In the lore of Disneyland, it is said that Walt Disney signed up corporate sponsors for many of the original rides in the park because he was too strapped for cash to build many of them alone.
Hence, the rocket ship in Tomorrowland was at one time emblazoned with the names of sponsors Douglas Aircraft and TWA and the monorail carried the monogram of the Santa Fe Railroad. Those names are long since gone.
Lately, however, the cash-rich but deal-happy Walt Disney Co. seems to have taken a renewed interest in corporate sponsorships. Mattel is the sponsor of the It's a Small World ride and recently opened up a gift pavilion at the ride's finale.
Now comes Federal Express, which has a new arrangement to sponsor the Space Mountain indoor roller coasters at Disneyland in Anaheim and Walt Disney World in Florida. Federal Express will also be looking to Disney for promotional tie-ins and will be arranging for the shipping of Disney merchandise that guests buy in theme parks.
"This deal offers Federal Express exciting sales and marketing opportunities, including exposure to the millions of people from around the world who visit the Disney parks each year," said Federal Express Chairman Frederick W. Smith.