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Was Disneyland's lucky 500,000,000th guest really all that lucky?

Was Disneyland's lucky 500,000,000th guest really all that lucky?

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Anyone who says Disney has lost its sense of synergy is sorely mistaken.

On Tuesday, January 8th 2004, Disneyland welcomed its 500,000,000 guest to cross its turnstiles. The guest was one of a family of I believe four from Australia. The mother, father and two small children were presented with a giant cardboard key from Mickey, and the train rolled out above the Mickey Mouse (head shaped) garden with various characters dancing for joy inside. The family will receive lifetime passes, a V.I.P. tour of Disneyland, dinner, and stay at one of the finest suites at the Grand Californian Hotel.

Now, far be it from me to rain on anyone's parade, but this just can't be right. True, I am extremely happy for these people. This has got to be the coolest thing ever, especially for the kids. All day, they will be treated like royalty, and they'll have some of the coolest Disneyland stories to talk about for years to come.

And yet, again I say this can't be right. Something must have been rigged. If the Annual Pass holder program truly were over-saturated, as some reporters from various websites have stated in the past, my money would have been on an AP or at least someone from Southern California going through that turnstile for the 500,000,000th time. I mean, what are the odds of the ideal tourist family right now-two parents and two kids from another country-actually being the ones to enter the park at just the right moment?

No, I bet a couple APs went through the turnstiles that morning, probably teenagers on the Southern California Pass, and they were actually the big guests. But who wants to give a lifetime pass to a teenager from Orange County, right? Who wants to put kids playing hooky from school on the news and show them being celebrated by the Disney Corporation for doing so? My goodness, what kind of message would Disney be spreading then?

Then, right behind these kids comes an Australian family who booked their vacation through Disney Travel. They're in the computer, and someone whispers into someone's earpiece "show time"! Then, all magic breaks loose.

Yeah, it was probably for the best that they chose that family. Yes, I am suggesting that this family was pre-selected, but I'm hoping they were not aware of that. But it is a good gesture to show that good things happen when you travel to the U.S. -- more specifically a Disney Theme Park in the U.S. Also, it'll be easier on Disney's wallet by choosing someone who lives far away from Anaheim to give a lifetime pass to. But, hey, they're from Australia right? So is "Finding Nemo," the biggest-grossing movie from Disney by Pixar! So also, in a way, Disney could be showing they're faith in Pixar... maybe...

See? Synergy! Ta-daa!

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