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  1. #1

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    First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog.com

    Story at http://www.thedisneyblog.com/tdb/200..._in_.html#more

    January 25, 2007

    First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?

    Lisa (far left) and Jim (far right) Fouch of DeWitt, Mich., flank their children Brad, 16, and Hannah, 8, while being escorted by Cinderella through the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Jan. 25, 2007 after being randomly awarded the very first overnight stay in the brand new Cinderella Castle Suite as part of Disney's "The Year of a Million Dreams."

    Brad was in the right place at the right time -- seat 8 in row 2 of simulator 4 in the Star Tours attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios theme park around 10 a.m. Thursday -- the location and time a computer had designated a single guest to be awarded the Castle Suite dream-come-true experience for his family. As part of their royal treatment, the Fouch family was scheduled to act as grand marshals in Thursday's "Dreams Come True" parade at the Magic Kingdom before dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table and their magical evening in the suite.
    (Gene Duncan, photographer. Photo courtesy Disney)
    Nice family. Looks like they also were given Dream Mickey Ears and WDW logo'd sweatshirts. I want to know how Disney always seems to "randomly" choose those suburban caucasian nuclear families to enjoy the free giveaways. That family that won the park to themselves looked nearly identical to this one. Conspiracy or demographics? You be the judge.

    We also learned 2 things from this first night of the Cinderella Royal Suite prize: First, you can win the night stay at any park (and possibly Downtown Disney). That seriously reduces your chances to affect the randomness of the award. Second, you can win the night stay in a height and medical restricted attraction. That means all you people who are pregnant, have back or neck injuries, or can't transfer from your wheelchair are out of the running on days when those attractions are the winning spots. This violates the spirit if not the letter of the rules. It might also violate the ADA and other anti-discriminatory laws and regulations in Florida.

    The rules state that:
    You will automatically be entered into the Giveaway (subject to meeting the eligibility requirements set forth above) and have a chance to be randomly selected to win a prize in the Giveaway by being present during the Giveaway Period
    So if you're at the parks or Downtown Disney you should be eligible to win any of the prizes. There are time restrictions in the rules, but those are the only restrictions mentioned. There is nothing about having to be in good enough health or tall enough to win the prizes. That would be because they also state that they are subject to Florida Laws. According to the regulating division for Florida based Sweepstakes:
    Under the law, you should have an equal chance of winning, whether you purchase something or not.
    That law is section 849.094 which reads in part:
    (2) It is unlawful for any operator:
    (a) To design, engage in, promote, or conduct such a game promotion, in connection with the promotion or sale of consumer products or services, wherein the winner may be predetermined or the game may be manipulated or rigged so as to:
    2. Allocate a winning game or part thereof to a particular period of the game promotion or to a particular geographic area;
    (b) Arbitrarily to remove, disqualify, disallow, or reject any entry;
    It looks to me that anyone who fails to meet the height or medical restrictions on the Star Tours attraction was arbitrarily removed from the chance to win this prize based on the inability to be in the area where the prize was awarded. That would seem to violate Florida law and therefore the rules. Or am I way off base here?

    Why isn't Disney playing fair with this sweepstakes? Surely there are enough places in their 40 square miles that they can randomly give away a few thousand prizes a day without discriminating based on height or medical restrictions?

    The full press release is below the cut.



    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A Michigan family has made history as the first Walt Disney World guests to win a night's stay inside Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom Park as part of the unique Disney Dreams Giveaway. The Fouch (pronounced like "couch") family of DeWitt, a small town near state capital Lansing, gained the key to the brand new Cinderella Castle Suite Thursday during "The Year of a Million Dreams," a Disney spectacular celebrating the dreams of guests at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.

    Jim and Lisa Fouch and their children, Brad and Hannah, were to spend Thursday night in the regal dwelling place -- the world's most exclusive resort, with only one room available and no reservations accepted -- through the Disney Dreams Giveaway, which awards extra-special dreams through a totally random process. Now, nearly every night for the remainder of 2007, another eligible lucky guest will win a similar stay.
    Like the Fouch family, they'll be honored in a special ceremony, dine at Cinderella's Royal Table restaurant, and bed down for the night amid the splendor of Cinderella Castle Suite some four stories above the surrounding Magic Kingdom -- a salon, bedchamber and bathroom off of a private marble-floored foyer, all replete with rich details. The Suite was created from unused space within the Magic Kingdom landmark once envisioned as in-park living quarters for members of the Disney family.

