Disney sets client 'inside' guide

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MELVILLE, N.Y. -- The Walt Disney Travel Co. is giving clients the inside scoop, compliments of their agent.

Bill Kaufman, director of national account sales for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, said all agents will receive the Disney Resort Guest Answer Book for each booking.

He made the announcement to 250 agents at the company's 2001 product seminar here.

The 48-page guide contains "insiders' tips" on dining, services for travelers with disabilities, tours, child care, shopping and more, Kaufman said.

The idea is for agents to hand the book over to clients, which, in turn, further enhances their relationship, he said.

Kaufman touted this move as part of "the Disney Difference" (attention to detail and the level of quality), which the Walt Disney Travel Co. has long reminded agents of when they refer clients.

He also announced other exclusive benefits and value-added features at the seminar, including a preferred viewing area for the nightly fireworks at Epcot.

He called this "the Fastpass of fireworks."

It is available to clients buying selected packages. Fastpass is an automated, free reservation system, reducing waits in line for 16 Disney World attractions.

Golf package clients now can reserve tee times five months before arrival at the five Disney courses.

Clients renting National cars receive free Disney World parking (worth $6 daily) if they stay at an off-site "Good Neighbor" hotel (those not Disney-owned).

Qualifying free parking plans include a three-night stay, from $345 per person, double, valid through Dec. 19.

The rate covers a room at the Quality Inn International, Quality Inn Plaza or the Rodeway Inn International; Disney's four-day Park Hopper Plus Pass, and a National compact car.

National has no drop charges in Florida.

Some changes agents selling Disney Cruise Line will find include a separate beach area for adults, families and teens on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island.

Retailers selling trip cancellation insurance will have their commissions protected on canceled trips if certain conditions are met. The insurance cost is $29.95 per adult; kids are free.

Agents also can book up to 13 Florida beach properties in Clearwater Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, the Palm Beach area and Vero Beach (site of Disney's Vero Beach Resort).

For Florida information, contact the operator at (800) 327-2996.

Disney packages also can be booked with Disney Select wholesalers, including American Express Vacations, Continental Vacations, Delta Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Gogo Worldwide Vacations, Kingdom Vacations, Travel Impressions, United Vacations and US Airways Vacations.

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