1) How long have you worked with Disney and what does your job entail?
I have been with Disney almost 5 years. I am the Regional Sales Director in the Southern U.S. for Disney Destinations, managing a sales team of 10 District Sales Managers from Florida to Texas and as far north as southern Ohio. My role is to ensure my team is doing all possible to manage their travel agency accounts in their respective territories. The sales managers have a lot on their plate, representing Disney Destinations to our travel agency partners and promoting Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Adventures by Disney, Disney Cruise Line, and Aulani, the newest and only family purposed resort in Hawaii located in Oahu. It’s our job to make sure travel consultants understand our products and packages and have what they need to sell to their clients.
Probably Tinker Bell because she’s determined and feisty and has the Pixie Dust which allows others to fly. A special quote from Tinker Bell is “Laughter is timeless…imagination has no age….and dreams are forever.”
3) What are some of the benefits to families staying at an on-property Walt Disney World Resort Hotel? Why should they choose an on-site resort over a possibly less expensive hotel in the nearby area?
There are many benefits of staying onsite at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. In my opinion the most important is the fact you’re staying right in the middle of the Magic. It’s so convenient to take the Disney transportation system to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney. No worries about renting a car or parking! This also allows you to take a break during the day and go back to your resort to unwind, relax and recharge. In addition we provide Disney’s Magical Express, a free service that takes you from the Orlando International Airport to your Disney Resort and then back to the airport at the end of your stay. Another convenience and benefit for resort guests. In addition there are Extra Magic Hours for Resort guests giving you early entrance into the parks or the option to stay in the part after it closes. A benefit which many of our guests don’t think about is the package delivery, where resort guests can have their purchases delivered back to their resort for pick-up. These are just a few of the many benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort property. My recommendation is to speak to one of the travel agents at Covington Travel to get that first hand knowledge of what our parks have to offer as they can tailor your Disney vacation based on specific needs.
4) Disney is renowned for innovation! Tell us about the newest resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at the Walt Disney World® Resort.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a new Value Resort that is really geared for families that want or need a little more space. The resort will open in four sections with three of the sections being all family suites that sleep up to 6 people. At Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Guests are immersed in the artistry and enchantment of Walt Disney and Disney Pixar classics through imaginative design and themed rooms. Each building is a theme, home for a character in one of four animated films – Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Disney Pixar’s Cars, the Lion King and The Little Mermaid. I’ve toured the resort and your guests are going to love it.
5) The Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Florida include the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, as well as Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks. With so much to do, what is the average Disney vacation length and is it even possible to see it all in one trip? Can you give us some tips for maximizing vacation time to get the most out of a trip to Disney?
There is a lot to do during a Walt Disney World vacation and it can be a bit overwhelming during the planning process. That is where your travel agent comes into play and is so important. They have the knowledge and the training to plan the perfect Disney vacation for your family, an adult getaway or simply friends looking for fun. Some of the tips your agent has up their sleeves to make the vacation as enjoyable as possible include adding the Disney Dining Plan. This option is very popular for our guests allowing them to prepay their meals and in doing so they save money. There are several dining plan options and I highly recommend our guests utilize this option. Your travel agent can also help in recommending restaurants at the theme parks or the resorts. With the popularity of the dining plan I always suggest our guests make at least one dining reservation per day in advance, especially during peak times. This creates a more relaxing experience when you arrive at the resort. I also recommend that guests not overdo it in the parks, especially if traveling with children. Go to the parks early and then midday head back to the resort so for a nap or a little play time in the pool. Everyone will be a lot happier and it will avoid the late afternoon meltdowns. Another tip: You don’t have to be a family unit every minute of your trip. Let dad take one child in the morning and do whatever that child wants to do while mom takes the other child. If the grandparents are going, let them have one day or part of the day with each grandchild and it can be their special time together. There are many more tips that your agent can share with you.
6) What is your personal favorite park, attraction or ride and why is it special to you?
