Mickey Mouse, A Friend To Families Around The World, Selected As Grand Marshal For The 2005 Tournament Of Roses

PASADENA, CA. (November 16, 2004) – In a ceremony held today at Tournament House, Mickey Mouse was revealed as the Grand Marshal for the 2005 Tournament of Roses, themed Celebrate Family. Tournament of Roses President Dave Davis was joined on stage by film and Broadway legend Julie Andrews to announce the beloved Disney icon as the Grand Marshal who will lead the family-themed New Year’s Day celebration in Pasadena. As Grand Marshal, Mickey Mouse will represent the theme Celebrate Family to a worldwide television viewership as he rides in the 116th Rose Parade, and as he tosses the coin before the 91st Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2005.

“Mickey Mouse has brought entertainment, joy and laughter to families around the world for 75 years and we couldn’t think of a more ideal Grand Marshal to help us Celebrate Family in 2005,” said Davis. “Mickey Mouse became a part of the Tournament of Roses family when he accompanied Walt Disney on his Grand Marshal ride in the 1966 Rose Parade, and we are delighted to welcome him back once again to help us spread New Year’s cheer on January 1, 2005.”

“Gosh, it sure is swell be named the Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade and I can’t wait to see everybody on January 1 in Pasadena,” said Grand Marshal Mickey Mouse when accepting his role as the 2005 Tournament of Roses ambassador. “It’s a big year for me with big doings for Disneyland’s 50th and all, but being in the Rose Parade is a great way to start the New Year!”

“We have been good friends for many years and I congratulate Mickey on being named Grand Marshal of the 2005 Rose Parade,” said Julie Andrews, Honorary Ambassador of Disneyland’s upcoming 50th anniversary celebration. “Mickey has touched the hearts of families everywhere and I look forward to watching him on January 1st and to joining him next May as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disneyland.”

2005 promises to be a big year in the life of Mickey Mouse. From being honored as the Grand Marshal of the Rose Parade to acting as Chief Host for the 18-month long global celebration of the 50th anniversary of Disneyland, Mickey continues to be a beloved member of the Disney – and Tournament of Roses – families.

As one of the world’s most popular personalities, Mickey Mouse has been eliciting smiles and laughter from audiences around the globe for more than 75 years. He made his big screen debut on November 18, 1928 as star of the first synchronized sound cartoon, “Steamboat Willie.”

The 1930s were Mickey’s Golden Age when he played everything from fireman to giant killer, cowboy to inventor, detective to plumber in his 120 short cartoons. Mickey Mouse grew into an international celebrity whose success laid the foundation upon which Walt Disney built his organization. In 1932 Walt Disney received a special Academy Award specifically for the creation of Mickey Mouse.

With the opening of Disneyland in 1955, Mickey became the Chief Host of a whole new genre of family entertainment. Over the past 50 years Mickey has welcomed over 500 million guests to the Disneyland Resort, making a visit to the park a family tradition passed from one generation to the next.

Today Mickey Mouse remains a mainstay in the lives of kids and families. He currently stars on Disney’s “House of Mouse” on Disney Channel and recently co-starred with Donald and Goofy in their first full-length feature, the Direct-to-Video Premiere film “The Three Musketeers.”

One of the finest tributes to Mickey was given by Walt Disney himself when, on one of his first TV shows, as he talked about his company, Walt said, “I hope we never lose sight of one thing … that it was all started by a mouse.”

The 116th Rose Parade, themed Celebrate Family, will take place on Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 8:00 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands from throughout the nation. Following the Rose Parade, at 2:00 p.m. (PST), the 91st Rose Bowl Game will feature an exciting match up between two championship teams, showcasing the best of collegiate football. For additional information, please call (626) 449-ROSE, the 24-hour hotline, or visit www.tournamentofroses.com.