    The Fouches became the recipients of the opportunity to become honorary Disney royalty for a day and night because 16-year-old Brad Fouch was sitting in seat eight in the second row of Simulator 4 of the Disney-MGM Studios' Star Tours attraction at 9:50 a.m. Thursday. That was the randomly selected location and time determined by the Disney Dreams Giveaway computer to award the Cinderella Castle stay.

    "I was thinking I had the bad seat because I was sitting on the end," Brad said.

    "It's like a dream," Lisa exclaimed.

    Hannah added, "This is a dream come true!"

    And indeed, for Hannah, who celebrated her eighth birthday Monday, it was. Before the vacation to Walt Disney World Resort, she had seen a Disney commercial in which Cinderella dances with a little "princess" and told her mom, "That's what I want to do!"

    Winning the night in Cinderella Castle Suite marked the second bit of good fortune Thursday for the Fouch family. As they entered Star Tours, they won Dream FASTPASS badges that would allow them to bypass standby queues at a variety of Disney-MGM Studios attractions and shows during the day.

    "I never win anything!" Lisa Fouch said afterward.

    "Mom, you can never say that again," Brad responded.

    The Fouch family's historic dream-come-true capped a 24-hour period at Walt Disney World Resort that also featured the premiere of Nemo, the world's favorite clownfish, in a brand-new theatrical spectacular and the official opening of an attraction starring the cast of marine critters that enchanted audiences in the Disney(Pixar animated film "Finding Nemo."
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  2. #2

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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Prizes such as this should never be awarded based on attraction attendance. As the blog entry pointed out, park visitors who cannot ride for assorted reasons -- mostly physical limitations beyond their control -- are automatically out of luck. That does seem to clearly violate the Florida law regulating contests such as this.

    Where the heck is the crack Disney Legal Team to keep tabs on this stuff?

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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    The castle suite will be given away for quite a few number of nights, so I am sure that a lot of different people will be given a chance. Whether or not the "perfect" photogenic family was chosen for the first day is another matter.


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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    I would agree except that it's not the only prize they give out, nor is it the only location for any prize to be given away. Maybe tomorrow's "family" will be chosen exiting a theatre with no height requirement and wheelchair accessible.
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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeland View Post
    The castle suite will be given away for quite a few number of nights, so I am sure that a lot of different people will be given a chance. Whether or not the "perfect" photogenic family was chosen for the first day is another matter.
    You're missing the bigger issue here. Florida law is quite specific about giving everyone 'eligible' for the contest a fair chance. Programming the 'random selection' computer to allow for riders on attractions with height requirements and/or physical/medical limitations is wrong. The random selection process should only include those geographical locations in the parks that all guests can equally access.

    Disney Parks & Resorts should have known better. Diseny Legal should have known better.

    Pathetic.
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  6. #6

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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Quote Originally Posted by Hector View Post
    I would agree except that it's not the only prize they give out, nor is it the only location for any prize to be given away. Maybe tomorrow's "family" will be chosen exiting a theatre with no height requirement and wheelchair accessible.
    But that is not giving everyone an EQUAL chance to win...

    At both the Disneyland Resort and at WDW, there are PLENTY of attractions that have NO restrictions, and that everyone is able to enter and enjoy the attraction.

    Couldn't the Disney Randomizer computer be re-programmed to eliminate those attractions that don't allow everyone to enter and ride and/or watch. So you have many attractions, and of course, the restaurants and the benches and paths in the parks and at DtD that accomodate everyone. Seems like an easy way to eliminate the "bias" against those who can't go on selected attractions due to medical issues.
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  7. #7

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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    But they're still giving away prizes not on those attractions which are still part of the contest. Everyone still has the EQUAL opportunity to win a prize.
    "Tonight I wash my hands of you
    You set the bar I could not live up to
    Tonight the light is breaking through
    So thank you very little and send me postcards from hell"
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  8. #8

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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer View Post
    But that is not giving everyone an EQUAL chance to win...

    At both the Disneyland Resort and at WDW, there are PLENTY of attractions that have NO restrictions, and that everyone is able to enter and enjoy the attraction.

    Couldn't the Disney Randomizer computer be re-programmed to eliminate those attractions that don't allow everyone to enter and ride and/or watch. So you have many attractions, and of course, the restaurants and the benches and paths in the parks and at DtD that accomodate everyone. Seems like an easy way to eliminate the "bias" against those who can't go on selected attractions due to medical issues.
    How PC is this world becomming. You know what, I am scared of heights (well not really). thats a legitimate medical disability. Therefore not fair involving any rides that may scare me. Someone else gets motion sickenss, there go the Tea Cups. What if they involve restaruants? What about the people on diets (for either weight loss, health, or medical reasons) well that just rules them out. I could go on and on. It seems no matter where you turn somone is offended or suing.

