Disney goes after toddlers with Magical Beginnings campaign

The Walt Disney Co. wants families with babies and toddlers.

The company has launched a campaign aimed at bringing more families with kids ages 5 and under to Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

"People see some of the rides like the Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest and they think of older children, but people haven't realized all the things we do have for younger children," said Mark Sadowski, a Disney spokesman. "We're just showing that no matter what age the children are, there are things for children of that age."

Under the Magical Beginnings brand, Disney is making a multifaceted effort to attract a demographic adjacent to its target market but previously just out of its range.

The effort to attract families with very young children includes maps that point out toddler-friendly attractions, kid's menus, stroller rentals, kiddie pools, play areas, baby services locations and in-room baby-sitting.

A Magical Beginnings map sponsored by Hasbro Playskool shows the highlights of the resorts for preschoolers and gives tips for families with young children to make the most of the parks.

Disney has designated Aug. 13 through Nov. 21, a normally slow period for the resorts, as its Little Ones Travel Time, during which it will offer its Magical Beginnings travel packages and enhance the attractions for children 5 and under.

During the period, Disney will stage concerts with kiddie music group The Wiggles and other children's acts, open Fantasyland earlier for toddlers on select days and provide maps for parents of toddlers.

Two-night Magical Beginnings packages for Disneyland start at $239 per adult. They include accommodations at a Disneyland Resort Good Neighbor Hotel, shuttle service to the resort, a three-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Bonus ticket for entry to Disneyland and California Adventure Park, early entry into Fantasyland, entry into Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness and preferred seating at "Playhouse Disney -- Live On Stage".  

To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].

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