Disney’s Free Birthday Tickets Draw Millions

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According to the OC Register’s Around Disney blog:

More than 3 million people have signed up for Disney’s free-on-your-birthday deal, but only about 30 percent of the registrants actually have gone to a theme park to celebrate so far.

This year, Disney is allowing guests to get free admission to a park on their birthdays. Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, discussed the popularity of the free birthday tickets as part of a conference call Tuesday about next year’s theme-park promotion: Volunteer for a day and get into a theme park for free.

Guests have taken advantage of the birthday program more heavily at the Disneyland Resort, compared to Walt Disney World in Florida, because the Anaheim parks have a larger, local clientele, Rasulo said.

The birthday promotion has helped drive up attendance at the two Anaheim parks — Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.

Disneyland Resort attendance jumped 10 percent in the most recent quarter ending in June compared to the same period the previous year, despite the lagging economy, according to Disney’s financial statements.

“Certainly, I think that a program that inspires people and is relevant always impacts our attendance,” Rasulo said.

The free birthday tickets are part of the “Celebrate!” theme underway at Disneyland, including decorations and a parade.

Rasulo said he was unsure how many more people are projected to take advantage of the birthday perk the rest of this year.

In this tough economy, Rasulo said that Disney has offered more promotions to help keep up volume. Walt Disney World has even more deals, such as extended free dining packages. He said he was unsure how the company would balance the promotions from here on out.

“Clearly this past year, with the state of the economy, we know where families are. We know the situation they are facing. And clearly, we responded with promotional programs,” Rasulo said.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]