    Here is a good one, this whole contest is skewed towards famiies with kidss. By having more people, they have better chances of winning. Oh the horror,.

    -dave

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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Quote Originally Posted by Hector View Post
    But they're still giving away prizes not on those attractions which are still part of the contest. Everyone still has the EQUAL opportunity to win a prize.
    Exactly! This is isn't the ONLY prize in the contest, so they are being fair.


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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    You can never win. If the computer had chosen someone sitting on a bench, then you'd be complaining that a person in a wheelchair could also not have been selected. I am sure that there is a possibility there for anyone to win.


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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Actually, I wish they would have handled this thru the Main Gate.

    Where every person with a paid admission (since Cast Members and their families are not legally eligible) gets a printed receipt the first time they enter a Disney park that day (ParkHoppers would NOT get a second receipt after their first park). Of course, you would have to still have the mail-in entry for legal reasons.

    You could have certain rules, such as the Hotel Stay and Dream Fastpasses will only be handed out from Park Opening until 1 PM, since they are time relevant. But then all the other prizes could be handed out until park closing, to allow those who arrive later in the day the same random chance to win won of the big prizes, or just a pair of Dream Ears or a Pin Lanyard. If you win, you can take the receipt to a redemption center to claim your prize. This way everyone gets the exact same opportunity to win (so long as they had the knowledge that they need to be at the park in the morning to be eligible for the Dream Fastpasses or to win the hotel stay that night in the Suite). IMHO, that is a lot fairer way to make sure that it is TRULY and TOTALLY random. The computer that prints the receipt has no bias at all.
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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Some folks are still not getting this.

    No matter what you might think is fair, the Florida law regulating contests such as YoMD at WDW is very specific about all participants -- park attendees -- having an equal chance at winning all prizes. Period.

    It's far more equitable to select someone who is exiting an attraction or show with no restrictions instead of choosing someone who's sitting on a ride with height and health restrictions, like Star Tours.

    Allowing attractions with restrictions to be part of the location choices is wrong. It definitely appears to violate Florida Statute 849.094 that the article referenced.
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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeland View Post
    You can never win. If the computer had chosen someone sitting on a bench, then you'd be complaining that a person in a wheelchair could also not have been selected. I am sure that there is a possibility there for anyone to win.
    That is easy to fix, make sure the programmed bench location have a free space next to it. So if the computer says pick the person on the 3rd bench on the east side of Main Street who is sitting on the left side at 11:32 AM, make the definition of the left side to be the wheelchair on the left side if there is one, otherwise the person sitting the furthest left on the bench, and if not, keep moving down the street until you find the first person sitting on a bench or a person sitting on a wheelchair next to a bench.
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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer View Post
    Actually, I wish they would have handled this thru the Main Gate.

    Where every person with a paid admission (since Cast Members and their families are not legally eligible) gets a printed receipt the first time they enter a Disney park that day (ParkHoppers would NOT get a second receipt after their first park). Of course, you would have to still have the mail-in entry for legal reasons.

    You could have certain rules, such as the Hotel Stay and Dream Fastpasses will only be handed out from Park Opening until 1 PM, since they are time relevant. But then all the other prizes could be handed out until park closing, to allow those who arrive later in the day the same random chance to win won of the big prizes, or just a pair of Dream Ears or a Pin Lanyard. If you win, you can take the receipt to a redemption center to claim your prize. This way everyone gets the exact same opportunity to win (so long as they had the knowledge that they need to be at the park in the morning to be eligible for the Dream Fastpasses or to win the hotel stay that night in the Suite). IMHO, that is a lot fairer way to make sure that it is TRULY and TOTALLY random. The computer that prints the receipt has no bias at all.
    Great idea, DB. This is similar to how the 'Dream Machine' worked at DL in 1980, for the 25th anniversary celebration.

    Why didn't Disney go with this plan again?
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    Re: First Night in Cinderella Castle awarded, was it a rules violation?-thedisneyblog

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    Great idea, DB. This is similar to how the 'Dream Machine' worked at DL in 1980, for the 25th anniversary celebration.

    Why didn't Disney go with this plan again?

    I would think its for the WOW factor.

    You can win anytime and anywhere. Getting off a ride, sitting on a bench, buying a balloon, whatever.

    I can see why they did it from a marketing standpoint.

    -dave

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