I'm going to Disney World!

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Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes in the parade at the Magic Kingdom the day after the game

"I'm going to Disney World!" and "I'm going to Disneyland!" are advertising slogans used in a series of television commercials by The Walt Disney Company that began airing in 1987.[1] Used to promote the company's theme park resorts in Florida and California, the commercials most often are broadcast following the Super Bowl and typically feature an NFL player (usually the Super Bowl MVP) shouting the phrase while celebrating the team's victory immediately after the championship game.[2] These commercials have also promoted champions from other sports, and winners of non-sport competitions such as American Idol.


Disney refers to the campaign as "What's Next?" in reference to the commercial's usual format, which has the star appear to be answering a question posed by an unseen narrator—"What are you going to do next?"—after his or her moment of triumph. The narrator is Mark Champion, a veteran radio play-by-play announcer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, and Westwood One.[3] Most ads feature the song "When You Wish Upon a Star" and end with a shot of fireworks over Cinderella Castle or Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Typically the star records two versions of the commercial, one for each phrase, so that the ads can be broadcast in different American media markets to strategically promote either the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California. In most cases, Disney arranges for its star to appear in a parade at either Disneyland or one of the Walt Disney World theme parks the day immediately following the victory in order to fulfill the spoken promise in one version.[4]


Original campaign[edit]

In his 1998 memoir Work in Progress, Disney CEO Michael Eisner credited his wife, Jane, with the idea for the campaign.[5] According to Eisner, during the January 1987 grand opening for the Star Tours attraction at Disneyland, the couple dined with Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who in December 1986 had piloted the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refueling. After Jane Eisner asked what the pilots planned to do next, they replied, "Well, we're going to Disneyland." She later told her husband the phrase would make a great advertising campaign.

Following Super Bowl XXI on January 25, 1987, a Disney commercial starred New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, in which he was asked "Now that you've won the Super Bowl, Phil Simms, what are you going to do?" Simms, who replied "I'm going to Disney World", was paid $75,000; John Elway was paid the same amount, in case the Denver Broncos won.[6] The company later aired three more ads that year with other athletes following major sports championships.[citation needed]

While appearing in a subsequent parade at the Walt Disney World Resort, 1994 Winter Olympics figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was recorded saying to Mickey Mouse, "This is dumb. I hate it. This is the most corniest thing I have ever done."[7] Kerrigan, however, claimed that her remarks had been misinterpreted. She claimed that while participating in the parade was not corny, wearing her Silver Medal was because her parents had taught her not to boast or flaunt her accomplishments. Kerrigan also went on to say that she had nothing against the Disney Company or Mickey Mouse and said, "Whoever could find fault with Mickey Mouse? He's the greatest mouse I've ever known."[8]

Ray Lewis was named Super Bowl XXXV MVP, but because of a murder trial he was involved in the previous year, the phrase "I'm going to Disney World!" was given instead to quarterback Trent Dilfer.[9]

In subsequent years, Disney reportedly has offered $30,000 to athletes and other stars for participating in the ads and appearing at one of its theme parks.[10]

Although Tom Brady was named MVP of Super Bowl LI, he gave the Disney trip to teammate James White.[11]

2006 return[edit]

In 2006, the campaign resumed before Super Bowl XL as Disney projected scenes from the 20-year history of the campaign onto a Detroit skyscraper in the days before the game.[12] During the television broadcast, Disney aired a commercial showing members of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks practicing how they would deliver the famous phrase while preparing for the game. The following day, the company began airing a traditional "What's Next" commercial featuring Steelers Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis.[13] Even though it was not part of the ad buy in 2016, Peyton Manning said the famous phrase in an interview after Super Bowl 50.[14]

2020 overhaul[edit]

For Super Bowl LIV in 2020, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products was the official sponsor of that game's MVP ceremony;[15] Patrick Mahomes' announcement of the phrase was thus embedded into the broadcast post-game show, which included appearances by Mickey and Minnie Mouse alongside 10 year-old Make-a-Wish child Nathaniel from Austin, Texas.[16][17] During the Disney World parade honoring Mahomes, Nathaniel also took part, representing the Make-a-Wish Foundation.[18][19][20][16][21] Nathaniel also posed with Mahomes, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek, Mickey and Minnie, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Make-A-Wish America President/CEO Richard K. Davis when Chapek announced a $1 million donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Mahomes' honor.[22] 17 other children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation also got free passes to attend the parade as well.[16][21]

Stars and celebrations[edit]

The commercials generally star a single NFL player immediately following the Super Bowl but the campaign also has featured athletes from other championship games and several non-celebrities.

