The good thing about a recession? Deals at Disney.
What this means for tourists: Visit Orlando now. In 12 months, it will probably cost more and the crowds will be thicker.
Disney’s accountants do a great job maximizing profit by balancing demand with price. What vacation package price discount, they ask themselves, maximizes profits? If Disney offers too many discounts, it doesn’t make enough money to pay costs – and it loses money. If it offers too few discounts, not enough people show up – and it loses money. In good times, Disney offers no discounts because people show up anyway. In lean times, discounting is common, though usually offered as extra hotel days, free meals, or other benefits rather than cash.
We’re in lean times now, but if Disney discounts reflect the general economy, things are getting better. An existing Disney discount deal has been extended into 2011, but the entertainment giant toned it down. That would seem to indicate that the Disney accountants think the economy is improving, and they hope to make more money by giving less away.
“We basically are trying to reduce the amount of … promotional discounting that we’ve been doing in the depth of the recession to maintain our volumes and carefully playing off our rates with our volumes,” Disney Co. Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said in a conference call, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
Vacation package specifics
You won’t find exact information here or on any other website, including Disney’s, because Disney’s accountants are good. The promotional wording on their website is: “Save at least 25 percent at Disney Resort Hotels for stays on limited and select nights October through February (2011).” Value resorts could be 25 percent less; moderate resorts 30 percent; deluxe resorts 25 – 40 percent.
Another deal: A “free dining plan” has been extended, but only if you pay the full price for a hotel and opt for “Magic Your Way,” a ticket package.
What that means: Disney can tinker with room rates and meal plans the same way airlines tinker with ticket prices, changing things day-by-day or hour-by-hour. Its website offers specific dates when the specials work, but they’re historically soft times, such as December, not including the holidays. However, if sales are stronger than expected, expect fewer rooms to qualify. If demand is soft, accountants can extend the deal to other dates or apply it to more rooms.
In other words, you won’t know until you call. For the best package, be flexible.
The discounts also apply to Disney’s travel partners, such as some airlines, that offer the vacation packages.