Promotional Title: Three Enchanting Experiences. Three Ways to Save. Get up to a $500 Disney Gift Card FREE
Discount Type: Gift Card
Who Can Book: Everyone
Book By: November 21, 2010
Stay Dates: October 3, 2010 to November 23, 2010; November 27, 2010 to December 25, 2010; January 1, 2011 to February 16, 2011
Dates Discount is Not Available: November 24, 2010 to November 26, 2010; December 26 to December 31, 2010
Other Restrictions: Suites at all resorts other than the All-Star Music are not included in this promotion. Campsites and 3-Bedroom Villas are also excluded.
How to Book: Call (407) 939-7918 and ask for code ZH9 or book online at http://bookwdw.reservations.disney.go.com/ibcwdw/en_US/specialOfferDetails?name=Promo&promotionCode=fy11q1card&market=fy11q1card&int_CMP=ILP-WDW_ChoicePage_FY11Q1CardGetDetails#important
Offer: Get up to a $500 Disney Gift Card FREE when you buy one of these 5-night/5-day room and ticket packages at select Disney Resort Hotels. Use the gift card to cover vacation expenses: dining at your choice of Walt Disney World restaurants, special event tickets, sports, recreation, tours and more—all this in addition to shopping! With your card in hand, the world is yours! Offer valid for arrivals on most nights 10/3-11/23/10, 11/27-12/25/10 and 1/1-2/16/11.
Explain This Promotion to Me….
The Gift Card promotion requires a minimum five night stay and at least a two-day Magic Your Way Base Ticket for each person on the reservation. You may extend the stay to more than five nights if you wish, but the gift card will not increase in value. You may also purchase Magic Your Way Base Tickets in any length beyond two days and add any ticket upgrades you wish. For example, you’re welcome to purchase six-day Magic Your Way tickets with the Park Hopper upgrade and you will satisfy the two day ticket minimum. If you are staying for ten or more nights, you may book two separate five-night vacations and receive two gift cards, but you will need to meet the ticket requirement for both stays and purchase a minimum two-day Base Ticket for each person on the reservation for each stay. In that scenario, you may also be required to switch rooms for the second reservation.
The Gift Card amount is based on the resort class and is only valid for stays at Disney-owned resorts. Guests staying at Value resorts receive a $200 gift card; guests staying at Moderate resorts receive a $300 gift card; and guests staying at Deluxe or Deluxe Villa resorts receive a $500 gift card. This promotion is not combinable with any other promotions, including AAA discount, Free Dining, Percent-Off room code, or any other discounts. Disney never lets you “stack” discounts, so you will need to decide which offer will save you the most “real” money. I explain the three different major promotions and when this promotion is best below
What is the Potential Savings?
The savings is equal to the amount of the Disney gift card you receive – $200, $300, or $500 depending on your resort class. See http://www.disneygiftcard.com/where-to-use/ for a list of what you can use the gift card on. At Disney World, the gift card is basically as good as cash and can be used just about everywhere on property, including counter service and table service meals, gift shop purchases, ticket upgrades, and just about everything else. Some ice cream carts may not take gift cards, but it’s rare.
Is This The Best Deal Available?
Please see https://www.easywdw.com/savings/disney-world-2010-2011-free-dining-promotion/ for a complete explanation of the 2010 and 2011 Free Dining promotion.
The Gift Card offer may or may not be the best discount available, depending on when you’re going and what room category you select. Since the gift card requires a five night stay and doesn’t increase in value as you add more nights to your stay, you’re better off from a savings-per-night perspective to book exactly five nights. Every night after five means you’re saving less per night because the savings stretches over more nights. It’s much more likely that the Gift Card promotion will be a bigger savings at the Values or Moderates in a Standard or Preferred room during Value Season or at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. For example, a Standard Room with Standard View at the Caribbean Beach Resort costs $154 per night in Value Season in 2011. With the 30% savings code, you’re only saving $46 per night, or $230 over a five night vacation. You would receive a $300 Gift Card with the Gift Card promotion, which is $70 in additional savings. However, if your stay was seven nights, you would save $322 with the 30% off code and only the same $300 with the Gift Card promotion. Generally speaking, the lower the nightly rate, the more likely the Gift Card Promotion will be a bigger savings, provided you are only staying the five night minimum. Any additional nights makes the Percent-Off promotion more and more likely to be advantageous over the Gift Card promotion. Of course, if your stay starts on a day when the Free Dining promotion is valid, you’re probably saving more with that promotion over either the Gift Card or Percent-Off promotions at the Values and Moderates.
If you’re staying exactly five nights, the Gift Card promotion will be a better deal at the Value resorts if the average nightly cost of the resort room is $160 or less. The Percent-Off room code would save you 25% of $160 per night, or $40 per night. For five nights, you would save $200 ($40 * 5 nights) with the Percent-Off code or $200 in the form of the Gift Card. Any amount under $160 would have you coming out ahead with the Gift Card promotion, provided you will use the full amount of the gift card. For example, if the average per night room cost was $140, you would save $35 ($140 * .25) per night with the Percent-Off code or $175 on a five night stay. This is below the $200 potential savings with the Gift Card. For a seven night stay at a Value resort, the average cost of the resort room would need to be $114 or less to be a better deal with the Gift Card promotion. With the percent-off code, you would be saving $28.50 per night ($114 * .25), or $199.50 over seven nights. With the Gift Card promotion, you would save the same $200. If the resort room only cost an average of $100 over the seven nights, you would be saving just $25 per night with the Percent-Off promotion, or a total of $175 ($25 savings * seven nights) over seven nights. The $200 Gift Card promotion is clearly the larger potential savings.
