While on vacation in Florida in 2014, we stopped by Theme Park Connection. This is a great place to find retired Park merchandise and props along with all sorts of Disney ephemera.
I ended up buying about a dozen pieces (yes, of essentially what amounts to just paper) for my collection. Among the finds was this great Disneyland 50th Anniversary Press Kit:
This kit contains single sheet and two or three page fold-outs covering each division of the Disney company, as they were defined in 2005. There are twelve in all.
Each page gives detail about the division being covered, the special things that division will be doing for the 50th celebration, along with some cool statistics about the history of the division. Let’s look at them one by one:
Happiest Celebration on Earth
This page starts with an overview mentioning that the 18-month-long celebration was to begin on May 5th, 2005 and would run until 2006. Then it lists the new and exciting shows and attractions to be added for the Happiest Celebration on Earth, in Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Diane Disney Miller, Bob Iger, Michael Eisner, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Art Linkletter were on hand to rededicate Disneyland on July 17th, 2005.
Disney Cruise Line
At the time of printing for this page, there were only two Disney cruise ships. The Disney Magic and Disney Wonder traditionally sailed out of Port Canaveral in Florida, but for the Happiest Celebration on Earth, sailings were added from the port of Los Angeles.
Castaway Cay, Disney’s private Bahamian Island, is the only private island in the cruise industry where the ship docks alongside so Guests do not have to tender to land.
Walt Disney Imagineering
This page reminds us of the tremendous contributions that this division of the Disney company makes! It promises enhancements to existing rides and attractions during the Happiest Celebration on Earth. One special feature was the debut of Lucky the Dinosaur in WDW, after which he moved to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005.
Behind the Magic, an exhibit developed by The Henry Ford Museum and Walt Disney Imagineering, showcases the legacy of Disneyland and WDI’s commitment to innovation. The exhibit traveled to museums throughout the U.S. until 2007.
Disney Vacation Club
Although the DVC didn’t do anything special for the Happiest Celebration on Earth, this page highlights all of the properties available as of 2005. Started in 1991, this division of the Disney company had grown to employ over 1,300 Cast Members by 2005!
In 2005, a special room at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge housed a collection of train memorabilia and artwork, including an exhibit featuring two of Walt Disney’s personal scale-model railroad cars.
Disney Regional Entertainment – ESPN Zone
At the time of the printing of this page, ESPN Zone had eight locations. There is a full-page chart listing the locations/contact information for each along with the square footage and opening dates. The location in California has 36,000 square feet and opened in January of 2001.
All ESPN Zones feature television monitors in the restrooms so you will never miss a moment of the action!
The World of Disney Store, NYC
This store opened on October 5th, 2004, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in the heart of New York City. In 2005, this store had 23,600 square feet of merchandise on three floors. I’ve been there, and it was quite the place to visit! With such a size, no wonder it takes over 230 workers to run it, including guards at the doors. Hey, its New York!
The World of Disney Store is operated by the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts merchandise team, who also operates World of Disney Stores at the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
The first of the triple fold-outs, it starts with an overview of the history of the Disney theme park. It touches on the global celebration that is the Happiest Celebration on Earth, and hints at some of the new shows and attractions to come. This page concludes with a full-page fact sheet from 2005 giving the opening dates, sizes, number of hotel rooms, and approximate Cast sizes for all of the resorts operating at the time of printing.
Do you know which resort has the most hotel rooms after Walt Disney World? If you guessed Disneyland in California, you’d be wrong! It’s actually Disneyland Resort Paris with 5,760 (over twice that of Disneyland).
This page starts with a history of the park, and then moves on to list the new features available during the exclusive Happiest Homecoming on Earth, Disneyland Resort being the only resort in the chain to use that tagline.
Each year, Disneyland Resort Guests consume 1.6 million servings of popcorn, 3.2 millions servings of ice cream, and 2.8 million churros.
Walt Disney World Resort
After the obligatory overview, the page launches into a detailed listing of every feature to be found in WDW. As of 2005, the page lists the workforce count at 57,000!
There are enough of the famous “Mouse Ear” hats sold each year to cover the head of every man, woman and child in Portland, Oregon. There are enough Disney Character T-shirts for every Chicagoan.
Tokyo Disney Resort
Opened in 1983, the Resort just marked its 20th anniversary in 2003. So it’s from one party directly into the next! The Tokyo Disney Resort would mark the 50th anniversary of Disneyland with a fabulous salute to the 1950’s called Disney’s Rock Around the Mouse.
Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney park built outside the United States.
Disneyland Resort Paris
This Resort honored her sister park in California with the addition of Wishes, a dramatic combination of glittering fireworks and Disney music. This ran from July 16th until August 28th, 2005. This Resort is perhaps the most multicultural with Cast Members coming from more than 95 different nations and speaking 19 different languages!
Disneyland Resort Paris is the number-one tourist destination in Europe.
Hong Kong Disneyland
At the time of this printing, Hong Kong Disneyland had not yet opened. It was slated to open on September 12th, 2005. So ‘Happy Anniversary!’ Disneyland, we’re giving you a whole new Park!
This page gave a great preview of what was to come by featuring each Land and its signature attractions. Guests could look forward to traveling to Hong Kong Disneyland in style, aboard the Disneyland Resort Line Train, complete with vibrant interior and exterior colors and Mickey-shaped windows.
Hong Kong Disneyland has signage in three languages to accommodate the many cultures that will visit: Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.
I hope you enjoyed this exhaustive look at the Disneyland 50th Anniversary Press Kit. These great pieces of ephemera are an education to read, helping to preserve the history of the Parks and Resorts!