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I'm going to Disney World!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"I'm going to Disney World!" and "I'm going to Disneyland!" are advertising slogans used in a series of television commercials by The Walt Disney Company that began airing in 1987.[1] Used to promote the company's theme park resorts in Florida and California, the commercials most often are broadcast following the Super Bowl and typically feature an NFL player (usually the Super Bowl MVP) shouting the phrase while celebrating the team's victory immediately after the championship game.[2] These commercials have also promoted champions from other sports, and winners of non-sport competitions such as American Idol.


Disney refers to the campaign as "What's Next?" in reference to the commercial's usual format, which has the star appear to be answering a question posed by an unseen narrator—"What are you going to do next?"—after his or her moment of triumph. The narrator is Mark Champion, a veteran radio play-by-play announcer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, and Westwood One.[3] Most ads feature the song "When You Wish Upon a Star" and end with a shot of fireworks over Cinderella Castle or Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Typically the star records two versions of the commercial, one for each phrase, so that the ads can be broadcast in different American media markets to strategically promote either the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California. In most cases, Disney arranges for its star to appear in a parade at either Disneyland or one of the Walt Disney World theme parks the day immediately following the victory in order to fulfill the spoken promise in one version.[4]


Original campaign

In his 1998 memoir Work in Progress, Disney CEO Michael Eisner credited his wife, Jane, with the idea for the campaign.[5] According to Eisner, during the January 1987 grand opening for the Star Tours attraction at Disneyland, the couple dined with Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who in December 1986 had piloted the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refueling. After Jane Eisner asked what the pilots planned to do next, they replied, "Well, we're going to Disneyland." She later told her husband the phrase would make a great advertising campaign.

Following Super Bowl XXI on January 25, 1987, a Disney commercial starred New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, in which he was asked "Now that you've won the Super Bowl, Phil Simms, what are you going to do?" Simms, who replied "I'm going to Disney World", was paid $75,000; John Elway was paid the same amount, in case the Denver Broncos won.[6] The company later aired three more ads that year with other athletes following major sports championships.[citation needed]

Ray Lewis was named Super Bowl XXXV MVP, but because of a murder trial he was involved in the previous year, the phrase "I'm going to Disney World!" was given instead to quarterback Trent Dilfer.[7]

In subsequent years, Disney reportedly has offered $30,000 to athletes and other stars for participating in the ads and appearing at one of its theme parks.[8]

Although Tom Brady was named MVP of Super Bowl LI, he gave the Disney trip to teammate James White.[9]

2006 return

In 2006, the campaign resumed before Super Bowl XL as Disney projected scenes from the 20-year history of the campaign onto a Detroit skyscraper in the days before the game.[10] During the television broadcast, Disney aired a commercial showing members of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks practicing how they would deliver the famous phrase while preparing for the game. The following day, the company began airing a traditional "What's Next" commercial featuring Steelers Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis.[11] Even though it was not part of the ad buy in 2016, Peyton Manning said the famous phrase in an interview after Super Bowl 50.[12]

2020 overhaul

For Super Bowl LIV in 2020, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products was the official sponsor of that game's MVP ceremony;[13] Patrick Mahomes' announcement of the phrase was thus embedded into the broadcast post-game show, which included appearances by Mickey and Minnie Mouse alongside 10 year-old Make-a-Wish child Nathaniel from Austin, Texas.[14][15] During the Disney World parade honoring Mahomes, Nathaniel also took part, representing the Make-a-Wish Foundation.[16][17][18][19][14][20][21] Nathaniel also posed with Mahomes, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek, Mickey and Minnie, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Make-A-Wish America President/CEO Richard K. Davis when Chapek announced a $1 million donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Mahomes' honor.[22] 17 other children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation also got free passes to attend the parade as well.[20][21]

Stars and celebrations

The commercials generally star a single NFL player immediately following the Super Bowl but the campaign also has featured athletes from other championship games and several non-celebrities.