Year Person and affiliation Event "I'm going to..." Sources
1987 Phil Simms (New York Giants) Super Bowl XXI Walt Disney World [23]
Dennis Conner on the yacht Stars & Stripes America's Cup [23]
Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) NBA Finals Disneyland [23]
Frank Viola (Minnesota Twins) World Series Walt Disney World [23]
1988 Doug Williams (Washington Redskins) Super Bowl XXII Walt Disney World and Disneyland [24]
Gretchen Carlson (Miss Minnesota) Miss America [23]
Brian Boitano, U.S. figure skater Winter Olympics [23]
Orel Hershiser (Los Angeles Dodgers) World Series Walt Disney World [23]
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Los Angeles Lakers) NBA Finals Disneyland [23]
1989 Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers) Super Bowl XXIII Disneyland [23]
Al MacInnis (Calgary Flames) Stanley Cup Finals [23]
Joe Dumars (Detroit Pistons) NBA Finals Walt Disney World [23]
1990 Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers) Super Bowl XXIV Walt Disney World and Disneyland [23]
Jim Thompson Temple University graduation [23]
Matt Kaldenberg, Phyllis Kaldenberg, and Laura McEwen Simpson College graduation [23]
1991 Ottis Anderson (New York Giants) Super Bowl XXV [23]
Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls) NBA Finals Walt Disney World [23]
1992 Mark Rypien (Washington Redskins) Super Bowl XXVI [23]
1993 Troy Aikman (Dallas Cowboys) Super Bowl XXVII Walt Disney World [25]
Patrick Roy (Montreal Canadiens) Stanley Cup Finals Disneyland [26]
1994 Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports) Brickyard 400 [23]
Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys) Super Bowl XXVIII Walt Disney World and Disneyland [23]
Nancy Kerrigan, U.S. figure skater Winter Olympics [23]
1995 Jerry Rice and Steve Young (San Francisco 49ers) Super Bowl XXIX [23]
1996 Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys) Super Bowl XXX [23]
1997 Desmond Howard (Green Bay Packers) Super Bowl XXXI [23]
Santa Claus Christmas [23]
1998 John Elway (Denver Broncos) Super Bowl XXXII [23]
Mark McGwire (St. Louis Cardinals) Major League Baseball home run record [23]
1999 Terrell Davis and John Elway (Denver Broncos) Super Bowl XXXIII [23]
United States women's national soccer team FIFA Women's World Cup [23]
2000 Kurt Warner (St. Louis Rams) Super Bowl XXXIV [23]
2001 Trent Dilfer (Baltimore Ravens) Super Bowl XXXV [23]
Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants) Major League Baseball home run record [23]
2002 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Super Bowl XXXVI [23]
Scott Spiezio (Anaheim Angels) World Series [23]
2003 Jon Gruden and Brad Johnson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) Super Bowl XXXVII [23]
2004 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) Super Bowl XXXVIII Walt Disney World [23]
Curt Schilling, Pedro Martínez, and David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) 2004 World Series Walt Disney World [27][28]
Dave Andreychuk (Tampa Bay Lightning) Stanley Cup Finals [23]
2006 Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis (Pittsburgh Steelers) Super Bowl XL [23]
Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) NBA Finals [23]
2007 Tony Dungy and Dominic Rhodes (Indianapolis Colts) Super Bowl XLI Walt Disney World [29]
Teemu Selänne (Anaheim Ducks) Stanley Cup Finals [23]
2008 Eli Manning (New York Giants) Super Bowl XLII Walt Disney World and Disneyland [30][31]
David Cook American Idol season 7 Walt Disney World [32]
2009 Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers) Super Bowl XLIII Walt Disney World [23]
Kris Allen American Idol season 8 Walt Disney World [33][34][35]
Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl XLIII halftime show Disneyland [36]
2010 Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) Super Bowl XLIV Walt Disney World [37]
Lee DeWyze American Idol season 9 Walt Disney World [38]
2011 Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) Super Bowl XLV Walt Disney World and Disneyland [39]
Scotty McCreery American Idol season 10 Walt Disney World [40]
2012 Eli Manning (New York Giants) Super Bowl XLVI Walt Disney World [41]
2013 Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) Super Bowl XLVII Walt Disney World and Disneyland [23]
2014 Malcolm Smith (Seattle Seahawks) Super Bowl XLVIII Walt Disney World [23]
2015 Malcolm Butler and Julian Edelman (New England Patriots) Super Bowl XLIX Disneyland [23]
2016 Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos) Super Bowl 50 Disneyland [42]
2018 Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles) Super Bowl LII Walt Disney World [23]
2019 Tom Brady and Julian Edelman (New England Patriots) Super Bowl LIII Walt Disney World [23]
2020 Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) Super Bowl LIV Walt Disney World [43][44][45]
2021 Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) Super Bowl LV Walt Disney World [46]
2022 Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams) Super Bowl LVI Disneyland [47]
2023 Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) Super Bowl LVII Disneyland [48]


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