When the ingenuity of the Walt Disney organization is turned loose on the problem of tourist promotion, it is only logical to expect that something new and different should result.
Two years ago, faced with the problem of attracting a higher percentage of California tourists, Disneyland took a broad look at its entire promotion picture and came up with some interesting answers:
Walt Disney explains, "We did not want to go into the magazine publishing business, but we found that, to do the job we wanted done, we had to.'
Unlike most tourist literature, Vacationland is not just shipped and forgotten. One of the most unusual aspects of the publication is the carefully organized distribution plan. While the magazine is published but quarterly, distribution is made almost daily.
Key man in the distribution plan is Bill Schwenn, Vacationland's circulation manager, who keeps on the road contacting key distribution points. He visits the selected hotels and motels in the Los Angeles area every 30 days and contacts all other distribution points within a 500-mile radius of Disneyland four times a year.
The broadening of the editorial content also resulted in a new name for the publication. Until this fall's issue, Vacationland was entitled Disneyland Holiday. "As we continued to study the problem of tourist literature," Bill Schwenn told AR, "we became more and more convinced that the typical tourist was looking for something to help simplify the job of planning a vacation itinerary. Thus, we have tried to make Vacationland an all-in-one book which can take the place of dozens of separate pieces of literature."
Vacationland is the responsibility of the park's public relations department, headed by capable p.r. director Ed Ettinger. Actual editing is the responsibility of editor Martin A. Sklar, while Jack Lindquist, Mr. Ettinger's assistant, handles the advertising. The magazine is printed by Pacific Press.
Cost per copy is approximately five cents "About the same as the average full-color tourist promotion brochure," Mr. Ettinger explains. "But," he told AR, "the difference of format makes it stand out and the contents provide a complete vacation planning guide.' With special emphasis, of course, on Disneyland!