global sing-along virtually. SmallWorld50.com launches today as a “global hub” of music and harmony where guests may record videos of themselves singing the classic song and create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to benefit UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). UNICEF provides health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more to children around the world.
” ‘it’s a small world’ has inspired hundreds of millions of people through its timeless theme,” said Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Every moment of every day there are Disney guests enjoying ‘it’s a small world’ somewhere around the globe. The 50th anniversary of this attraction represents a celebration of the shared optimism, hope, and humanity of people throughout the world.”
New Video Features People Around the World Singing “It’s a Small World”
To help announce the celebration, Disney Parks released a video featuring people around the world singing, dancing to and playing “It’s a Small World.” Filmed across six continents in more than 25 countries, the video features international “performers” – including bagpipers in Scotland, Bollywood movie actors in India, a firefighter in New York City, and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – to create one worldwide video.
That video and others will be part of the launch of SmallWorld50.com, the global website for the attraction’s anniversary. Fans around the world are encouraged to participate online by recording on the Small World 50 website videos of themselves singing “It’s a Small World” and by creating virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with their friends through social media.
The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to$100,000. Disney began its relationship with UNICEF in 1964 with the debut of “it’s a small world” at the New York World’s Fair. More recently, Disney and UNICEF have worked together to create a brighter tomorrow for thousands of children through programming that helps foster imagination and creativity.
Throughout the day, Disney Parks also will sponsor Google Hangouts that invite people from around the world to participate in the anniversary events. Fans are encouraged to visit SmallWorld50.com for details.
Disney Store adds to the Golden Anniversary celebration with the “it’s a small world” doll collection, inspired by the original Fantasyland attraction, and stores nationwide will offer fans a chance to celebrate at “it’s a small world” events. From Thursday, April 10, to Sunday, April 13, children are invited to visit a participating Disney Store to take a journey on an imaginary boat ride around the globe, learning how to say “hello” in various languages and singing “It’s a Small World” along the way. Guests are encouraged to call their local Disney Store or visit DisneyStore.com to confirm participation and details.
The Creation of a Classic
One of the most beloved attractions in the history of Disney Parks, “it’s a small world” is featured at all five Disney Resorts around the world. The original attraction premiered at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, created by Walt Disney himself and WED Enterprises, which eventually became Walt Disney Imagineering (the creative masters behind Disney theme parks and attractions).
The attraction features a gentle boat ride through a Lilliputian land populated by colorfully dressed Audio-Animatronics dolls representing children from many regions of the world singing a simple song about universal harmony. A team of WED artistic geniuses, including Disney Legends designer Mary Blair and costumer Alice Davis, created its now iconic style.
In 1963, Walt Disney was asked to create an exhibit for the 1964 World’s Fair to salute UNICEF and children around the world. With Walt’s blessing, Marc Davis, one of the original Disney animators, designed the boat ride attraction through the regions and countries of the world. The first version of “it’s a small world” entertained and thrilled more than 10 million visitors in New York from 1964-65. In 1966, after some major enhancements, including an enlargement of approximately 33 percent, the attraction found a permanent home at Disneyland in California.
In the attraction, hundreds of dolls “sing” the familiar song, “It’s a Small World,” in five languages (English, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish). Academy Award® winning composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who won two Oscars® for their work on Disney’s feature film “Mary Poppins,” were asked by Walt Disney to create a simple, yet catchy piece that could be sung in many different languages while guests traveled by boat through the attraction. The resulting song, “It’s a Small World (After All),” became one of the most well known and happiest of all Disney tunes.
Taken from the New York Times –
A SMART TV app being introduced by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts on Thursday will let potential travelers use their remote controls to research vacations at theme parks and hotels and on cruise ships and packaged tours.
Brad Baker, director of digital marketing for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said the advent of smart, or Internet-connected, TVs had created “a really interesting space for us, since there is now a new way for us to be able to tell our story.”
The app — which will be free and available initially through the Samsung smart TV app store, and in early April, through the LG smart TV app store and on Blu-ray players — was developed with BrightLine, an interactive television advertising and technology company based in New York. It aggregates videos, photographs, interactive theme park maps and other information from the websites of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts businesses and from their social media channels. New to the app is a trivia quiz as well as some videos. It also lets viewers request additional information, by submitting their email address.
