How To Spend a Day in Disney for Free: Disney Unveils its Plan to Offer Free Disney Tickets in 2009

Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts want to make 2009 the year that everyone celebrates their birthday Disney-style. By giving away free admission tickets for guests on their birthdays, Disney hopes to boost consumer confidence in their resorts as well as bring to light a new trend in vacations: the celebration vacation.<br />
What’s Behind This Promotion?<br />
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney’s main objective in offering free tickets for visitors is twofold: first, to get people to consider the idea of celebrating their birthdays at a Disney park and two, to encourage subsequent visits “even if the teetering national economy starts dragging down the tourism business”. A smart move to ensure customer loyalty and repeat business.<br />
This seems smart, from a business standpoint, since if a group of family and friends go to a Disney park to celebrate a special birthday, Disney will still be earning revenue from the group, just less the one birthday person. If this trend catches on, they could stand to make a considerable profit.<br />
Disney’s 2009 Promotional Campaign<br />
Disney’s aim of their “What Will You Celebrate?” campaign is to get vacationers to consider visiting one of their parks for a “celebration vacation”. The trend originally started with weddings and honeymoons, but Disney wants to expand the concept of a “celebration vacation” to be all encompassing: special birthdays, milestone anniversaries, family reunions and other personal celebrations. While Disney does get a lot of these kinds of vacations already, the Sentinel says, “the company has never put together a unified marketing campaign to attract celebrations on a large scale”.<br />
The Fine Print: What Visitors Need to Know Before They Go<br />
Each person who wishes to participate must register first on Disney’s “What Will You Celebrate?” site. Print confirmation message, as this is necessary to bring with you as proof.<br />
Disney will give a free ticket (worth $75 USD) to anyone showing up with proof of birth date, valid ID and confirmation message. Without registering and getting the confirmation number, one would need to go to the will call counter to fill out the necessary paperwork.<br />
Guests 18 and over can show a state-issued drivers license or a government issued passport. Those under 18 will need to show either an original birth certificate or a notarized copy.<br />
Tickets can be used on the date of the ticket holder’s birthday at any single theme park in Walt Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California.<br />
For a company that not surprisingly holds the lion’s share of vacations in the continental U.S., this is both an unprecedented marketing attempt to build and retain customer loyalty in an unstable financial time and an all-around smart idea.<br />
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