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Vote of the week: Will you use the Disney birthday ticket in 2009?

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Published: January 2, 2009 at 10:58 AM

With the New Year, Disney has begun its 2009 'free ticket on your birthday' promotion. So I'm interested in seeing how many Theme Park Insider readers will be taking advantage of this promotion.

The freebie is real - no sitting through a Disney DVC timeshare sale pitch necessary. ;-) But there are a few catches:

1. It's not as easy as showing up at the entrance gate with a birth certificate or driver's license. You should first register on the Disney theme parks website to claim your birthday ticket. (If you do show up at the park without registering online, you'll have to go to the Will Call window to do the sign-up there. Trust me, you won't want to wait in that line. Sign up early. Also, there are other freebies available for folks who have an annual pass that would otherwise get them in on their birthday this year.)

2. No rainchecks. You've got to go on your actual birthday. No moving your celebration to a more convenient weekend day or holiday.

3. It's just for you. If you want to bring family or friends, they have to pay. (Unless they share your birthday, of course!)

All that said, will you be taking advantage of Disney's free ticket offer in 2009? Pick the option that best describes where you are at with the decision today.

If you are going, or thinking about it, tell us in the comments which park you'll visit.

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on January 2, 2009 at 11:00 AM
We'll go to Disneyland, though I doubt we'll make it for all four family birthdays in 2009. Probably just for Laurie's (in February) and one of the kids' (late June or early July).
From M. Ryan Traylor on January 2, 2009 at 12:31 PM
I will be going on my birthday and getting one of the Annual Pass bonuses and will be taking a good friend and her 3 year old who also shares the same birthday as me.
From Amanda Jenkins on January 2, 2009 at 1:27 PM
I won't be able to. Unfortunately, my birthday is in December. Way to crowded a time to go and have to see family during that time of the year.
From Barry Wallace on January 2, 2009 at 1:41 PM
We will be using the promotion when we're at the parks in March during my wife's birthday - but not for the free admission. Since we'll be buying park hoppers anyway for all of us, we figured it was better bang for the buck to get one of the Super Fast Passes for the whole family, which according to the website is an alternative option for those who don't want to do the free admission. We're still trying to figure out if the Super Fast Pass is good between parks, or for one park only. Anyone have any details?
From Todd Houts on January 2, 2009 at 2:33 PM
As a small correction, at WDW, you don't have to register in advance - it just saves you time. According to the FAQ:

Q: Do I need to register online prior to going to Walt Disney World® Resort to receive free admission on my birthday?

A: As long as you have valid identification, including date of birth, you can take advantage of this birthday offer at the Walt Disney World® Will Call windows. The reason for registering your birthday online is to save you time. You won't have to wait while you fill out the forms at the Will Call windows.

The Disneyland FAQ doesn't pose/answer this exact same question.

For the person that asked about the FASTPASS for up to a party of six in lieu of the free admission, the FAQ implies it will be for only one park since it says the Theme Park (singular) not Theme Parks (plural) you visit. (Also note it says these passes are limited and probably won't be available after 11 am.)

* A special birthday FASTPASS® badge+ for certain attractions at the Theme Park you visit on your birthday;

As for me: I'm going to WDW at the end of January (with the buy 4 get 7 promotion), but I upgraded to a 9-day no expiration, park hopper, water parks fun and more pass (of which I'll probably only visit the parks 4 times on this visit.) [Why 9 day and not 10 you might ask: there was an odd price differential for that 10th day that was significant. Probably a quirk in the buy 4 get 7 pricing structure.] I might not return on my birthday in October since the alternative offers won't have as much value at that slow time and there are so many restrictions on the Gift Card (doesn't include dining, many of the Epcot Pavilions , etc.)

From Robert Niles on January 2, 2009 at 4:38 PM
Thanks; I clarified that in the article. Again, you really don't want to do the line at Will Call. Sign up online. TPI readers should know that I am a big, big fan of doing everything with tickets and reservations you can in advance. Waits at the front gate are for suckers.
From James Rao on January 2, 2009 at 5:24 PM
If we do make it to WDW this year, it will be in September when Disney usually offers the free dining plan with a Disney resort stay. Sadly, no one in my family has a birthday that month. I really think this perk is more beneficial to the locals (and definitely better for DLR than WDW), and while I would love to take advantage of the offer, moving to Florida is a bit out of the question right now!

Still....GO DOLPHINS! ;)

From Deidre Dennis on January 2, 2009 at 5:33 PM
I agree, James. When I first heard about the birthday promotion, my thought was that it's really geared towards locals. Being out here in Washington state, there's no way we're planning to go.
From M. Ryan Traylor on January 2, 2009 at 8:40 PM
Fake ID's may see sales increase this year.
From Anthony Murphy on January 2, 2009 at 9:07 PM
Birthday is at a bad time of the year. Novemeber is not a good time to go from Chicago to Flordia!

and DVC is great :)

From Robert Niles on January 2, 2009 at 9:52 PM
Hah! I hadn't thought about the fake ID angle. I wonder what percentage of underage TPI readers would rather fake an ID to get into Disney World than a bar. I totally would have! (Not that I would do either, of course... /smirk )
From Tony Duda on January 2, 2009 at 9:58 PM
I have registered but my birthday is on a weekday in September. Since I am a Florida resident seasonal pass holder, I most likely will use the gift card option by driving in just for the day and getting whatever clothes and hats it will pay for, not much probably. Anything "free" from Disney is worth taking.
From Dan Babbitt on January 2, 2009 at 10:27 PM
Cant do it!!! Cast Members are not allowed!
From Anthony Murphy on January 3, 2009 at 12:10 AM
I know!

I think Cast Members' family can't do it.

The badly kept secret is out! I work at the Disney Store!

From Eric Malone on January 3, 2009 at 5:59 AM
I'd already registered, but I can't go. I have classes on Saturday this year, January 31'st. Which, if you hadn't guessed, is my birthday.

Well, I suppose I COULD go, but I'd be letting people down. ;P

From Amy Tupper on January 5, 2009 at 1:12 PM
I've registered me, my husband, and my daughter, and I think we'll be able to do all 3. Yes, we're local. :)

Well, the only questionable one will by my husband's birthday - it's in early August. Waaaaaaay too hot!

From Robert Niles on January 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM
Ugh. I just looked at the calendar and realized that all four of our birthdays are on blockout days for my Disneyland annual pass. (Including mine!) So we'll probably go on two of the birthdays.
From David Graham on January 6, 2009 at 9:34 PM
We'll see how easy it is to do this Sat Jan 10th. I already registered and then this Sat will be going to the park, not sure which just yet, but hopefully as easy as they make it sound.

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