Photos: Walt Disney World at 40

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  1. 40 and fabulous

    Fireworks explode above Cinderella Castle as dancers and Disney characters perform while taping a segment of "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" at the Magic Kingdom on Dec. 3, 2010, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 40th anniversary of the opening of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort will be celebrated in 2011. (Mark Ashman / Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Star power

    Musical artist Yanni, right, plays the piano as the "Yanni Voices" perform an arrangement of "O Holy Night" at the Magic Kingdom on Dec. 3, 2009, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Yanni was taping a segment for the "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" holiday TV special. (Mark Ashman / Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 'I'm going to Disney World!'

    Tom Brady, quarterback of the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots, signs autographs at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on Feb. 2, 2004, one day after leading the Patriots to a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers. (Gene Duncan / Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. The first 25 years

    First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to a crowd as Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner applauds Oct. 1, 1996, during the rededication of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on the 25th anniversary its opening. (Tony Ranze / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Royal fun

    Prince William, right, grimaces after he and friends of the royal family finish their ride on Splash Mountain Aug. 26, 1993, at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Harry Soames, left front, was the prince's companion on the three-day vacation. Other passengers are unidentified. (Bob Pearson / AFP-Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Celebrating two decades

    The 20th anniversary rededication ceremony of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in 1991 brought legions of Disney cast members onto Main Street, U.S.A. (Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A world-class welcome

    Roy O. Disney, brother of Walt Disney, is joined by the beloved Disney character that started it all, Mickey Mouse, in welcoming the first guests to the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Oct. 1, 1971. (Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Cinderella's future home

    In 1971, a blue-spired castle -- destined to become one of the world's most-photographed buildings -- rose in central Florida as the iconic centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom, which opened on Oct. 1, 1971. In the 40 years since guests first strolled down Main Street, U.S.A., Walt Disney World Resort has blazed brave new entertainment trails based on its founder's fertile imagination and vision that the resort would forever continue to evolve. (Disney) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 10/1/2007 5:39:01 PM ET 2007-10-01T21:39:01

Disney is extending its "Year of a Million Dreams" program through 2008, after granting wishes large and small to a million park visitors since the giveaways began in the fall of 2006.

The program features a new online catalog to showcase various freebies and privileges.

Cast members at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and Walt Disney World near Orlando randomly choose the lucky winners from among visitors. You can also mail in an entry form in the hopes of being chosen, with some restrictions on entry eligibility.

In the past year, "dreams" have included free dining, ticket upgrades, special passes allowing fast entry into multiple attractions, shopping sprees and an overnight stay at Cinderella Castle, all of which will continue to be offered in 2008.

New offers in the catalog include private hot-air ballooning above Disneyland, a private visit to Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Cay island in the Bahamas, a private character breakfast at Walt Disney World, and attending the film premiere of "High School Musical 3."

Another new "dream" option at Disneyland will be nightly stays in a new family suite in the park's New Orleans Square, beginning Jan. 31. The suite was originally designed by a Hollywood setmaker commissioned by Walt Disney in the 1960s as in-park accommodations for his family, but the suite is only now being built.

Parks on both coasts have other new attractions open to all, not just dream winners, including:

  • "High School Musical 2: School's Out!" interactive show, which already started at both parks.
  • "Jedi Training Academy" for young "Star Wars" fans, under way at Disneyland and coming this month to Disney World.
  • A "Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!" show for preschoolers with characters from Disney Channel programs, in both parks next year.
  • A new ride-game in both parks next year, "Toy Story Mania!"
  • A "Block Party Bash" with characters from "Toy Story," "Monster's Inc." and "A Bug's Life," under way at Disneyland and starting next year at Walt Disney World. In 2008, Disneyland will also get a "Pixar Play! Parade" with characters from "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "Cars" and "Ratatouille."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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