This is a huge year for Disneyland. It is the 60th anniversary of the park, so naturally, they hosted a huge celebration.
The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 aired on Sunday, February 21 on abc, and it certainly didn’t disappoint the inevitable high expectations.
There are about a million things that happened during the show that I could talk about in relation to public relations, but I’m going to try to limit myself to just a few.
- Disney released a lot of information about upcoming projects. They showed the first teaser trailer for the upcoming movie remake, Pete’s Dragon. The trailer successfully planted the seeds of interest and excitement for the movie. Then, they showed a sneak peak of the Shanghai Disneyland that is set to open on June 16 of this year. They also announced that the castle there is going to be the biggest castle of them all. These things are definitely going to get people even more excited than they already are about the new park. It appears that it will be significantly different from the rest. This new information was released at just the right time so that people can plan trips. Disney also released concept art for the Star Wars expansion of the park. People have had very mixed feelings about the expansion because several iconic attractions will be closing to make room for it, but I think this release is getting people excited and showing them that it will be worth it.
- Disney did a profile on a little boy that got his “Make-a-Wish” wish granted at Disneyland. This was the 100,00th wish that Disney granted. There is very little publicity that is better than granting a sick child a wish. It was also great publicity for Make-a-Wish themselves to show just how many kids they are helping.
- Throughout the evening, there were little bits of information given such as Disneyland History, bits of Disney trivia, and views of different areas of the park. I think these were mostly just for fun, but they also promote general happy feelings toward the company as a whole. Everyone is a sucker for a good underdog story and Walt Disney definitely has a good one. Showing areas of the park also promotes interest in the park itself and might make people want to visit.
- Disneyland got a long list of celebrity endorsers to be a part of the show. They had performances of classic Disney songs by Tori Kelly, Neyo, Little Big Town, Fall Out Boy, Idina Menzel, and Elton John. They had many different celebrities, such as Jimmy Kimmel, P!nk, Derek Hough, Ginnifer Goodwin, Neil Patrick Harris, and so many others presenting segments of the show and sharing their thoughts about Disneyland magic. People love hearing testimonials from their favorite celebrities, and Disney used that in the best way possible to promote the park.
Overall, the show was big, exciting, entertaining, and just a little bit magical. I think Disney executed this event perfectly to create good publicity and generally good feelings toward Disneyland and the company as a whole.
UPDATE (1 week later) The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 event allowed Disney to create more content for their numerous sites. More content = more publicity and more information to the public. Articles like this one give people who weren’t able to watch the telecast an idea of what the event was like as well as inform them about the information that was released.