Members offered free admission to "After Hours" event

A few lucky Disney Vacation Club members currently vacationing at Walt Disney World received an unexpected invitation yesterday.  

Thursday, April 14 marked the launch of the new "Disney After Hours" parties at Florida's Magic Kingdom.  For a fee of $149 per person, guests enjoy 3 hours of exclusive access to the theme park, supposedly with an attendance cap far lower than other after-hours events like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.  

Apparently Disney did not sell as many tickets as they had hoped.  Several hours before the event's scheduled start, Disney Vacation Club members currently staying at Walt Disney World received email invitations to attend that night's "Disney After Hours" at no cost.  

It is not known how many members were admitted for free, nor how many total guests attended the event.  Reports posted to the DISBoards discussion forum suggest that some members were turned away after a limit was reached.  One commenter who claimed to have attended the event stated that crowds were very light, allowing guests access to the park's most popular attractions with essentially no wait.  

Six more "Disney After Hours" events are currently scheduled throughout April and May.  

Disney Vacation Club hosted two similar events in February and March dubbed the "Disney Vacation Club 25 and Beyond Bash."  Exclusive member events at Typhoon Lagoon waterpark and Disney's Animal Kingdom are scheduled for later this year.  

Reader Comments
Re: Members offered free admission to "After Hours" event -- DuckTalesWooHoo
2016 Apr 15 10:33:04 AM
I will be there during one of the May events. I wish we could get lucky enough to get in for free. Maybe I will ask them about it at City Hall or something. It couldn't hurt to ask.
Re: Members offered free admission to "After Hours" event -- rfc0001
2016 Apr 15 11:34:05 AM
This tells me they are more concerned about the revenue from not filling the park to enough capacity than the revenue from the tickets. It will be interesting if they continue this trend. If so, I don't see this test being repeated, since if you want more guests in the parks spending money during these times, just add more EMHs at MK.
Re: Members offered free admission to "After Hours" event -- TimK
2016 Apr 15 12:47:20 PM
rfc0001 wrote:
This tells me they are more concerned about the revenue from not filling the park to enough capacity than the revenue from the tickets. It will be interesting if they continue this trend. If so, I don't see this test being repeated, since if you want more guests in the parks spending money during these times, just add more EMHs at MK.

Even though Disney Vacation Club / Disney Vacation Development are part of the Disney "family", typically there are financial transactions occurring behind the scenes for most perks and benefits negotiated between the two.

Before the days of MagicBands, DVD frequently offered FastPasses as an incentive for park guests to spend a couple hours on a sales tour. DVD actually had to pay Parks & Resorts for every FastPass that they issued. Years ago I was told by a reliable source that DVD pays some amount of money to Parks for every discounted annual pass that its members' purchase.

Similarly here, I doubt DVC members were allowed into the MK entirely for free. Most likely, some deal was struck wherein DVD agreed to pay some compensation for every member granted "free" admission. It probably was not the full $149 but P&R was at least able to reap some returns from otherwise unused capacity.

If Disney were just interested in putting bodies in the park, there are many other ways they could have gone about it which would have more directly benefitted their hotel and/or theme park business. They could have offered free admission to all of yesterday's concierge guests. Or they could have just started randomly picking people from Disney hotels...perhaps guests with birthdays or anniversaries noted on their reservations.

Instead, it's most likely that this trickled-down to DVC members because of some financial agreement between the two entities.

Nevertheless, this is an interesting development on the member perks front. If DVD really wishes to leverage these "Membership Extras" as a reason to buy points direct vs. resale, there needs to be real substance in the perks. I would love to see exclusive events like these stick around longer than the DVC 25th anniversary celebration.
Re: Members offered free admission to "After Hours" event -- rfc0001
2016 Apr 15 01:23:23 PM
TimK wrote:
Even though Disney Vacation Club / Disney Vacation Development are part of the Disney "family", typically there are financial transactions occurring behind the scenes for most perks and benefits negotiated between the two.

Before the days of MagicBands, DVD frequently offered FastPasses as an incentive for park guests to spend a couple hours on a sales tour. DVD actually had to pay Parks & Resorts for every FastPass that they issued. Years ago I was told by a reliable source that DVD pays some amount of money to Parks for every discounted annual pass that its members' purchase.

Similarly here, I doubt DVC members were allowed into the MK entirely for free. Most likely, some deal was struck wherein DVD agreed to pay some compensation for every member granted "free" admission. It probably was not the full $149 but P&R was at least able to reap some returns from otherwise unused capacity.

If Disney were just interested in putting bodies in the park, there are many other ways they could have gone about it which would have more directly benefitted their hotel and/or theme park business. They could have offered free admission to all of yesterday's concierge guests. Or they could have just started randomly picking people from Disney hotels...perhaps guests with birthdays or anniversaries noted on their reservations.

Instead, it's most likely that this trickled-down to DVC members because of some financial agreement between the two entities.

Nevertheless, this is an interesting development on the member perks front. If DVD really wishes to leverage these "Membership Extras" as a reason to buy points direct vs. resale, there needs to be real substance in the perks. I would love to see exclusive events like these stick around longer than the DVC 25th anniversary celebration.

Interesting -- maybe a publicity stunt after the announcement of exclusive benefits for new direct members.
Re: Members offered free admission to "After Hours" event -- Brad1972
2016 Apr 15 01:30:04 PM
TimK wrote:
Even though Disney Vacation Club / Disney Vacation Development are part of the Disney "family", typically there are financial transactions occurring behind the scenes for most perks and benefits negotiated between the two.

Before the days of MagicBands, DVD frequently offered FastPasses as an incentive for park guests to spend a couple hours on a sales tour. DVD actually had to pay Parks & Resorts for every FastPass that they issued. Years ago I was told by a reliable source that DVD pays some amount of money to Parks for every discounted annual pass that its members' purchase.

Similarly here, I doubt DVC members were allowed into the MK entirely for free. Most likely, some deal was struck wherein DVD agreed to pay some compensation for every member granted "free" admission. It probably was not the full $149 but P&R was at least able to reap some returns from otherwise unused capacity.

If Disney were just interested in putting bodies in the park, there are many other ways they could have gone about it which would have more directly benefitted their hotel and/or theme park business. They could have offered free admission to all of yesterday's concierge guests. Or they could have just started randomly picking people from Disney hotels...perhaps guests with birthdays or anniversaries noted on their reservations.

Instead, it's most likely that this trickled-down to DVC members because of some financial agreement between the two entities.

Nevertheless, this is an interesting development on the member perks front. If DVD really wishes to leverage these "Membership Extras" as a reason to buy points direct vs. resale, there needs to be real substance in the perks. I would love to see exclusive events like these stick around longer than the DVC 25th anniversary celebration.
I am sure that what you are saying true... However Disney Vacation Development and Disney Vacation Club both are a part of Parks and Resorts. So the wouldn't the financial impact to WDW P&R be net zero, i.e., DVC pays the theme parks $1000 (expense) and Magic Kingdom receives $1000 (revenue)? From an accounting standpoint, such inter-unit transactions would need to be eliminated.

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