More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Disney Guests Become Stars of TV Ads, Castle Show As Walt Disney World and Disneyland ‘Let the Memories Begin’

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

As you just learned during our live coverage out of New York City, Disney Parks has officially launched “Let the Memories Begin” – our special celebration of family vacations and magical memories. And yes, you’re going to be the star. For the first time, your home videos and snapshots will be featured in Disney television ads and other print and online communications.
Let the Memories Begin
To kick things off, we’ve launched It’s a new destination where you can upload your Disney vacation memories captured in photos and videos and share with the world. And getting started is easy:

Simple, right? So, what should you submit? Your favorite memories – whether it was a first meeting with a Disney princess, a laugh-filled Splash Mountain ride or a magical moment around a holiday fireplace when mom and dad surprised everyone with a “We’re Going to Disney!” announcement – We’re looking for videos and photos that capture your never-to-be-forgotten experiences. Take a look:

And there’s more – beginning in January of 2011, you’ll also become the star of a nightly spectacular at Disney Parks. Photos of magical memories made in the park during the day will be projected that night on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World and “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort. Pretty cool, huh?

In both locations, Disney PhotoPass photographers will provide images of guests shot during the day to be shared on the icons. While we’re still working on the show details, producers estimate as many as 500 photos will be shown in each location every day.

So, let us know about your favorite Disney memory and share it at


  • The castle is not a jumbo-tron and projecting real people onto it breaks the illusion of fantasy.

  • I LOVED the “birthday cake” castle.Why are you all ranking on it? As far as this idea goes…….I’d rather have the cake!

  • Thank goodness – I thought I was the only one who really loved the Cinderella Castle Birthday Cake! The imagination and the amount of work to pull it all together was amazing! Yes, I am glad it reverted back the traditional castle, but it’s in a Theme Park – so why not have fun with it?!? As for the “announcement”, not what I expected, but thanks Tom Bergeron for getting us up to speed!

  • Personally, I cried-tears of joy- when I watched the trailer.

    I think this is a great, solid idea. Besides, as so many have said before it will be apart of a SHOW- the firework show.

    Even with that, most of the people on here go once every few years? I would understand if this was going to be the ONLY time you would ever go, but you are just being plain silly.

    The Castle is a source of magic, and projecting other’s magic for all to see is inspiring. I personally can’t wait to see this show. I just hope the soundtrack is as magical as Wishes is!

    And for all you who think you know what Mr. Walt would want, stop it, you’re not him so don’t speak for him. ‘TT_TT

  • Love the projections and really they should be used for something more worthwhile!!

  • As for the photos, not crazy about the castle being defaced but if it must be done then please upgrade it as it has a very cheap look!!

    Hopefully you guys have something more monumental in the pipeline for WDW’s 40th……….. Walt would have!

  • Why can’t Disney buy Coney Island and make is a park there. That would be AWESOME!!

  • Everyone knows that Disney does family vacations better than anyone else in the world, but this is off the mark. Using real videos and pictures in your ads is a good idea if done well – if all you’re going to use is Aunt Hilda’s not-so-professional photos of little Timmy giving Goofy a sticky high-five, then this is going to be a disaster. And as for the projections of pictures on the castle, I for one am not going to waste one moment of my Disney World time 1) standing around, fingers crossed that a picture of my family comes up, or 2) watching a stranger’s special moments in the park, when I could be having some myself.

  • Oh boy everyone, its not like its forever. RELAX! I agree with Jacyln-maybe the new announcements should be released to only D23 members because so many of the general public don’t seem to do well with change. Especially, because they take WDW and its castle so personal. oh, the irony. Its like saying “no, no don’t put other peoples pictures on MY castle. I like the castle the way that I remember it in my MEMORIES.” Kinda makes the whole thing about them not wanting to see anyone’s ‘personal’ images and family memories posted on ‘their’ castle very ironic in a weird sort of way. that’s the whole idea and they’re missing it altogether. I will enjoy this new idea while it lasts. and for all those who keep referring to the 40th, how do you know that Disney doesn’t have something else up their sleeve in about a year and a half? Other campaigns before have lasted about 18 months. Why would this one be any different? It is highly possible that by the time WDW is actually turning 40, YOUR castle will be back to normal. Enjoy the change for now like the rest of us. Have a Disney Day!

  • Yea, the birthday cake was neat and I don’t even like pink, but the announcement was a let down

  • There is a certain brag factor to having your video or pictures selected for a commercial. Interesting idea, but not terribly original.

    On the other hand, who came up with the idea of projecting images that are taken by PhotoPass photographers? Someone must have said, “We can pay for the entire projection system with the revenue generated by increased PhotoPass sales!”

    Come on, Disney! If people want to see their picture projected to get their 15 seconds of fame, they can go ride SpaceShip Earth!

    Where has all of the imagination gone?

  • I’m with the rest of you – I think the pictures on the castle will lead me to spend my evenings in another park.

    I like the castle – not the castle with images on it. Put the pictures on a screen at the entrance.

