Forget the parade, what about the napkins?

Thursday, 8th February 2007 at 21:20

New attractions and new parades are all well and good, but there's no doubt what really makes a Disney anniversary year a "year to be here" - at least for the fans. The decorations, the atmosphere, and all the assorted customised items you can collect during your visit to bring home as free souvenirs, available for one year only! Already, the 15th Anniversary branding has spread a long way across the resort...,

“Who celebrates a 15th?” they may cry. But, if there were ever fears this anniversary would be a non event, these can truly be cast aside. Worries that guests won’t know what’s going on, a la the US “Year of a Million Dreams”? Not needed. Every document, every cup, every nametag, every park ticket, every park map, every lamppost… the Anniversary will seep into every single corner of the parks and resort.

To begin, the 15th Anniversary Celebration souvenirs that will cost absolutely nothing! (Well, perhaps in the case of the cup it’ll cost the price of a cup of coffee.) With two months to go until the official launch, the anniversary branding has already popped up on paper drinks cups and napkins at the resort’s restaurants, with candle-holding characters on the cups and a nice two-colour design for the napkins. Yes, you know a Disneyland obsession is bad when you get excited by these.

For Annual Passholders, aside from the 15th Anniversary-edition passes already available for newcomers, stationary and promotion has also adopted the 15th Anniversary colours, design and characters.

Whilst the first souvenirs are already available – albeit in scarce limited edition – in the form of the Anniversary Countdown series of pins. 100 days came in January, followed by 50 Days this month and due to be completed with countdowns 20, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 days before the big day itself.

And if all this wasn’t enough, how about 12,000 walking advertisements for the anniversary? Yes, the Cast Members! Their new 15th Anniversary nametags were presented with much fanfare recently, and many have already swapped their previous 50th Anniversary “Happiest Celebration On Earth” badges for the new design – from 50 years to 15 overnight!

Unfortunately, I’ve received word from a Cast Member in Paris that the badges have been recalled and will soon be replaced again. It seems the “Where dreams come true” tagline used on the nametags is already in use by another company, and so a quick redesign may apparently be required to avoid any unwanted legal action. The ongoing use of the slogan on the Disney Parks website and elsewhere may suggest an agreement has since been made between the two parties, although it should be noted that all mention of “Where dreams come true” has now been totally removed from Paris’ 15th Anniversary logos and copy. Never a dull day at DLRP, eh?

So, now we have 12,000 walking mentions of the 15th Anniversary added to those tickets, maps, decorations, souvenirs and all-important napkins on the ground. But it doesn’t end there – the Anniversary will even take flight, 100 metres into the air above the resort, to be exact! The unmissable PanoraMagique balloon at Disney Village will be joining the celebration with a special overlay adding a new design around its middle, featuring several large “15” emblems joined together by a stylish red fabric (-styled) band.

We were promised a celebration as big as the historic 5th Anniversary – but as time passes and plans build, this is looking as big as – or perhaps even bigger – than the celebration Disneyland waited 50 years for. Luckily for us, we now only have to wait 50 days!

Cup photo by DJinspace on Disney Central Plaza forum, name badge and napkin photos by Photos Magiques.

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