When asked about holidays, what do almost a quarter of British children have in common? They want to go to the United States to visit Disney World. This is according to a survey of 2,000 five to 15-year-old UK residents. Walt Disney World Florida was the clear winner at 22.65 percent of the total votes in the Teletext Holidays survey.
The second favourite children's holiday destination, according to the survey, is Spain, including Menorca and Majorca. What if tourists could do both at once? The possibility of visiting a Disney theme park in sunny Spain may one day be more than a dream.
Prior to the 1992 opening of the Disney theme park in Paris, other European locations had been discussed. Spain had been one consideration. Company officials eventually opted for the current Paris location. Spain-Disney talks, however, have continued since that time, according to rumour.
More earnest talks of a Spain Disney theme park began in 2006. The company had been watching other theme park ventures, like Madrid's Warner Brothers Park to gauge their success. That park, as well as PortAventura in Barcelona, had been fairly successful with growing numbers of annual visitors.
It appeared that the 2006 talks favoured the Costa del Sol region of Spain for a new Disney theme park. To date, however, all talk is still little more than rumour. The company did seem to express in 2006, though, that the possibility of a Spain Disney theme park was a strong one.
Disney or not, Spain remains ever popular with UK tourists, even the youngest ones. The results of the Teletext Holidays survey lists Spain as having received eight percent of the youngster's votes.
The survey listed the islands of Menorca and Majorca separately from the rest of Spain. Menorca and Majorca were also highly favoured with the youth. Combining the Menorca/Majorca votes with those for Spain, the region received 11.35 percent of the total vote. Other dream holiday destinations for the children surveyed included Wales and the United States (apart from Disney World).
The Teletext survey covered more than just the destination aspect of a dream holiday. Respondents were also asked to indicate accommodation preferences. Most five to 15-year-olds preferred the comfort of a hotel over a villa, condominium, tent or camper. Surprising perhaps given that for example the Majorca hotels can be excellent. The majority of children surveyed indicated swimming (both in pools and in lakes/oceans) as a top choice for holiday activities.
Whether a Disney theme park ever becomes a reality in Spain remains to be seen. The rumours are still rampant, despite the fact that nothing official has been put to paper yet. The possibility remains strong, though, that UK children may one day have less distance to cover when visiting a Disney theme park.
However, one of the survey's biggest findings is that the vast majority of the respondents preferred travelling abroad. Domestic vacations were eschewed by many in favour of leaving the country.
Still the United States remains a top destination for UK children. It's probable that, even should a Spain Disney emerge, Walt Disney World in Florida will always be a favourite. After all, it's the flagship of the Disney theme parks. It's still the largest of all the company's resorts, with multiple theme parks in one destination.