The Origin of Super Bowl’s I’m Going to Disney World!
I’m Going to DIsney World! It’s a phrase that’s become so integrated in pop culture that I never gave it a second thought. No matter who was facing off, my parents always hosted a Super Bowl party at my childhood home.
Through the battle on the field- and even during the famous commercial breaks- my family and I would joke that it never mattered to us who won because, we would be going to Disney World anyway! Until the clock ran to 00:00 though, the question in my childhood mind wasn’t ‘who would win’ it was ‘who is going to get to say “I’m going to Disney World”’?
A Galactic Dinner
Now that I’m grown and I’m aware of marketing and sponsorship endorsements, the origin of the now-iconic phrase really got me thinking. Who was the first Super Bowl MVP to say those words? Was he prompted and sponsored, or was Disney World truly the place he chose to celebrate what was likely to be his life’s biggest accomplishment?
To find the answer, I had to go back in time to 1987, to a dinner table in a galaxy far, far away…
“In January 1987, we were launching Disneyland’s Star Tours, an attraction based on Star Wars. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, my wife, Jane, and I had dinner with George Lucas, as well as Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who had just become the first people to fly around the world without stopping. It was late and the conversation hit a lull as we waited for our food.
So I asked Dick and Jeana, ‘Well, now that you’ve accomplished the pinnacle of your aspirations, what could you possibly do next?’ Rutan responded, without hesitation, ‘I’m going to Disneyland.’ And of course I go, ‘Wow, that’s cool! You made the right choice.’ But my wife interjects: ‘You know, that’s a good slogan.’”
-Michael Eisner, 2005, to Sports Illustrated
A Lasting Legacy
On February 3rd this year, the 2019 Super Bowl MVP will look straight into the camera after his victory and proudly tell the world “I’m going to Disney World!”- and he won’t be the first (or last) to do so!
Save for only 2 years, the Super Bowl MVP has been sponsored by Disney to give that famous take to the camera. Super Bowl stars like Tom Brady and, most recently, Nick Foles, are among the ranks of greats who not only had the honor of being named Super Bowl MVP, but to follow up their big win with a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resorts!
The Super Bowl MVP parade has drawn massive crowds on Main Street USA for years. I attended last year’s MVP parade and just hours after watching Nick Foles state his next destination, I was standing on Main Street watching he and Mickey greet their throngs of adoring fans. Click here to watch last year’s MVP parade from my POV!
So yes, the famous phrase was originally- and still is- an advertisement for Disney, but the lasting legacy that stemmed from a haphazard comment at a dinner table in 1987 is a story that will go down in history for decades to come.
Do you have memories of the Super Bowl MVP’s take into the camera? If so, which is your favorite? Who do you hope will have the honor of uttering those words this Super Bowl Sunday? Leave me a comment and let me know! Here is the first I’m Going to DIsney World video featuring NY Giants quarterback Phil Simms.
Are you planning to book a Disney vacation for you and your family? I’d love to help! I am a proud MickeyTravels Authorized Vacation Planner (Platinum Level) specializing in all Disney destinations. From hotel to FastPass+ reservations, I will help with each and every aspect of your trip. And the best part about my services is that they are completely FREE!You can find me over on Facebook, or contact me directly at email@example.com, or 800-308-6257. I can’t wait to start planning your dream Disney vacation!