“You’re playing in the annual New Year’s Day Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena, California! What are you going to do first?” “We’re going to Disneyland!” Yesterday the two teams competing in this year’s Rose Bowl Game, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Washington Huskies, met for the first time off-field at the Happiest Place On Earth, and joined together for a group presentation and press junket in front of Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and Washington head coach Chris Petersen were welcomed by Disneyland Resort President Josh D’Amaro, Disneyland Resort Ambassador Alexa Garcia, and Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeny. Featured Ohio State players Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Terry McLaurin, and safety Jordan Fuller, were joined by Washington players such as quarterback Jake Browning, running back Myles Gaskin, linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven and defensive back Jojo McIntosh. The attending team members and coaches enjoyed exciting rides on Pixar Pier’s Incredicoaster.
Watch Rose Bowl 2019 Team Visit at Disneyland Resort:
Ohio State finished the regular season with a 12-1 record and claimed the Big Ten Conference title, while Washington defeated Utah to win the Pac-12 Championship, finishing with a 10-3 record. Before meeting on the field, the teams met for their first official pre-game appearance, and only joint appearance of bowl week, at the Disneyland Resort.
Urban Meyer had this to say about his visit: “1990 was the last time I’d been to Disneyland, when I was at Colorado State and played in the Freedom Bowl. That’s how long ago it was. I’ve got two of my children with me, so it’s just a little fun with them. A lot of our guys, I found out, had never been to California. So [they appreciated] an opportunity to come to Disneyland and hang out, relax. We had a good day’s practice so a little fun, a little work, that’s what it’s all about.”
Chris Petersen said, “I grew up with Disney… all the characters. I see the Incredibles running around here, that’s kind of the new age, but I go way back to Mickey and Minnie when I think they were just starting out, I don’t know. It’s awesome to be here and see all the characters. I just got off that roller coast and that tested me a little bit. I hadn’t been on one of those in a while, but I loved it. I think it’s awesome. You know, the season can be so hectic and just a tremendous amount of work by our players and our coaches, so we get a day like this where we truly get to come and not think about football, and have fun for a day, is awesome.”
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Washington Huskies (both making their fifteenth overall appearance in the game) will play in the 105th Rose Bowl on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 and will air on ESPN.
Mike has been fascinated by theme parks and Disney all his life. He has worked in the entertainment journalism field since 2015, after spending a decade as a film projectionist at one of Hollywood’s most prestigious movie theaters. He resides in Burbank, California with his wife and cat.