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For Super Bowl XL, 'I'm Going to Disney World' Goes X-tra Large On Detroit Skyline.

Celebrating 20 Years of an American Catchphrase

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Surprise: Disney is not just making big plans for an "I'm going to Disney World" commercial for Super Bowl XL ... but is also telling the world about it.

"Historically we haven't talked about the commercial ahead of time," said Michael Mendenhall, executive vice president of Global Marketing for Disney Parks and Resorts. "We've had fun with the sense of anticipation and unpredictability -- the guessing game as to whether we were doing a spot. But this time, I can tell you now -- ahead of the Super Bowl -- that we are doing one."

Of course, what Disney is planning is so big that it's impossible to keep it a secret. Disney is adding twists that will treat Detroiters to both a larger-than-life look back at heroes of the National Football League title game and a jumbo-sized sneak peek at the player who will be showcased in the 36th episode of the long-running TV spot.

"Detroit and the National Football League consider this season's Super Bowl a special milestone, and we want to do our part to help make XL mean exactly what people interpret it to be -- extra large," said Mendenhall.

To do that, Disney is working with the NFL to create a retrospective of the game's heroes and 20 years of the "I'm going to Disney World" campaign that will be projected onto a downtown Detroit skyscraper during evening hours of the extended Super Bowl Weekend, Feb. 1-5, 2006. The dazzling visuals -- as much as 150 feet high -- accompanied by lively music will add to the fun of Detroit's Motown Winter Blast in Campus Martius Park. Motown Winter Blast is a combination of hip and fun winter sports for the entire family to enjoy.

Then, for the first time ever, Disney will do a post-game reveal of the player -- or players -- to be featured in the innovative "I'm going to Disney World" spot that will air on TV on Monday, Feb. 6. Like the pre-Super Bowl presentation, the player(s) will be projected XL -- extra large -- onto the side of a tall building in Campus Martius Park Sunday night after the game.

In the commercial, the featured hero is captured during the glow of emotion following a notable success proclaiming that what they're doing next is going to Walt Disney World or Disneyland. When it debuted in 1987, the commercial was regarded as a groundbreaking concept -- a produced commercial involving a current event, airing less than a half-day after the event.

Now, after two decades -- and on the occasion of the 40th Super Bowl -- Disney is pulling out all the stops.

In addition to the special presentation in Detroit, Disney will include football stars of the future from NFL Youth Football in the player's celebratory parade down Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. It's all part of Disney's long-standing relationship with NFL Youth Football.

As for the commercial itself, the first person to utter the now-familiar words "I'm going to Disney World" was New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, following his team's triumph in Super Bowl XXI on Jan. 25, 1987. "I couldn't have imagined that I was starting something that people would still be repeating 20 years later," said Simms, currently a network analyst for NFL telecasts.

The Super Bowl has been the occasion for episodes of the commercial more frequently than any other accomplishment. Quarterbacks, sometimes accompanied by another player or coach, have been the most-often showcased position -- 14 times (most recently Tom Brady following Super Bowl XXXVIII). Brady is among four "I'm going to Disney World" repeaters, along with quarterbacks Joe Montana and John Elway and running back Emmitt Smith.

The famous commercials have featured some of the world's best athletes from other sports as well, including basketball's Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, hockey's Patrick Roy, and baseball's Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds. And from outside the world of sports, Miss America and Santa Claus.

The constant through two decades has been Disney's coyness prior to doing a commercial.

While that isn't a secret this time, the biggest element of surprise still remains: Who's going to be shouting "I'm going to Disney World" after Super Bowl XL?
 That gets decided Feb. 5 at Ford Field in Detroit.



 "What's Next" Fact Sheet

 First Spot: Super Bowl XXI (Phil Simms, New York Giants)
 Number of Spots Since Inception: 35
 Chronology of "What's Next" Spots:

 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII (Tom Brady, New England Patriots)
 Major League Baseball World Series Champions (Curt Schilling, Pedro
 Martinez and David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox)

 2003 Super Bowl XXXVII (Jon Gruden and Brad Johnson, Tampa Bay
 Buccaneers)

 2002 Super Bowl XXXVI (Tom Brady, New England Patriots)

 2001 Super Bowl XXXV (Trent Dilfer, Baltimore Ravens)
 Major League Baseball home run record (Barry Bonds, San Francisco
 Giants)

 2000 Super Bowl XXXIV (Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams)

 1999 Super Bowl XXXIII (Terrell Davis and John Elway, Denver Broncos)
 Women's World Cup (United States Championship Team)

 1998 Super Bowl XXXII (John Elway, Denver Broncos)
 Major League Baseball home run record (Mark McGwire, St. Louis
 Cardinals)

 1997 Super Bowl XXXI (Desmond Howard, Green Bay Packers)
 Holiday Gift-Giving (Santa Claus)

 1996 Super Bowl XXX (Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys)

 1995 Super Bowl XXIX (Jerry Rice and Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers)

 1994 Super Bowl XXVIII (Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys)
 Olympics (Nancy Kerrigan, U.S. Figure Skater)

 1993 Super Bowl XXVII (Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys)
 Stanley Cup (Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens)

 1992 Super Bowl XXVI (Mark Rypien, Washington Redskins)

 1991 Super Bowl XXV (Ottis Anderson, N.Y. Giants)
 NBA (Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls)

 1990 Super Bowl XXIV (Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers)
 Graduation (Jim Thompson of Temple University, and Matt Kaldenberg,
 Phyllis Kaldenberg and Laura McEwen of Simpson College)

 1989 Super Bowl XXIII (Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers)
 NHL (Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames)
 NBA (Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons)

 1988 Super Bowl XXII (Doug Williams, Washington Redskins)
 Miss America (Gretchen Carlson)
 World Series (Orel Hershiser, L.A. Dodgers)
 NBA (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers)

 1987 Super Bowl XXI (Phil Simms, N.Y. Giants)
 America's Cup (Dennis Conner)
 NBA (Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers)
 World Series (Frank Viola, Minnesota Twins)

 Notes:
 * The Super Bowl has been the catalyst for the most "What's Next" spots
 (18).
 * For the "What's Next" spots immediately following the Super Bowl, non-
 Super Bowl MVPs have been featured in the commercial seven times: 1989,
 1995 (shared), 1996, 1998, 1999 (shared), 2001 and 2003.
 * There have been four "What's Next" repeaters: Joe Montana (1989 and
 1990), Emmitt Smith (1994 and 1996), John Elway (1998 and 1999) and Tom
 Brady (2002 and 2004).



CONTACT: WDW Media Relations, +1-407-566-6397; or John Gogarty of Coyne PR, +1-973-316-1665, for Walt Disney World Resort
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