Published: January 23, 2009 at 11:44 AMTheme park prices are theme park prices. I think most of us kind of accept that there isn't a whole lot you can do there. So when you think Disney you think $$$$ and when you think Cedar Point you think $ or $$. So to me the greatest discounts come in the areas of transportation and lodging. That's where I always look to get the most value. So I picked the hotel discounts. I just got a great deal for our trip in June and it's making me even more excited which I didn't think was possible. :)
Published: January 23, 2009 at 12:44 PMWe booked the buy 4 get 3 free deal from Disney. This really caught our attention and could not have come at a better time for us. With this great of a discount we decided to go all the way and booked deluxe rooms and went ahead with a deluxe dining plan. To me, offering free lodging and tickets is such a nice perk. I even looked at the prices if we booked the same without using the discount and it was saving us well over $2,000. Not bad, not bad at all.
Published: January 23, 2009 at 2:10 PMFor my family of five, the annual free dining plan offer is the key at WDW. I can save around $1000 - $1200 for a week's stay. Conversely, the buy 4 get 3 free deal saves my family about $450 at Port Orleans Riverside.
At other parks, where food is the more standard amusement park fare, then lodging and ticket discounts are key.
I need to vote twice.
Published: January 23, 2009 at 2:56 PMTransportation has always been Disney's strong suit. They even pick you up at the airport. For DVC members, its free!
Published: January 23, 2009 at 4:25 PMSince we live a little more than an hour from Orlando and Tampa, we don't stay at any of the resorts for more than a night or two, so the vacation and dining packages don't really affect us. What I like are the ticket discounts offered to Florida residents. You can't beat the "Pay for a day, come back all year" offers at Busch Gardens Africa and Seaworld.
Published: January 23, 2009 at 4:49 PMI don't necessarily like the free front of line/special privilege promos. If they are popular, then there is a wait in the special lines! Sometimes they have you come at a particular time of day. Same thing with the birthday promo.
I like free food, free nights, or a regular old discount. These things really save you money. These things give park-goers increased flexibility. That's what we all want.
Published: January 23, 2009 at 5:22 PMPersonally, I'm all for the hotel discounts. Mostly because, well.. you spend so much more on hotel than you do on anything else. We're currently planning an all-around Orlando trip, and we found it was cheaper to stay five nights in a Disney hotel than it is to spend three (which is how many days we were going to visit Disney) in a Disney hotel, and two at a Universal hotel.
Literally, we shaved off almost two hundred bucks a person just by making that decision. It's a shame, since I was really hoping to stay at a Universal resort for once. :/
But the prices for when we were going were just absolutely outrageous.
Published: January 23, 2009 at 6:53 PMResort hotel discounts, on property or in an exclusive relationship with the parks. WDW and DL are great examples where dollars saved on lodging translate into dollars spent in parks.
Published: January 26, 2009 at 2:04 PMMy favorite discount involving theme parks are the annual pass offers that Universal usually advertises--either a free year or half year with a Coke can or Burger King meal. If Disney offered something like that, I'd jump on it in a millisecond.
Published: January 28, 2009 at 3:24 AMUnsurprisingly the votes are pretty well spread on this one.
Published: January 28, 2009 at 10:40 AMI find it interesting that respondents prefer the bonus days on the ticket, but prefer the discounts up front on the hotel. (Though it didn't surprise me that people preferred the hotel discounts to the ticket discounts, overall.)
I also find it interesting that people greatly preferred the Universal-style front of line benefit to the Disney-style early admission or free ground transport.