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Walt Disney Bring a Big New Idea to Disneyland

The theme park company has one huge thing it does better than Universal Studios, SeaWorld, or Six Flags.

Walt Disney (DIS) , at its core, remains a family entertainment company. Sure, it now owns Deadpool, the R-rated comic book hero, and it's bringing "Daredevil," "Jessica Jones," and "Luke Cage," all shows with adult themes, to the Disney+ streaming channel. But this remains a company built on the backs of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald.

That spirit rings true at Disney's theme parks. A number of parks have thrill rides, but Disney's roller-coasters stop short of what Comcast's  (CMCSA)  Universal Studios parks or SeaWorld (SEAS) or Six Flags (SIX) offer when it comes to true extreme-thrill rides.

Disney World and Disney Land offer Space Mountain and other thrill rides, but their offerings remain more family friendly. Those two parks -- arguably the company's flagships -- cater to families and children. You can see a parade of Disney and PIxar characters, watch more beloved Disney intellectual property perform in various shows, and even happen upon a Muppet or two.

People bring their families to Disneyland and Disney World because they offer entertainment for all ages. The difference between Disney's parks and Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Six Flags, however, is that children remain a core audience.

Disneyland and Disney World offer lots of fun for adults, but many of their rides and events serve all ages. That's part of the magic that makes these parks some of the most popular, if not the most popular, family destinations in the world.

Now, Disney has something special for kids coming to Disneyland's sister park, Disney California Adventure.

Disney Lead

Disney Loves Special Events and Festivals

While Disney's parks are obviously incredible draws on their own, the company has also used special events to boost attendance. That tactic has been employed most vigorously at Florida's Epcot, where the Food & WIne, Flower & Garden, Arts, and Holiday festivals seem to (but don't actually) fill the entire year.

The theme park giant also has special events at its other parks. These include marathons and half-marathons that weave through multiple Disney properties to after-hours added-admission parties, and to single-day themed events, like its Hollywood Studios Star Wars days.

Now, Disneyland has added the first-ever Disney Junior Fun Fest," a one-day event celebrating the entertaining and music-filled stories of the No. 1 preschool television network’s hit series. This first-of-a-kind event takes place at Disney California Adventure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 29, 2022.

"The one-day event will include sneak peeks at upcoming Disney Junior series, special announcements, surprise appearances, a “Doc McStuffins” stage show highlighting 10 years of the beloved series, plus the “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party,” a hands-on cupcake decorating course inspired by the new Disney Junior series," the company said in a press release.

While most of the event will last only a single day, the “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party” experience for junior chefs will be offered throughout Disney California Adventure's Food & Wine Festival March 4 through April 26.

Disney will launch Junior Fun Fest with a parade of Disney Junior characters" welcoming fans and making their way through the park." There will be "main stage attractions with fun games, trivia and music to keep preschoolers and their families singing and dancing together" throughout the day as well.

Disney Builds Loyalty Early

Disney has characters, content, and programming for all ages. This variety enables the company to hook fans at an early age with its Disney Junior character and its classic animation figures like Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald. It can then move those same young fans into Pixar movies before, in a sense, graduating them to Pixar, then Marvel, Star Wars, and more.

Few, really no, companies can offer the content journey that Disney can. The same thing applies in its theme parks. A young child may delight in meeting Winnie the Pooh and seeing a parade or a castle stage show. As he or she gets older, that joy might transfer to family rides like Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion before eventually moving to roller-coasters and other thrill rides.

Welcoming its youngest fans with a special event helps build an early connection to Disney's theme parks. That can become a life-long journey that keeps Disney's theme parks full while also building audience for its movies, TV shows, streaming products, and all the associated merchandise.