Year Person and affiliation Event "I'm going to..." Sources
1987 Phil Simms (New York Giants) Super Bowl XXI
1987 Dennis Conner on the yacht Stars & Stripes America's Cup
1987 Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) NBA Finals
1987 Frank Viola (Minnesota Twins) World Series
1988 Doug Williams (Washington Redskins) Super Bowl XXII Walt Disney World and Disneyland [23]
1988 Gretchen Carlson (Miss Minnesota) Miss America
1988 Brian Boitano, U.S. figure skater Winter Olympics
1988 Orel Hershiser (Los Angeles Dodgers) World Series
1988 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Los Angeles Lakers) NBA Finals
1989 Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers) Super Bowl XXIII
1989 Al MacInnis (Calgary Flames) Stanley Cup Finals
1989 Joe Dumars (Detroit Pistons) NBA Finals
1990 Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers) Super Bowl XXIV
1990 Jim Thompson Temple University college graduation
1990 Matt Kaldenberg, Phyllis Kaldenberg, and Laura McEwen Simpson College college graduation
1991 Ottis Anderson (New York Giants) Super Bowl XXV
1991 Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls) NBA Finals Walt Disney World
1992 Mark Rypien (Washington Redskins) Super Bowl XXVI
1993 Troy Aikman (Dallas Cowboys) Super Bowl XXVII Walt Disney World [24]
1993 Patrick Roy (Montreal Canadiens) Stanley Cup Finals Disneyland [25]
1994 Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports) NASCAR 1994 Brickyard 400 winner -
1994 Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys) Super Bowl XXVIII
1994 Nancy Kerrigan, U.S. figure skater Winter Olympics
1995 Jerry Rice and Steve Young (San Francisco 49ers) Super Bowl XXIX
1996 Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys) Super Bowl XXX
1997 Desmond Howard (Green Bay Packers) Super Bowl XXXI
1997 Santa Claus Christmas
1998 John Elway (Denver Broncos) Super Bowl XXXII
1998 Mark McGwire (St. Louis Cardinals) Major League Baseball home run record
1999 Terrell Davis and John Elway (Denver Broncos) Super Bowl XXXIII
1999 United States women's national soccer team FIFA Women's World Cup
2000 Kurt Warner (St. Louis Rams) Super Bowl XXXIV
2001 Trent Dilfer (Baltimore Ravens) Super Bowl XXXV
2001 Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants) Major League Baseball home run record
2002 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Super Bowl XXXVI
2002 Scott Spiezio (Anaheim Angels) World Series
2003 Jon Gruden and Brad Johnson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) Super Bowl XXXVII
2004 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Super Bowl XXXVIII
2004 Curt Schilling, Pedro Martínez, and David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) 2004 World Series Walt Disney World [26][27]
2004 Dave Andreychuk (Tampa Bay Lightning) Stanley Cup Finals
2006 Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis (Pittsburgh Steelers) Super Bowl XL
2006 Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) NBA Finals
2007 Tony Dungy and Dominic Rhodes (Indianapolis Colts) Super Bowl XLI Walt Disney World [28]
2007 Teemu Selanne (Anaheim Ducks) Stanley Cup Finals
2008 Eli Manning (New York Giants) Super Bowl XLII Walt Disney World and Disneyland [29][30]
2008 David Cook American Idol season 7 Walt Disney World [31]
2009 Santonio Holmes and Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) Super Bowl XLIII
2009 Kris Allen American Idol season 8 Walt Disney World [32][33][34]
2009 Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl XLIII halftime show Disneyland [1]
2010 Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) Super Bowl XLIV Walt Disney World [2]
2010 Lee DeWyze American Idol season 9 Walt Disney World [3]
2011 Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) Super Bowl XLV Walt Disney World [4]
2011 Scotty McCreery American Idol season 10 Walt Disney World [5]
2012 Eli Manning (New York Giants) Super Bowl XLVI [35]
2013 Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) Super Bowl XLVII
2014 Malcolm Smith (Seattle Seahawks) Super Bowl XLVIII
2015 Malcolm Butler and Julian Edelman (New England Patriots) Super Bowl XLIX
2018 Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles) Super Bowl LII
2019 Tom Brady and Julian Edelman (New England Patriots) Super Bowl LIII
2020 Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) Super Bowl LIV


