LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -Walt Disney's 100th birthday celebration is
expected to be the main draw this summer for all four Walt Disney
World theme parks here.
Moreover, this will be the first year since 1988 that the park
has not raised admission fees.
The Walt Disney Travel Co. said the single-day rate of $48 plus
tax -- the price upon which the park's multiday tickets are based
-- will stay at that level at least through the summer.
Randy Garfield, president of the Walt Disney Travel Co., said
the park decided not to raise prices to stimulate travel. The park,
which saw a drop in visitors after Sept. 11, has since seen steady
growth, but still is not at the level of 2001.
"Given current economic conditions, we're doing all we can to
remind tourists that Walt Disney World is a great value. ...
Raising prices now would send the wrong message to consumers,"
Disney launched several promotions in conjunction with the "100
Years of Magic" celebration, including those with McDonald's and
The company's agent Web site, at www.disneytravelagents.com, offers information on
collateral promotional material available to agencies.
Although visitation has been disappointing this year, there are
strong signs that "100 Years of Magic" worked to encourage travel,
Surveys found more guests this year said the promotion had drawn
them to the park than those surveyed in 1996, who cited Disney's
25th anniversary celebration as the reason for their visit.
Disney opened one new attraction this spring, a spinning "time
machine" called Primeval Whirl in the Chester & Hester's
Dino-Rama area of DinoLand USA. Primeval Whirl is the 24th Disney
FastPass attraction, enabling visitors to bypass lines.
The "100 Years of Magic" parades are among the parks most
popular events, said Garfield. They include:
• Disney Stars and Motor Cars at Disney-MGM Studios. This
procession has more than a dozen Disney characters. They travel in
vintage cars, with the finale a 1929 Cadillac with Mickey, Minnie
and friends. The parade is at 5:30 p.m. during the summer.
• Share a Dream Come True at the Magic Kingdom. Mickey, along
with more than 100 other characters, participate in favorite
moments ranging from the early days of Mickey cartoons to the
newest animation. Vignettes are in giant snow globes with live
Disney characters. The parade time is 3 p.m.
• Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom. Two dozen
guests are selected during the parade to travel in customized
rickshaws. Parade time is 4 p.m.
• Tapestry of Dreams at Epcot Center. This is a twice-nightly
procession with new characters and a float called Dream Catcher.
There also is a fireworks show each day at 9 p.m. The times for the
parade are 6:30 p.m. and 8:10 p.m. in June and 6:15 p.m. and 7:45
p.m. in July.