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...
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.
Go ahead and place these sticker on the front of the postcard, underneath the postage, in about the middle of the card.
Disney Dreams Giveaway
PO Box 8629
Elmhurst, IL 60126-8629
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).
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.
John M. Smith
1234 Main Street
Anaheim, CA 92802-2309
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......