Black Meetings and Tourism

November/December 2021

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Page 14 of 52

B M & T ••• November/December 2021 ••• 14 It's a magical story that began 50 years ago. That's when Orlando's Walt Disney World opened its wondrous gates to invite the public to "Be Our Guest" at its popular theme park. In celebration of hosting five decades of exciting family fun, an 18-month party paying tribute to Orlando's Walt Disney World (WDW), kicked off on October 1, 2021. In commemora- tion, Cinderella's Castle now bears a 50th crest over its entrance. A fireworks spectacular transforms the castle at night with lights, projections and pyrotechnics as it takes visitors on a journey through Disney stories and songs. It's being called, "The World's Most Magical Celebration" and features new experiences in all of Walt Disney World Resort's four theme parks, including Magic Kingdom Park, Animal Kingdom Theme Park, EPCOT, and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Disney Meetings and Events recently rolled out the red car- pet at Walt Disney World Resort to highlight its reimagined prod- uct offerings and to showcase some new experiences around the theme parks that opened recently or in the months prior to the pandemic. They also touted their ability to set themselves apart when it comes to hosting meetings. "When an organization chooses to add Disney to their event, it's amazing what happens," said Maryann McGranahan, vice president of sales, service, and events at Disney Meetings. "Guests come away inspired, energized, refreshed motivated, and moved. That's because when they use Disney, they get BY DARLENE DONLOE DISNEY MEETINGS AND EVENTS HIGHLIGHTS NEW MEETINGS PRODUCTS Invites Public To "Use Our Imagination" and "Be Our Guest" During 50th Anniversary everything that comes with it. We will transform their meeting into something incredible, only found at Disney. This is an invita- tion to you to use our imagination." McGranahan said what's different about Disney meetings is the "intentionality" of what they bring. "I believe that we bring the ability to help our guests tell their stories," she said. "We are the world's premier storytellers, and we've been telling stories since Walt Disney began in 1921. So, I think that that is what we really bring that's different than what other resort destina- tions would bring." McGranahan, who noted Disney has three domestic locations including WDW, Disneyland in California, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in

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