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Disney Vacation Club Members to Find African Adventure in New Time-share Resort

Members Will Own a Piece of the Magic Near Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- Disney Vacation Club is developing a new time-share resort on Walt Disney World property to meet ongoing strong demand for its unique vacation-ownership program.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas will be located at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, which readers of Travel & Leisure Family magazine recently honored with the No. 4 spot on their list of the 50 greatest family resorts in the United States and Canada.

"We continue to see strong demand from families who want to build a lifetime of unforgettable memories by vacationing in ways they never dreamed possible," said Jim Lewis, president of Disney Vacation Club. "I am delighted to announce that our members will have yet another place to call home with Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas. This begins another exciting new era for Disney Vacation Club as we continue to explore future destination possibilities both domestically and internationally."

The Disney Vacation Club accommodations will feature intricate African-inspired details and home-like amenities, and most will offer sweeping views of an expanded savanna inhabited by a variety of African animals. Members who call this resort "home" will live their very own true-life adventure in a setting inspired by the intrepid explorers and historic expeditions of 19th century Africa.

Walt Disney Imagineers are designing the new village of Vacation Homes to feel curiously at home in the natural world. The architectural style will evoke the look of a thatched-roof, hewn-timber structure that will appear to emerge organically from the land beneath it, drifting in and out of view from lush landscapes like a giraffe hiding in the tall grasses of the savanna. Add authentic artwork, imaginative architectural details and Disney's world-class brand of storytelling, and the result will be an immersive village unlike any other.

These new accommodations are scheduled for development in phases with an anticipated opening beginning fall 2007, with completion scheduled for spring 2009. The project's first phase will include 134 remodeled accommodations on the fifth and sixth floors of the existing Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge building, and subsequent phases will include the construction of 324 Vacation Homes in a new building on the resort property, for a total of 458 Vacation Homes.

The highly anticipated project also calls for construction of a new table-service restaurant, themed pool and water-play area, fitness center, merchandise shop, sports-and-recreation facilities and more.

Disney Vacation Club, now celebrating its milestone 15th anniversary, is an innovative time-share program that lets families enjoy flexibility and savings on future vacations at Disney destinations and more than 500 other popular vacation sites around the world. Since 2000, Disney Vacation Club membership has doubled to include more than 300,000 individuals from more than 100 countries and every U.S. state.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas will be the eighth Disney Vacation Club Resort, joining five others at the Walt Disney World Resort, one in Vero Beach, Fla., and one in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Disney Vacation Club has sold out of memberships at its first six resorts, and sales remain ahead of schedule at its seventh property, Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, which opened in May 2004 near the Downtown Disney area at the Walt Disney World Resort.


An "Edu-Taining" Earful Of Facts About Disney's Vacation Ownership Program

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) includes more than 40,000 member families from over 60 different countries.

Unlike traditional timeshare offerings, Disney Vacation Club members are not locked into a single week or fixed time period for their vacation. The club provides unprecedented flexibility and exclusive privileges and services to its members, including the opportunity to annually customize their vacation plans by selecting the time of the year, length of stay, size of accommodation and location of their choice.

Deeded in real estate, members access their DVC ownership through a vacation point system. Members receive an annual allotment of vacation points that can be used in a variety of ways for different types of accommodations at a wide variety of resorts and for other vacation experiences, subject to availability. They can bank or borrow vacation points, use their vacation points in combination with renting accommodations on a cash basis, or can purchase an additional real estate interest at any time. (FACT: the average member visits Walt Disney World twice a year.)

Disney Vacation Club's flagship resort, Disney's Old Key West Resort at Walt Disney World, recently welcomed its 25,000th member family marking the end of active sales for this premiere property, which was the first DVC ownership resort to launch in December 1991. A final phase of development will bring 34 additional units to the resort by early 2000.

Disney Vacation Club offers three "home" resorts at which members may purchase their deeded real estate interest: Disney's BoardWalk Villas at the Walt Disney World Resort, Florida; Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Vero Beach, Florida; and Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The Company also recently announced a fifth ownership resort to debut in January 2001 next to the popular Disney's Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World Resort.

New members can join Disney Vacation Club for a one-time purchase price that starts under $10,000 (certain use restrictions apply). (FACT: DVC's "Magical Beginnings" program allows Walt Disney World Resort, Disney's Vero Beach Resort and Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort guests to use up to $2,000 of their current Disney resort stay towards the purchase of their membership so guests can start enjoying the benefits of being a member right away.)

Disney Vacation Club members can also elect to use their vacation points for stays at select Walt Disney World Resort properties, the Disneyland Hotel and Disneyland Pacific Hotel in Anaheim, and Disneyland Paris hotels. (FACT: The most popular member exchange request is the World of Resorts program for Walt Disney World hotel stays at such properties as Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Disney's Wilderness Lodge.)

Members have a world of vacation choices, literally, through the Member Getaways program. From African safaris to white water rafting in Oregon to biking in Tuscany, Italy, and skiing the French Alps, the possibilities of Disney Vacation Club membership are endless.

For seafarers, Disney Vacation Club members can choose to use their vacation points for exciting cruises aboard several different lines, including Disney Cruise Line.

Disney Vacation Club can assist qualified members with flexible financing towards the purchase of their ownership interest.

Disney's Vero Beach Resort near Vero Beach, Florida, opened on October 1, 1995. (FACT: the resort was awarded the prestigious 4 Diamond Award from the American Automobile Association (AAA) during its first year of operation and continues to carry the designation to this day.)

