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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Marc Lawrence, — It’s a Super Bowl tradition as recognizable as catchy commercials and lengthy halftime shows. The famous “I’m going to Disney World” and “I’m going to Disneyland” slogans make their way to (almost) every big game since 1987. The idea for the slogan was credited to Jane Eisner, the wife of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. In January 1987, Disney was launching Disneyland’s Star Tours, an attraction based on Star Wars. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who had just become the first people to fly around the world without stopping, were asked by Jane Eisner, “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 that is where the slogan was sprung. Eisner decided on a time and place to debut the phrase when Disney unveiled this new marketing slogan at the biggest TV event of the year – Super Bowl XXI. The teams’ two quarterbacks, Phil Simms and John Elway, both received identical offers: $75,000 for the winner to say “I’m going to Disney World” and “I’m going to Disneyland” to a Disney camera as they ran off the field after the game. Simms was hesitant at first, but once he heard Elway agreed to it, he was on board. The NFL also signed off on Disney’s plan, so now it was up to the company to find a way to get their cameras on the field before all-out madness could erupt. This would then be used in a commercial with Disney World or Disneyland being shown. After his Giants won Super Bowl XXI, Simms was paid $75,000 to shout “I’m going to Disney World” on the field moments after the game for uttering two simple sentences (though he had to say both sentences three times each, just to be sure). Disney also paid Elway the same amount of money to yell the same thing – just in case his team won. And now you know the rest of the story.

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