Disney broadens world-travel options

Walt Disney Co. has broadened its strategy by offering more vacation opportunities of its own throughout the world. Adventures by Disney, the company's 2-year-old and rapidly expanding package-vacation program, will add eight more locations next year, including trips to Peru, China, Australia — and Southern California, the company announced last week.

The trips include Disney-arranged stays, Disney-arranged tours and Disney-arranged entertainment at Disney-selected hotels and stops. The program is viewed as a way to extend Disney's reputation for reliable, controlled, family experiences beyond its theme parks.

The trips generally are not cheap: The new, 13-day, 12-night China vacations, for example, range in price from $3,599 to $5,399 a person, not including round-trip air fare. Some others start at around $2,000 a person.

Other new destinations include the California coast, Hollywood and Disneyland; Australia, France, Spain, Germany and Peru.

Ypartnership deal

Ypartnership, a locally based travel marketing-and-research company, is one of two businesses chosen as marketing and advertising agency of record for the Myrtle Beach, S.C., Chamber of Commerce.

Ypartnership and Brandon Advertising of Myrtle Beach will work with the chamber and the Myrtle Beach Marketing Cooperative to increase people's awareness of the Myrtle Beach area. The two companies will create a marketing campaign.

Time-share construction

Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the Orlando-based time-share unit of the Wyndham Worldwide hospitality company, has begun construction of a 98-unit resort in Washington state.

The resort, called WorldMark Long Beach, will open in the fall of 2008. The oceanfront property will contain one-, two- and three-bedroom units and four three-bedroom suites. It is located on 4 acres, with swimming pools, a spa, a fitness room and a lounge.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership has developed or acquired 140 resorts in North America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. It has more than 800,000 owners and 16,000 employees worldwide.

Return of Haunted Mansion

One popular Walt Disney World ride, the Haunted Mansion, is returning from rehabilitation as others, including Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, are going under the wrench.

The Haunted Mansion, in Magic Kingdom, has been closed since June 6 so Walt Disney Imagineering can update the 36-year-old ride, adding new ghosts and improved audio and visual effects. It should reopen next week, tentatively Sept. 13.

When it reopens, the humor-based ghost house will feature a new ghost bride with five groomsmen, a new Madame Leota sighting and a few other changes. The story line will not change, said Kathy Rogers, show producer for Walt Disney Imagineering.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, the Aerosmith-themed roller coaster at Disney-MGM Studios, will be closed for about a month starting Tuesday for routine maintenance plus completion of some minor changes in the singles queue line. It's tentatively slated to reopen Oct. 4.

New air routes to fly

Orlando fliers are getting a couple of new air routes to choose from. JetBlue Airways will begin flying daily and nonstop between Orlando International Airport and Burlington, Vt., on Jan. 10, while AirTran Airways will begin flying daily and nonstop between OIA and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., on Feb. 14.

Scott Powers can be reached at spowers@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5441. Christopher Boyd can be reached at cboyd@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5723. Jason Garcia can be reached at jrgarcia@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5414