Members are kept informed about the club family through its Vacation Magic newsletter that offers helpful program information, member stories, DVC resort vacation tips, exclusive member merchandise and special previews of upcoming Disney events.

DVC members are offered a variety of special Disney discount offers. (FACT: DVC members receive a 10% discount at The Disney Store locations nationwide.)

Disney Vacation Club features a trained staff of vacation planning professionals, Vacation Advisors who help members plan every aspect of their vacations and answer their questions about the program. (FACT: In 1998, DVC Member Services representatives processed more than 275,000 member phone calls and over 18,000 member faxes and Internet eMail queries.)

Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, opened March 1, 1996. (FACT: it is the first Disney hotel to open outside the Company's theme park properties in Florida and California.)

Disney Vacation Club's second resort to open at Walt Disney World is Disney's BoardWalk Villas, a mixed-use property located within the festive 45-acre Disney's BoardWalk waterfront resort and entertainment district. (FACT: in a year's time, each of the rolling chairs which transport guests daily along the lakefront Disney's BoardWalk will have logged more miles than the distance between Coney Island, NY, and Atlantic City, NJ


CELEBRATION, FL -- Launched in October 1991, the Disney Vacation Club (DVC), part of the magic of The Walt Disney Company, has now grown to include more than 30,000 member families from throughout North America and beyond, making it one of the most successful and highly rated vacation ownership programs.

Created with Disney's special brand of imagination and innovation, this unique vacation ownership program provides its members with a world of vacation opportunities for years to come. The Disney Vacation Club concept was inspired in part by Disney guests who frequented the Company's resorts and theme parks year-after-year. But the idea quickly gained much broader appeal and now includes members with varied vacation interests who share the Disney philosophy of quality vacations.

"Our decision to enter the vacation ownership business was a natural progression to accommodate our guests with a flexible vacation product designed to meet their ever-changing vacation needs as they pass through different phases of their life," said Matt Ouimet, Senior Vice President of Finance/Business Development for Walt Disney World Co. In fact, many Disney Vacation Club members choose to add on to their initial resort ownership interest or purchase at other DVC resorts. Since vacation ownership programs were introduced to the U.S. in the early 1960's, the industry has grown to a $2.18-billion business in 1996, with an annual growth rate of 13.8%*. A recent study conducted by ARDA (American Resort Development Association), the professional association of the recreational real estate, resort and vacation ownership industry, attributes this tremendous growth to a variety of factors, including higher standards of accommodation; quality and service; flexibility, and the industryis improved overall image. In fact, Cynthia A. Huheey, President of ARDA, notes that, "The entrance of well-known hospitality and entertainment companies such as Disney has brought a new and valuable product to the marketplace and is helping to expand vacation ownership to additional market segments."

Like many other vacation ownership programs, Disney Vacation Club is grounded in real estate ownership, but it has brought innovative new elements to its vacation ownership product. "Guests become members of the Disney Vacation Club because of the magical memories and traditions that are so engrained in the Disney experience," continued Ouimet. "Anyone can sell accommodations -- but only Disney can offer the experiential environment, the entertainment, and the imaginative programs that are so uniquely a part of our tradition."

* Information provided by ARDA (American Resort Development Association)

Disney Vacation Club Designed To Change With Family Lifestyles

Anchored by the purchase of a deeded real estate interest, guests automatically become a member of the Disney Vacation Club. Membership provides guests with the freedom to tailor vacations to their personal needs as their family's vacation interests change over time. Disney Vacation Club membership is based on a "vacation point" system. Each year, members receive an annual allotment of vacation points that can be used in a variety of ways for different types of accommodations at a dazzling variety of resorts and for other vacation experiences, subject to availability. Members can also elect to bank or borrow vacation points, use their vacation points in combination with renting accommodations on a cash basis, or can purchase an additional real estate interest at any time. New members can join the club with an initial purchase of less than $10,000 (certain use restrictions apply). And unlike traditional timeshare programs, Disney Vacation Club members are not locked into a single week or fixed time period at a single resort.

Disney Vacation Club membership may be used to reserve accommodations at the member is "home resort" or they may exchange reserved home resort accommodations to stay at other Disney Vacation Club resorts -- Disney's BoardWalk Villas and Disney's Old Key West Resort (both at the Walt Disney World Resort), Disney's Vero Beach Resort (Vero Beach, FL), or Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) -- at select Walt Disney World Resort properties, the Disneyland Hotel and Disneyland Pacific Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., and Disneyland Paris hotels.

Additionally through the Disney Vacation Club Member Getaways program, members have access to nearly 200 premium resorts worldwide through an agreement with Interval International (II), one of the worldis largest vacation ownership exchange companies, or they may select from an elite collection of world-renowned hotels, sample an Adventure Travel experience like an African safari, take a cruise (including Disney Cruise Line itineraries) and much more.

"The Disney Vacation Club is about quality, guest service, attention to detail and a world of choices," said Ouimet. "Our members expect us to provide years of magical vacations and treasured memories at an excellent value. But they also expect our Disney quality and personal service in planning their vacations."

Additional unique advantages to membership in the Disney Vacation Club include special benefits such as various Disney discount offers and professional travel planners that are just a phone call away. These Member Services representatives help members plan their vacations and answer questions about DVC membership. And members further become part of the DVC "family" through its Vacation Magic member newsletter that offers helpful program information, member stories, DVC resort travel tips, exclusive member merchandise and special previews of upcoming Disney events.

Disney Vacation Club is managed by Disney Vacation Development Inc., part of the magic of The Walt Disney Company.