Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: Novenber/December 2013
Meeting Planners Find Ways To Make Their Group Events More "Magical" At Disneyland Resort
By: Solomon J. Herbert II

The Disneyland Resort is one of the most inspirational business settings on Earth, long recognized by business and academia as being at the forefront of creativity and innovation. Disneyland hotels and theme parks offer creative settings for meetings, conventions, incentive programs and leisure travelers alike.

Conveniently located just across the street from Disneyland and its neighboring properties is the Anaheim Convention Center. Meeting planners will have a huge selection of options when it comes to planning every aspect of their meetings. The Disney properties along with the convention center provide the ultimate meeting experience with plenty of amenities and activities that any conference attendee would be in total satisfaction with.

Recently, Disney held their third D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. This expo is known as "The Ultimate Disney Fan Event." Over the course of three days, 50,000 Expo attendees got an insider's look at new developments across The Walt Disney Company, from film and television, to theme parks and resorts, and more.

As in previous expos, D23 Expo 2013 showcased all of the latest stars in the Disney universe as well as some of the upcoming projects on which they are working. This includes well-known actors along with many popular names behind the scenes in the Disney family. D23 also featured the Disney Legends Awards - a stirring biennial event that pays tribute to the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy; an all-new Fan Art Contest themed to the upcoming 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins as well as the 12,000-sq. ft. Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit featuring costumes, props, and set pieces from Disney's rich history.

A five-year transformation of Disney California Adventure has introduced an array of new private-event venues and entertainment options for groups. The final phase of the expansion opened June 2012 and introduced the exciting new 12-acre Cars Land inspired by the Disney/Pixar animated film Cars. Also new is Buena Vista Street, an immersive experience of 1920s Los Angeles. Towering over one end of Buena Vista Street is the new park icon, Carthay Circle Theatre, home to the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge, which features a seasonal menu that celebrates California's diverse cuisine.

The Disneyland Hotel has completed a two-year transformation that includes completely redesigned guest rooms, recreation facilities and public areas. The hotel now features a new 12,500-sq. ft. outdoor event lawn that includes a permanent stage and event lighting.  At the same time, the resort's 969 guest rooms have undergone a total re-imagining and now offer contemporary d├ęcor and a host of business-friendly amenities.

Meeting professionals looking for a striking new venue where imaginations can soar need only look up to the new Blue Sky Suite on the 11 th floor of the Disneyland Hotel.  The 3,000-sq. ft. suite was specifically designed to host meetings or receptions for up to 150 attendees.

"The Blue Sky Suite is more than a traditional meeting room or hospitality suite," said Robert Donahue, director of resort, park event sales and services, Disneyland Resort. "It was specially created to unlock creative thinking and immerse attendees in a vibrant, contemporary atmosphere. It's a uniquely Disney environment that helps attendees dream big and think outside the box. "

Disneyland Resort was honored by the Clean the World Foundation Inc. for donating nearly 20,000 pounds of partially used soap and bottled bath amenities in 2012. Combined, the Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa donated more than any other property in California. Disney's work with Clean the World is an important part of the company's commitment to Green Meetings. Not only is Disney promoting the best venues and attractions for group events of all sizes, but this company is environmentally conscious in doing so.