Disney to scrap FITs at Institute

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Walt Disney Attractions this summer will phase out individual bookings for its five-year-old Disney Institute at Walt Disney World.

Instead, it will focus on group bookings (of 10 or more) for its professional development and personal enrichment programs.

A Disney spokeswoman said group demand "is significantly outpacing the steady growth of individual bookings." The latter currently are available in commissionable packages.

"A group sales strategy would allow far more people to enjoy the Disney Institute's offerings than the current mix of group and individual programming," she said.

"We are currently in the process of developing expanded professional-development programming and will have more details regarding the opportunities for the travel agent community in mid-April," she said.

At present, individuals and groups are offered one-day and longer hands-on courses in photography, culinary arts. gardening, animation and health-fitness.

Corporate groups have the option of taking behind-the-scenes tours of Disney World to learn how it operates.

They can also sign up for formal presentations by Disney officials that concentrate on management and leadership skills.

The Disney Institute provides a campus-like setting near Downtown Disney.

It has 588 low-rise guest units, pools, a dining room, instructional buildings and athletic and spa facilities.

The Disney World bus system serves the institute.

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