ANAHEIM, Calif. — Disney100 has officially begun, and Disneyland, its epicenter, is looking to the trade to embrace the celebration of the Walt Disney Co.’s 100th anniversary.
“We love the trade,” said Lynn Clark, vice president of Disneyland Resort sales and services. “We appreciate the trade. And part of the celebration is really to thank our trade partners, as well. It’s a celebration of 100 years of partnership, creativity, and our trade partners have been on this journey with us for a long time, so many thanks. And we also really look forward to the future.”
Javier Moreno, senior vice president of Disney destination sales solutions, said Disney as a whole looks to advisors to share with consumers its variety of travel products — from its theme parks to Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa.
“They’re great supporters of taking the message, explaining, helping families to navigate through the differences of each destination, the offerings,” Moreno said. “They’re doing an amazing, fantastic job.”
The company is also adding experiences for advisors to sell, Moreno said, most recently National Geographic Expeditions (Disney acquired a majority of National Geographic Partners when it acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019).
“That really helps to enhance the richness of everything we do across all of our portfolio destinations,” he said.
At the same time, the company has been improving its resources for advisors. Disney has “significantly invested” in its advisor-facing tools, Moreno said, as well as social media. According to Clark, Disney has built a strong communication program with its travel advisor partners to share news and updates, as well.
Last year was a strong one for the trade. Moreno called it a “fantastic” year of agency sales.
“We love them to help us to bring more guests into our beautiful parks and destinations, and it’s a secret sauce [that] works so, so well,” Moreno said.
Disneyland’s message to agents
Clark’s message to the trade is that Disneyland is a multiday destination for clients, whether they’ve never been before or they’re repeat visitors.
“We really are providing the tools to help plan a three- or four-night, five-night itinerary and have a great, relaxing stay at the same time,” she said.
There is currently construction going on at the park — for instance, the ongoing work to change the Pacific Wharf in Disney’s California Adventure into San Fransokyo. Clark said that Disneyland has been upfront about the construction to set expectations, both with travel advisors and guests.
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“We are doing extremely well right now with the demand for the product, with the length of stay for the product, and we just communicate, communicate, communicate everything that’s going on so people are prepared when they’re planning their trip,” she said.
Clark has noticed guest stays lengthening, she said, which she attributed to demand for the product and the additions the Disneyland Resort is making.
As part of the Disney100 celebration, guests now have two new nighttime spectaculars to enjoy, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Mickey’s Toontown, and a new Toontown to explore next month. The Magic Happens parade will also return Feb. 24; the event had a brief debut just before the resort shut down due to the pandemic.
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