• Claire Gell

Disney Parks year 2000 poster

My Mum and Dad bought me this poster on our first trip to Disney World in 2001, and then got it framed to put up in my room. It’s been hanging in my room ever since, that is until the end of last year when me and Eddy bought our first house and my mum made sure we took it with us!

Even though our first trip to Disney World was in 2001, the poster is actually one of the designs they did to celebrate the millennium the year before. I always liked it because it had lots of different Disney characters on it; at 9 years old I knew every character on the poster, apart from one. I never knew who the smiling blue dragon on the left was – it was years before I learned that it was the Reluctant Dragon. I'll finally get to watch The Reluctant Dragon (1941) at some point now thanks to Disney+!

Another feature of the poster that I appreciated, but never fully understood, was the four castles in the background. As a child I just assumed that the four castles belonged to four of the Disney princesses. It was only recently, having watched The Imagineering Story – a documentary series on Disney+ about the creation and building of all the Disney theme parks – that my brain twigged that the castles are the four castles at Disney parks around the world that would have existed in the year 2000. It annoys me a little that they’re not in chronological order – from left to right the castles on the poster are from Disneyland (opened 1955), Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World (opened 1971), Disneyland Paris (opened as Euro Disney in 1992), and Tokyo Disney (opened in 1983) – but Tokyo Disney has the same castle as the Magic Kingdom, so I suppose they didn’t want to have two of the same castle in the middle of the poster?

I now realise that the four castles from around the world being featured on the poster also gives more context to the words along the bottom “Celebrate the future land to land”, which I’d always thought was just a nice twist for no reason on Walt Disney World’s millennium celebration song Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand.

It’s certainly one of the more childish decorations in our house, but to me it’s more than just a poster of Disney characters. It’s nice to have this souvenir, from nearly 20 years ago, from the first holiday we took to my favourite place in the world.

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