Group: Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter/AdministratEAR
Joined: Aug. 2001
||Posted: July 04, 2003 5:48 am/pm
"Star-Spangled" Banner, Daytime Fireworks at Walt Disney World
To brass bands and bursting Fourth of July fireworks Friday, Disney cast members and park guests unfurled a massive red, white and blue banner the length of Main Street U.S.A. at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Led by Mickey Mouse, Disney performer Billy Flanagan and 30 members of the U.S. armed forces, the 25-story banner was unfurled before thousands of flag-waving visitors and community volunteers. Disney World's celebration was part of the U.S. Department of Defense's "Operation Tribute to Freedom" which encourages patriotic pride among Americans. American men and women in uniform were also honored at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Friday, making it a coast-to-coast Disney salute.
Patriotic pyrotechnics will light the sky above Cinderella Castle on July 4th. "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks take center stage throughout the year at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., with special showtimes planned for Independence Day.
Disney's U.S. Theme Parks Join 'Operation Tribute To Freedom' to Pay Special Tribute to U.S. Troops on July 4
Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort Stage Bi-Coastal Salute
July 4, 2003 -- Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., staged a star-spangled celebration today honoring American men and women in uniform “from sea to shining sea.”
Main Street, U.S.A. at both theme parks turned red, white and blue with patriotic pride as Walt Disney Parks & Resorts joined in the U.S. Department of Defense’s "Operation Tribute to Freedom” initiative. The nationwide program encourages Americans to show appreciation for the U.S. armed forces, both home and abroad, with acts of support. (More information about “Operation Tribute to Freedom” can be obtained online at the Defense Department’s site, http://www.defendamerica.mil.)
“On the day we celebrate independence, it is fitting for us to join the Department of Defense’s ‘Operation Tribute to Freedom’ initiative to show our gratitude and support for those who continue to fight for the freedoms we are so fortunate to enjoy,” said Jay Rasulo, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Our coast-to-coast salute honors American armed forces and their families, stretching from sea to shining sea.”
Here’s a glance at the simultaneous events that took place at both parks:
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ involvement in the Department of Defense’s “Operation Tribute to Freedom” is part of a larger Walt Disney Company effort to show support for U.S. troops at home and abroad.
- At the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida: Hundreds of Magic Kingdom cast members created a giant patriotic banner on Main Street, U.S.A. as thousands of guests waved flags to join in. Members of the U.S. armed forces led the procession to the park’s Town Square. Joined by Mickey Mouse, Disney entertainer Billy Flanagan performed “God Bless the U.S.A.” as the 250-foot red, white and blue banner was unfurled, the stars and stripes extending the length of the famous street. The mid-afternoon celebration climaxed with patriotic pyrotechnics bursting high above Main Street and near the park’s famous centerpiece, Cinderella Castle.
- At the Disneyland Resort in California: A marching band, Disney characters and a color guard escorted a parade of members of the U.S. armed forces down Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland park. Patriotic music and a shower of red, white and blue confetti highlighted the ceremony that included Disney cast members and theme park guests.
Copyright 2003. THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY.
- Active U.S. military personnel enjoy complimentary, multi-day admission into Disney’s U.S. theme parks and discounts aboard Disney Cruise Line during “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute,” which will continue through Dec. 19, 2003, for Disney theme parks and through Dec. 18, 2003, for Disney Cruise Line. For more information and specific offer guidelines, military personnel may call 714/956-6424 (Disneyland Resort); 407/939-7424 (Walt Disney World Resort) or 888/325-2500 (Disney Cruise Line). Information can be also obtained online at http://disneyland.com/military and http://disneyworld.com/military.
- In addition to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, the scope of Disney’s efforts includes several initiatives through ABC, ESPN, The Disney Channel, Disney Consumer Products and The Walt Disney Studios. The Walt Disney Company and ESPN are USO World Sponsors, providing more than $1 million in financial aid, in-kind support, outreach and marketing efforts on behalf of the USO and its programs. In May and June 2003, Disney presented “Armed Forces Sneak Peek PremEARS” at various military bases.
- In addition, DisneyHand has donated more than 200,000 videos and DVDs to families and personnel on U.S. military bases around the world and provided a combination of first-run movies, library classics, andESPN The Magazine for troops. And, ABC-TV’s Drew Carey, star of “The Drew Carey Show” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and former member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, has visited and entertained troops several times over the past two years.
- The Walt Disney Company employees continue the tradition of running Disney’s Operation Uplift, through which employees send messages of support and thanks to U.S. servicemen and servicewomen.
RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator