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  1. #1

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    DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dreams


    I'm a sucker for good Chinese. Greasy, satisfying, and full of flavor, sometimes some good lo mein or kung pao hits the spot just right.

    I was humored at the end of a Chinese dinner recently when a member of my party cracked open their fortune cookie. Inside an unsuspecting fortune rested, and when I heard it, I nearly laughed out loud.

    The key to success is making
    dreams come true.

    The fortune conjured an image in my head of some Disney Marketing folk sitting back at the end of a lunch meeting, some time during the last couple months of the 50th Anniversary Celebration, cracking open their fortune cookies. Perhaps it was Jay Rasulo. Maybe Michael Mendenhall. Maybe somebody else. But I imagined someone getting the same fortune, and their figurative mind's lightbulb illuminating with glee.

    For weeks now, these folks had been stewing over what to do next. Surely, they couldn't keep the 50th going forever, so what next? They definately couldn't have any dead time - a fancy promotion would be needed to keep guest numbers high.

    And by some stroke of fate, all their problems had been wiped away. All thanks to a lucky little fortune cookie.

    . . .

    Surely none of this happened. Of course the fate of Disney's theme parks didn't rest in the baked confines of a flour, sugar, and vanilla cookie. Right? ...Who knows.



    Ever since Disney's Year of a Million Dreams began last October, there have been varying degrees of criticism for the promotion, which Disney has repeatedly tried to market with lackluster results. First, by promoting it as a "first-of-it's-kind event" - then by hiring celebrities to pose as classic Disney characters... all the while, guests have hardly any idea of what the campaign is really about. The lack of focus, the lack of enchantment, the lack of magic in the campaign is inherently unauthentic to the Disney brand.

    It's been a couple weeks since this fortune crossed my path, and it still gives me a chuckle. "The key to success is making dreams come true."

    Maybe this is why Jay Rasulo and his team of marketeers are extending the thus unsuccessful Year of a Million Dreams. They're still hoping for the success that their cookie promised them.

    I wonder if Rasulo bet on his lucky numbers too, just to be safe. 38, 21, 39, 26, 12, 5

    Last edited by MasterGracey; 09-18-2007 at 12:01 AM.

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  2. #2

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    I don't know why people still hate on this promotion, especially now that they've taken down the (admittedly) gaudy cloud things that came with it originally. Most of the criticism I see is based on it being a failed marketing scheme, not something that negatively affects your day in the parks.

    At worst, you see a sign on the tram that says "Year Of A Million Dreams" and enjoy your day at Disneyland. Or, if you're lucky, you see that sign and then later in the day a CM gives you (for some strange reason) some fastpasses or a hat or something. What's so bad about that? Yes, I know it's not something that every guest can enjoy, but what is?

  3. #3

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    Quote Originally Posted by The International View Post
    I don't know why people still hate on this promotion, especially now that they've taken down the (admittedly) gaudy cloud things that came with it originally. Most of the criticism I see is based on it being a failed marketing scheme, not something that negatively affects your day in the parks.

    At worst, you see a sign on the tram that says "Year Of A Million Dreams" and enjoy your day at Disneyland. Or, if you're lucky, you see that sign and then later in the day a CM gives you (for some strange reason) some fastpasses or a hat or something. What's so bad about that? Yes, I know it's not something that every guest can enjoy, but what is?
    Aside from my OP being very tongue-in-cheek, I think the general distaste for this promotion stems from two things...

    - Promotion Fatigue. After the 50th, people just wanted some downtime. Regular parks, regular fun. Forcing another promotion on the us wasn't something we wanted or were ready to take. Everybody was still recovering from the 50th hangover.

    - Not meeting the hype Before the Year of a Million Dreams was announced, Disney released magazine ads, press releases, and a teaser web site announcing that something incredibly fantastic was coming. When it turned out to be plans to give us Fastpasses and Ear Hats people were let down, disappointed, and underwhelmed. I think a lot of people were also very turned off, and somewhat insulted by the fact that Disney had hyped the new promotion as being exceptionally better than anything they'd done before... when in reality, it was not.


