Disney Parks Worldwide Celebrate 50 Years of Fun With 50,000 Roses and Flora From Around the World

Disney’s ‘Most Magical Celebration on Earth’ Feted With 2006 Rose Parade Float Fit for a Princess

ANAHEIM, Calif., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ — With a theme of “It’s Magical” for the 117th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, what could be more magical than five beautiful Disney castles from around the world seeming to float down the parade route on a pillow of clouds? “The Most Magical Celebration on Earth,” the 2006 Rose Parade float entry from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, depicts just such an enchanting scene — the ongoing celebration of 50 years of Disney theme park magic around the world (continuing throughout 2006).

Millions of Rose Parade viewers worldwide will get to see the Disney float on Monday, January 2 (the parade is never presented on a Sunday), highlighted by a floral depiction of each of the five iconic castles that stand as symbols of dreams, wishes and magic at Disney parks in California, Florida, Japan, France and Hong Kong. Soaring nearly 50 feet high and 150 feet long (the longest Rose Parade entry this year), the entry features the U.S. premiere of the newest Disney song “One,” written exclusively for the recent grand opening of Hong Kong Disneyland.

“The Rose Parade is a wonderful way for us to highlight our ongoing celebration of five decades of Disney theme park magic,” states Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resort. “Our parks are magical experiences that offer creatively unique entertainment that appeals to families the world over, transcending geographic and cultural barriers to simply speak the international language of fun — that’s pretty magical.”

The float is composed of 50,000 roses (including the official Disneyland Rose), plus flower and plant material indigenous to the home country of each park. Additional touches include a pixie dust path created from white sparkled coconuts, castle walls made from strawberry powder and clouds of white roses, irises, carnations and cattleya orchids. The float will stop once along the parade route and present a small musical number featuring an energetic array of Disney characters and dancers.

The impressive Disney entry salutes an incredible 50-year legacy of fun but also represents an equally exciting future characterized by the creative application of new technologies and breakthrough innovations at Disney Parks around the globe. New dreams and magic on the immediate horizon include soon-to-open Disney attractions such as “Expedition Everest” in Disney’s Animal Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort, “Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!” at Disney’s California Adventure in California, “Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast” at Disneyland Paris and a 21st century version of “Autopia” at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Since 1938 Disney has been a frequent presence in the world-famous Rose Parade. The traditional visits of the Rose Bowl teams and the Rose Queen and her court to Disneyland began in 1960 and continue today. Both Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse have served as grand marshals of the parade (in 1966 and 2005 respectively). The 2005 Rose Parade featured the official unveiling of the celebration saluting 50 years of Disney theme park magic, featuring a spectacular kick-off show and parade entry.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, part of the magic of The Walt Disney Company, is where the magic lives. Disney Parks and Resorts operates or licenses 11 Disney theme parks on three continents, along with 37 resort hotels, the two luxury ships of the Disney Cruise Line, seven Disney Vacation Club resorts (with more than 90,000 members) and eight ESPN Zone dining locations, plus Walt Disney Imagineering (responsible for the design and creation of all the Disney attractions, resorts, real estate developments and more).

The float entry by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in the 2006 Rose parade is just one aspect of the ongoing “Happiest Celebration on Earth,” an 18-month salute to 50 years of Disney park magic around the globe that started with the opening of Disney’s original park, Disneyland, in 1955.

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