Starting today, Southwest Airlines ("the little airline that could") will begin offering complete vacation packages to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. The bargain airline that is outpacing its bigger rivals in the profitability arena has packages as low as $469 for air, three nights of lodging and taxes, and an "Ultimate Park Hopper Ticket." The latter gives you unlimited admission during your stay to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney-MGM Studios, and five other parks.

Sample prices for three nights this fall, and depending on hotel chosen, are: out of Nashville, from $469, out of Providence or Manchester from $484, out of Chicago (Midway) from $504, out of Houston (Hobby) from $534, out of Kansas City from $549. Prices are higher during the summer, naturally. Remember that packages are available from other gateways as well, so be sure to ask.

In addition to the air, lodging and park ticket, you get one selection per person from a Disney Flex Feature, ranging from a Disney Character Breakfast through lunch/dinner at a selected park restaurant, spa treatment, golf, boat rental or T-shirt, among other possibilities. If you pool to get a higher grade of selection, two "magical wishes" will get you one admission to Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba, 60 minutes of water skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing or other jolly pastimes.

Packages are based on roundtrip purchase and do not include a $3 federal excise tax at each end. Prices mentioned above are per person sharing a double room, with Sunday through Thursday arrivals from September 3 through 29, 2002. Airport taxes of up to $18 and a Sept. 11th Security Fee of up to $10 round-trip not included. Other restrictions may apply.

Contact Southwest Vacations at 800/423-5683 or book on-line at