Disneyland Resort Press Release
DISNEYLAND 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION TAKES TO THE SKIES WITH MICKEY MOUSE!
Mickey-Shaped “Happiest Balloon On Earth” to Visit Western U.S. and Canada;First Hot-Air Balloon to Rise Over Grand Canyon
Anaheim, Calif. (March 30, 2006) - - The Disneyland Resort 50th anniversary celebration is taking to the skies with a 100-foot tall, Mickey Mouse-shaped hot air balloon dubbed “The Happiest Balloon On Earth” (a twist on Disneyland’s famous moniker of “The Happiest Place on Earth”). With golden ears high atop its head, the Mickey balloon will travel throughout the western United States and Canada during its 11-week tour. “The Happiest Balloon On Earth” will also become the first hot air balloon to ever rise over the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
“We're excited to bring a touch of the excitement of the continuing 50th anniversary celebration at Disneyland to major cities in the form of ‘The Happiest Balloon On Earth,” states Matt Ouimet, president of the Disneyland Resort. “Our milestone celebration won’t last forever so I hope eveyone can join us while there’s still time.”
The specially created hot air balloon will be seen against such scenic and familiar backdrops as Grand Canyon West (part of the Hualapai Tribal Nation in Arizona), San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the San Diego city skyline and the International Balloon Museum in New Mexico. The one-of-a-kind balloon is unique in many ways including 6 ft. wide pupils, a 5.5 ft. wide nose and the use of over nine miles of thread to create the special balloon form.
“It is indeed one of the most unique and specialized hot air balloons we have ever piloted,” says Scott Spencer, who along with his wife Laurie, serve as the balloon’s pilots. “When the balloon comes in for a landing it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘ears to the ground!’”
“The Happiest Balloon On Earth,” comprised of Mickey’s familiar smiling face, is topped with an enormous pair of gold “Mickey Mouse Club” style “Mouse Ears” which have served as a favorite Disneyland souvenir for millions of guests since the 1950s. These particular ears, however, span 53 ft. from ear-to-ear and are comprised of approximately 750 Sq. yards of gold fabric.
“This tour is an invitation to everyone to visit us this summer at the Disneyland Resort and experience all the new amazing entertainment, incredible attractions and “golden” touches that make the Disneyland 50th anniversary celebration so spectacular,” says Becky Phelps, 2006 Disneyland Resort Ambassador. “All new adventures and experiences such as “Turtle Talk with Crush,” "Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters,” “Space Mountain,” and the recently opened “Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!” makes this unbelievable celebration too special to miss.”
More information about “The Happiest Balloon On Earth” tour, the 50th anniversary celebration, plus vacations at the Disneyland Resort is available at www.disneyland.com, by calling (877) 700-DISNEY, or by visiting local travel agents.