If you’re staying exactly five nights at a Moderate resort, the Gift Card promotion is a bigger savings if the average resort room cost is $200 per night or less. At $200 per night, you would be saving $60 per night ($200 * .30), or $300 over a five night vacation. This is equal to the $300 gift card you would receive with the Gift Card promotion. Any amount under $200 and you’re potentially saving more with the Gift Card. For example, if the room cost only an average of $175 per night, you would be saving $52.50 per night with the Percent-Off code. Over five nights, that equals $262.50. The $300 Gift Card is the bigger savings. If you’re staying seven nights, there is no way the Gift Card promotion would be the bigger savings. You would need the average per night resort cost to be around $142 and the Moderates are never that cheap. The cheapest rate is $149 per night. At 30% off, the savings would be $44.70 per night, or $313 over seven nights. Since $313 is more than $300, it’s impossible to save more with the Gift Card amount on a seven night stay or longer stay at the Moderates.
At the Deluxes, the Gift Card promotion is more likely to be better at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you only save 25% with the Percent-Off code, compared to 30% at the Grand Floridian and 40% off at the other Deluxes. At 40% off, the average cost of the Deluxe resort room would have to be $250 or less for the Gift Card promotion to be better, since $250 * .40 is $100 savings per night. Over five nights, you would be saving $500 with the Percent-Off code, which is equal to the Gift Card amount. Any amount over that and the Percent-Off code is better. For example, if the average cost per night is $300, you would save $120 per night with the Percent-Off code or $600 over five nights, which is far greater than the $500 Gift Card amount.
At the Animal Kingdom, the average cost per night would need to be $400 or less for the Gift Card promotion to be a better deal. At $400, the savings is $100 per night with the 25% Percent-Off promotion, or $500 on a five night stay; the same amount you would save with the Gift Card promotion. At $350 per night, the Percent-Off code would save you $87.50 per night or $437.50 over five nights. The Gift Card in the amount of $500 is obviously the bigger potential savings.
While figuring out which deal is the best in your situation may be confusing, Disney is well aware of which promotions will be the best deal for the majority of Disney guests. Availability is generally highest on whatever deal is less advantageous to the consumer. There may be plenty of availability on the Percent-Off promotion when the Gift Card promotion would save more money and vice versa. Disney doesn’t necessarily offer such a variety of promotions to help you maximize your savings. They want to get you excited about a Disney World vacation and work the numbers so it appears like you’re getting a “great deal” even though the savings may not be as great as you initially hoped.
It’s also very common for availability to be higher at the more expensive view types, which are generally less popular at the moment. This way, you are still saving 40%, but you end up spending more than you were expecting because there was availability at the more expensive water view and no availability at the less expensive standard view. This phenomenon increases occupancy rates at the Disney resorts by filling the less popular room types. The only reason a “water view” room is more expensive is because it’s either rarer or Disney thinks there will be greater demand for them. Since we are in a poor economy, people are much less likely to upgrade to a Woods View at the Wilderness Lodge because there really isn’t that much of a benefit to a view of trees. By offering 40% off these types of more expensive rooms (that are no more expensive for Disney to offer since they are the same size and offer the same amenities as others), Disney can make the consumer think they are getting a good deal while at the same time extracting more money and increasing occupancy.
You also have to take into consideration whether you want the Dining Plan or a gift card rather than a cash savings. While you might be able to “save” more money with Free Dining, if you aren’t going to take advantage of the Dining Plan then you might not really be “saving” the entire cost of the plan. If the savings is similar for both Free Dining and the percent-off room code then you will have to decide if you want the Dining Plan or would rather save the cash and pay for food out of pocket. The same is true for the Gift Card promotion. While it’s likely you’ll find a way to spend that $200-$500 during your vacation, it’s possible you will have some left over. You’re then left with a Disney gift card that’s only good on Disney merchandise at the Disney Store or you’ll have to wait for your next trip to a Disney resort.
This Sounds Like A Great Deal, What’s The Catch?
The only catch is that you will be giving the full value of the “savings” back to Disney in one form or another, considering the gift card is valid only at places like the Disney Store, Disneyland, and Disney World. With the Percent-Off code, the savings will be in cash. While you probably won’t have any problem using the full amount of the gift card during your trip, you might if you’re staying at a Deluxe resort and have also purchased the Disney Dining Plan. The most common use of the gift card would be counter service and table service meals. It might be hard for some people to spend $500 during their trip on Disney merchandise and other such items. If you’re concerned about spending the full amount, you may want to save Ticket Upgrades until you arrive at Disney World. You can add Park Hopper, Water Parks and More, or No Expiration once you arrive in Orlando and pick up your gift card and then use the gift card to pay for them.
The Gift Card promotion may be the biggest savings if your stay is exactly five nights and the room cost is low enough. It may also be the only discount you can apply to your trip if “availability” is unavailable at your preferred resort and your vacation doesn’t fall into one of the Free Dining promotion ranges. Flexibility is key if you want to have the potential to save the most money. Don’t be apprehensive about trying something “different.” It’s very possible you’ll love a resort you’ve never stayed at previously. Plenty of people love the All-Star Movies before they try the Pop Century or love the Beach Club Resort until they try the Polynesian. The opposite is also true. Finally, don’t assume that one discount will save you the most money just because other people are using it or the wording sounds the best at the Disney website. There is no discount that is the best in every situation. Enter your vacation information into each of the promotions at http://bookwdw.reservations.disney.go.com/ibcwdw/en_US/specialOfferDetails?name=Promo&promotionCode=fy10q3offerchoice&market=fy10q3offerchoice&int_CMP=WDW_Homepage_FY10Q3ChoiceGenericOfferTile and compare the prices.
If you have a specific question about a reservation, feel free to post your dates, resort, and party information and I will have a look at what would be the best in your situation.