“I’m going to Disney World”: How the iconic phrase came to be

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Super Bowl is over; players are congratulating one another; confetti is falling; and out of all of the chaotic celebration, the game’s MVP looks to the camera and utters the iconic phrase, “I’m going to Disney World!”

For more than 30 years, the catchphrase, mainly associated with the Super Bowl, has also been used for everything from basketball to baseball to hockey, even making its way onto the singing contest TV show “American Idol.”

Read: Disney World tweaks face mask policy, optional for outdoors

But for as iconic as the phrase has become, its existence is pure happenstance.

In his memoir “Work in Progress,” former Disney CEO Michel Eisner credits his wife, Jane Eisner, for coming up with the idea.

Eisner said in 1987 that he and his wife were having dinner with pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who had just completed a flight around the globe without stopping or refueling.

At the dinner, Jane Eisner asked Rutan and Yeager what they could possibly to do next, to which Rutan said, “I’m going to Disneyland.”

Read: Could we ever see a 5th Disney theme park in Florida?

Jane Eisner told Michael Eisner that the phrase would make a great marketing campaign.

At the end of that month, Super Bowl XXI was set to be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms and Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway were asked to do the ad.

When Simms was awarded MVP, he looked into the camera and said, “I’m going to Disney World.”

In fact, he said it six times -- three for Disneyland and three for Disney World.

Read: Disney announces after-hours Christmas event at Magic Kingdom featuring fireworks, parades

The footage was cut and quickly edited into a commercial as part of Disney’s “What’s next?” campaign.

Since that day in January 1987, the ad has been featured as part of sporting events more than 50 times, with Tom Brady holding the record, having uttered the line publicly after four different Super Bowl wins.