I remember with the 30th in 1985, EVERY SINGLE PERSON who came through the turnstyles got a gift. It was a 'land pin' with a character in a various land - or it might have been a brand new 1985 Automobile. EVERY PERSON GOT A "BIRTHDAY GIFT" when they came in - period.
How do you 'replace that' for 1986? You keep it going - which they did. It died out towards the end of 1986 into 1987......
They didn't go as big for the 50th, I don't think, only because they didn't televise ANYTHING - and they did for the 30th (I remember seeing Annette Funicello on TV in January 1985 for the kick-off and she was telling people about the gifts of the Automobiles. It was big stuff.) So, I don't know why Disney, who owns ABC for crying out loud, couldn't have televised something to make it a "Spectacular Spectacular" (taking that from Moulin Rouge).
While the first look at merchandise for the "Year of a Million Dreams" is disappointing, I don't want to judge how things will go until Disney has a chance to perform. Yes, I understand that after the 50th there is going to be some let-down, but I am still hopeful.
Disney has the Subs opening this year. This next month "HalloweenTime" is coming. There is also a great Holiday season coming too. So right now, I think there is still things to be happy about for Disneyland.
One note... For all of these things we can thank Matt Ouimett. He is now gone. It really will be next year when Ed Grier shows how well he can manage the "Happiest Place on Earth!" (I just don't want people forget the REAL Disneyland slogan!)
Jiminy Cricket Fan
The only thing that sucks as of now is the Year of a Million Dreams. It's just a cold-hearted attempt to run up the 50th Anniversary campaign. Like I said, it's just corporate drivel that runs out of Rasulo's mouth.
But Disneyland is heading in a good direction and has left behind the years of the mid to late 90's. The 50th caught Disney's attention and made it realize what it can still be. Thus, it put things into motion that will hopefully lead to development for the resort and I'm hoping that things will blossom from expanding and updating the entire property. Look at the dedication we fans devote to the operations of things. If there was a flush of new things that came and are coming to the resort, we would all rush out to go see them. Disney has yet to top themselves off (in a good way). I am happy with the way thigns are going and hearing news of creative investment that will take place.
If they got Rasulo out of the way and brought in somebody who understands things, the parks wouldn't need a big "umbrella" campaign. Rasulo and his team push these things so hard and put so much effort into planning and organizing commercials and merchandise lines that will promote and emphasize "DisneyParks," they might as well put the money toward a new E-ticket at Disneyland or DCA or Magic Kingdom. The whole DisneyParks thing show how lacking and far off Rasulo's focus is (and how egotistical he is). They could make twice as much money off of new rides and major investments in updates, but they decide that a marketing push is more important. Mind you, a marketing scheme that no one likes or understands.