A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : PARTY ON : Why? Because They <i> Like </i> You


No matter that Disney’s 1990 box-office performance is lagging a bit this year. The Walt Disney Co.--even in these recessionary times--is sparing no expense in promoting the 20th anniversary of Walt Disney World.

Given that theme parks traditionally account for more than 60% of corporate profits--and are invaluable in marketing new TV and film projects--CEO Michael Eisner and Co. have sent out a elaborate 14-page booklet inviting 8,000 guests to a four-day gala in Orlando Sept. 28-Oct. 1.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Sept. 1, 1991 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday September 1, 1991 Home Edition Calendar Page 83 Calendar Desk 2 inches; 43 words Type of Material: Correction
Disney has released four live-action musicals since “Mary Poppins” in 1964: “The Happiest Millionaire” (1967), “The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band” (1968), “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” (1971) and “Pete’s Dragon” (1977). The studio provided incorrect information for a Film Clips item Aug. 18.

Delta, a co-sponsor, is picking up the air fare. Hotels, meals and park admission are courtesy of Disney. Those whose organizations prohibit them from accepting “complimentary arrangements,” according to the invitation, can pay a special rate of $685.


Invitees can observe tapings of “Regis and Kathie Lee” and “Wheel of Fortune,” and listen to Patti LaBelle, the Manhattan Transfer and the Count Basie Orchestra on closing night. Debbie Allen, Robert Culp, Jerry Van Dyke and Alan Rachins will be featured in a “Parade of Stars.” In a new show called “Disney Channel TV Tryouts,” audience members are videotaped competing in a “Star Search”-type format in the hope their performance will be aired. As an extra added attraction, President Bush will deliver the keynote address and honor about 500 recipients of the Points of Light Foundation award for community service.

Film execs Jeffrey Katzenberg and Richard Frank will also be on hand with clips from such coming features as “Father of the Bride” (Diane Keaton, Steve Martin); “Beauty and the Beast,” the studio’s next animated feature, and “Newsies,” its first live-action musical since “Mary Poppins.”

Press attention is assured--not only because it’s the Junket of the Year, but because the Walt Disney World 20th Anniversary Honorary Media Board includes Steve Birnbaum (editor, Birnbaum Travel Guides); Rick Dees (L.A. radio-TV personality); John H. Johnson (publisher and CEO, Johnson Publishing Co.); Joan Lunden (co-host, “Good Morning America”); Cecil Walker (president and CEO, Gannett Broadcasting); Walter Anderson (editor, Parade magazine); Joseph Cece (president and publisher, TV Guide); Larry King (host, “The Larry King Show”).

“Some cover Disney, some don’t,” says Charles Ridgway, director of press and publicity for Walt Disney World. “And being on the board doesn’t have to color their news judgment. Though many are friends of Disney’s over the years, people who appreciate the kind of entertainment we produce, everyone in this country--and the world--covers Disney as they see fit.”