Sunday, October 26, 2008

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Disney recently announced the successor to the "Year of a Million Dreams" (YMD) campaign with "Disney Celebrations" for 2009. I have been a frequent critic of the YMD campaign for various reasons, but with the new "Celebration's" campaign I have to give credit where credit is due.

The new campaign gets you into Disney World or the Disneyland Resort for free on your birthday. There are also other vacation packages/incentives for anniversaries, honeymoons, and graduations etc. Now this is a great campaign idea! It is quantifiable and will not only draw people through the turnstiles as a direct result, but will also lead to a rise in hotel bookings and food & merchandise sales as well.

I am also happy to hear that Disney has not left the annual pass-holders (AP's) high and dry on their birthdays. If you are an AP there are several celebration options:

-A birthday fun card in an amount equal to the price of a 1-Day/1-Park ticket for you to use on your birthday for merchandise, recreation or fun activities at select participating locations.

-A special birthday FASTPASS® ticket+ for certain attractions at the Theme Park you visit on your birthday.

-Or a 1-Day/1-Park ticket for you to use any time until your next birthday.

The only thing I would add is that there should be some sort of incentive for AP's to visit parks on the opposite coast of their annual passes. If you have a Walt Disney World AP and you want to visit the Disneyland Resort for your birthday, you not only get a free one day ticket on your birthday, but also some sort of break on a hotel or dining package. AP's are the biggest Disney fans and if Disney were smart they'd cater aspects of this promotion for AP's to take an even longer vacation (i.e. spend even more money) at an opposite resort .

While I fear we have passed the point of no return with these annual themed campaigns for the parks and that over time there is a huge potential for them to go down-hill fast, the new "Celebrations" campaign is a great idea and one that will be very successful. It should be a good year for the parks in 2009! I guarantee you it was intentionally not called the "Year of Celebrations" for the sole reason that it will be extended after it proves successful... I can already here it... "the celebration continues!"

And maybe after the Year of Million Dreams is over we will all get one last Dream granted... the return of the Disney Gallery!


Cory Gross said...

Unfortunately, this celebrations business kind of favors APers already... For those of us who live at a significant distance and cost from Disneyland, having one free day at the park just isn't enough of an incentive. After $2000-some dollars, the one day doesn't really amount to as much.

It's all the worse because my birthday is in about the busiest stretch - Christmas to New Years - of the whole year! While I'm sure parts would be fun, I don't think I'd WANT to go on my brithday!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Nice post. I am a Disneyland Premium AP holder and I went to WDW this summer, when I showed my Disneyland AP, they basically told me to put it back in my wallet as it has no value to them. WOW... $389 for Anaheim gets you nothing in Florida!

Spokker said...

The Disney Gallery isn't coming back. From everything I've heard the Dream Suite will continue to be used in some other capacity.

Also, have you seen the new Mickey head floral with the Celebrate decorations? It looks hideous, like someone puked on Mickey's head. I don't have high hopes for the rest of the decorations that are going to pop up around Main Street soon.

Mr. Lincoln said...

@ Spokker,

The latest I've heard is that there is a proposal to reopen the gallery on Main St. in the old bank building. Sounds like they want to use both floors of the building for it as well. I think that would be a great home for it.

I have seen the celebrations floral design at the park entrance and I have to agree it is borderline hideous. Construction is under way for the Main St decorations as well as the Celebration Roundup in Frontierland, and if it looks anything like the concept "art" then we have more hideousness in store. More on that later...

Spokker said...

Here's a picture of the lamp post decorations.

It's not the worst thing in the world, but what I don't get is why Disneyland just can't be itself. Why do we have to roll out of one promotion right into another? Give the soil some time to rest. Don't salt the earth!

Mr. Lincoln said...

My guess is that the "Year of a Million Dreams" campaign did well because it coincided with the 50th anniversary. And since the numbers went up we are going to see these attendance campaign/promotion themes every single year.

I think the birthday angle is great for the Celebrations theme. But I fear it's success will create a feeling of necessity for these kinds of promotions. I'm guessing the themes will just get worse and worse with time.

Love the new blog Spokker. I'm going to add a link if that's cool?