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The Mature Traveler

Disney Adding Magic

July 06, 1986|HANK KOVELL | Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests.

Today's column describes two opportunities that will appeal to mature travelers. One relates to the people at Disney who have added still another attraction. The other is an update on Golden Tours, which drew thousands of inquiries when described here last year.

The Magic Kingdom at Disneyland wants to spread its magic to the mature traveler and to do so has created the Magic Years Club that offers special incentives to persons over the age of 60.

An enticing list of benefits for members starts with year-round discounts at both Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney World in Florida. A 50% discount on parking at both attractions is good for 10 visits. If you travel with your pet, you'll get free use of the kennels at both places.

Discounts are offered at Howard Johnson's lodges and National Car Rentals and there's a $3 meal discount at either park.

At the famous wildlife sanctuary, Discovery Island at Disney World, you'll receive a 50% discount. Special discounted package plans for visits to both Disney attractions are included, along with reductions on cruises and other programs.

In Florida, stays at the elegant Club Lake Villas and the Disney Inn will be offered at reduced prices and they'll throw in a free round of golf.

Then to top it off there's the membership package that includes a tote bag, membership card, key chain, decal and bumper sticker plus a subscription to the quarterly newsletter, Magic News.

Even the fee is magic, $15 for a two-year membership. You can get details and an application blank by writing to Magic Years Club, P.O. 4709, Anaheim, Calif. 92803, or phone (714) 999-7550.

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Although mature travelers are covering the globe to see the wonders of the world, many others are content to limit their sightseeing to areas near their homes, who simply may not feel the lure of faraway places and prefer to avoid the effort of preparation for longer trips.

Golden Tours, a nonprofit tour service based in Alhambra, is operated exclusively for seniors. While they operate tours to Mexico, Canada and other foreign destinations, they are more and more frequently offering one-day tours in the Southern California area for those who prefer shorter outings.

A sampling of current and future offerings provides a large selection of interesting journeys. All trips are via modern air-conditioned bus and transportation is included in the prices quoted. Here are a few examples:

A visit to the Lawrence Welk Village Inn, including buffet lunch and a live matinee performance of a Broadway musical ("Sound of Music" was a recent attraction). The cost is $35 per person.

A trip to Seaport Village in San Diego and a two-hour narrated harbor cruise plus free time for shopping and lunch costs $25, meal not included. Grandchildren are welcome on this trip.

An interesting tour north to Tehachapi includes a tram ride (with fruit picking) through the orchards en route, and a bountiful buffet lunch. Stops are made at Vasquez Rocks on the way north and at Devil's Punchbowl coming home. Full price, including lunch, is $25.

A trip to the famed J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, which includes a sumptuous lunch at Don the Beachcomber's for a total price of $20.

New one-day visits are being added regularly. They include visits to local dinner theaters in nearby communities for matinee performances of popular Broadway musicals, a trip to the Del Coronado Hotel in San Diego including lunch, visits to Wild Animal Park near San Diego, Ojai Valley Inn, Catalina, Shoreline Village in Long Beach, Hollywood Bowl programs, Solvang and a day at the races at Del Mar.

All tours originate in either Alhambra or Pasadena where tour members can have free parking. These tours as well as regional vacation visits and longer trips--both domestic and foreign--are all described in the Golden Tours newsletter issued each month. It is eight pages crammed full of travel opportunities at moderate cost and paced for the mature traveler, as well as an occasional free travel film or slide presentation that includes refreshments and door prizes.

To obtain a copy each month for the last half of this year, there is a nominal charge of $3 (annual subscription price is $5). Or you can get the most recent issue free for the asking. Write to Golden Tours, Box 1070, Alhambra, Calif. 91802. Or call either of these numbers: (213) 283-7876 or (818) 289-6271.

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