Disney-certified Glass Slipper Concierge travel adviser Duane Whitman will talk about what's new with Disney on land and sea, and give a special presentation about Walt Disney World's upcoming Toy Story Land hourly from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Ellen Rice Gallery in Ocean View.
"2018 may be a very good year to go to Walt Disney World," said Whitman. "Toy Story Land is opening in the summer, and now is the time to make plans. For fans of 'Toy Story,' it's going to be a pretty big deal, but there is a lot more going on than that on different fronts."
Whitman met and spent time with Lee Unkrich, director of "Toy Story 3," after the Pixar director accepted the Academy Award for Best Animated Film and later gave two 3-hour presentations about the making of the film during a 7-day cruise aboard the Disney Magic.
"The amount of thought and effort that goes into these films is mind-boggling," said Whitman. "Now I can't wait to see ‘Coco,’ which Unkrich also directed. The same amount of planning, research and Disney Imagineering magic is going into the creation of Toy Story Land."
Whitman says it's possible but extremely expensive at this point in time to get into Walt Disney World for the Christmas holidays. He recommends that if parents want to give a trip as a surprise Christmas present, they should make it for spring when the Orlando Flower Festival is going on in EPCOT, or summer when Toy Story Land opens. The new area will include a restaurant that looks like a giant lunch box, a Slinky Dog, gentle family roller coaster, Little Green Men attraction and the biggest centerpiece of all, Andy's giant back yard where all visitors are shrunk to the size of toys.
Whitman will also touch on weather on both land and sea during the spring months and report on progress being made on the Caribbean islands devastated by hurricanes this year. He specializes in booking and planning multigenerational group vacations on sea and land. His talks are informal, with open question-and-answer periods about traveling to Walt Disney World, on the Disney Cruise Line, on Adventures by Disney at Disney's new Hawaiian resort Aulani, and on Disneyland.
A graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge, Whitman in 2012 joined Glass Slipper Concierge, a Disney-specialized, authorized travel concierge service that offers meticulously planned Disney vacations. GSC agents specialize in selecting and reserving the best resorts, park tickets and dining plans to meet specific needs and desires, and beyond those basics offer free, customized, concierge itinerary planning complete with free one-on-one, on-call help during vacations if desired, and fee-based, onsite guided tours.
Whitman has visited Walt Disney World more than 30 times, sailed on the four ships of the Disney Cruise Line numerous times, and has been planning custom itineraries for families visiting Walt Disney World since 1972.
A lifelong resident of the Millsboro area, he has managed the Ellen Rice Gallery for 18 years. He offers complimentary Disney travel consultations and detailed itineraries to those who book their vacations with him. To reach him, call 302-448-1534.
The Ellen Rice Gallery is at 111 Atlantic Ave., Ocean View, in Coastal Plaza, 2.2 miles west of Bethany Beach on Route 26. Look for the red shutters and butterfly benches out front. For more information, go to www.ellenrice.gallery.