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  1. #1

    • Darkbeer
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    How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    Starting this Monday, September 18th, 2006, Disney is opening up the alternative means of entry for the Year of a Million Dreams contest (Which really is the 15 months of 1.25 Million Prizes), This post will walk you thru the way to win prizes from the comfort of your own home.

    The following is based on the Official Rules, which can be found at this link...

    http://www.disneyparks.com/rules

    A couple of things to note, the limit of entering is One per Person per day (that the post office is open), it is not limited to one per household, so you can sign up for each member of the family (including kids of any age).

    First off, are you eligible? Folks that work for Disney and their immediate family are not eligible, along with folks associated with the contest. If you are not sure, check the exact info in the link above (Paragraph 1).

    Where do you live?.... This contest is open to folks of many countries. If you live in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, you are eligible unless prohibited by state or local law. This step-by-step list is good for those who live in the US, if you live elsewhere, verify the info in the official rules, for example, those living in the U.K. have a different address to send their postcards in.

    OK, you are eligible and ready to enter, first thing we need are the supplies.

    You are looking at about 400 "postal days" between 9/18/06 and 12/31/07 (no entries on Sundays or Postal Holidays), so you will need about 400 of each of the following for each person in the household you plan to enter.

    First off, the Postcards, the best and cheapest option is to buy Postcards from the Post Office that already had the postage placed on them. In the US, the current postal rate is 26 cents (as of May 2007) for a postcard.

    Buy some self-sticking printer labels from the local Office Supply store.

    And of course, a pen and some scissors.

    First off, you need to trim off a half-inch from the USPS postcards to get the correct size as stated in the rules (3.5" x 5"), trim this on the left side (looking at the postcard with the postage in the upper right). Make sure it is not more than a half-inch.

    Go to your word processing program and set up a page to print a full sheet of labels based on the size you got.

    You will want the following to print on each label.


    Disney Dreams Giveaway
    PO Box 8629
    Elmhurst, IL 60126-8629
    Go ahead and place these sticker on the front of the postcard, underneath the postage, in about the middle of the card.

    Then, turn it over, and rotate the card, so that you have the card at 5 inches long (top to bottom). You want to write your info in the opposite direction of the front of the card, as sometimes the post office (and their automated machines) will read the back of the card if it is written with the card only 3 and 1/2 inches tall. This will prevent you from having the card mailed back to you, instead of being sent to Elmhurst.

    On the back of the card, fill in the following IN HANDWRITING (Block Printing is the best), this is a common rule in contests, and the Disney Dreams rules say "writing", do NOT use a printed label. (of course, use your full name, complete mailing address including postal code, daytime phone number and date of birth).


    John M. Smith

    1234 Main Street

    Anaheim, CA 92802-2309

    (714) 555-1212

    02/20/1960
    Then separate the cards in groups so you have one Postcard for each member of the family in a stack. Make sure and mail them at the same time every day, as you need to get a postmark for each Postal Day.

    So, what to expect if you decided to spend the $120 or so to win.

    Well, the odds of winning any prize are about 1 in 60, so you should win about 5 prizes. No guarantees, but statically most folks should get at least 4 prizes during the 15 month period.

    What will you win, well, most prizes will be Dream Mouse Ears worth about $12 or the Pin and Lanyard set worth about $23.

    We know you won't get a Dream FASTPASS, the after hour pass, the Photo Voucher or the night at Cinderella Castle at WDW or the Disneyland Hotel Suite. The rules clearly state they will substitute prizes if the winner needs to be present at the park to use the prize. So many of the lower level prizes (such as the Dream FASTPASS) will be substituted with Dream Mouse Ears and the Pin and Lanyard set. For things like the Hotel Rooms, you will get a Merchandise Gift Basket, (that might contain a Disney Gift Card) that is worth at least the value of the prize that was actually won.

    Of course, for the big prizes like the DVC points, or the 2 week vacation to every Disney Park, you will get that prize (basically any prize that includes the airfare).

    So you are basically gambling, but the odds are better than playing the lottery, you will more than likely get just under $100 in prizes for your $120 investment.

    But the benefit, you will get an occasional unexpected gift in the mail.

    Based on the cost and the prizes, I plan to do this, and also do it for Lisa. Heck, you might get lucky and win a vacation......
    Last edited by Darkbeer; 05-23-2007 at 06:21 PM. Reason: Updating the postcard postage rate
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  2. #2

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    I scanned an example of a completed Postcard....

    http://darkbeer.smugmug.com/gallery/1902346

    FYI, Wal-Mart had 300 labels at $4, and 750 labels for $9.

    By the way, here are the apprioximate odds if you mail in a Postcard on a daily basis from now until 12/31/07.

    1 in 2,735 of winning a High level prize (Worth more than $5,000)

    1 in 139 of winning a Mid level prize (Worth between $160 and $587)

    Should win 7 or 8 Low level Prizes (Worth less than $25) (Calculations are 7.6 prizes).
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  3. #3

    • is FIERCE!
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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    I am going to the post office on Monday to buy my postcards!
    Check out the News Forum for the latest news with a Micechat twist!



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  4. #4

    • Married and happy again!!
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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    Thanks for the help Darkbeer.
    Micechatter #5053 Looking for our new home in the WDW area! We need to get closer to our "Laughing Place"!























