~A Disney 'First' Launches 'Celebration Vacation' Canadian Travel Trend~
TORONTO, Sept. 18 /CNW/ - Everyone who visits a Walt Disney World Resort
or Disneyland Resort theme park on their birthday in 2009 can get in free, as
Disney Parks embraces a newly identified family travel trend called
In this new national trend, Canadian families are hitting the road to
mark life's special occasions - birthdays, anniversaries, graduations,
reunions and more - with a "celebration vacation". In 2009, Walt Disney World
and Disneyland Resorts will lead this growing trend with new entertainment and
services that allow guests to turn their personal milestones into magical
And to kick it all off - a first-ever opportunity for guests to receive a
free ticket to one of the Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme parks on their
birthday in 2009.
"Birthdays are the one occasion that we all share every year," said Jay
Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, at an announcement event
today. "We thought a free birthday ticket would be the icing on the cake as we
extend this new 'celebration vacation' trend to Disney Parks."
Disney parks provide the perfect setting for this new style of vacation
that celebrates the special occasions in life, Rasulo added.
Whether a guest is celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, Sweet 16 or
any special occasion, Disney parks already are filled with favourite
characters, world-class attractions and entertainment, and legendary guest
service - exactly the "something for everyone" that trend-watchers say
families look for in a "celebration vacation".
"The special moments in your life become truly magical when you celebrate
at a Disney park," Rasulo said. "Sharing a milestone at Disney connects
families, friends and generations."
Canadian Survey Reveals 'Celebration Vacation' Trend
A nationwide survey of 416 Canadian adults conducted by Ypartnership -
co-author of the influential National Travel Monitor - showed that 66 percent
of Canadian leisure travellers have taken a vacation with the primary purpose
of marking a special occasion in their lives - a "celebration vacation", as
Ypartnership President and CEO Peter Yesawich termed it.
Respondents mentioned a broad range of events worth celebrating with a
special vacation - not just birthdays and anniversaries but a first vacation
with children, a job promotion or recovery from an illness.
Whenever something positive happens in their lives, people seek out ways
to make them more special, Yesawich said, and vacations are clearly perceived
as both an appropriate and desirable way to do so.
"Time does pass quickly and there is a growing trend to slow down our
frenetic lifestyles and stop to rejoice around the things that matter," he
said. "Families on 'celebration vacations' are looking to truly commemorate
moments in their lives - in special places everyone can enjoy."
Research showed that when they take that "celebration vacation", families
are looking for destinations that provide activities for children and - better
yet - activities adults and children can enjoy together.
"Given these findings, it's not surprising that Disney Parks topped the
list of destinations where families would most like to celebrate these special
occasions," Yesawich said.
Turning Life's Special Moments Into a Personal Disney Celebration
"We see our parks as the ideal setting for a personal celebration,"
Rasulo said. "Guests can immerse themselves in their favourite stories and
their favourite characters, creating a visit they'll never forget.
"And when our cast members get involved, it feels as if the entire park
is celebrating along with you."
At Walt Disney World Resort, guests can add on to the fun, choosing from
more than 200 experiences ranging from breathtaking (magical fireworks
cruises, sunrise safaris, diving the depths with undersea creatures) to
mirth-making (Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, character dining, kids' pirate
adventures). At Disneyland Resort, celebrants can book more than 50 magical
experiences, including "My Disneyland Birthday Party" and unique Disneyland
With all there is to do in Disney parks, guests can tailor their
celebration with favourite attractions, favourite characters and special
experiences. Maybe they have a "princess" day with themed meals, shows,
attractions and perfectly princess merchandise at Disneyland. Or they turn
Walt Disney World "wild" with trail riding, bass fishing and water skiing.
Even before the Ypartnership findings, Disney noticed the celebration
trend happening in its parks, Rasulo noted. For instance, guests have visited
the parks to propose marriage, celebrate a child's passage into high school,
or pull the whole family together for the golden anniversary of their parents.
"But Walt Disney World and Disneyland are now poised to champion milestone
vacations for families and friends in a breakthrough way," he said. "We're
asking our guests, 'What will YOU celebrate?'"
"Part of the celebration is all the firsts that magically happen at
Disney Parks," Rasulo said. "Guests become the star of their own celebration.
It could be a first trip to Disney or a first family vacation without the
stroller. We want to make a first visit - and every visit - even more
Even if they're not celebrating, Rasulo said, guests will be immersed in
a "Celebrate Today!" spirit, making every day a party.
