A Little History
The current Disney Armed Forces Salute runs through 30 Sept 2012. It is basically the 4th year in a row Disney has had a special military discount with steeply discounted tickets and rooms. This round of discounts was prompted by the economic downturn, which began in late 2008. Prior to this the last special offer was in 2002 during the post 9/11 travel industry downturn.
On 4 January 2009 Disney announced and started their Armed Forces Salute, which ran through 23 December 2009. This offer included a free 5-day ticket for the member and up to 5 more for $99.
Then on 21 December 2009, they announced the 2010 offer. Tickets had to be purchased by 31 July 2010 (later extended to 31 August) and the offer only ran through 30 September 2010. This time military members could purchase up to six 4-day tickets at $99. The free one for the member was gone.
All through August and September 2009 Disney officials said they would not be continuing these offers past 30 Sept. Then on 4 Oct after the offer had ended they announced a 30-40% room discount through 30 Sept 2011. The 2011 ticket offer was not announced (because of legal issues with the military) until 24 October. So there was no ticket offer for 23 days in October 2010.
A Major Surprise
On 18 April 2011 Whoopie Goldberg announced on ABC’s The View that Disney was extending the 2011 offer until 30 Sept 2012. It took weeks for me to confirm with Disney officials the details, and for several months the details of the offer changed several times. There were 4 or 5 different versions. Finally things settled down to what we have today.
As I’ve stated many times before, here on the blog, in the newsletter, and in e-mails that Disney’s offering their Armed Forces Salute was and is purely a financial decision. The purpose of these discounts is to get bodies into the Disney resorts and theme parks during a time when the economy is slow.
The Disney Parks CEO is on record having said that their goal is to wean the public off of the big discounts they had to offer in the economic downturn.
When and how quickly I just don’t know…
So When Will We Know?
So having said all that between now and September, I see several different ways this could play out:
- Disney could make another surprise announcement at any time between now and the end of the current offer. (Probability – Low)
- Disney could, towards the end of the Summer or early Fall announce that they will be having another discount starting 1 October 2012 through 30 September 2013. (Probability – Medium to Low)
- Disney could at the last minute (either just as the current offer expires or after the expiration) announce another discount starting 1 October 2012 (or later) through 30 September 2013. (Probability – High)
The problem with all of these scenarios is that, those trying to plan for a vacation after 30 September 2012 have no idea what they’ll have to pay for their Disney Vacation.
I try my hardest to stay on top of this each time around and will get the news out as soon as I know.
I broke the story on the last two offer announcements, so keep tuned, I’ll post about it on the blog and send out an immediate newsletter update when I do find out!
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