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Florida Guide > Disney General

Disney's Year of a Million Dreams

Last year saw the magical 50th Anniversary celebrations, which included the Cinderellabration Show at Magic Kingdom. Well, Disney never let the grass grow under their feet, do they? Not only has this year brought some great new additions to the Disney parks, it has also seen the start of their big 15 month ‘Year of a Million Dreams’ promotion. During this time, over 1,250,000 prizes will be given away, with a combined value of more than $17.4 million. Each day thousands of prizes will be won by those visiting the parks, including cruises, world tours of all Disney theme parks, Mickey Mouse ears, shopping sprees, time share leases, commemorative pins, and maybe the most sought after – a night in Cinderella’s castle.

The giving away of these prizes is completely random, and is quite precise, as the winners are computer generated. In fact, during out trip to Disney at Christmas, we noticed several people wearing a necklace made of special Dream Fastpasses which enabled them to go straight to the front of the queue. But the one most likely to have caught the imagination must be the chance to spend a night in Cinderella’s Castle. This prize has probably taken the most organization of any. Designers have created a suite within the castle, where the lucky winners will stay for a magical night. But the design of this very special suite has not been without its problems, as designers had to decide what a fictional 17th century princess’s home would actually look like. Would she have a TV, for example? Well, yes it would seem she has a plasma screen TV located over the ornate fireplace. The chamber itself has always existed, in fact it was once going to be used by Walt Disney himself, but it was never completed.

The winners will be escorted to the suite, regaled with the Cinderella story and then taken for a special meal at Cinderella’s ‘Royal Table Restaurant,’ where the character of Cinderella will greet them. After dinner they will be escorted to the ‘Wishes’ show. They will then arrive at the castle for their overnight stay in, what else but Cinderella’s carriage. In the morning, Cinderella, herself, will give them a wake-up call. The rooms, bedchamber, bathroom and parlor, will be comfortable and luxurious. The bedchamber boasts two sumptuous beds, whilst the parlor has antique-looking furniture which would not dismay Marie Antoinette. The elevator will be inspired by Cinderella’s carriage, and of course, Cinderella’s glass slipper will be on display

The grotto style bathroom has 3 large handmade mosaics of 17th century landscapes, and these will match the 15ft mosaics which are in the castle walkway below. Half a dozen artists have been painstakingly selecting, cutting and gluing thousands of imported glass tiles to create the new mosaics, and they had a very tight time scale, just 6 weeks to complete this mammoth task. If I know anything about Disney, they will have created the sort of magical place that most little girls, and not a few big girls, would die for! The bathroom has what looks like a small pool, and will provide a most luxurious experience, surrounded as it is by the mosaic panels.

The first winning family turned out to be the unsuspecting Fouch family, from Michigan, mum, dad and two children. Brad, aged 16, was disappointed to be sitting in Row 2, Seat 8, in Simulator 4 at Hollywood Studios’s Star Tours attraction at 9.50 am, as he thought he had a bad seat at the end. This feeling did not last long as the computer randomly picked him and his family to be the first family to experience a night in Cinderella’s Castle. They had been doubly lucky as they had already won the Dream Fastpasses.

So when you next visit, who knows, it might be YOUR lucky day!

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Page added on: 10 February 2007
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