(L-R) Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises; George Bodenheimer, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports; Al Weiss, president of worldwide operations for Disney Parks and Resorts; and Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort, pose Feb. 25, 2010 with a football-clad Mickey Mouse during the official re-launch ceremony for the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. ESPN Wide World of Sports is a 220-acre international sports complex located at Walt Disney World Resort. (David Roark, photographer)
Garrett Hartley, place-kicker for the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints, kicks a football Feb. 25, 2010 over the entrance archway to the newly rebranded ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Hartley’s kick was the official “relaunching” moment during a gala ceremony held for the 220-acre, international sports venue. Hartley joined more than 50 sports celebrities for the red carpet-style event at Walt Disney World Resort. (Garth Vaughan, photographer)
Disneyland Resort Celebrates Los Angeles Lakers and MVP Kobe Bryant With a Victory Parade for the 2009 World Champions
ANAHEIM, Calif., June 18 — Celebrating the best in basketball, the Disneyland Resort saluted the 2009 World Champion Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday with a victory parade down Main Street U.S.A., in Disneyland park. Kobe Bryant, MVP of the recent NBA Finals, smiled and waved to fans as he rode on a float to represent the Lakers in the special, celebration parade.
Some favorite Disney characters joined the magical parade as Disneyland guests cheered for the Lakers and their 15th NBA championship. The Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic to win the title in a “Fairytale Series” that matched up teams located near Disneyland Resort, in Anaheim, and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
“It’s like a dream come true to be here and celebrate at Disneyland, coming down Main Street U.S.A. with all the fans cheering,” Bryant said after the parade. “It’s a tremendous honor to represent my team.”
ANAHEIM, Calif./LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 3, 2009) – Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton and Disneyland President Ed Grier are squaring off – all in fun – as their local teams, the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers, head for the NBA Finals.
With both Disney parks asking guests “What Will You Celebrate?” in 2009, Grier and Crofton are getting in the act, making a celebratory wager on the outcome of the NBA Finals:
If the Magic win, Grier will walk down Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park wearing a pair of specially made Mickey Mouse ears in Magic blue and silver. If the Lakers win, Crofton will don a pair of Lakers’ purple and gold mouse ears and walk down Main Street, U.S.A. at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom.
“The Lakers are going to make your team very Grumpy this week,” predicted Grier to Crofton.
“But we have ‘Magic’ on our side,” countered Crofton. “And isn’t that what Disney is all about?”
Crofton and Grier went through their respective parks Wednesday looking for supporters. Grier shot some hoops with Donald and Pluto in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, while Crofton (along with Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale) drummed up Orlando Magic support in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort.
The park presidents even pledged to turn the lights of their respective castles to their team colors in celebration of the historic pairing.