Travel Weekly's Florida E-Letter: September 11, 2002

DELTA VACATIONS is paying a $50 bonus on each sale of three-night and longer Florida fly-drive plans, with base commissions of up to 14% possible. To qualify for the $50 bonus, clients must be booked by Sept. 26 and must return by Sept. 30. The packages are priced from $423 per person, double, out of Newark to Fort Myers. Other destinations include Naples and Sanibel Island. For information, call (800) 221-6666. Online bookings are available using Web sites www.deltavacations.com or www.vacationaccess.com.

WALT DISNEY PARKS and Resorts, which hiked admissions over the weekend at its Orlando area parks, for the first time is giving consumers discounted prices when they buy multiday admission tickets in advance. The savings are available with Walt Disney Travel Co. and other Disney wholesaler packages as well as AAA Vacations. Agents also can buy commissionable multiday tickets by calling the Disney Reservation Center, or ordering through their GDSs, ARC or a Disney wholesaler. An example of the savings: A five-day Park Hopper ticket, $229 at the gate, is $217 with an advance purchase. The advance purchase savings is the difference between Disney parks' old and new admission prices.

MEANWHILE, at the Magic Kingdom in Florida, "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" will be staged from 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 11, 17, 20, 25, 27, 31 and Nov. 1, representing a two-night expansion vs. last year. Highlights will include a parade, a Cinderella stage show, an appearance by the Headless Horseman and trick-or-treating for young guests. Admission for ages 10 and older is $27.95 in advance; $29.95 at the gate; for children ages 3 to 9, $22.95 and $24.95, respectively. Tax must be added to all prices. For reservations, call (407) 934-7639.

THE RIDE OUR WATERS FREE program from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau offers some bargain nightly deals on stays completed by Sept. 30; all are commissionable and include free water transportation. Among participating hotels are the Ramada Inn, Hollywood, $59, (800) 331-6103; Hampton Inn, Fort Lauderdale-Plantation, $59, (800) 675-2116; Sheraton Yankee Clipper $89, (800) 958-5551; Hyatt Regency Pier 66, $179, (800) 327-3796 and Days Inn Bahia Cabana Beach Resort, $59, all Fort Lauderdale, (800) 323-2244.

LODGEPODGE:
• The 400-unit Trump Int'l Sonesta Beach Resort, Sunny Isles, expects to accept individual guests as of Jan. 17. There is a 15% commission for agents who book clients into the condo property between that date and May 31. The $80 million, 32-story hotel should begin accepting individual reservations by phone and the GDSs by Oct. 1.
• The Renaissance Fort Lauderdale-Plantation, with 250 rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space, is planned to open Sept. 20 with introductory rates of $89 per night on weekends and $99 on weekdays until further notice. For information, call (800) 316-7708.
• A 15% base commission on stays completed by Sept. 30 is offered by five Interstate Hotels-managed properties on Sanibel Island. They are: Sundial Beach Resort, Sanibel Inn, Song of the Sea, Sanibel's Seaside Inn and Best Western Sanibel Beach Resort. For information, call (866) 47-SHELL.

TO COMMEMORATE the events of Sept. 11, 2001, several Key West hotels, including Wyndham's Casa Marina, helped fund the recent repainting of a gigantic patriotic ribbon atop a grass-covered former landfill. The artwork is 100-feet in height and required 65 gallons of red, white and blue turf paint. The ribbon made its debut after the 2001 attacks.

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