Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"What Will You Celebrate?"

I feel that one of my jobs as a travel professional is to help my clients cut through some of the promotional hype that we get bombarded with on a daily basis and make sure everyone understands what they are getting for the money etc.

In the case of Disney's latest promotion announced earlier today, I want to make sure everyone knows exactly what they will get in return for what they will give. As a way of extending Disney's "What will you celebrate" promo, Disney announced a new "Give one, get one" deal. The idea is that they want you and I to be volunteers and, in return for our efforts, Disney will reward us with something. By tying it into the "Celebration" promo, you might automatically assume that the offer is somewhat the same, but that is not true. The "Celebration" deal offered guests either a free day in the park (not to be combined with any package deal), a gift card in the amount of a day's park pass to be used inside the parks etc, or a special fast pass card. Most clients and guests did not qualify for the free 1 day admission so the next best option was the gift card. I know several who used the gift card and loved it.

I was actually expecting the same offer to be applied to the "Give one, get one" deal, and was surprised to learn that it did not. Here are the options, besides a free day in the park, once you "qualify" for the promo:

  • Disney's Special FASTPASS® card for certain attractions for themselves and up to five additional members of their party
  • A collectible Ear Hat figurine with exclusive trading pins
  • Donate their ticket to a non-profit organization designated by Disney Parks need to know that the free day in the park will mainly apply to those who live in Florida near the parks who can drive over to spend the day and who would not normally purchase a Disney Package Vacation. So that leaves most guests with choosing between the 3 other options listed above which, as you can see, no longer includes a gift card in the amount of a one day pass.

While I love the idea of more people doing community work and volunteering, it seems that this promo leaves a little to be desired in the way of benefit to the guests as much as it gives Disney some great PR especially since they are ending the current "Birthday Treat" option (end of 2009).

I also want you to be aware that not everyone will be able to qualify for the offer. The terms and conditions will lay out a specific set of organizations that you have to volunteer with in order to qualify. After doing some research, I found that most of those organizations are only in the larger cities which will make it impossible for so many guests to qualify who live in more rural settings.

More details of the "qualifying organizations" will be coming out later this year and I will be keeping everyone up to speed as things become more clear etc. I hope this helps everyone see the true picture behind this particular promotion. And please do not think I am out to bash Disney. I love Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line, but I never want to get to the point that I over hype something just because I personally like that company or destination.

Please feel free to ask any question or leave a comment in general.


Pam Wood said...

Overall, I think it's a good idea. If Disney can get people out there to volunteer in their communities, then hooray for Disney! Maybe it will inspire some people to keep on volunteering. It is a little sad that we have to bribe people to volunteer though, that there are so many people out there who won't do anything unless there's something in it for them. But I guess if we can get those people to help build one house (or something like that), then at least they have done some good.

As for it not being available to everyone...well, that's not really any different than any of Disney's other promotions. The free birthday idea was great, but how many people were actually able to be at a Disney park on their actual birthday? And their Year Of A Million Dreams promotion was really exciting, but your chances of winning were so small. But at least they did give you a mail in chance on that one...that's how I won my dream ears. :o) With every new promotion that's announced, the whiners come out of the closet. They say it's not fair because it's not equally available to every single person. At least with this new promotion, you can make it happen! If you have to, travel to another community and volunteer there, if getting that one day ticket is so important to you. Make it happen!

All their promotions are meant to bring people into the parks, and I think this one will do a good job at doing just that. Plus it will have the added benefit of people helping out in their communities, which I think is a very good thing. To me it's a win win, even if I am unable to do it because there are no approved volunteer opportunities in my area. I'm just glad to know that somebody has the opportunity to take advantage of this fun offer! :o) said...

Curious you think it will actually increase traffic to the parks from those living outside of Florida and in the immediate vicinity of Orlando? Would someone drive 4 hours from the home to volunteer at a Disney specified place just to get a Fastpass or a figurine and trading pin when when they visit?