A million dreams -- and fun with pirates, too

Tinkerbell is tapping visitors on the shoulder throughout the Disney theme parks and giving them once-in-a-lifetime gifts as part of the Year of a Million Dreams. The campaign continues through the end of 2007, awarding families already in the park with experiences like lunch with a princess, a Disney Cruise or the coveted night in Cinderella's Castle. The encounters are money-can't-buy memories and include being official wildlife spotter on an Animal Kingdom safari, being a bellhop at the Tower of Terror or helping open a Disney park for the day.

"It kicked off in October when one lucky family stayed in the Magic Kingdom," says Michelle Baumann, a public relations representative at Walt Disney World. "Others get tapped on the shoulder and are handed a fast pass for the day or are taken to lunch with Cinderella."

Those with a funny bone should stop by the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club in the Magic Kingdom, where Mike Wazowski, the green, one-eyed monster from Monsters, Inc., leads the comedians and guests in a laugh-a-thon. Guests can use their cell phones to text in jokes for use in the show.

Another new resident is moving in: Two parks are boasting that orange fish with the lucky fin, Nemo. He has a new musical show at the formerly open-air Theater of the Wild, near Expedition Everest in the Animal Kingdom.

"It's a wonderful stage show that runs about 30 minutes," Baumann says. "Avenue Q composer Bobby Lopez and his wife Kristen wrote the score, because the movie was not musical."

The style of puppets looks similar to the Lion King. Michael Curry, the same artist, created them.

At Epcot, the Living Seas Pavilion also has Nemo as a new resident, along with Marlin, Dory and Crush. "It's a fun little attraction where you ride in a clam mobile," Baumann says. "You're going through a real tank, but it looks like the characters are swimming along the tank with the real fish."

If under the sea isn't your bag, 13 selected nights through March there are after-hours gatherings for pirates and princesses, 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. "We encourage guests to wear their favorite pirate or princess costume to come to the park after closing, where they get a map," Baumann says. "They are on a quest for chocolate doubloons and necklaces throughout the park."

The Year of a Million Dreams continues through 2007. For the Pirate and Princess party schedule, visit