One More Disney Day–TWIWD
Over the New Years weekend, Disney finally unveiled the big announcement that they have been teasing us with for a couple of weeks. As many in the Disney fan community had already guessed, they are opening the parks (Magic Kingdom at WDW, and Disneyland in California) for 24 hours on Leap day, February 29th, 2012.
Not too many details have emerged yet on what exactly is planned for this “extra” Disney day that they have given the promotion title, “One More Disney Day”. I’m hoping they have plenty of things lined up that they just haven’t announced for this day to truly make it something magical for all who choose to visit on February 29th. However, a press release I received stated the following:
Experience 24 hours of magic in celebration of Leap Day. Yes…for the first time in history, both Magic Kingdom® Park in Florida and Disneyland® Park in California will be open for 24 hours straight*, beginning at 6 a.m. on 2/29/12, to enjoy select attractions and entertainment! That’s an entire nonstop day (and night) of magic, characters and beyond.
Maybe they have more planned than what that little blurb mentions, but at the moment I’m left wondering and dreaming what they might could plan. In general, I like the idea and possibility of spending 24 hours in MK or Disneyland, but I also had a few thoughts about what they might consider doing to make it even better than just another 10 + 14 hours at the park.
UPDATE: WDW Magic has posted more details about the entertainment, dining and merchandise for the 24 hour period the park will be open. Click HERE to see the details.
Plussing One More Disney Day
- Free entry for anybody whose birthday is 2/29 – Similar to the “What will you celebrate” promotion in 2009, where they gave away free tickets/passes for your birthday, but this one would be specifically for those whose birthday is on this day, since I assume they missed out on the celebration a few years ago.
- Midnight Character buffet – this is an idea I have had for quite a while since I went on my first cruise (Carnival, not Disney). A (free or minimal cost) midnight character buffet, or even an early morning buffet for all who are in the park at 5am.
- Special Giveaways – pins, hats, cups, etc. marking the first ever 24 hours of MK/DL.
- Parties and Celebrations – bands? They could use already established, popular Disney stars and other “celebrity” appearances.
- T-shirts or other souvenirs (on exit) for all who survive the 24 hour event.
- Special Fireworks or Parade? – Of course, fireworks are done nightly at most every Disney park, so a “special” show, might be a stretch for them to put together. My point here is that if you do fireworks for everything you call “special”, then at some point they’re not special, they’re just normal. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy fireworks, but sometimes I just think they’re overdone. Perhaps during the 24 hours, the could do a launch of some sort on the hour, every hour counting down to the final hour.
- Contests/scavenger hunt – Host a special event a few times throughout the day where guests are challenge to go thru the park and find something special. Use the new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game that is currently being installed at MK (if it’s ready), and come up with a special game just for this day.
- Park-wide dance party – This would take a little more to pull off, but train about 50 or so CM’s and place in them in key areas around the park at designated times and hold a park-wide dance party with them leading guests thru some simple, but fun(nny) dance moves. Make sure to have lots of video cameras about to tape and upload to Youtube!
- Random Merchandise, Food and prize giveaways – In the same vein as the “Year (s) of a Million Dreams” promotion, deploy castmembers throughout the park at random times to give away things.
These are just a few of the ideas off the top of my head. But, what I really think they need to do for this, is just make it an all out crazy, fun, all day party, where guests and even CMs get to 6am on March 1st and leave feeling tired and exhausted, but also soaring on cloud 9 like they just had the absolute best time of their lives at the park.
Concerns for 24 hour operation
I would be remiss if I didn’t voice some kind of concern for this “extra” day also. I’m sure, or I hope, Disney has already thought about these, and is taking the necessary steps to prepare accordingly, but here are a few of those concerns:
- Rides and attractions being open for 24 hours – I have experienced a few EMH and after hours events, and most of them were somewhat unimpressive. Many of the food stands, counter service restaurants and gift shops close up at the normal time, or soon thereafter leaving the park feeling almost deserted. Sure, it’s fun for a while when there’s not many people around, at first, but then it just gets kind of eerie feeling and not very fun. Then there is the other aspect, rides running for 24 hours. On several occasions at late night EMHs, I’ve seen attractions be closed due to supposed break-down. It would be embarrassing for Disney if this happened, but also pretty irritating for guests if it did.
- Security – Let’s face it, some guests just don’t know how to behave. Mix that with low crowds, and possible break-downs, with not enough CMs on duty to run everything, it could turn into something like what happens in Roller Coaster Tycoon when guests are unhappy.
- What will be open? – Will it be like an EMH? Food? Many restaurants and shops close for EMH sometimes making it feel almost desolate. Based on the quote above of “select attractions and entertainment”, it sounds like a typical EMH. Hopefully this will change.
- Over-night custodial? This is typically when the parks get a more thorough cleaning, restocking and some key maintenance issues are dealt with. Hopefully the parks are ready to sustain a full day’s worth of activity without much downtime.
I also have to wonder if this event goes well, and is highly attended, might they add the event for another day this year? Seems kind of weak to just do this for one day this year.
If I lived closer and had the opportunity to do this, and didn’t have to work for the 29th and 1st, I would definitely be there for this. Whether I could make it all the way is another story, but I would still take a shot at it.
That’s What I Would Do, What Would You Do?