TripAdvisor tries to make Disney vacation planning easier
Planning a trip to a Disney theme park can be a lot of work, and yet millions of people do it every year.
TripAdvisor has an idea to improve the process — and potentially improve trip planning for other popular travel destinations
— by creating dedicated pages that cover every aspect of planning for travelers headed on a Disney-focused vacation in California or Florida.
Disney Parks will be the first brand included as part of a broader initiative "to offer dedicated pages for popular travel destinations, such as theme parks and airports, that offer many different points of interest," the company said in a statement.
The pages include an overview of each resort, featured points of interest, traveler reviews and opinions (of which there are many), a map view (to see how close a hotel is to an attraction, for example), as well as booking tools.
Disney properties are the most popular theme parks in the world, attracting more than 134 million visitors in 2014. Magic Kingdom, at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, ranks first among individual parks, with more than 19.3 million visitors last year; Disneyland in Anaheim, California ranks third with 16.7 million. (Disney's Tokyo park, which TripAdvisor is not including in this rollout, took the second spot, with 17.3 million.)
Millions of travelers search TripAdvisor for vacation options for the two parks, according to Adam Medros, senior vice president, global product.
October, November and December are the most popular months for people to visit Disney Parks, according to an online survey TripAdvisor ran in September. Fifty-nine percent of respondents head to the parks with their families.
When asked what resources were most helpful when planning the trip, the respondents listed online reviews, Disney theme park maps, traveler insights on the best attractions, airfares from their home destination, and rankings of accommodations. These pages are basically all of those things.
Forty percent of the survey respondents have visited a Disney park for a new attraction — a statistic that the company will likely hope drives visitors to the Star Wars-themed lands coming to the parks in 2016.
TripAdvisor has most recently focused on increasing booking capabilities on the website with an instant booking feature that allows travelers to see listings and book directly. As a go-to source for many travelers seeking information about destinations, TripAdvisor.com is in a unique position to increase revenue by also enticing them to buy their trips on the site.
On Wednesday, TripAdvisor announced it had worked out a deal with Priceline Group that will put several Priceline brands on TripAdvisor's instant booking platform, which already carries 235,000 properties. It also plans to add Priceline's Booking.com, priceline.com and Agoda.com brands.
TripAdvisor runs websites under 23 brands, including airfarewatchdog.com, bookingbuddy.com and cruisecritic.com.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press