OK, first off, while Disney wants to call the promotion "Year of a Million Dreams", in reality, it is two different sweepstakes, which when combined, I call the "27 months of over 2.25 million prizes". The original "Disney Dreams Giveaway" is still currently running, and when it expires on December 31st, 2007, it will be the end of the "15 months of 1.25 million prizes" (aka Version 1). Back in September of 2006, I posted step by step instruction on how to enter by mail.
These instructions are still valid, and you can enter once a day per person through December 31st, 2007.
Now, back in October of 2007, Disney made the announcement of the Year of a Million MORE Dreams, which is officially called the "2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway", and actually has slightly more than 1 million prizes, some of which are different than Version 1, for a contest that starts January 1st, 2008 and runs through December 31st, 2008.
I will list the complete instructions in just a bit, but first I want to talk about the basic differences between the first contest and the second contest.
First off, the mail-in portion of Version 2 starts December 19th, 2007, and those received in late December will be placed in the January 1st, 2008 entries for potential winners.
There is a new and different post office box number for Version 2 than Version 1, this way Disney can keep the two contests separate. (So for those "mail-in regulars", between December 19th and December 31st, you can actually mail in 2 postcards per day, one to each of the 2 different PO Boxes per person).
Second, they have liberalized the way you can submit your entry, to allow any legal sized postcard or even envelopes as acceptable ways to send in your entry. Now if you are smart, and want to watch your wallet, you will use a postcard, as it is cheaper to mail, but now, no longer does it have to be 3.5 inches by 5 inches, which happens to be the minimum size that the United State Postal Service will accept. It can be any where from 3.5 inches to 4.25 inches high and between 5 and 6 inches in width. (You can use larger sizes, but then you have to pay additional postage).
So the two easiest options are the standard USPS postcard that already has postage on it (3.5 by 5.5 inches), which costs 2 cents extra a piece (28 cents for the card, as compared to 26 cents for just a stamp) or just get 4 by 6 inches index cards and buy the 26 cent stamp. The costs are about the same.
Third, more people can enter, as folks who live in Japan and Australia can now enter the Version 2 contest and win.
And then they have changed the prize list, but for mail-in entries, you are still looking at the Dream Ears or Dream Lanyard as the only 2 low level prizes you can win (all the other prizes require you to be in the park, so Disney will substitute). Of course, you still have a chance to win the Mid Level Prizes (A Gift package for mail-in entries that is worth at least the value of the in-park prize) and the High Level Prizes, which mail-in entries are fully eligible for. But over 99.9% of the prizes available are the "low" level prizes, so the vast majority of folks will win the Dream Ears or the Pin Lanyard. But a few folks have reported winning a larger prize using the mail-in entry method in Version 1.
And a friendly reminder, you MUST hand-write your name and address, you cannot use printed labels for YOUR info.
OK, here we go, the actual step-by-step instructions.
Starting Wednesday, December 19th, 2007, Disney is opening up the alternative means of entry for the Year of a Million Dreams Version 2 contest (Which really is the 12 months of just over 1 Million Prizes), This post will walk you through 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). But folks, if you win a High Level Prize, you will need to show ID and proof of being a person, so please don't enter your pets or use fake names.
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 official rules 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, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, 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. And of course, the postage and postcard rules are different for non-US countries.
OK, you are eligible and ready to enter, first thing we need are the supplies.
You are looking at about 310 "postal days" between 12/19/07 and 12/31/08 (no entries on Sundays or Postal Holidays), so you will need about 310 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 has the postage placed on them. In the US, the current postal rate is 26 cents (as of May 2007) for a postcard. USPS charges 28 cents for the pre-stamped postcard, to take into consideration the cost of the actual cardboard.
Buy some self-sticking printer labels from the local office supply store.
And of course, a pen.
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 stickers on the front of the postcard, underneath the postage, in about the middle of the card.
2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway
PO Box 8650
Elmhurst, IL 60126-8650
Then, turn it over, and rotate the card, so that you have the card at 5 to 6 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 between 3 and 4.25 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 $90 or so...
Well, the odds of winning any prize are about 1 in 65 to 70 based on the ERA estimated park attendance, so you should win about 4 prizes. No guarantees, but statistically most folks should get at least 3 prizes during the 12 month period.
What will you win? Well, most prizes (over 99.9%) will be Dream Mouse Ears worth about $16.75 or the Pin and Lanyard set worth about $24.
We know you won't get a Dream FASTPASS, the after hour pass, the night at Cinderella Castle at WDW, the Disneyland Dream Suite night or other prizes that need to be used in park that day. 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 and other mid-level prizes, 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 if you were in the park.
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 much better than playing the lottery, as you will more than likely get around $80 in prizes for your $90 investment.
But the benefit, you will get an occasional unexpected gift in the mail.
This MiceChat thread does contain a breakdown of the prizes available in Version 2, broken into the three prize levels, and by location (Anaheim and Orlando).