Last year, I commented on the lack of Studios centered special Year of A Million Dreams giveaways as well as those that didn’t do much for me. Disney recently announced the extension of the Year of A Million Dreams celebration for the duration of 2008 and with that announcement, came some new dreams for 2008 and I’m happy to say this year’s offerings are much better for the Studios fans out there.
The best of the new dreams has to be the Friday the 13th at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For this dream, a winner and up to five guests will have a special dinner in or near the Tower of Terror attraction. Imagine dining in the eerily themed lobby of the Tower of Terror with that creepy music and dust-covered interior. If I could win one dream, this would be it. Even better, it stipulates that the dream will be given away on June 13th so I know where I’ll be that day. A dream like this really makes me dream about how amazing an experience this could be if I would win it.
In the “Matt never saw this coming” dream department, there is a giveaway for a Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show “Tailgate party”, which I can’t decide is really interesting or dull. It includes VIP seats to see the show (ho-hum) but you get a “special food and beverage experience” as well as a backstage tour of the attraction. It certainly sounds interesting and I really like the thinking Imagineers took with this dream.
I think these new dreams that use attractions as backdrops for meals and tours really make it far more interesting than what’s previously been offered. By in large, most guests would love an intimate look at a particular attraction like Tower of Terror…something more than the average guests gets to do and something you can really gloat about to your friends and family about what a great experience it was. These are the real “dreams” of park guests as I imagine it.
There are two dreams revolving around the impending opening of Toy Story Mania!, one which includes an entire trip to Walt Disney World and the other inviting another winner to the opening ceremony for the attraction. It’s hard to argue with an opening ceremony, especially one in Disney style.
You have some dreams returning again this year such as ones revolving around the special events at the Studios (ESPN, Star Wars, Super Soap) which I wouldn’t turn down by any means if offered to me, but also don’t have terribly high on my wish list. For the die-hards of the event, I’m sure they would love to win this and at the very least, it confirms that events like Star Wars Weekend and Super Soap Weekend will return in 2008 (there’s been a paranoid perception of the events being cancelled by those who attend year after year and really enjoy them).
The only dream I think they could can is the “dream hour” event where you get an extra hour after the Studios close. After thinking about it and speaking with someone who won this dream last year, the event isn’t that great because one hour of extra time means maybe three or four rides if you don’t waste too much time. Not like you get to have your way with the park for many hours until you’re through. Maybe I’m a little jaded or spoiled by going often during slower times of the year but this is one dream I’m willing to pass on.
From the standpoint of the Studios, it seems to be that the Imagineers took the reigns and ran with the idea of Dreams a bit more this year. Last year was the first year and they wanted to make sure the darned idea actually worked. This year, they’re taking an extra step or two and trying to “plus” what they did last year and expanding on the strengths of the particular parks and in the case of the Studios, we’re seeing more dreams in line with the theme of glitzy Hollywood, VIP style entertainment. There’s a part of me that wants this celebration to continue for another year or two beyond 2008 just to see what other dreams Disney could come up with because those are the ones I think would be the most appealing.
I think the 2008 Dreams are an improvement over the dreams of the inaugural year, many of which last year were simply generic ones that could be applied to any park. This year, the dreams are taking on their own feel based on the park awarded at. I still feel in the back of my mind that a family of four with 2 kids has a much better chance of winning one of these great dreams over my nerdy self but I’m looking forward to being proven wrong when I win the Tower of Terror dream on June 13 (a note to readers, please skip the park that day so Matt can get his way).