PROJECT: DISNEY PARKS YEAR OF A MILLION DREAMS NATIONAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN & MEET THE DREAM MAKERS
- International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA) Communicator, Award of Distinction for Meet the Dream Makers
Client: Disney Parks
Role: brand storyteller, content strategist, creative lead, director, project lead, copywriter
Audience: disneyparks.com Guests interested in the Year of a Million Dreams campaign
Objective: Increase awareness of the massive campaign. Define the prizes, rules. Present stories of winners. Introduce some of the Dream Makers through videos.
Results: This campaign, The Year of a Million Dreams, which also included the Annie Leibovitz Disney Dream Portrait Series, was so successful, it continued for another year.
- International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA) Communicator Award, Silver Award of Distinction——Game or Application, Category Winner
The Communicator Awards is an annual competition honoring the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, audio and interactive work.
Tags—project roles & focus:
award-winning projects, ads, brand direction, content management & strategy, creative direction, design, editor, interactive / games, project lead copywriter, project management, media production, scripts
...thank you for taking the time to come to Florida and meet our Team. The making of the video was so much fun! Thank you so much for your encouragement. I really enjoyed being interviewed by you. From our conversation, I have considered pursuing career advancement opportunities. I was hoping you could lend some ideas from your experience.”
IN OTHERS' WORDS
"Dina always goes above and beyond to immerse herself in the brand she is working on. She is able to go with the flow and jump right into the project to keep it moving forward. Dina is able to bring fresh ideas to the table and think out of the box in order to provide the Business with innovative ideas and concepts that help meet the Business Goals. Although Dina joined the Disney Parks in the middle of the Year of a Million Dreams project, she was able to contribute immediately to the team with many ideas and stepped up to help us execute Meet the Dream Makers. Although originally resourced as a copywriter, she helped cast, script, direct, and edit the cast member videos to help meet our deadline and produce a high-quality product that exceeded the expectations of the Business.”
—Liza Q., Project Manager
“When called upon to help move initiatives forward, Dina is willing and able to accept the challenge and help us move forward. If given the opportunity, Dina can lead to further develop concepts and fill roles of other team members when they don’t have time available. Although a very talented copywriter, she is also a big-picture thinker who doesn’t get bogged down in the details and helps to keep the team creative. During the Meet the Dream Makers brainstorming sessions, Dina was able to take the vision of the team and help to make it a reality by proactively taking next steps in getting materials together for the casting and being available for the shoots on both coasts despite having a full plate. The Dream Squad members were very impressed with Dina and I received several compliments on how she made them feel very comfortable and always up-to-speed on what was happening.”
—Liza Q., Project Manager
“Overall a wonderful copywriter and individual to work with. Her enthusiasm for her work is contagious and helps to drive the team. She is a team player who works hard and takes pride in her work and creative efforts. I hope to be able to work with Dina on the Disney Parks brand and hope she is part of the next Celebration team.”
—Lisa Q., Project Manager
During The Year of a Million Dreams celebration, families won prizes——some small and some extremely large——in Disneyland (CA) and Walt Disney World (FL) Parks. That's half of the celebration: winners excited to tell how they won, what they won, what it meant to them.
"Families share stories about their prizes and how they won during The Year of a Million Dreams celebration at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California."
The other half of the story is: the Dream Makers. These were special Cast Members who applied for the position and were selected for being exceptional. An elite group. The best of the best Cast Members.
They wore light blue shirts, the same color as the Disney websites. People would get incredibly excited when they saw a Dream Maker. Or, sometimes, no one would know they were coming, and a Dream Maker would appear and present an incredible prize.
Half-way through the Year of a Million Dreams, the spotlight was put on these Dream Makers.
Meet the Dream Makers
From sharing a magical moment to awarding Disney dreams in the Disney Dreams Giveaway, these extraordinary Disney Cast Members who work in the Parks are creating special memories every day for Guests during The Year of a Million Dreams. Watch as they reveal their most unforgettable stories — and see how they turn wishes into dreams come true!
The Dream Makers stories were as exciting and special as the families who won.
Why not make a video of them?
That was the project.
I'd hadn't been at Walt Disney Parks and Resort very long, and was given this project. I jumped in. Thrilled to apply my production background.
I interviewed Dream Makers, attended casting sessions, transcribed their responses, offered recommendations as to who should be selected, wrote acceptance letters—then was given the chance to direct the videos and assist with the editing. From start to finish, I got to meet the most amazing people in the Disney Company.
Transcripts of 2 Dream Makers' audition tapes—what eventually became their videos—are below.
Sample Interview Questions for Dream Squad Members
1. How long have you been working at Disney?
2. What did you do before you became a member of the Dream Squad?
3. What does it mean to you to be on the Dream Squad
4. What is a typical day like on the Dream Squad?
5. Is there a Dream Squad uniform? Or, how would a Guest know you’re on the Dream Squad?
6. Do most Guests know about The Year of a Million Dreams? If not, how do you tell them about it?
7. Has there ever been a time when a Guest didn’t believe you?
8. Can you recite a little bit of your dreams spiel?
9. Do members of the Dream Squad have to interact with other Cast Members? If so, how does that work?
10. What was your favorite Magical Moment or Prize granted?
11. How do Guests usually react when you say “You are a winner!”?
12. Do you ever get as excited as the Guest?
13. Do you remember the first time you experienced a Magical Moment or granted a Prize? What happened? How did you feel?
14. What was the biggest Prize you granted?
15. Can you name some of the Prizes?
16. Can even small prizes or Magical Moments be special?
17. What moments do you take home with you at the end of the day?
18. What do you look forward to at the beginning of each day?
19. What dreams do you have as part of your job?
20. What does the word “dream” mean to you? How would you define it?
"Most of us wake up with alarm clocks, but when you know you’re gonna make somebody’s day, you don’t really need an alarm clock because you’re gonna get up instantaneously.
