We have learned that Walt Disney World will be hosting a ‘Disney Memories’ event this Saturday, November 19, in the New York City Times Square area, as part of its ‘Let the Memories Begin’ / ‘One More Disney Day’ campaign. Details are sketchy, but sources have told us the event will take place at
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm by the Disney Store location and will involve virtual appearances by Mickey Mouse and some of his friends.
We believe the event may be tied to a proper launch of the Disney Memories app that was recently released (and subsequently pulled within hours) on the Apple App Store. Perhaps the app may have been released prematurely, as Disney Parks later activated a site for the app at DPARKAPP.COM which goes to a page designed for mobile devices and directs visitors to either the App Store or the Droid Marketplace for the app (at this time, the Droid link goes to the Radio Disney app). Part of its functionality, the app allows the user to unlock special content at Disney Store Times Square.
Additionally, Disney Parks has established another mobile site at DisneyMemoriesNYC.com which appears to allow online visitors to take a photo with an app and contribute it, a suggestion that it may offer some element of interactivity with the giant Disney Store LCD screen above the store.
We will update as more information becomes available to us.
UPDATE #1: 11/17/11 – The Disney Parks blog has announced that the event will be an open event on Friday and Saturday and involves using the Disney Store Times Square’s electronic billboard to allow guests to interact with it.
We’ll be checking it out first thing tomorrow morning and will have more details then.
Beginning in Chicago, IL, on May, 30th, 2011, Disney Parks and Resorts will launch a national ‘Let the Memories Begin’ Tour. According to the tour’s website, found at letthememoriesbegintour.com, it sets out to take ‘Disney memory-making into towns across America where children and adults of all ages are enjoying a sample of the magic and fun that people enjoy every day in the Disney Theme Parks.’ The tour will also offer a photo-op for which photos can be claimed online at the site.
The site also allows guests to enter for a chance to win one of five Disney Parks vacations (either at the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resorts) from Southwest Airlines as well as upload photos of your own Disney memories, give it a themed frame and submit it to the ‘Let the Memories Begin’ campaign.
According to the site, the dates and locations for the tour are as follows:
|New York, NY||6/10/11-6/12/11|
|Dallas, TX||7/8/11 – 7/911|
|Salt Lake City, UT||7/30/11-7/31/11|
|San Francisco, CA||8/5/11-8/6/11|
As we were the first to announce the current ‘Let the Memories Begin’ campaign at Disney Parks, we felt it only fitting that we bring you news of the latest way you can participate from your very own home — the Disney Parks Memory Mosaic at disneyparksmemorymosaic.com.
The Disney internet fairies are currently hard at work putting the final touches on it, but you can preview it today. There are two options: contribute to a community mosaic (currently a photo of either Cinderella Castle or Sleeping Beauty Castle) or create your own using photos from Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney character-centric. Either way, you can either upload a photo or choose one from your Facebook account. When you contribute, your photo will be manually reviewed before it’s added, but when you create your own, it’s generated on the fly using the community photos. You’ll even be able to share your custom mosaic with your friends (right now, it will post to your wall but the official Facebook app appears to be MIA).
You can also create and share your own animated Memories Disney Photobook, themed to either Walt Disney World or Disneyland.
At a special ‘what’s next’ presentation held for media earlier this evening, the Walt Disney World detailed the ‘Magic, Memories and You’ show which is a fanciful slideshow of photos of guests who have used the Disney PhotoPass service that day. An intelligent computer software program selects 500 photos taken throughout the day by PhotoPass photographers and fits them into the 10 minute program that’s projected onto the facades of Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and “it’s a small world” at Disneyland. At the Magic Kingdom, a combination of sixteen projectors positioned in four different locations help create the show. Although concept photos were shown to the press earlier tonight, here is your first look of real photos from earlier tests.
Although we initially reported a start date of January 21 at the Disneyland Resort, the announced date at the press event was January 27, so we may have simply misread our source’s handwriting (or the date simply changed). At Walt Disney World, the show begins on Wednesday, January 19.
Also discussed at the press event were newly released details on the Fantasyland expansion (all of which we already provided here) and the official announcement that Star Wars Weekends will begin on May 20 (as we already suspected) and Star Tours II will open on May 20. We first reported back in June of 2010 that Star Tours II would re-open on May 17 at Magic Kingdom and May 10 at Disneyland. We still believe these dates to be correct and that May 20 was mentioned only to associate it with the Star Wars Weekends, much like Captain EO at Epcot was touted to return on July 4 when the actual date was July 2. We especially don’t believe the attraction would open fresh on the first day of SWW without being tested by real world guests first. In fact, we even announced May 20 as the re-opening date first in March of 2010 and even noted then that it would be cutting it very close to SWW.
We anticipate a soft opening for Disneyland for May 4, 2011 (a.k.a. ‘May the 4th’).
Photos by Todd Anderson, courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort
Update #1: Walt Disney World has provided us with the following footage from the ‘Magic, Memories and You’ show. Unfortunately the audio does get a little messed up briefly, but it’s a good demonstration of the effects projected onto the castle:
While construction continues at Disney California Adventure, the park will be offering alternative entertainment to the ‘Pixar Play!’ parade which went on hiatus late last year. Using elements from the parade, parkgoers will have the opportunity instead to watch mini-shows. Initially titled ‘Pixar Pop-Ups,’ the Disneyland Resort has announced that the first mini-show will be titled ‘The Incredibles: Heroes in Training’ and will begin performances on January 14.
A week later, on January 21, the Disneyland park will begin its in-park celebration of the 2011 campaign, ‘Let the Memories Begin,’ by projecting Disney PhotoPass photos of the day’s guests on the ‘it’s a small world’ facade on a nightly basis in an entertainment offering titled ‘Magic, Memories and You.’
What comes after the successful ‘Year of a Million Dreams,’ ‘What Will You Celebrate?’ and ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ campaigns for Disney Parks and Resorts?
A recent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts offers up a service mark with the name Let the Memories Begin. There is no additional information beyond the service mark itself but it certainly does lend itself to a marketing slogan (but not quite up to the promotion level). In other words, it’s probably more Where the Magic Lives than What Will You Celebrate? but only time will tell for sure.
In the past few months, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has also applied for a group of cryptic service marks: Animate, Dash, Genie, Maestro, Pixi and Spark.
Not to be outdone, Disney Consumer Products has chimed in with an application for Nuzzlies, which appears to be a possible line of cuddly toys.
UPDATE #1 – 09/10/10: Multiple sources have confirmed to us that the 2011 Disney Parks promotion will in fact be centered around ‘memories’ and that Disney Parks and Resorts is expected to make the announcement during a press event in New York City on Thursday, September 23.
We have also received reports from annual passholders who have been receiving the email pictured to the right seeking photo and video submissions regarding the subject of memories at Disney Parks.
UPDATE #2 – 09/20/10: Corrected the expected date of the announcement.