, Calif. – October 1, 2007 – For the first time in history, lucky guests will have the chance to spend an unforgettable night inside DisneylandPark during the Year of a Million Dreams most nights starting January 31, 2008 during the 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway. A guest will be escorted on the same day awarded into the most extraordinary accommodations at Disneyland Resort: the Disneyland Dream Suite, an in-park apartment originally planned for Walt Disney himself.
The overnight stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite will be a highlight among the more than a million “dream come true” experiences awarded through random process to eligible Disneyland Resort guests and mail-in participants in the 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway. Mail-in winners of prizes that require use on day awarded, such as the Disneyland Dream Suite, will receive a prize of comparable value.
Disney Imagineers are hard at work remodeling a suite of rooms above New Orleans Square in the Park, conceived by Walt Disney as a private apartment for his family and closest friends. The rooms, which most recently housed The Disney Gallery, will be restored to Disney’s original vision of deluxe living quarters. Vintage design illustrations, created under Disney’s personal direction, have been recovered and are being used as inspiration for the look, furnishings and other décor elements in the Suite. Special design touches are being incorporated to evoke memories of Disney’s diverse interests and the rich heritage of Disneyland.
The guests chosen through a random process to enjoy a “dream stay” in the Disneyland Dream Suite will be following in the footsteps of Walt Disney. His dedication to the constant growth and development of Disneyland resulted in frequent overnight stays in a small private apartment which remains today above the Fire House on Main Street, U.S.A. In the 1960s, as plans were developed for the New Orleans Square area, Disney brought in illustrator and designer Dorothea Redmond (Gone with the Wind) and set decorator Emile Kuri (Mary Poppins, It’s a Wonderful Life) to help him create a larger, more lavish apartment where he could entertain friends, family, VIP guests and dignitaries.
Unfortunately, Disney passed away before the Suite was completed. Over the years, the rooms were used as offices and to entertain visiting business associates until, in 1987, the space became The Disney Gallery, a unique venue displaying artwork originally created during the development of various Disney movies and theme park attractions. Only now, 40 years later, is Disney’s dream being fulfilled. The rooms are being returned to their original intended purpose and, as Disney wished, the Disneyland Dream Suite will be occupied by overnight guests.
“Our plan has been to use the renderings that Walt worked on with Dorothea Redmond and to replicate those as exactly as we can,” said Walt Disney Imagineering Art Director Kim Irvine. “Her illustrations were very specific, with a color and style for each room.
“But to make it special for the guests, we want it to be more than just a beautiful suite. We want it to be filled with things that might have inspired Walt as he dreamed of Disneyland.”
Located above Pirates of the Caribbean in the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland, the 2,600-square-foot Disneyland Dream Suite includes a living room, open-air patio, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. In addition to that night’s lodging in the Disneyland Dream Suite, each selected 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway winner of the Disneyland Dream Suite will also be celebrated as the Honorary Grand Marshal in that day’s Disneyland parade. The winner and their guests will enjoy dinner, late-night snacks and beverages, and the dazzling view overlooking New Orleans Square and the Rivers of America, where a private balcony provides an ideal vantage point on nights when fireworks or the “Fantasmic!” spectacular are presented.
Guests may enter the Dream Suite by climbing the grand staircase outside the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. An elevator will be available to accommodate guests with disabilities. Through the doorway at the top of the stairs is the Living Room, to be designed in a French Provincial style reflecting the New Orleans Square setting. Unusual decorative items like a full-size carousel horse, a mechanical songbird and original wall paintings of European castles will conjure up memories of Walt Disney and the inspirations that went into creating the magical world of Disneyland.
The Suite features not one, but two Master Bedrooms. In one, the spirit of early 20th century innovation and the American frontier will be summoned with an earthy color scheme, leather furniture, a cast-iron stove, an electric train and vintage mechanical toys. The other Master Bedroom is on the side of the residence nearest Adventureland, and its lush décor and atmosphere will evoke the exotic flavor of jungle adventure stories as told in the Victorian era.
The Bayou-themed Patio, central to the Disneyland Dream Suite and open to the sky above, will be filled with tropical vegetation, furnished with comfortable chaises and illuminated by Chinese lanterns. Using a type of Disney magic familiar to guests on Pirates of the Caribbean, the Patio will also be visited by fireflies.
As guests settle in for a stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite, they’ll discover special effects surprises in each room. It could be a special tune in a striking clock, a sunset or a starscape that appears when the lights go down, subtle audio enhancements, or something totally unexpected.
The Disneyland Dream Suite will be the supreme addition to the catalog of “dreams come true” at the Disneyland Resort during the 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway as the Disney Dream Squad delivers dreams, large and small, to eligible guests selected through a random process. For information on how to enter by mail without visiting the parks, please see below.
The 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway is part of the Year of a Million Dreams at Disney Parks. At Disneyland, the popular immersive entertainment experiences will continue to thrill guests at Disney Princess Fantasy Faire, JediTrainingAcademy and Pirate’s Lair on TomSawyerIsland. And at Disney’s California Adventure, guests young and old will be dancing to the beat of the new High School Musical 2: School’s Out! street show, inspired by the megahit Disney Channel original movie.