  • Why not celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom?! Sigh…

  • Seen some of the test footage of the projections on the Castle. They truly look amazing. However, I prefer the Castle to be left alone at night.

    As for the Memories website and idea. Kudos! What makes Disney special are the memories one has when they go and enjoy the parks.

    That being said…this was way too hyped. A good announcement, but too hyped.

  • I agree with alot of the posts above. LEAVE THE CASTLE ALONE! One of my favorite things is looking at the castle lit up at night. I do like the idea of the pictures being more visible than they were for the 50th of Disneyland. But I don’t like the idea of seeing other people’s kids all over the castle when I would like to capture a lovely night pic of it. Maybe if they included it as part of the fireworks show but not as an independent showing. As others have suggested, find someplace on mainstreet to show the slideshow. Leave the castle alone.

  • I think that this is awesome! Everything about it. The only thing that I am really disappointed in is the fans. You are asking about all these huge new announcements, but we know just about everything that is coming to the parks already. Thanks to this blog we are kept up to date with all of the info we know a lot! I think that this promotion is going to be really great and the show will be epic! People originally said that World of Color was going to be a fail so I look forward to what is coming. Change is good, and Walt himself said “As long as there is Imagination left in the world, Disneyland will never be finished”. I feel like this applies to the company as a whole. Keep up the good work guys! I know great things are in store.

  • Hi I cant wait for Christmas at Disneyland , our families favorite time to go. Anyone know when they will be taping this years Christmas Parade Special for ABC-TV? I would love to go see the taping. Please anyone let me know!!?

  • So only events captured in pictures or film clips count as memories nowsday?

  • I think it sounds like a fine idea….one question, will this mean more wifi in the parks to upload pictures to social media????

  • PLEASE… leave the castle alone. I DO NOT want to see a bunch of strangers’ pictures messing it up! I don’t want to take a picture of it, making my OWN memories, and have random people’s faces on it! It is such an icon, please let it be.

  • Look. I love the ad campaign. I have seen the test video of the projections on the castle and I like most of what I have seen. I actually think I will enjoy seeing how happy these parks make other people, as they make me and my family very happy.
    I’m all about embracing social media and getting news spread out.
    I just dont see how this “special announcement” was any bigger than a standard blog post. There was no need for a press conference. If all that was done was this exact post, explaining everything with pictures and examples, it would have been perfect.
    As it stands, a good idea very overshadowed by the extra hype put out for this.

  • As I love the slogan “let the memories begin” and the song that goes with it, I’m not a fan of messing with the castle in anyway!
    Just how much planning and thought was behind this Disney is setting themselves up for a potential disaster: and that is children crying and disappointed because their picture was not up or they simply didn’t see it.And that will take away from the “magic” Disney prides themselves on.
    How about spaceship earth if you wanna post photos it could increase the number of photos shown nightly giving children better odds to see their photo.

    I ask you to get behind me and ask Disney to reconsider this “show on the castle” Don’t mess with the magic of a long time icon the very symbol of Disney!

  • I am a little nervous about this announcement. After all the hype I heard about how great this summer’s fireworks show was (even better than Wishes?? how could this be?!), i had high hopes for a new incredible fireworks show. i’m really unsure about this…

  • Did everyone seem to forget that the 40th aniversary does not START until NEXT October?? That Celebration will start then, not the January before.

  • Our Disney Family video was featured in the campaign — and that’s our Daughter hugging Belle in the video above! Here’s our full video:

  • I’m not sure how I feel about this. I have two primary concerns:

    1) When I take pictures in front of the castle at night, I don’t want *other* people’s pictures to overlay the castle. That completely ruins a pretty terrific photo opportunity.
    2) Is the “we may use your Photopass photos on the castle” a requirement? That is, if we don’t want to share our photos with every single person in the park that day, does that mean we can’t use Photopass any longer? Or will they only use photos from people who specifically gave permission for their photos to be used?

    And a more minor-concern – this was severely overhyped. When you said a “big announcement”, I was expecting something far more major than this. Not “We did research and found out people like social media, so we’re gonna share their photos for them”. 🙁

  • Awww, Christopher! That’s your daughter? She’s adorable! 🙂 I do like the idea of real pictures and kids as a promotion, but just don’t understand why they want to use the Castle. What’s the worst part of talking to someone about their vacation? The fear of them bringing out the slides and pictures. Isn’t that the oldest sitcom joke in the book?

  • So my memories will now be mixed with others memories projected onto wonderful Disney icons? I care about creating my own memories without the intrusion of others memories. Guess I can only take pictures of the castle in the daytime now.

  • We are big Disney fans but not crazy about this announcement. Not liking the idea of having complete strangers pictures blasted on the castle. Hope it’s only for a short period of time as we are planning a big trip in 2012!

