Vote of the week: What theme park discounts will Disney offer in 2010?
Published: August 6, 2009 at 6:54 PM
As the economy continues to struggle, many observers expect the Walt Disney Company to continue to discount the cost of its theme park vacations in 2010. Count me among them. But don't take my word for it. I asked editors at several other websites that cover the theme park industry to offer their predictions, too. And all expect continued discounts from Disney.
Arthur Levine, About.com Guide to Theme Parks:
Unlike Madame Leota, I don't have a crystal ball. But based on this year's plethora of offers, I'd expect Disney to continue making almost anything and everything available to boost attendance and hotel occupancy as long as crummy economic conditions prevail. While I was surprised, given the sour economy, to see Disney stick with its annual August ritual and jack up ticket prices a few days ago, I would not expect them to offer discounted multi-day passes--at least at WDW--beyond the savings built into the existing Magic Your Way program.
Mary Waring, MouseSavers.com:
Unless there is a radical change in the economy by the end of this year, I would expect that next year we'll see the same type of deep discounts we saw this year at Walt Disney World. That means something like the "7 nights for the price of 4" vacation packages in January-June, discounted summer vacation packages, and "free dining" vacation packages in late August through early December.
At Disneyland, I would expect to see continuing discounts on tickets for Southern California residents (2fer tickets, $99 specials, etc.), plus the usual vacation package discounts like "everyone gets in for the kids' price" in January-April, "5 nights for the price of 3" in April-September, and "4th night free" in September-December.
Al Lutz, MiceAge:
At Disneyland (with a healthy local visitor base, and busy new attractions schedule) the story there is about how much more they can get out of the customer, so if the numbers hold my thought is that you won't see much of a change or increase in any current discounting.
They have a different situation in Walt Disney World. Without a strong base of locals, lots of rooms to fill, and past management slow to schedule new attractions and resistant to upgrade/refurb what they already have; my thought here is that they will have be more aggressive in offering discounts. Expect to see more formerly extra cost options to be free - triggered/increasing as stays are lengthened. I would also expect to see more package deals focused on transportation discounts.
In this unsteady economy everything is subject to change; which is why I haven't done much more than generalize here. But one thing I am sure of is that there is no company more adept at adjusting their plans than Disney, others only wish they had their problems. ;)
Let me throw this question to you now. Of the discounts Disney's run in the past (or have been rumored to run in the future), which one would be most likely to get you to book a vacation visit to the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resorts? You can vote in both polls, but select just one option in each. And if you are not interested, or unable to buy with any discounts, those options are available, too.
Tell us your thoughts, in the comments, about which types of discounts motivate you to book trips, either to Disney theme parks, or anywhere else.
Scheduling note: I've been laid up by a nasty cold here in Orlando, so we've pushed back our trip to SeaWorld to Sunday. I'll file a report, with photos and maybe some video, Sunday night. Thanks for reading.