Disney offers a glamping experience that's out of this world

June 11, 2018, 3:56 PM · Have you tried to beat the crowd into Walt Disney World's wildly popular Pandora - The World of Avatar by getting to the park at the crack of dawn? Fans who didn't manage to get coveted Fastpasses for the land's two rides — the Na'vi River Journey and the Theme Park Insider Award-winning Flight of Passage — often queue long before Disney's Animal Kingdom opens for a chance to be among the first into the land each morning and get onto the rides before the lines build to their typically hours-long waits.

But there's one way to guarantee that you'll be able to walk onto Disney World's most popular rides. And that's to be inside the land already when it opens. How can you do that?

How about by spending the night?

Disney is giving one couple the opportunity to do just that. And because this is a Disney contest, your evening on Pandora won't be sleeping on a couple of chairs shoved together in the Satu'li Canteen. Walt Disney World will set up a "glamping" experience under the Valley of Mo'ara's floating mountains. The winner and a guest will spend one night in a luxury tent in the middle of the land, as part of a three-night/four-day stay at the Walt Disney World Resort, including air transportation, a $250 Disney gift card, and an eight-hour VIP tour on each day of their visit. It's about an $8,000 value, depending upon where you are flying in from. (U.S. residents only for this one.)

How do you enter? You need to make a video explaining why you ought to win. The video must be shot in landscape mode and be no more than two minutes long and under 200 MB in file size. You can upload your video and enter through Disney's website. Your video must include just you and no one else and not include anything that would prevent Disney from sharing it everywhere if you should win. You can read all the rules and details here. Disney will pick five finalists and then will interview the five to pick the winner.

Clearly, Disney is looking for an enthusiastic and photogenic spokesperson for its Pandora land, who no doubt will be featured in some future video promo for the resort. I suppose they could have just hired an actor for yet another commercial, but this approach yields someone who's more likely an actual fan of Disney and the parks... not to mention all the associated free pub from people hyping the contest. (Like here, from us. You're welcome, Disney.)

Have you ever won anything from a theme park? Or any other contest like this? We'd love to hear your favorite contest story, in the comments.

And good luck, if you enter. If you win, I'll clear the date to be your plus one!

Replies (6)

June 11, 2018 at 5:16 PM

I love the entry requirements. No felony although they hire some.

June 11, 2018 at 5:57 PM

June 12, 2018 at 7:56 AM

I'll probably throw an entry in, though I'm never a fan of judged contests, too subjective.

My wife and I are pretty active "sweepers", and win contests somewhat frequently. In fact, our upcoming trip to Universal Orlando this weekend is a prize from a contest we won last year from our local NBCSN station. We've never won a Disney contest before (usually extremely large entry pools), but never for a lack of trying. My motto is that you can't win if you don't enter, and every contest by law must have a free method of entry even if it's portrayed as having a purchase required (typically by mailing in, but many contests now you can simply enter for free through a website or sending an e-mail).

I wouldn't be surprised if Disney gives this away, and then finds a way to monetize it like they did the "Dream Suites" at Disneyland (near Club 33) and Magic Kingdom (in Cinderella's Castle). I could definitely see folks forking over $5k a night to spend a night in Pandora.

June 12, 2018 at 11:31 AM

If it's not intrusive, I can see Disney adding glamping in AK as an overnight option. They do the same thing at San Diego Zoo's Safari park. But it has to be out of the way, not in plain view of the peasants.

June 12, 2018 at 2:18 PM

“Peasants”? Reminds me of Conrad Hilton III comment on the jet. I hope you did not mean it as condescending as it sounds.

June 12, 2018 at 2:19 PM

Mrs Plum has been instructed to enter.....and win. I'm a sucker for anything to do with enzymatic reactions and am hoping that total bioluminescent absorption will cure my hay fever. Fingers-crossed!

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