Ringing In The Next 50 Years Of Disney Vacation Magic

BURBANK, Calif., December 23, 2005 – Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is poised to ring in 2006 with the stage set for an exciting era of future growth in the family vacation market, launching off an historic year that was highlighted by the kick off of the global celebration of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary and the opening of Disney’s first theme park in China – Hong Kong Disneyland.

“We believe the best is yet to come,” said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo.

“As proud as we are of all we accomplished in this phenomenal, landmark year, we are even more excited about what is ahead,” Rasulo added. “The 50th anniversary global celebration, coupled with our exciting menu of attractions, live shows and entertainment at Disney’s theme parks, has strengthened our deep relationships with millions of families around the world.”

Rasulo said these relationships will form the foundation for growth, and cited the following key building blocks for Disney’s future in the family vacation market:

  • New technologies and breakthrough innovations that allow Disney to bring favorite stories and characters to life in whole new ways;
  • New ways to vacation with Disney and experience its unique, immersive form of entertainment outside of the traditional theme park offerings;
  • And the continual evaluation of opportunities to bring the Disney theme park experience to new parts of the world.

Historic Milestones Celebrated by Millions Worldwide

In May of 2005, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts kicked off its first-ever global celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of Disneyland – the park that started it all. The 18-month celebration continues in full swing at the Disneyland Resort in California and Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort. All Disney destinations are part of this historic celebration – and have added new attractions, shows and other offerings to entertain families all over the world.

“Disney theme parks touch people on an emotional level,” said Rasulo. “The anniversary celebration is a golden opportunity to encourage Guests who have made memories with us to return and re-live them and to make more. And, through our innovative marketing campaigns, the anniversary is attracting waves of first-time Guests and establishing what we hope are lifelong relationships with them.”

Rasulo also points to the September opening of Hong Kong Disneyland as a major milestone in the company’s ongoing growth strategy. “Establishing a foothold in Asia introduces a new generation to the Disney experience,” Rasulo said, “and in return, we’re extending the Disney brand to millions of potential consumers in one of the fastest-growing regions of the world.

“We are pleased with the success of Hong Kong Disneyland to date,” Rasulo added. “Having already entertained well over one million Guests, we know our Guests in Hong Kong love our product and expect our newest theme park will continue to be a success.”

50 Great Years. What’s Next?

In addition to the continuation of the 50th Anniversary celebration that lasts throughout the new year, immersive Disney experiences that combine innovative, high-quality content with cutting-edge technology are in the works around the globe for 2006 and beyond.

At Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort, a massive recreation of the Himalayas is the setting for a thrilling adventure called Expedition Everest, scheduled to open in April 2006 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In their quest to bring authenticity to this new attraction, Walt Disney Imagineers partnered with Discovery Networks and Conservation International in a scientific expedition to the Himalayas for a first-hand exploration of the legend of the mysterious Yeti.

“Our passion for bringing great stories to life has taken Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to amazing places over the last 50 years,” said Rasulo. “Over the next 50 years, we will continue to scale new heights in our ongoing quest to create great experiences for our Guests.”

In California, the Disneyland Resort is bringing to life a popular creative franchise with Monsters Inc: Mike & Sully to the Rescue, which will open at Disney’s California Adventure on January 23, 2006. And in 2007, new technology will take Disney storytelling to the next level as the “subs” return to Disneyland in Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. In this all-new adventure, Guests will travel to the undersea world of “Finding Nemo,” where they’ll see and interact with characters that appear exactly as they do in the Disney/Pixar Animated Studios film.

At Hong Kong Disneyland, Autopia, a classic Disney favorite, will let Guests of all ages drive along futuristic highways through surreal, out-of-this world landscapes. It will be the first Autopia with electric powered vehicles – and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2006.

Disneyland Resort Paris also plans several major new attractions to open over the next three years. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, based on the highly popular attractions at other Disney parks around the world, will open at the Disneyland Park in 2006. In 2007, Walt Disney Studios Park will add a new land called Toon Studios, which will immerse Guests in the magical world of Disney’s animated movies. And in 2008, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will come to Disney Studios – plunging Guests into a thrilling experience based on the iconic attraction at other Disney parks.

In the fall of 2006, Tokyo DisneySea also will open its own Tower of Terror.

Disney Cruise Line will offer Guests new experiences as well in 2006. In May, a new seven-night itinerary will be available that includes two stops at Disney’s private-island getaway, Castaway Cay. The itinerary will also include a stop at Cozumel and a new port of call – Costa Maya. Additionally, in September the Disney Wonder will embark on two extended itineraries – one 10-night and one 11-night cruise to Southern Caribbean ports, including Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, Antigua and Castaway Cay.

“As exciting as all these activities are, they represent only a few of the new products and experiences in development for 2006 and beyond,” Rasulo added. “As Walt once said, ‘Disneyland will never be completed, as long as there is imagination left in the world.’

“That statement continues to hold true today as we constantly look for new and compelling ways to entertain our Guests throughout the world,” Rasulo concluded.

“That statement continues to hold true today as we constantly look for new and compelling ways to entertain our Guests throughout the world,” Rasulo concluded.

Disneyland Resort in Southern California, www.disneylandnews.com.

Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Vacation Club and Disney Cruise Line, www.wdwnews.com, user name: disney; password: magic.

Tokyo Disney Resort: www.tokyodisneyresort.com

Disneyland Resort Paris: www.disneylandparis.com

Hong Kong Disneyland:www.hongkongdisneyland.com



Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of our views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance as of the time the statements are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update these statements. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from actions taken by the Company, including acquisitions, dispositions and restructuring or strategic initiatives and information technology improvements, as well as from developments beyond the Company’s control, including international, political, health concern, weather and military developments that may affect travel and leisure businesses generally and changes in domestic and global economic conditions that may, among other things expenses of providing medical and pension benefits and demand for our entertainment offerings. Changes in domestic competitive conditions and technological developments may also affect performance of our businesses. Additional factors are set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended October 1, 2005 under Item 1A – Risk Factors.