  • Nancy Kerrigan, U.S. figure skater, Winter Olympics
    • While appearing in a subsequent parade at the Walt Disney World Resort, Kerrigan was recorded saying to Mickey Mouse, "This is dumb. I hate it. This is the most corniest thing I have ever done."[36] However, Kerrigan said her comments were taken out of context. She said that being in the parade was not corny, but wearing her Silver Medal during the parade was since her parents taught her never to brag or show off her accomplishments. Kerrigan also went on to say that she had nothing against the Disney Company or Mickey Mouse and said, "Whoever could find fault with Mickey Mouse? He's the greatest mouse I've ever known."[37]


  1. ^ Disneyland Resort: "Dreams Come True as Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning Proclaims, 'I'm Going to Disneyland!'", PR Newswire, February 4, 2008
  2. ^ FitzGerald, Tom (February 3, 2008). "Super Bowl cameraman juggles to catch jingle". San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. ^ "Pistons Announcers".
  4. ^ Vacchiano, Ralph (May 8, 2008). "Eli Manning floats in for Disney parade". Daily News.
  5. ^ Eisner, Michael; Schwartz, Tony (1998). Work in Progress. Random House. ISBN 0-375-50071-5.
  6. ^ Litsky, Frank (July 12, 1987). "Different Fortunes for Two Champions". New York Times.
  7. ^ "Endorsement exile: Disney, Wheaties among those passing on MVP Lewis". Associated Press. 31 January 2001. Archived from the original on 2001-02-08.
  8. ^ Jolly, Tom (January 26, 1998). "Not Going to Disneyland". New York Times.
  9. ^ "James White Celebrates In Disney World After Patriots Win Super Bowl LI". 7 February 2017.
  10. ^ Walt Disney World Resort: "For Super Bowl XL, 'I'm Going to Disney World' Goes X-tra Large On Detroit Skyline", PR Newswire, January 25, 2006
  11. ^ Bouchette, Ed (February 7, 2006). "Ward's MVP performance in Super Bowl XL puts him in special class". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  12. ^ Glover, Erin. "Peyton Manning 'Going to Disneyland' to Celebrate Super Bowl Victory". Disney Parks Blog.
  13. ^ Fry, Darrel (31 January 2020). "Disney Parks To Make Dreams – and Wishes – Come True During Super Bowl LIV". Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (2 February 2020). "Patrick Mahomes after Super Bowl: 'I'm going to Disney World'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^
  23. ^ Bock, Hal (8 February 1988). "Super Bowl may give Williams free ride". The Jackson Sun. Jackson TN. The Associated Press. p. 13.
  24. ^ Friend, Tom (1 February 1993). "Open invitation" ( Austin American-Statesman. Austin TX. New York Times News Service. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  25. ^ Roy, Michael (18 March 2010). Patrick Roy: Winning, Nothing Else. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0470737492.
  26. ^ Elliott, Stuart (November 1, 2004). "With Curse Reversed, Marketers Love Red Sox". New York Times.
  27. ^ Wilbur, Eric (2004). "St. Louis smiles". Boston Globe. Boston MA. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  28. ^ Associated Press (February 5, 2007). "Who's going to Disney World? Dungy, Rhodes". Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
  29. ^ Donohue, Pete (5 February 2008). "Greet Eli & Co" ( Daily News. New York City NY. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  30. ^ The Walt Disney Company (2008). "Walt Disney World commercial". YouTube. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  31. ^ Powers, Scott (May 22, 2008). "American Idol coming to Disney World — now and later". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009.
  32. ^ Borzillo-Vrenna, Carrie (21 May 2009). "Kris Allen: "I'm Going to Disney World!"". E! Online. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  33. ^ "Kris Allen: 'I'm Going to Disney World!'". The Oklahoman. GateHouse Media. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  34. ^ "American Idol winner Kris Allen says he's going to Disney World – Photos and Video". Attractions Magazine. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  35. ^ Duncan, Gene (7 February 2012). "Super Duo (photo)" ( The Times-Tribune. Scranton PA. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  36. ^ Lowitt, Bruce (November 29, 1999). "Harding, Kerrigan are linked forever by skating incident". St. Petersburg Times.
  37. ^ "More Will Be Heard From Kerrigan".
This page was last edited on 16 July 2020, at 23:01
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