    ...But that's just what I got from the initial reaction, and a lot of what I felt. But regardless, the OP, while it pokes fun at the Year of a Million Dreams, is supposed to be very tongue in cheek and not to be taken too seriously.

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  4. #4

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    That's kind of my point. It's almost a non-promotion given how little effect is has on the average guest's day, which is pretty neat in my opinion because sometimes I just want to enjoy my day at the park (although I liked every aspect of the 50th promotion). Those clouds, though, yuck.

    I know this OP is pretty silly, but I do see a lot of complaints about the promotion itself in other threads. I wasn't witness to the hype aspect so I can't speak on that.

  5. #5

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    Quote Originally Posted by The International View Post
    That's kind of my point. It's almost a non-promotion given how little effect is has on the average guest's day, which is pretty neat in my opinion because sometimes I just want to enjoy my day at the park (although I liked every aspect of the 50th promotion). Those clouds, though, yuck.

    I know this OP is pretty silly, but I do see a lot of complaints about the promotion itself in other threads. I wasn't witness to the hype aspect so I can't speak on that.
    Well, they are still trying the hype angle by buying magazine ads to promote future magazine ads for the YOAMD... http://www.micechat.com/forums/dream...es-t75373.html

    It's just weird.

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  6. #6

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    I'll just stick with 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 :-)
    Kenny the Pirate
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  7. #7

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    I have to tell you, I go to Disneyland probably, on average, every other week. I've been doing this since before the promotion started. I, or my husband, have yet to win anything.

    Normally, if I don't win a contest or drawing, I'm not upset. I had no right to win. I had an opportunity, but certainly no expectation. But with this, there is inherent disappointment as Disney's marketing was certainly meant to indicate that your odds of winning are high.

    I'm not angry. But disappointed is the right word.
    "If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see? " - Alice

    "If his brain's ran down, how can he talk?" - Jack Pumpkinhead
    "It happens to people all the time, Jack." - Dorothy

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  8. #8

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post

    - Promotion Fatigue. After the 50th, people just wanted some downtime. Regular parks, regular fun. Forcing another promotion on the us wasn't something we wanted or were ready to take. Everybody was still recovering from the 50th hangover.

    maybe for the people who live next to Disneyland.

    but for the people who visit a few times a year or even once a year, it could be kinda cool to have something "exciting" going on when they visit Disneyland.
    All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them. - Walt Disney


  9. #9

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    Quote Originally Posted by Junthor View Post
    but for the people who visit a few times a year or even once a year, it could be kinda cool to have something "exciting" going on when they visit Disneyland.
    It's worse to be let down by a promotion branded as "exciting" than have nothing at all. If YoaMD doesn't affect your park experience much, then the only thing it could possibly do for you is disappoint, if you thought it was going to mean something.

    The quantity (if not the quality) of advertising I have seen for the 50th and the YoaMD has been roughly the same. For both, popular attractions reopened "especially for the [fill-in-the-blank] celebration," along with new entertainment. But whereas the 50th had nostalgia and memories associated with it and was centered on the park itself, the YoaMD is focused somewhere in the clouds...

    Back to the OP, what an ironic fortune, MG. Yet it's freakish to speculate that this whole extended promotion might have been borne out of a message from a fortune cookie, because it might as well have.
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  10. #10

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    The frequency of visits and the disappointment with the YOAMD (as a giveaway, not necessarily a marketing strategy) may be directly related. There is, I believe, a correlation; an implied relationship between the frequency with which one is not 'selected' for a prize, and overall attitude towards the giveaway.

    No one likes to lose. In almost every conceivable circumstance, everyone likes to win. Winners seem more disposed to displaying favorable attitudes towards the YOAMD, while non-winners feel cheated; which is certainly understandable.

    As a giveaway it appears to disappoint more than it rewards, especially to those who constantly frequent the Parks. The more one is disappointed, without experiencing reward, their good will towards this promotion erodes; prolonging this 'giveaway' may promote increasingly hostile attitudes. Time is not the YOAMD Giveaway's friend, here.

    As a marketing strategy, it seems uncertain whether or not it is working, as it would be difficult to determine each Guest's motivations for visiting the Park. I have always looked on the promotion as a potential 'reward' for visiting the Parks, and being a Disney Fan, not as an incentive to visit the Parks in and of itself.

