The History of "I'm Going To Disney World" At The Super Bowl

Disney Parks History

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Disney has made themselves a permanent part of one of the most iconic annual traditions in American sports, the Superbowl, with their decades-long "I'm going to Disney World" ad campaign. But how did this start?

The first appearance of the Disney ad campaign was a part of the Superbowl 1987, and it was created under the leadership of Michael Eisner as a way of helping to reinvigorate the parks in the early days of his leadership.

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The 1980s saw Disney Parks reinventing themselves to try to appeal more to the entire family, specifically young adults and teenagers, and Disney wanted to find ways to continue to promote their parks to a broader audience than the families that had always visited the various Disney Parks around the world.

To do this promotion, Disney had to pay members of both teams that played in the Superbowl to ensure that no matter the outcome they could create the same ad. Disney would have cameramen present to film on the field following the victory to promote one of their US parks.

Over the years this usually goes to the MVP, but there are exceptions to that rule, as in cases of when Disney does not think the perception of the MVP fits the Disney brand.

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During the over three decade history of this promotion it has been used to promote Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Parks more generally, with Disney creating a commercial actually using footage from the Superbowl. It has also been used at other sporting events, but none as often as the Superbowl.

This promotion also involves appearances by the featured athlete in the Disney Parks, usually with some kind of public appearance like being in a parade. It is a fun way to connect an American sports tradition with one of the most iconic destinations in America, the Disney Parks.