Disney for the under-5 set

Disney parks in Florida and California have launched a new program called “Magical Beginnings” aimed at families with children age 5 and under.

The programs were developed in response to research from the Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown and Russell firm showing that 80 percent of families believe the ideal age for their first major vacation is when the kids are 5 or younger.

“Age-appropriate activities and attractions are very important to this group of family travelers,” said the firm’s chairman, Peter Yesawich, in a statement.

The program, which includes a discounted package deal on accommodations, food and park tickets, begins Aug. 13 and runs through Sept. 30 at Disney World in Lake Buena Vista and through Nov. 21 at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Disney says those are traditionally among the least busy times of year for the parks.

Disney World is offering a $950 package from Aug. 13 to Sept. 30, for families with one child age 3-9. The $950 covers a five-day, four-night stay, “Magic Your Way” theme park tickets and a Disney Dining plan, which includes one table-service meal, one snack and one quick-service meal per person, per day. Additional children are $173 per child.

The same package would cost $1,305 at other times of the year.

Extras include a kid-friendly concert series, extra hours for little ones in Fantasyland, and planning tools like a “Magical Beginnings” map highlighting park attractions appropriate for young children.

Reservations for Magical Beginnings at Disney World can be made through June 4 by calling 407-939-7735 or at www.disneyworld.com/preK. For more information, go to disneymagicalbeginnings.com or www.disneyworld.com (click on “Something For Everyone” and then “Preschoolers”).

At Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., the Magical Beginnings travel package is available Aug. 13-Nov. 21, with two-night packages starting at $239 per adult.

The package includes accommodations, shuttle service to the park ticket plaza and a three-day Park Hopper Bonus Ticket, valid for entry into both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park. Magical Beginnings guests also get early entry into Fantasyland in Disneyland and Mickey’s Toontown Morning Madness, hosted by Mickey Mouse, and preferred seating at the stage show at Playhouse Disney.

Disneyland Resort’s Magical Beginnings package can be booked at 877-868-7357.



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