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Disney wants to make it easier for someone else to buy your vacation

October 20, 2017, 8:35 PM · Theme park fans talk a lot, here and elsewhere, about planning the perfect Disney vacation. Despite all the varying opinions on the best rides, best places to eat, and best times to visit, everyone can agree on one indisputable fact of theme park vacations — that the very best Disney trip is one that someone else buys for you.

To help make more of those "perfect" vacations happen, Disney has introduced a new website to make gifting a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or the Disney Cruise Line logistically easier for those paying for it: GiveDisneyVacations.com.

Via the website, people can buy Disney gift cards, theme park admission tickets, or entire vacation packages, and then designate a recipient for the gifts. The site provides a single destination through which to access booking across all of Disney's U.S.-based vacation destinations and sends you straight to those purchasing pages, ignoring all the other stuff you'd have to wade through on the regular versions of the various Disney Parks websites.

But a streamlined sales process likely isn't the main reason for Disney to offer a specific website just for gifting Disney vacations. The launch of the site illustrates how, increasingly, Disney's core demographic of young families — especially those with children — cannot afford to pay for a Disney vacation on their own.

Blame student loan debt. Blame the new housing bubble. Blame a job market that makes part-time work plentiful but full-time work with paid vacation time just another Disney fantasy. Whatever the reason, people in their 20s and 30s — who in previous generations brought their kids to Orlando for summer vacation — these days don't often have the money for those types of vacations. Forget about seven nights on property, park hoppers and character meals. Better hit grandma and grandpa up for that, if you can.

So Disney is trying to make it easier to do that.

Will it work? Given Disney's profit margin on a week-long vacation versus the cost of setting up a few Web pages to steer people toward its booking engine, if Disney sells just a couple of extra vacations through this website, it will be money ahead. Why cut prices when you can make it easier for people who actually have money to spend it with you? Disney didn't build its market domination by going cheap.

Meanwhile, here's theme park vacation planning advice for the rest of us:

Replies (3)

October 21, 2017 at 1:50 PM · So, to recap: this is crowd funding for those who want a Disney vacation, but don't want to spend money to get one. Unbelieveable.
October 22, 2017 at 8:05 AM · I saw it as a way for Grandma and Grandpa to gift tickets to their grandchildren.

It is not a bad idea. Gifting tickets and cards are a little convoluted since Disney (and other parks) usually want YOUR information.

In this day and age when digital gifts are becoming more common, this makes sense.

October 23, 2017 at 5:11 PM · No, TwoBits. It's not crowdfunding. It's a link for grandma and grandpa to gift the vacation to you without having them wade through the entire Disney World/land/Cruise Line website, as Anthony explained.

I think the most interesting thing about this is that this suggests that Disney sees the number of people going on vacations paid for by someone else as significant enough to warrant creating a website aimed specifically at that segment of the market.

Now, if Disney sees crowdfunding as big enough to supply a significant percentage of its business, I wouldn't be surprised to see them create another site just for that. But I don't think we are anywhere near that yet. Grandma's sending her own grandkids to Disney World. Not anyone else's.

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