Photo: Chilean Miners Visit Walt Disney World!
Thirty-one of the 33 miners, their immediate family members and four of their rescuers (in total a party of about 160 people), arrived to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Fl. last Thursday for a seven-day, six-night vacation.
Aboard Copa Airlines, the group arrived to a royal welcome in the Orlando International Airport: they received a ceremonial “water salute” by local firefighting vehicles—an enormous arch of water rising over the runway as the plane passed underneath.
Highlights of their vacation include a Chilean themed grand banquet prepared by the Chefs at Walt Disney World, being guests of honors at several events and serving as Grand Marshals of the Main Street, U.S.A. parade in Magic Kingdom.
The Chileans were greeted by guests and Disney characters waving Chilean flags in their honor. The ‘Mayor’ of Main Street proclaimed their special day at every stop along the parade.
At the end of the day, pyrotechnics and fireworks lit the sky with the colors of the Chilean flag.
“This is unforgettable, it is a dream come true. I am 64 years old, but I was like the littlest kid….Ever since I was a kid, I have dreamed of what it would be like to come see these parks, and I have loved meeting the characters; I get along best with the boss: Mickey Mouse.” joked Mario Gómez, the eldest of the miners.
“These courageous men captivated the world with their story of hope and perseverance,” said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. “Great stories are at the heart of all we do at The Walt Disney Company and we are pleased that the next chapter in this inspirational story is taking place at Walt Disney World Resort.”