Attention Disney Parks fans! The newest episode of the ESPN+ Original series “Peyton’s Places” is traveling to Walt Disney World Resort where host Peyton Manning is exploring the fascinating origin story of the iconic “What’s Next?” Super Bowl spots with the NFL quarterback who started it all, Phil Simms.
And before you check out the full episode available now on ESPN+, we’re sharing a behind-the-scenes peek at some of the interesting stories and fun from Magic Kingdom Park.
As you may know, “Peyton’s Places” is an Emmy-nominated football-themed docuseries that highlights the sport’s history and cultural impact by taking its most important people to the most important places in NFL history. This week’s episode puts Peyton Manning on Main Street U.S.A., and in other areas of Magic Kingdom for a one-of-a-kind chat with Phil Simms and a rare chance to actually relive the original Disney “What’s Next?” experience.
In 1987, Phil was the very first of a series of NFL players from the big game to be celebrated in our parks with a high-energy cavalcade, Disney characters and other festivities. Each Disney celebration usually happens just hours after the Super Bowl winner answers the famous question, “What are you going to do next?”
Whether the answer is “I’m going to Disneyland” or “I’m going to Disney World,” cast members always come together to celebrate the champions like only Disney can. But it all almost never happened!
How Disney’s “What’s Next?” Campaign Began
There’s a chance there would be no “What’s Next?” or Disney celebrations of Super Bowl champions if it weren’t for two unique pilots!
In December 1986, pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager had just completed the first flight around the world without stopping or refueling. Then Disney CEO, Michael Eisner and his wife Jane, were having lunch with the pilots and asked the simple question “What are you going to do next?” Their response was, “We’re going to Disneyland!” And just like that, the idea for the iconic “What’s Next?” campaign was born.
First Ever “I’m Going to Disney World!”
During the new episode of “Peyton’s Places” at Magic Kingdom, Phil also shares with Peyton that he was originally hesitant to participate and almost didn’t say “I’m going to Disney World” after Super Bowl XXI. He says he wanted his attention to be devoted to the game but his agent called him five times a day leading to the big game and he finally agreed to participate the Friday night before Super Bowl Sunday.
There are many more “What’s Next?” stories in the new “Peyton’s Places” episode as Peyton and Phil enjoy the resort, a visit with Mickey Mouse and some of our park attractions like TRON Lightcycle / Run Presented by Enterprise and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Peyton and Phil also have fun in the park re-creating the “flea-flicker” that the New York Giants quarterback executed in Super Bowl XXI – this time, with the newest member of the team, Goofy!
The latest episode of “Peyton’s Places” called “When You Wish Upon A Star” is available now on ESPN+. You can also check out the schedule for all episodes now on ESPN.