Rob Aksman, co-founder and chief experience officer of BrightLine, said it was appropriate for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to commission an app because it had “a lot of rich content consumers care about.” The large size of screens on many high-definition smart TVs should also benefit Disney, he added, because “screen size matters when it comes to influencing consumer behavior.”
David Bank, who follows the Walt Disney Company for RBC Capital Markets, said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts generated approximately 20 percent of the parent company’s annual operating income. The businesses in that division include Disneyland Resort; Walt Disney World Resort; Disney resorts in Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong, and one scheduled to open in Shanghai in 2015; Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club, a time-share company; Aulani, a Hawaiian resort; Adventures by Disney, a tour operation; and Walt Disney Imagineering, a company that designs and builds Disney parks, ships and resorts.
Mr. Baker said the app was intended to cater to families gathered around their high-definition, smart TVs. The app will be offered at present only in the United States market; Mr. Baker said if it were widely used, it could be offered through additional smart TV systems featuring Roku boxes and other technology.
He declined to quantify what Walt Disney Parks and Resorts was spending on the app’s development. According to Kantar Media, advertising spending, in all media, by Adventures by Disney, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Disneyland and Walt Disney World ranged from $32 million in 2010 to $79 million last year.
John Greening, a professor of branding and marketing communications at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, said “the real magic of what Disney is doing is the depth of the experiences they’re showing; for example, there are over 40 videos on the different types of experiences you can have at theme parks. These things are going to be very effective in moving people down the pathway to purchase.”
Barbara Jones, a professor at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, praised Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for “going to where people are. They’re spending more time with television, because this is arguably the golden age of television.”
Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at N.Y.U., predicted the app would help those prospective Disney guests who might be “intimidated” by the scale of Walt Disney World and the brand’s multiple offerings “feel more confident” about making their choices.
Samsonite®, the world’s largest luggage brand for over 100 years, is pleased to introduce the Disney by Samsonite collection for kids. Starting from 2014, this iconic collaboration combines the magical world of Disney with state-of-the art products for which Samsonite is known. Depicting iconic Disney characters, the collection will delight young ones, while instantly transporting parents to their own youth. The Disney by Samsonite range effortlessly reflects the fantasy charm and nostalgia of Disney in a distinctive and understated style.
“Samsonite’s affiliation with Disney is an exciting new development for our brand,” said Tim Parker, Samsonite Chairman and CEO. “Disney is an iconic family entertainment brand and we are truly delighted to be working with the company. With our 100 year heritage and travel expertise, the new Disney by Samsonite category will stay true to our ethos of innovative design, while also capturing the hearts and minds of both young and old.”
Adding to Samsonite’s expansive array of travel solutions, consumers will be able to find a selection (luggage, school items, backpacks and more) for kids featuring Disney’s most beloved characters including Mickey & Minnie Mouse, the Disney Princesses, Disney/Pixar Cars, Disney Planes, Marvel’s Spider-Man and The Avengers. Featuring PVC free bags, ergonomic backpacks, and reflective details, parents will feel reassured in the knowledge that they are sending kids to school or overnight camp with durable and safe luggage that shares the impeccable Samsonite brand heritage. Pleasing adults and children alike, the Disney by Samsonite collection makes buying schoolbags and luggage for children easy with affordable, trustworthy, resilient products that will appeal to even the youngest traveller.
The collaboration between Samsonite and Disney promises great potential with plans already underway to launch a premium Disney assortment. The first Disney by Samsonite assortment will reach markets in July 2014 and will be distributed across Europe, Russia, Turkey and South Africa. Recognised as pioneers within their respective industries, Samsonite and Disney both grew from humble beginnings to become true market leaders within their fields. Combining the best of both worlds, Disney by Samsonite is the perfect synergy between the magical world of Disney and Samsonite’s state-of-the-art products. This new relationship is the ideal alignment of two highly distinguished brands set to inspire the imaginations of all.