I remember a family walking out pretty much with their heads down and I was like, Hey what’s happening? Y’know hey, it’s DisneyWorld – y’know, we having fun? And the dad was like, Well, we couldn’t get on Soarin’ and I go, Really?
And I was like, Man, I’ll tell you what and I said, how about a FastPass? I say, I think there’s one left. And the mom go, What? One left? How’s that? So I looked at the little kid, he was about eight years old and when I told him who I was and what I can do and the things that I can make happen, was like, Yeah, right.
I can make this happen within seconds.
I walk in and they know I’m about do something magical.
So I walk in with this family of four, got Little Man at my side and he says, I still can’t believe this.
I started talking about the Hidden Mickeys and he was like, Yeah, I remember the one in the sky with the fireworks it was like a Mickey Mouse. I say, Yeah, but do you remember the golf scene? He was like, golf scene? I say, yeah when the man get ready to hit the golf ball… He say, oh, no man, I ducked. I say, man, you got to keep your eye on that, because there’s a hidden Mickey somewhere on that golf ball. And he was like --- (suspicious) and his dad and mom look at me. He was like, man, you just don’t know. You just made our whole vacation.
So now we’re on Soarin’ and we riding it. The kid is having so much fun and when we get to the golf scene, I always make sure I show my hands. Because y’see, in the golf scene is where the magic comes on. So just picture the golf ball and then all of a sudden they hit the golf ball and then all of a sudden when they hit the golf ball it comes right at you. But a lot of people duck at that time, when it’s time to duck, I reach out and go “kerrrch!” (grabs at the air) And then all of a sudden I show the kid the golf ball (reveals the golf ball in his hand.) And he’s like, whoooa! Oh man, its amazing. The kid he just, I don’t believe what just happened! Then, you know you good if you got mom and dad saying, Ohmygod!
Then, when it was all over, walking out, how everybody’s wondering How did you do that, I say, man, shhhh – you can’t be telling everybody our secrets, it's magic. So now, you guys gotta run, but I have two golf balls. He go, what? I say, yeah, when I was walking out I had to give one back to the operator. They gotta put it in for the next people that’s waiting to come in. But I got another one. He was like, man, that’s awesome. And I looked at him and I said, You know what, I want for you to remember that moment. I want you to have this golf ball. So now it’s something for him to take home, and when he takes it home, he got something to tell his neighbors, his friends, school people he run into, somebody’s gonna ask him how was your vacation. He gonna say, man, I remember this guy. This guy pulled a golf ball off the screen. And they be like, yeah, whatever, right. He did, he gave it to me and then if you look carefully you’ll see the Hidden Mickey on the ball. And that’s a magical moment for me.
I think the Dream Squad to me is – is what Walt had actually envisioned a Cast Member to be.
He said it takes people to make the magic a reality and I think that’s what we do every day.
I met this little girl about a week ago. Her name was Cindy. Cindy’s an avid pin trader (and her mom prompted her to tell me she is visually impaired so she had to look at my pins very closely, which was a nice warning; nobody likes to be yanked by the lanyard.) Cindy was looking at my pins, so we spent a few minutes sharing pins and stories – where they were from and took several pictures, I didn’t want to just leave Cindy like that and just let her go – and so I pulled out of my Dream Bag – I pulled out a pixie dust pin set and I wanted to share that experience with Cindy so I asked her – I told her that the one was for her to keep and I asked her – I told her to please help me spread the magical moments – spread the magic and that that pin was very special and she needed to help me by giving that pin to someone else someone very special and she’s 11 years old and she – I saw her face just completely light up and her eyes were bright and big and she held me so tight and it was just so wonderful and her big brother insisted on taking pictures and it was right at that moment that I heard a voice and the voice said “I don’t believe it. It really happens, it really came true.” I turned around and Cindy’s mother’s standing there. She reached out in her bag and she’s holding her fist out and she held my hand with her other hand and she held her fist over my hand and she said, This morning my husband and I were talking about Cindy—— about the bad times we had throughout the year. And we were emotional, and this little boy had handed her a penny and he said that he had interrupted them because he had overheard their story and he said I want you to have this penny. It was a lucky penny. It will bring you joy and happiness and luck as long as you carry it, but he said, he requested one thing – that this penny be passed on to someone very special and she dropped the penny in my hand. She closed my hand and said I want you to have this penny. She repeated, I can’t believe it really happens. So I actually carry the penny (reaches into her shirt pocket and shows the penny) and I’ve been carrying it ever since and I’ll make sure that I always put it in my pocket over my heart every day!
The one thing that I always hear as they walk away from us is “only at Disney”!
The Story, continued
During the video shoots, I talked with the Dream Makers. Nathalie was having a great time as a Dream Maker, but she was thinking about what would happen when the celebration was over. She didn't want to return to her old position——not after having the chance to make so many people so happy. She wanted to move on, maybe change her career to something more people-focused. She and I talked. I said, do it.
After the shoot, and the videos launched on the site, Nathalie wrote to me to ask for more advice. We exchanged a few emails. After some time, she wrote to say she changed departments, got a promotion, and was very happy.
links and screenshots
- Climb into the wayback machine and check out the disneyparks.com Overview of Year of a Million Dreams page.
- Sadly, the internet archive doesn't seem to hold videos, but you can also see the landing page for Meet the Dream Makers.
- Or, check out these 2 screenshots below.