Disney to offer free birthday admission as part of celebration packages

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NEW YORK -- For some people, it will be the birthday present of their dreams: Guests will get in free to Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California on their birthday next year.

The idea embraces what Disney has identified as new trend in family travel called "celebration vacations," and a marketing plan celebrating the celebrations was unveiled before an audience of agents, operators and media here on Sept. 18.

Starting Sept. 22, Disney will run TV advertising spots promoting the new marketing slogan "What will you celebrate?"

The value of the freebie depends on the package booked, but the price of one-day tickets for visitors ages 10 and up to Disneyland is $69. At Walt Disney World, the price of one-day tickets for visitors ages 10 and up is $75.

The response in the crowd to the initiative was instantly positive, with agents and operators alike murmuring about the opportunities the free birthday admission would represent.

New Vacation Club properties

Separately, Disney announced that the Disney Vacation Club was expanding with two new property developments at the Walt Disney World Resort next year: a 295-room Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort, opening in the fall, and 60 Treehouse Villas at the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, opening in the summer.

Reservations for Disney Vacation Club members for the Bay Lake Tower were to start on Sept. 21. Disney did not specify when sales would start to the general public for either property, or to Vacation Club members for the Treehouse Villas.

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