Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto aren’t the only characters in Anaheim. Get ready to discover Disneyland’s hometown through a new set of ears and eyes. Last week, Visit Anaheim launched a new tourism campaign with a cast of uncommon characters that showcase to meeting professionals all the city has to offer. Wait until the ride has come to a complete stop before stepping off and exploring the rest of the city.

“The personas we created for the Uncommon Character campaign embody locals and visitors who represent different aspects of Anaheim’s spirit. We wanted to catch the attention of meetings and convention planners as they were flipping through trade publications that showcase traditional destination ads,” says Charles Harris, senior vice president of marketing for Visit Anaheim.

Gettin’ To Know Ya

Two of the six characters are specific to the meetings and convention industry.

The Meeting Moshers

Credit: Visit Anaheim

Once the meeting day has come to a close, it doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Your group can get its rave on and go crowd surfing at Anaheim’s various concert venues, which are also available to rent for private events.

“The backdrop of the Meeting Mosher ad is the new House of Blues in Anaheim. The House of Blues has expanded its footprint by doubling in size at its new home at the Anaheim GardenWalk. This is great for planners; there’s buyout capabilities and space for four separate and simultaneous concerts to take place,” Harris says. “Meeting planners can be rock stars to their attendees.”

Groups can also jump in the mosh pits at Honda Center, City National Grove of Anaheim and Angel Stadium.

The Crushers of Convention

Credit: Visit Anaheim

You’ve heard of wedding crashers. Now meet the convention crushers. Meeting professionals all seek to crush it—to impress attendees. Follow the lead of the Crushers of Convention, and you’ll surely accomplish that.

“The Crushers of Convention cinemographs depict the ability for meeting planners to think out-of-the-box and create memorable and unique experiences for attendees utilizing the Anaheim Convention Center’s new flexible spaces,” Harris explains.

Last year, Anaheim Convention Center debuted 200,000 sq. ft. of additional exhibit space with the opening of ACC North. This expansion boosted the facility into the exclusive 1 million-square-foot club and made it the 11th-largest convention center in the country. “There are two outdoor plazas groups can use as well, totaling 100,000 sq. ft. for al fresco events during the day or under the stars,” Harris says.

Visit Anaheim estimates that meetings and events at ACC North will attract an additional 1 million visitors annually. The city experienced its fifth consecutive record-breaking year in tourism in 2017, welcoming 24.2 million visitors. The record attendance of conventions, including NAMM, Natural Products Expo West, VidCon, California Dental Association, OC Auto Show and LuLaRoe contributed to that impressive figure.

“As home to the West Coast’s largest convention center, the meetings and convention industry is very important to Anaheim. [It] provides the economic engine that helps the city of Anaheim flourish, provides local jobs and helps support the police and fire department,” Harris says. “Many meetings and conventions that come to Anaheim incorporate a giveback program that directly and positively impacts the residents of the community.”

Uncommon Meeting Places

The characters are far from the only thing that’s uncommon about Anaheim. The city also has many smart spaces that set the tone for curiosity and exploration. In addition to the Dumbo and Peter Pan rides at Disneyland, groups can learn to fly during a corporate or team-building event at Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center.

“It’s the only place in the world where guests can experience a fighter jet pilot simulation experience,” Harris says.

From Anaheim Packing House food hall to the emerging brewery scene, the city is becoming a mecca for dining. The comic book-themed Unsung Brewing Co. pairs beer with cheese. “Planners can also host a once-in-a-lifetime dinner for 12 guests at Disneyland Park’s 21 Royal, which was a private residence envisioned by Walt and Lillian Disney,” Harris suggests.

Captain Brew Beard, Libation Sensation, Pho Fan Girl and Virtual Ace were also cast to represent the leisure travel market.