My personal favorite is Epcot as I always learn something new and I love experiencing the various countries of the world. It’s a great park for kids and adults and I especially love the special events throughout the year such as the Food and Wine Festival, the Epcot Flower and Garden Show and at holiday time, the Candle Light Processional. My favorite attraction is Soarin’ as it provides an exhilarating experience as you “hang glide” across the USA.
7) The newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Fantasy, is getting rave reviews. Where does it sail and what are some of the highlights travelers will enjoy onboard?
Based on the classic style of her sister ship, the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy™ is our fourth cruise ship in the expanding Disney Cruise Line fleet. This 130,000-ton vessel as all of our ships, offer state-of-the-art comforts and engaging, Disney-exclusive activities designed to bring families together, whatever the destination.
- Staterooms are configured especially for families, with extra storage and most with split bathrooms for making getting ready easier.
- Youth clubs promise age-appropriate, Disney-themed fun, whether your child is 3 months or 17 years old.
- Onboard Dining —from elegant restaurants offering a dash of Disney magic to casual, quick-service fare—is sure to satisfy every taste.
- Entertainment includes original Broadway-style live shows, Character Greetings and the latest Disney movies, some in digital 3-D.
- Pools are delightfully themed and designed for specific age groups—even adults.
- Adults can dance or listen to live music at nightclubs and lounges or rejuvenate and beautify, thanks to high-end spa and fitness facilities.
- Even a Bippiti Boppity Boutique is available to beautify your little princess or make you over as a pirate.
Building on the classic style of the previous ships, the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder and the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy is a majestic sailing vessel where early 20th-century design—recalling the golden age of cruising—meets state-of-the-art technology. The cruise liner is designed with families in mind, combining style and convenient facilities with, of course, splashes of Disney magic. The Fantasy is sailing from Port Canaveral on Saturdays, sailing alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. You’ll find a vast array of comforts, outstanding service and timeless beauty of a ship that’s sure to capture your heart and imagination.
- I would suggest a three port package for families with young children (5+) to enjoy both sightseeing and doing. Travel all aboard the White Pass Scenic Railway in Skagway where kids can enjoy a special carriage ride during part of the voyage. Set out on a quest for whales, behold the famous Mendenhall Glacier and savor wild Alaskan salmon in Juneau. In Ketchikan, kids will use their painting skills to create a real totem while the entire family will enjoy a fun-filled lumberjack show. All very cool activities.
- There is also a teen exclusive helicopter glacier trek
- Visit the Glacier dogs and be an official “musher” for a day – another family friendly activity.
9) What is an Adventures by Disney® vacation? Where do they go and are there age minimums for children?
Adventures by Disney are our escorted tours offering family friendly and select adult-only tours throughout the world visiting Asia, Africa, Australia, Central and South America, Europe and North America. On an Adventures by Disney trip you’re a traveler and adventurer, not a tourist. You and your family become active participants in incredible stories, experiences, cultures through immersive activities only Disney can bring you. From the moment you first meet your Adventure Guides, you know that you’re in good hands. As the hosts of your trip, your Guides make you feel right at home – wherever you go. But more than the personal attention they provide, you’ll appreciate your Guides’ ability to bring you closer to the destinations you visit with their knowledge and knack for storytelling. By the end of your vacation, you’ll feel like they’ve become part of your family. In the Adventures by Disney Brochure you will see recommended ages per destination with day by day itineraries. These trips transport guests to incredible destinations, however don’t expect Mickey or Minnie on these vacations, just expect the value, service and magic Disney is known for.
It is important that no matter which Disney Destination you are interested in, you need to see a travel consultant from Covington Travel. They have the knowledge and expertise to ensure you truly have a Magical experience like no other.
Travel Maestro would like to say that Pam’s kind endorsement was unsolicited, but we thank you, Pam, for the compliment and sharing your insider knowledge of Disney magic with us! To find out more about any of the Disney Destinations, contact Covington Travel’s Disney specialists today.
Pam Scott has over 25 years in the travel industry, holding various positions in both the airline and cruise industry and finally landing with the Walt Disney Travel Company.