Burbank, Calif., – May 15, 2007 – Walt Disney Parks and Resorts today announced Disney Travel on Demand, a breakthrough in original programming that combines innovation, storytelling and the power of interactive television to deliver a soup-to-nuts vacation planning and entertainment experience to television viewers, starting on two cable systems nationwide. The program mix will include episodic, reality and special event shows as well as concerts and celebrity hosts, all focused on the magic of Disney’s destinations around the world.
The programs are designed to uniquely engage viewers with a variety of industry-leading interactive and entertaining components that showcase Disney Parks’ innovation, Disney cast members, and the legacy behind all the magic. It will first be made available this month on Cablevision and Time Warner Cable network systems reaching more than nine million viewers.
“More than 50 years after Walt Disney used the new medium of television to tell the story of Disneyland, we’re tapping into new media platforms to engage our guests,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “With Disney Travel on Demand, we’re providing a great entertainment experience for the whole family and an easier way than ever to book a Disney vacation.”
The hallmark of Disney Travel on Demand is a groundbreaking level of interactivity with audiences. On Cablevision systems, which will carry Disney Travel on Demand on channel 650, viewers will be able to communicate directly with a Disney travel representative from the comfort of their own homes with the new ‘Talk To Agent’ feature. With the click of a button on the remote control, viewers can request to have a telephone call back from a Disney travel representative to make all their travel arrangements at one of Disney’s destinations: Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, and Adventures by Disney.
Disney Travel on Demand Programs
Set to debut on Time Warner Cable the week of May 21 and on Cablevision the week of May 29 featuring four original, episodic series plus additional programs which are designed to take viewers behind the scenes and show them how to make the most of the magic. The original programming includes:
- “Making the Magic” – Follow Tristan, a hopeful entertainer, as he tries to fulfill his ultimate dream – to become an elite performer at the Walt Disney World Resort. Unfortunately the road to this dream is paved with hurdles, competition, and Disney world-class expectations for unparalleled performances. Will Tristan’s desire fuel his ability? Or will the competition be too stiff? Find out as this immersive reality show goes behind-the-scenes showcasing hundreds of performers and weeks of rehearsals all leading up to opening night!
- “Disney Fact or Fiction” – Given the magic of Disney’s theme parks, it’s no surprise that guests often have trouble distinguishing where fantasy ends and reality begins. Over the years imaginations have run wild and stoked a number of curious urban legends about the history and operations of the theme parks. Now, for the first time ever, Walt Disney Imagineers reveal some incredible secrets as they separate Disney fact from fiction.
- “Dream Makers” – Join celebrity hosts like Joey Fatone and Michelle Kwan, as unsuspecting guests are randomly surprised with some of the most extraordinary, and unique experiences Disney has to offer. From spending the night in a brand new royal suite built within Cinderella’s castle, to taking over the one-of-a-kind Mickey Mouse Penthouse Suite in Disneyland, viewers will get a peak at the excitement behind surprises that are uniquely Disney during the Year of a Million Dreams.
- “Disney Travel Insiders” – Premiering in June, join The View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck as she takes viewers far and wide, offering an array of unique travel tips and tricks for experiencing a Disney Vacation. From money saving tips for planning an easily affordable family visit to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, zip-lining through a rainforest in Costa Rica with Adventures By Disney, to the best ways to take in the magic of Disney Parks with little ones, Hasselbeck delivers what’s new, can’t miss, must-see…and the best ways to experience it all.
Time Warner Cable president of media sales Joan Gillman said, “We are proud to welcome Disney as an anchor destination within Journey TV. Disney recognizes that VoD is a great way to engage their customers in real time using informative, entertaining original content and Journey TV joins a stable of ad-supported on-demand environments that last year alone generated over 13 million views. Our customers have demonstrated a real appreciation for informative programming and Journey TV delivers.”
“Cablevision’s interactive fiber optic network makes it possible for a wide range of businesses to use VOD programming to reach customers in new and innovative ways,” said Barry Frey, Cablevision’s senior vice president of advanced platform sales. “Disney Travel on Demand is a perfect example of a preeminent brand using our advanced platform to have a powerful dialogue with consumers through the television.”
Disney Parks’ Technology – Enhancing the Overall Guest Experience
Walt Disney was a pioneer in leveraging the television medium to showcase his resorts. More than 50 years ago, he introduced the nation to Disneyland Park, even while it was under construction, through the popular Disneyland series that aired on ABC-TV. Once the park was open, Disney continued to promote the park and showcase its attractions through broadcasts originating from inside Disneyland Park.
The launch of Disney Travel on Demand is just one step in a series of new media launches that highlight the latest technologies incorporated into Disney Parks. Whether it is cable, wireless, online or through the iPod, the Walt Disney Company has cast itself as a leader in using new technologies to forge connections with consumers. Disney Parks continues to exemplify how technologies can be used to build new connections – from the time consumers begin planning their vacation on www.DisneyParks.com, to personalizing and sharing their Disney experiences when they return home, using DisneyLink, a desktop application.
About Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is where dreams come true and magic comes to life. This segment of The Walt Disney Company encompasses 11 theme parks at five of the world’s leading family vacation destinations – Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Resort Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. It also includes the Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney; Disney Regional Entertainment, which operates the ESPN Zone sports dining and entertainment centers; World of Disney stores in New York, Orlando and Anaheim; and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates and designs all Disney parks, resorts and attractions. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts had approximately $10 billion in revenues in fiscal 2006. More information about Disney’s Travel on Demand and all of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts can be found at www.DisneyParks.com.