Making it Easier than Ever to Plan
Planning any event can be a challenge. With Disney's new celebration
planning tools, it's easier than ever for guests to plan celebrations large
and small, customizing and personalizing each experience and tending to all
the details, from a special cake to an elaborate one-of-a-kind celebration
that only Disney could create.
Thanks to new Web tools, guests can discover magical experiences, unique
events, dining enhancements and more.
Disney's planning services allow guests to stay focused on what really
matters - the people closest to them. And vacation packages make celebrating
at Disney right for any budget.
Customizing Your Celebration
Depending on the Disney park they are headed to, guests can order
everything from special dining to princess tea parties, from yacht cruises to
treasure hunting on a pirate sailing adventure, from a quiet trail ride to
parasailing thrills. Or they can opt for magical experiences for their group -
from dessert parties to a Magic Kingdom fireworks cruise to special
Among add-on experiences guests can choose to customize their "celebration
- Custom Bakery Cakes and Signature Desserts: Disney chefs create an
unforgettable finale to a special dinner with a beautifully decorated
cake themed to any occasion or a new line of celebration desserts.
- For Lovebirds: Sweetheart dinners for two in which couples can clink
"Celebrate Today!" champagne flutes.
- Family Portraits: Capture the memory with a portrait session with
Walt Disney World photographers. Build a custom photo album with
- Personalized Souvenirs: Mark your occasion with personalized Mouse
ears, character T-shirts and collectible pins.
- Decorate Your Disney Guest Room: Step into a resort room decorated to
fit your celebration theme with confetti, banners, surprises and
- Stay Inside a Dream Theme: Book a themed guest room at either
destination - princess-themed or Mickey-inspired at Disneyland or -
coming in 2009 - pirate-themed at Walt Disney World Resort.
- Set Sail: Book a private romantic cruise on a yacht or set your party
afloat on a shared magical fireworks voyage.
- Go Inside the Magic: Behind-the-scenes tours take you inside the
storytelling, adventure and history of Disney Parks.
- Disney Story Book Experiences: Choose from pirate adventures, tea
parties, princess makeovers and more - all with the magic of Disney.
- Disneyland Parties: "Celebration Roundup and Barbecue at Big Thunder
Ranch", all-new, is a full-blown party complete with frontier
entertainment, goodie bags and a surprise treat for everyone - no
matter what they're celebrating. "My Disneyland Birthday Party"
features cake decorating, party hats and even Mickey and Minnie pay a
Celebrating in the Parks
Disney is unwrapping all-new entertainment with memory-makers in mind,
allowing guests to focus their celebration on favourite characters, favourite
attractions and favourite stories to create a custom celebration in the park.
New park experiences coming in 2009 for all park guests to enjoy:
- Street Parties: Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort and
Disneyland Park come to life with interactive street parties. The
call to "Celebrate Today!" goes out to guests, music floods the
streets, dancing kicks into high gear and the parks become "the
happiest party on Earth".
- Tomorrowland Party: A high-energy, retro-futuristic music video dance
party features Stitch, an interactive dance troupe, and a DJ
celebration host who's inviting all Walt Disney World guests to come
party, dance and celebrate.
- Park Décor: The parks will be decorated with colourful banners,
balloons and festive party hats - as if awaiting your celebration.
- Buttons: Complimentary celebration buttons will help Disney cast
members and fellow guests recognize you and your celebration.
Memories to Last a Lifetime
Disney parks are the ultimate setting for any celebration, turning a
special occasion into a magical Disney experience. And with the opportunity of
free admission to a Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort theme park on your
birthday in 2009, it's even more special. All it takes is a valid ID including
proof of birth date. Canadian guests can get more details and start the
process by registering their birthdays at www.disneyparks.ca.
"We believe Disney parks are uniquely positioned for any celebration and
offer the ultimate setting for marking a cherished milestone," Rasulo said.
"People trust Disney to make an occasion truly magical. And now more than
ever, Disney will help guests seize those special moments and turn them into
memories that will live forever in their hearts."
For more information or to book a Disney "celebration vacation", Canadian
guests can visit www.disneyparks.ca, call 407/W-DISNEY or contact their local
Free theme park admission details:
To receive free admission to one of the Walt Disney World or Disneyland
theme parks on your birthday in 2009, guests must bring valid ID
including proof of birth date. Guests who already hold a valid multi-day
ticket they will use on their birthday may choose from other birthday
treats instead, however, no cash refunds or credits will be given. To
register your birthday and find out more details, visit
For further information:
For further information: NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS: Disney Parks (Canada),
René d'Entremont, (416) 596-3356, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Ypartnership, Claire Kunzman, (407) 838-1810, e-mail: