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Disney expanding 'Year of a Million Dreams'

/ Source: The Associated Press

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."