Although the “Year of a Million Dreams” promotion was initially met with lukewarm reviews and a bit of confusion, lately with the addition of an overnight stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite it has definitely picked up some positive momentum.
Before Walt Disney passed away, it was his intention to make the space above the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction a lavish apartment where he and his family could entertain guests and VIPS. Walt’s apartment above City Hall was too small to accomplish this, so he enlisted the help of Imagineer Dorothea Redmond (also famous as one of the designers for “Gone With the Wind”) to create concept art for the interiors.
Unfortunately, Walt’s passing ended this idea; the family did not feel it appropriate to carry on with this project. Flash forward approximately 40 years later, and Redmond’s original watercolors were used as the inspiration for what is now titled, “The Dream Suite.” This luxury apartment is in the location that Walt had picked back in the 60′s, displacing The Disney Gallery. The Gallery was a guest favorite, doubling as both a museum of sorts and an upscale collectible shop. Featuring costumes, original art, and props from the park and Disney movies, the Gallery was an excellent use of this space in New Orleans Square. According to most “rumors” there is a possibility that the Gallery will be relocated elsewhere in the park; currently there is a temporary art gallery of sorts located between the Mad Hatter and The Opera House in Town Square.
But back to the Dream Suite; tours have been given to show off this renovation that supposedly cost over $3 million dollars to create. After seeing it firsthand, I am not surprised at that figure. The furnishings are of the highest quality; no detail has been overlooked; and the design team have put together an apartment that is almost as magical as the park itself. Each room pays homage to a different land in the park, as you will probably be able to tell by looking at these photos.
On the exterior railing, the initials of Walt & Roy Disney have been painted gold to call attention to them; this railing has been up there for years, but unless you knew about it being there, it was easy to miss this detail.
Jarrod, our tour guide, lead us up the elevator for our 20 minute tour. As most cast members are, Jarrod was extremely friendly and enthusiastic about the suite, answering every question that was thrown at him.
In the entry hallway, you can see many of the watercolors that Redmond created, and then see how her vision came to fruition in the finished product.
The Master bedroom is beautiful, and gives a few nods to Adventureland:
The guest room was one of my favorites; being a model train afficianado myself.
The suite has its own balcony, where the winners of the promotion can have their own private viewing area of Fantasmic!
The private courtyard has a fountain that Disney Gallery fans will remember:
Prize winners are selected at random in the park, and are given until 3pm to gather what they need for their overnight stay. Included in the package are dinner at the Blue Bayou, private viewing of Fantasmic!, a two-hour after hours private tour of the park, and 24-hour concierge service (which is necessary since there is “lockdown” in the apartment after the tour).
You can view many more pics of this fantastic suite on my site: davelandweb.com/dreamsuite/ p> Until next time, see you at Daveland, 24/7! Feel free to email me suggestions for the next column
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