    The trend towards constant promotion is alarming, and the YOAMD has long overstayed its welcome IMO, but I don't hate it ('course I won ears and a lanyard last year... ).

    Good thread, MG--considering the underlying theme of your Original Post, I wonder if in thirty minutes I'll feel like posting again..?

  11. #11

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnn in Wndrlnd View Post
    I have to tell you, I go to Disneyland probably, on average, every other week. I've been doing this since before the promotion started. I, or my husband, have yet to win anything.

    Normally, if I don't win a contest or drawing, I'm not upset. I had no right to win. I had an opportunity, but certainly no expectation. But with this, there is inherent disappointment as Disney's marketing was certainly meant to indicate that your odds of winning are high.

    I'm not angry. But disappointed is the right word.
    Now consider this, I followed Dark Beer's instructions last winter and sent off my postcards, 5 a day for about 15 days, one for each of my family members. Then around two weeks I started getting some of them back, because, yes I am an idiot, I sent in 5x3 index cards, which are slightly off the size for the Post Office. So I sorta stopped, and forgot about it. Well surprise, I got 3 prizes in the mail two for my son, a mickey ears and a Lanyard and then 1 of the ears for one of my daughters. That was a pretty high return, I thought.

  12. #12

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    The frequency of visits and the disappointment with the YOAMD (as a giveaway, not necessarily a marketing strategy) may be directly related. There is, I believe, a correlation; an implied relationship between the frequency with which one is not 'selected' for a prize, and overall attitude towards the giveaway....
    Exactly. I can always count on you to put it more elegantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kath2188 View Post
    Now consider this, I followed Dark Beer's instructions last winter and sent off my postcards, 5 a day for about 15 days, one for each of my family members. Then around two weeks I started getting some of them back, because, yes I am an idiot, I sent in 5x3 index cards, which are slightly off the size for the Post Office. So I sorta stopped, and forgot about it. Well surprise, I got 3 prizes in the mail two for my son, a mickey ears and a Lanyard and then 1 of the ears for one of my daughters. That was a pretty high return, I thought.
    This may be true. However, this is certainly not what the advertising for the promotion is advocated or advertising for.

    The advertising says something along the lines of "Come to the Disneyland Resort....blah blah." Not, "Spend 15 minutes a day addressing postcards and you might win something."

    So, to be quite frank, I don't believe the situation you mention has much bearing on the feelings this promotion creates among individuals who go to the parks during this promotion.
    "If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see? " - Alice

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    "It happens to people all the time, Jack." - Dorothy

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  13. #13

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    I just stated it because I was just shocked that with so few entries we got such a big return, and that was another way to win.

    I, for one, would LOVE to even see the dream team moving about giving anyone a prize. Not that I go that often (7 times in the park during the promotion, with 5 more days coming up in November) but I, for one could not even tell any promotion was going on.

  14. #14

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    I for one don't think the general populace is "getting" the promotion. I've been asked more than a few times about purchasing the Dream ears, and the Dream FastPasses.

    I've also been asked if I had a Pixie Dust Pin I could give; that's not a pin you ask for. It's a pin a Cast Member has to choose to give you. They're supposed to be given out to Guests who are being nice to strangers, or otherwise being well behaved; I tend to give them to kids who put the toys they're playing with back where they belong instead of leaving them randomly throughout the store. Two identical pins come in the set, labled "One for You" and "One to Give." The second pin is intended for the Guest to give to another deserving Guest as a random act of kindness, or spreading the magic if you will. If the pins wind up in the hands of pin traders, more often than not, the second pin is traded.

    The Pixie Dust Pin pack, and the Year of a Million Dreams in general, aren't widely understood by Guests and Cast Members alike, and it's not really difficult to see why given that many of our current Cast Members weren't around for the initial Year of a Million Dreams rollout where they gathered everyone together for a big PowerPoint presentation and explained it all.

  15. #15

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    Re: DreamFortune: An examination of "Where Dreams Come True" and Year of a Million Dr

    To be honest, and I am really not trying to start a fight, but I am hearing a LOT of sour grapes like arguments.

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