Walt Disney World Resort

Dreamers from Around the Globe Discover the Magic of Disney Parks During ‘Year of a Million Dreams’ Celebration

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Dreamers are everywhere.

At least that's what Disney's Dream Squad cast members have discovered since the Oct. 1, 2006, launch of "The Year of a Million Dreams" at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

Dreams have been awarded to theme park guests visiting from as far away as Clenrothes, Scotland, or as close as Mickey Mouse's "backyards" of Central Florida and Southern California. Dreams are awarded every day at Disney Parks and Downtown Disney locations on each U.S. coast.

Presented in random, surprise fashion to guests visiting from around the world -- from Wailuku, Hawaii, and Workington, England, to Brown Deer, Wis., and Gig Harbor, Wash. -- Disney Dreams have come in all shapes and sizes so far, including Dream FASTPASS lanyards, admission to sold-out Disney Parks events, luxurious vacations aboard Disney Cruise Line and more.

Here are just a few of the dreams awarded to date:

  • A Michigan family made history Jan. 26, 2007, as the first Walt Disney World guests to win a night's stay inside Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom theme park as part of the Disney Dreams Giveaway. The Fouch family of DeWitt, Mich., gained the key to the brand new Cinderella Castle Suite. The family dined at Cinderella's Royal Table restaurant before their magical night amid the splendor of Cinderella Castle Suite -- a salon, bedchamber and bathroom off of a private marble-floored foyer, all replete with rich details. The Fouches became the recipients of the opportunity to become honorary Disney royalty for a day and night because 16-year-old Brad Fouch was sitting in seat eight in the second row of Simulator 4 of the Disney-MGM Studios' Star Tours attraction at 9:50 a.m. on Jan. 26. That was the randomly selected location and time determined by the Disney Dreams Giveaway computer to award the very first Cinderella Castle stay.
  • The Hawkins family of Miramar, Fla., was in the right place at the right time to win a return vacation to Walt Disney World Resort valued at $5,200. As they exited Spaceship Earth in Epcot, they were randomly pulled aside by a member of the Disney Dream Squad and told the surprise news.
  • Estella Villegas, of Murrieta, Calif., was enjoying Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., when she was approached by a member of the Dream Squad with a special bon voyage greeting -- she and three guests were going to be VIP guests on the Disney Cruise Line's first-ever, eastbound trans-Atlantic cruise from Port Canaveral, Fla., to Barcelona, Spain. It's a dream voyage, scheduled for May 2007, valued at $13,650.
  • All systems were "go" when Oral Koehling of Phippsburg, Maine, found himself in the right seat at the right time on Mission: SPACE at Epcot when he was surprised with the presentation of an Adventures by Disney "Viva Italia" vacation package valued at more than $25,000. After completing his high-speed trip to Mars on the Epcot thrill attraction, Koehling immediately started making plans for his next big journey -- the nine-day, eight-night dream vacation (with up to three guests) to Rome and Venice, Italy.
  • Robert Zwonik of Colchester, Vermont, "found Nemo" in grand fashion, a result of the dream he was awarded to attend a special presentation of the new, Broadway-caliber, short-form musical "Finding Nemo-The Musical" at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The can't-be-purchased experience included VIP seating at the musical inspired by the Disney-Pixar hit film, "Finding Nemo."
  • Tori White of Kaysville, Utah, and her family discovered the art of Disney Dining during a visit to Disney's California Adventure when she was surprised with a gourmet dining experience package. As part of this present for the palate, she and her guests were whisked to a Disneyland Resort restaurant where they were served a menu personally recommended by the chef.
  • Magic Kingdom guest Craig Martin of Hainford, England, was treated to a VIP dream experience at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival's popular Party for the Senses. Party of the Senses is an enchanting evening in Epcot World ShowPlace that features more than 70 wines, champagnes and beers, culinary creations from more than 25 chefs and entertainment by the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil. The prize is valued at $300.
  • When elephants fly, anything can happen, or so thought Irene Sorensen of Bishop, Calif., when she was approached by the Dream Squad after riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Disneyland Park. Sorensen and her guests were awarded a night's stay in the brand new Mickey Mouse Penthouse at Disneyland Hotel, along with the chance to be grand marshal in the day parade, enjoy dinner at the famed Blue Bayou restaurant and view the evening's fireworks from an exclusive VIP viewing area.
  • Becca Allen of Yakima, Wash., received a Valentine's Day gift like none other when the Dream Squad greeted her at Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Park with the chance to take a VIP Tour of Walt Disney's Main Street Apartment. Allen and her guests were able to see first-hand the main sitting room, kitchenette (complete with original items used by the Disney family), bathroom and patio, capping off the experience with a dining package at Blue Bayou. The prize is valued at $340.

Among other winners:

  • Jared Sean Patterson, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada -- Private, $500 Shopping Spree at Disneyland Resort.
  • Maximilian Haubrich, of Grayslake, Ill. -- Private, $500 Shopping Spree at Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Elizabeth Valdes, of Miami -- ABC Super Soap Weekend event VIP Package at Disney-MGM Studios. Value: $160.
  • Sheri Johnson, of Vacaville, Calif. -- A Walt Disney World Vacation. Value: $5,200.
  • Janette Ahrndt, of Bainbridge Island, Wash. -- Party for the Senses prize package. Value: $300.
  • Iam Buxton, of Darwen, Lancs, United Kingdom -- Gourmet Dining Experience at Walt Disney World Resort. Value: $450.
  • Joseph Merriman, of Farmington, N.M. -- A Disneyland Resort Vacation. Value: $5,200.
  • Jennifer Holmes, of Ontario, Canada -- A Pirate & Princess Party prize package. Value: $315.

And there's plenty more dreaming still left for eligible guests and mail-in participants selected through a random process as part of the unique Disney Dreams Giveaway. Whether it's a Dream FASTPASS, celebrity meet-and-greet invitations to in-park events like ESPN The Weekend at Disney-MGM Studios or VIP access to the gala grand opening of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction at Disneyland, hundreds of thousands additional dreams will be awarded by Disney's Dream Squad throughout the year.

Some of the other imaginative, over-the-top Disney Dreams include: magical journeys to London and Paris courtesy of Adventures by Disney; memberships in Disney Vacation Club where guests can actually "own" a piece of the Disney magic; and becoming grand marshal for parades at every Disney theme park around the globe -- a 14-day, whirlwind dream journey valued at more than $45,000.

Can't be in the parks? You may still have a dream-come-true through a mail-in entry.  For example, mail-in winners could win prizes such as the Disney Vacation Club membership, grand marshal of a Disney parade around the world, exclusive trading pins or Dream Mouse Ears. Some prizes, such as the Castle and Mickey Mouse Penthouse stay, require same-day use, so mail-in winners will receive a prize of comparable value.

For more information about "The Year of a Million Dreams" celebration, contact your Academy Travel representative at 609-978-0740. 

Academy Travel is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Specializing in Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney Vacations
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