Disney's '100 Years of Magic' to launch Oct. 1

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Disney is getting the candles ready for its 100 Years of Magic celebration, which marks the 100th birthday of Walt Disney.

The massive marketing promotion will give travel agents an opportunity to synchronize their sales pitches with Disney's publicity blitz, according to Randy Garfield, president of the Walt Disney Travel Co. and executive vice president of sales and travel operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

The 100 Years of Magic celebration begins on Oct. 1. Throughout its 15-month run, the 100 Years of Magic will have events at several Disney-operated destinations, with the Oct. 1 kickoff bash being held at Walt Disney World. (Walt's birthday, by the way, is Dec. 5, 1901.)

"We have a history of producing events that drive business to the door of travel agencies, not just in the U.S. but around the world," said Garfield, who noted the company's previous efforts with the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney World and the celebration of the millennium.

Agents have a window of 15 months to take advantage of this sales opportunity, Garfield said. Disney will roll out a television and newspaper ad campaign, and will host a media event on Oct. 1.

The marketing tidal wave will "create enormous demand to visit, and agents need to prepare for increased client inquiries," he said.

Disney will also offer sales support with training, sales kits and collateral materials.

The Walt Disney Travel Company also released its 2002 lineup of tour packages, which are now ready for booking. The updated packages include Resort Magic, Discovery Magic, Deluxe Magic, and the Grand Plan Package.

For bookings, call (800) 327-2996 or visit www.disneytravelagents.com for more information.

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