  • They did a similar idea a few years back with pictures when they asked guests to send them in for the mosaics made for Disneyland’s 50th. It was a much classier way to display the photos. I am a HUGE Beauty and the Beast fan, and was delighted to find my picture with Beast in the Beauty and the Beast mosaic. It was nice to be able to look up and see where my picture was being used and I didn’t have to time my vacation to see it posted. I wonder why Disneyland’s castle is being left alone, but not Walt Disney World’s. Not everyone likes messing with such a classic icon — especially when lessons should have been learned from the 25th anniversary castle cake. I love Disney and everything about it, but I feel this idea comes off as tacky. I don’t want to see some stranger’s face on the side of the castle. The mosaics were a much better way to make Disney memories into art.

  • The castle is THE icon for the Magic Kingdom. To project photos of strangers onto the castle may please the few that see their photos,but the thousands of guests who have to wait to take their treasured photo of the castle until the photos of strangers are gone isn’t going to be a pleasant memory. Please consider projecting the photos else where, at EPCOT perhaps. It’s not so bad at Disneyland as you are using Small World. That’s just one of the attractions. But the castle? Please make this short lived.

  • I do not really care for this new celebration.

  • A big yawner.

  • The commercial is really cute and moving!

  • Underwhelmed. But whether it’s a show or a projection that runs on as the night drains out I still have no desire to look at photos of strangers. I’ve been to concerts where they take your picture and say it’ll be up on the big screen and a lot of people fail to see their picture or don’t like how it turned out etc. I’ve seen it cause more disappointment than joy. This was worthy of a paper press release, not a conference announcment.

  • This is stupid! I don’t want to see other people’s faces on the castle while I’m at WDW! Disney this must not happen!

  • although I’m not really interested in this, I find it a funny coincidence that they put up those youtube videos of “surprise we’re going to Disneyland/Walt Disney World!”. only because I was watching a LOT of those only a month ago. Some of them are reeeally sweet.

    Look up on youtube, the video of “girl sees/meets Mickey for the first time”. Pure magic.

  • Just what I want! A bunch of people I dont know in the pictures I take of Cinderella’s castle at night. Now Im not against doing the picture thing, but do it somewhere else! Cant you project them on the ground or something?!

  • Turning the Castle in a giant screen saver is a very bad idea. Please don’t ruin the beaty of the castle for a slide show. Hire a new advertising company!

  • Wow… I’m reading these responses and I’m puzzled. Why the negativity? Boring? Really? I think some of you need to take another trip to the most magical place on earth and get an attitude adjustment! You need to look at this through a child’s eyes. I love the idea.

  • This is disappointing. It seems like a filler until cars land and fantasy expansion open.

  • I’m all for the “Let the memories being” tag line, the tv ads are cute BUT projecting strangers vacation photos on the beautiful castle as if it’s a giant screen saver is a terrible idea! Talk about ruining a photo-op, who wants that in their photos? I am on vacation to make and enjoy my own family’s memories, not to watch a slide show of strangers vacation photos. On vacation time = money so we’re not going to waste valuable vacation time waiting and watching in hopes that a photo of my family appears on the castle for all of 3 seconds. In all honestly my family probably wouldn’t even stop to watch ANY of the photos flying across the “screen”. This actually seems like a commercial for a Disney vacation….viewed while you’re in the park…on a Disney vacation! Make sense? Not much!

    Doesn’t Disney realize they do not need gimmicks or “promotions” to make memories or to keep us coming back to the parks? All we ask for is quality entertainment, rides and food that our hard earned money is paying for. I was hoping this announcement would hold news of improving some of the rides/attractions that have fallen by the wayside over the years or better yet something to commemorate the 40th. Even revised plans for the Fantasyland project would have been a great announcement! Disney, please, let the memories come on their own

    Our next trip is planned for the Christmas holiday season 2011 because we want to see the parks holiday lights and decorations, I was anticipating the castle’s icicle lights. I’m crossing my fingers that this silly screen saver idea is over by then, if not, we’ll be post-poning our trip or vacationing elsewhere. Totally missed the mark on this one, totally

  • I don’t want to see people’s noses on Cinderella Castle 🙁

  • I’m sorry, but I don’t think that projecting people’s photos in the Castle is a good idea… Want to project Tink? Ok. Christmas lights? Ok. but, people’s photos? I think it is a really lame idea for 40 years of WDW…

  • I know that once you enter the theme parks you have agreed to have your picture taken by Disney for their own uses, but what will happen when someone has their picture put on the castle when they didn’t want it to?

    Plus, aren’t most of the Photopass shots kind of staged? Not really spontaneous usually.

  • As a Disneyland local, I think its a pretty cool idea to project guest’s videos on the Small World facade.

    Though I have to admit, I agree with Thor; I was a bit underwhelmed by this announcement. It doesn’t excite me too much, but I’m sure that many families will enjoy it.

    Yes, it is very exciting for kids to hear “We’re going to Disneyland!”

  • I was disappointed in the announcement. Was expecting something big and grand. Also, a question about the pics on the castle. Is there a way to opt out? I use photopass on each trip, but if there is even a chance that one of those pics will be shown on the castle then I would hesitate to use this system.

  • what is the song in the background? it’s cute. (:

  • I love that video!!

  • I have to agree, no pictures on the castle. It is just too beautiful.

Comments are closed.