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  1. #1

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    9/25: Happy Birthdays

    Kevin shares some thoughts on the new marketing campaign for the Disney theme parks. Discuss this article here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: MiceAge.com - A different look at Disney...
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  2. #2

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    You can use your Celebration gift card for food at WDW? You can't do that at the DLR where it can only be used on merchandise. I wish you could use it for food as well. It could really help offset some of the costs at Blue Bayou or Cafe Orleans.

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    Great article, Kevin! Though there is an inaccuracy. You cannot use the fun card for food according to the rules. I don't think this cheapens the Disney experience. It's very trendy now for people to take vacations for their birthdays and other special dates. Disney is just capitalizing on a trend.
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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    I thought I took pains to call it throughout a "merch card"... did I say somewhere that food was an option? (can't find it now, either)... let me know so I can get that fixed. I did know that it's not for food.
    Kevin Yee
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    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Yee
    If I buy a single meal they've made their money back.
    You don't ever say they can use it for food, but this loosely implies it.
    I worked at Walt Disney World as a member of the Disney College Program in Spring 2008 and Summer 2010. Now, I build software, design live events, and frequently make the short trek from Costa Mesa to Disneyland with my Annual Passport in hand.

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    OH! one of those moments where it's clear in my head, and mud on paper. What I meant was, if I use my $75 merch card on toys, and then spend cash to buy one meal, they've broken even.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  7. #7

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    I have to disagree with your article today. As a fairly hardcore Disney fan that makes at least two trips a year to either DL, WDW, or DLP but has to fly to get to any Disney park this promotion strikes me as just another promotion that helps locals at the expense of out-of-towners.

    I am not going to make a special trip to DL or WDW based on receiving a $75 gift card for 1 person in our family. Additionally this will result in increased crowds every day since birthdays are pretty evenly spread out (Although I wonder if during months with significantly more birthdays there will be a noticeable increase in the park attendance numbers).

    This promotion may be GREAT for Disney, locals, and infrequent visitors that are within driving distance but it does nothing for me. On the heels of YOAMD where our family made a total of 5 trips to DL and WDW and did not receive even the smallest reward I am underwhelmed.
    Maybe you folks can tell me though. Does gettin' two womenfolk mean you're the winner or the loser?
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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    I do not understand how it is just another promotion that helps locals at the expense of out-of-towners.

    How does it become at the expense of out of towners?


    If out of towners go and plan properly during their brithday then it benefits them if they do not then it just becomes a simple vacation trip where You get to see new decorations and entertainment. The party parade would be like adding an additional event to watch.

    The same effect would happen to locals. Plan correctly and you get a benefit, plan wrong and you get new entertainment. I think that it sounds like a well balanced promotion for everyone.

  9. #9

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    If you are coming from out of town and buying a multi-day ticket, wouldn't you gain more by taking the gift card? Is that even an option?

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    How does it become at the expense of out of towners?


    If out of towners go and plan properly during their brithday then it benefits them if they do not then it just becomes a simple vacation trip where You get to see new decorations and entertainment. The party parade would be like adding an additional event to watch.
    Couple of ways in my mind. If Disney IS the vacation rather than a 45 minute drive then avoiding crowds and utilizing fastpasses become more important both of which are impacted if this promotion is successful, more local visitors even mid-week as we can't control the day of the week our birthday falls on and less Fastpasses available as they are given out to birthday AP holders.

    Secondly, if I lived locally and had an AP I would make sure and come on each family members B-Day and the celebration would be special but we are not going to plan a Disney trip around one family member's b-day and not do the same for the others.

    I agree that this promotion is trying to help everyone but there are always SoCal and Florida resident specials, I disagree with these personally but if they exist there should also be the occasional promotion that skews the other way.
    Maybe you folks can tell me though. Does gettin' two womenfolk mean you're the winner or the loser?
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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    Like others, I thought this was a brilliant move on Disney's part to offer free admission on your birthday. I'm sure they're betting that practically no one goes to DL or WDW by themselves, and on top of that, the celebrants will be encouraged to spend a little extra on their birthday.

    I'm sure there are people, though, who may go by themselves just to take advantage of the free offer. Hopefully, for Disney's sake, this segment of the population is small. But - even those who go intending to take full advantage may feel the urge to spend, because after all their admission was free. At the very least, these people might think, "Well my admission was free, I can at least buy this churro." Also, I think there's something in human nature that says when someone does something nice to you, you feel compelled to return the favor. Of course, this isn't true all the time, but I think in general.

    So if we look at this situation, people getting free admission may feel compelled to spend at least a little - and especially on their birthday, they may feel compelled to splurge. So, all things considered, Disney's generosity may pay off big in the end. I hope so, because it will reinforce the idea that not everything has to earn a profit, and sometimes it's the free things that attract people, generate good will - and paradoxically, may encourage people to actually spend more.
    Last edited by Disneykin Kid; 09-25-2008 at 08:37 AM. Reason: added thought

  12. #12

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    Hmmm, this add-on experience caught my eye:

    For Lovebirds: Sweetheart dinners for two in which couples can clink "Celebrate Today!" champagne flutes.
    What do they put in those champagne flutes? If they're actually allowing folks to drink champagne within the parks, that would make the moment all the more special.

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    Quote Originally Posted by mistryl View Post
    If you are coming from out of town and buying a multi-day ticket, wouldn't you gain more by taking the gift card? Is that even an option?
    Of course it would... because no one buys a single day ticket when traveling there... and you get the full day price, not the discounted price you pay on your MYW ticket.

    For out of towners - it's basically free money if you can use it. People don't control when their birthday is...and they are unlikely to vacation a different time of year just because they can get a free GiftCard or ticket. If you goto Disney in March each year.. but your birthday is in November.. you aren't going to change how you holiday for a simple $75 value when normally you are spending several thousand dollars on the trip.

    The only real people it will attract that Disney will come out ahead on are the 'splurge' visitors. Those who live close enough who can goto Disney without much planning and this carrot is enough to lure them in. For the regular fans... they were going to go anyways, so Disney loses. For out of towners, its not worth changing your plans around.

    The real value is its purely marketing.. its something they can promote that people can relate to - even if they can't take advantage.

    The things people will spend on and Disney will come out ahead on are the celebration things they offer in the resturants, hotels, etc... those will not be limited to your day and people will sucker into those.
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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    If out of towners go and plan properly during their brithday then it benefits them if they do not then it just becomes a simple vacation trip where You get to see new decorations and entertainment. The party parade would be like adding an additional event to watch.

    The same effect would happen to locals. Plan correctly and you get a benefit, plan wrong and you get new entertainment. I think that it sounds like a well balanced promotion for everyone.
    It is not a matter of planning properly for my family, it's about timing. For all five of our family members, our birthdays fall during the school year and we are too far away for weekend trips. So, as far as I'm concerned, this is mostly a promo for locals. Some non-locals will benefit and more power to them. However, I'd have much preferred a continuation of YOAMD than this newer one since I'd have a better chance of receiving something. Better yet, I'd would've preferred a new E-ticket!

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    Re: 9/25: Happy Birthdays

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    What do they put in those champagne flutes? If they're actually allowing folks to drink champagne within the parks, that would make the moment all the more special.
    Well, alcohol is already available in Epcot, DHS, DAK and DCA. So I'm guessing as long as you don't expect this benefit in one of the MK's, you'll be fine.

    I think this is a terrific promotion, one that will work well for most folks as well as for Disney. Kevin, the pros and cons you listed were spot on. Sadly I won't be visiting a park on my birthday in '09, but if they continue the program another year then I'll certainly plan my fall WDW trip around it.

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