WRAL-FM’s Christi Russell (left to right) , Brandon Alexander, Jim Kelly with Jim’s wife, Tara Glandorf, went to Disney to broadcast for “100 Years of Magic.”
MIX 101.5/WRAL-FM on-air personalities Jim Kelly and Christi Russell could say, “I’m going to DisneyWorld,” in early December, because that’s where the station sent them to help celebrate “100 Years of Magic.” Walt Disney would have been 100 on his birthday, Wednesday, December 5, 2001, so the themeparks that bear his name is having a year and three month long celebration in his memory.
Kelly and Russell traveled to Florida with Promotion Engineer/Coordinator Brandon Alexander and Kelly’s wife, Tara Glandorf. They broadcast live from Disney World for three days, Dec. 4 – 6, for Kelly’s regular afternoon show with Russell doing the traffic report. Each day they broadcast from a different theme park: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Disney-MGM Studios.
Kelly and Russell interviewed a variety of park-go’ers and personalities, including the voices of Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Goofy. They even happened upon an unplanned interview with the University of North Carolina’s standout defensive end Julius Peppers. Glandorf and Alexander spotted him in the park while the MIX crew was on the air and invited him to stop by the MIX 101.5 booth and chat on the air. In Orlando for the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, Peppers had won the prestigious Lombardi Award the previous evening.
MIX 101.5 traveled to Orlando for “100 Years of Magic” to highlight its contest to give away a Disney World vacation package for a family of six. Listeners signed up for the drawing at New Balance in the Pleasant Valley Promenade in Raleigh. On their last day at Disney, Kelly and Russell drew the grand prize winner, Kim Levy of Raleigh, and gave her a call on the air.
Disney treated its media guests to a party each night, closing the park for them and their guests. Featured rides were open to them, and each evening ended with a spectacular parade and fireworks.
Radio and television stations and print media from around the world converged on the park complex for the official birthday celebration. CBS’ “Live With Regis & Kelly” even shot live on location.
“100 Years of Magic” kicked off on Oct. 1, 2001, and will run through Dec. 31, 2002.