  5. #5

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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    Does it have to be a postcard?

  6. #6

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    Quote Originally Posted by barfownz View Post
    Does it have to be a postcard?
    The rules are very clear.. YES.

    You need to use a 3 1/2" by 5" Postcard, no envelopes, and no oversized postcards.

    I presume they plan to place them in trays per day received and then draw the postcards to match up with the eligible prizes available. Easy for the contest company to administer.

    But by making that decision, Disney saved us some money, as Postcard postage is 24 cents, and an Envelope would have been 39 cents. That is a $60 savings if you enter once a day for the contest period.
    Last edited by Darkbeer; 12-05-2006 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Changed the Postcard size to match up with the revised rules
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  7. #7

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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    So does the post card have to have a certain design on the back?

  8. #8

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    Quote Originally Posted by barfownz View Post
    So does the post card have to have a certain design on the back?
    No, it has to be 3 and 1/2 inches by 5 inches. You can use Postcards with photos and such, or you can go the easy way.

    Just get the USPS version, which cost 26 cents each, so 24 cents for the postage and 2 cents for the cardboard.

    The USPS postcard is the one I used in the photo example, lots of room to add your info on the back.

    If you are at Disneyland, you can stop by at the Holiday Station Post Office, which is one block west from the intersection of Disneyland Drive and Ball Road. They have a vending machine that sells 5 postcards for $1.30, so you don't even have to wait in line, or show up during the window hours. (The post office is locked on Sundays and Holidays).
    Last edited by Darkbeer; 12-05-2006 at 04:15 PM.
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  9. #9

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    Note: Major Update!!!

    Today, Disney updated the official rules...

    http://adestinations.disney.go.com/m...RLYOMDRulesEng

    They now want a 3.5" x 5" postcard (paragraph 2b)

    Based on the rule change, and the USPS official size of Postcards (Minimum size is 3.5" by 5")...

    http://postcalc.usps.gov/mailpiecedimensions.asp

    I am now recommending that you take the official USPS standard postcard and cut off a 1/2 inch on the left side (based on the postage being in the upper right of the card). I think that Disney will still accept the 3.5 by 5.5 cards, but better safe than sorry.

    If you trim, make sure that you do NOT trim more than a half inch in LENGTH, as the postcard must be at least 3.5 by 5 to be accepted by the post office.
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  10. #10

    • Disneyland or bust!
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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    Darkbeer, you rock. I wasn't going to try the mail-in route, but you make it easy, so I just might. Thank you!
    "A bad day at Disneyland is better then a great day at work." ~ Max Fischer



  11. #11

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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by Step

    Note that as of at least today (10/3/06) the site still shows 3x5 and not 3.5x5

    How stupid is it to not use a standard sized postcard? Who comes up with this S*#t? Are they really going to toss out standard sized postcards from the USPS? Geesch.

    Oh, and why do you say it's important to write the postcard vertically? I've been sending postcards for many years and I've never heard of that one before.
    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

    -Mark Twain

  12. #12

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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonliner View Post
    Oh, and why do you say it's important to write the postcard vertically? I've been sending postcards for many years and I've never heard of that one before.
    I think it is because for the specific postcards Darkbeer got (Pikes Peak postcards, available from www.usps.com as well) there is nothing on the back side where normally a photo would be. Because of this you need to basically fill in as much space as you can on that side otherwise the usps sorting machine will regect it and send it back to you. Am I right, Darkbeer?

  13. #13

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by

    Quote Originally Posted by ClubDisCM View Post
    I think it is because for the specific postcards Darkbeer got (Pikes Peak postcards, available from www.usps.com as well) there is nothing on the back side where normally a photo would be. Because of this you need to basically fill in as much space as you can on that side otherwise the usps sorting machine will reject it and send it back to you. Am I right, Darkbeer?
    Yes, you are correct...

    The postal "machines" have in the past read the "back" of the postcard and printed the "barcode" to the address of the person trying to win, and while it is probably less than 1% of the postcards processed, I have personally seen it more than once!

    Writing vertically prevents the USPS "mistake" from happening.... This is something the "contest pros" say to do all the time....
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  14. #14

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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest without going to the Parks-Step by

    If anyone wins anything through the mail, please let us know! Also let us know how many times you entered. Good luck, everyone!

  15. #15

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    Re: How to enter Disney's Dreams Giveaway contest

    I've started my "wishes" mail-in campaign. The first few sets of postcards (four/day for my family of four) have been sent.

    In stark contrast to Darkbeers excellent advice, I've taken a different route:

    I'm using the standard USPS postcards as is. No cutting off an edge to adjust the size.

    I'm handwriting each card in it's entirety including the contest address.

    I'm writing my personal info on the back of the card leaving just the address on the font.

    In short I'm doing it the way the average Joe would. I'm betting on one of two options:

    1. This is totally random drawing from all entries received. If that's the case then what I have done neither hurts or helps. So I'm good.

    2. There is a built in predisposition to select "average" people and weed out the "professional" contest entries. In that case they would be looking for machine printed addresses, cut to size postcards, and other signs such as vertical handwriting. If that's the case my "normal" entries will have a better than average chance.

    The only way I can get hurt is if they really are are tossing out standard sized postcards from the USPS. If that's the case I expect we'll know it because ALL the prizes will be won by micechat members (except me of course).



    Time will tell.
    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

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