Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
GEORGE Brown has come a long way since he first donned a chef's hat at backyard barbecues. Now he loves to cook both indoors and out, and while he seldom will admit it, he fancies himself as something of a gourmet cook.
For her part Georgina Brown gardens with enthusiasm and flair, as friends, neighbors, and anyone who cares to stroll past her garden can readily attest. But like any amateur horticulturist, she knows that she still has much to learn.
The Browns are a hypothetical couple, but Walt Disney World's Paul Campbell knows all about them. There are thousands of real-life Browns out there in the United States, he says, and maybe thousands more in England, Germany, Australia, and other countries. For all the Browns of this world, he has designed a learn-and-enjoy vacation package that the Disney organization may be uniquely equipped to offer.
To be specific, he has designed a horticultural landscaping and a culinary arts vacation. The two courses have been designed in tandem so that family members with these separate interests might take them at the same time.
Disney World's Magic Kingdom and adjacent EPCOT Center has a vast acreage of some of the hardest-worked and best-maintained landscaping anywhere. It took a lot of talent and know-how to get it that way, and 400 full-time horticulturists to keep it looking so spectacular, occasional freezes notwithstanding.
Similarly, Disney's top hotels and restaurants boast an array of American and foreign chefs.
Mr. Campbell realized one day that this concentration of talent could be used in yet another way - to provide specialized learn-while-you-play vacations. Several planning sessions later, the horticulture and culinary arts vacations were designed.
Seminar participants will arrive on Sundays and depart the following Thursday. Spring sessions, each limited to 60 participants, will begin on May 6, 13, 20, and June 3. Fall sessions begin Aug. 26.
Those taking the courses will go behind the scenes into areas not open to the regular tourist - into the kitchens, pantries, greenhouses, and topiary-development grounds. They will get hands-on instruction in gourmet cooking from the chefs themselves. Meanwhile, their colleagues in the living classrooms, as the nurseries are sometimes described, will take instruction in landscape design, practice making ornamental hanging baskets, and learn the special techniques involved in topiary gardening.
The seminar packages, available from travel agents, include textbook and work practice materials, instruction by Disney experts, accommodation at the Hotel Royal Plaza in Walt Disney World Village, and several meals. Also included is unlimited admission to the Magic Kingdom and the future world of EPCOT Center.
For more information write to Seminar Productions, Walt Disney World, PO Box 40, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. 32830.