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HNLSLCPDX
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Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:27 am

Could the Disney company ever make a partnership with an airline or multiple airlines such as G4, B6, or NK? For example some type of agreement and guarantee that people fly the airline partner of Disney if you buy a holiday package. Or even if Disney advertises and partners with the airline and markets the partnership with something along the lines of, “Fly Allegiant Air to DisneyWorld!”. Partnership wise thinking along the lines of how you can choose a rental car company when booking vacation packages. To give an example if you live in Pittsburgh you could choose either between G4 or NK as your airline to get you from PIT to Orlando (SFB or MCO) when booking the package. Or an example where G4 might be the only option such as PVU to LAX, you have to fly them if you want some type of package deal. Curious if this is even possible or if something like this has been done in the past.
 
whywhycee
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:11 am

Some airlines do partner with the Disney resorts, noted here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_CA ... -check-in/

With this in mind, other airlines do have deeper partnerships. Example being Alaska Airlines and WestJet from Canada who both have aircraft re-painted in Disney liveries. With an honorable mention of United's Star Wars livery now that Disney has that franchise. See below:

https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/about-us/ ... agic-plane
https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/about-us/ ... emed-plane
https://newsroom.alaskaair.com/2019-10- ... nown-faces
https://hub.united.com/2019-10-25-fly-t ... 06450.html

In the past, some airline and Disney partnerships went so deep that the airlines actually sponsored physical rides. Notably Pan American, Eastern Airlines, TWA and Delta.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_You_Had_Wings

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Moonliner

Overall though, the industry has moved away from these deeper practices and has shifted into selling vacation packages. In some cases, the airline having a special livery along with it. I'm not aware of any other partnerships now days beyond these scopes.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:14 am

Eastern and Delta were Official airlines. Delta took over in 1988 I believe and then Southwest expansion in Orlando sent Delta to never never land. So yes, package deals were the name of the game.
 
JeremyXWB
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:49 am

Wasn't Eastern considered the official airline of Walt Disney World when it was around?

https://www.laughingplace.com/w/article ... key-mouse/

Image

On a related note, also stumbled upon this interesting documentary that details the rise and downfall of EA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpg95rJWAIs
Last edited by JeremyXWB on Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:01 am

HNLSLCPDX wrote:
Or an example where G4 might be the only option such as PVU to LAX, you have to fly them if you want some type of package deal.


You would need to be careful, particularly in the example of just one carrier on a city pair. That gives the seller some pricing power in the market, and that can create a situation where bundling - 'you have to fly them if you want some kind of package deal' - illegal.

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competi ... -products#
 
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DL717
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:14 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
Eastern and Delta were Official airlines. Delta took over in 1988 I believe and then Southwest expansion in Orlando sent Delta to never never land. So yes, package deals were the name of the game.


Yeah. Delta pretty much ran the Disney Airline show into the mid 1990’s. It wasn’t as formal a relationship as it was with Eastern, but they owned that partnership and the relationship between passengers and using Delta remained for some time after because the Delta relationship was well known with travel agents. Enter the internet, but Delta didn’t really change their service at MCO until the late 90’s early 2000’s. Delta Express kind of took over toward the end. Song was a part of it as well.

Wish I’d kept a few schedules from that era. Now it’s just a couple of sponsored liveries at a few airlines. Fares are low and people going on vacation are less likely to stick with a single carrier, again, plus the internet. Single carrier makes Disney a little vulnerable if there is a major incident tied to that carrier in terms of image. I always thought they should start their own carrier with some regional service in the South and LA basin, with some narrowbody service to large markets along with a handful of widebodies to international destinations, including those with their parks, to large US markets like New York and LA. With their cruise ship business, they could also offer some seasonal service to get people to the boats as they move around the globe. They are probably concerned with starting such service for the same reasons they no longer have a single official airline. One major incident could wreck the brand.

Since then, they have done a real good job of working with airlines to participate in their bus service to the World. That service works really well in making it a seamless trip between the time you step on the plane to the time you get to the Disney properties. You don’t see your bags again until the hotel. Tag your luggage with their special bag tags they send you, pack an overnight bag, grab your wrist bands and go.
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UpNAWAy
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:30 pm

My wife is a huge Disney fanatic and we have been to parks all over the world. The Disney packages are absolute crude in terms of deals. they are always more expensive than anything you can find on your own.
 
catiii
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:37 pm

DL717 wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
Eastern and Delta were Official airlines. Delta took over in 1988 I believe and then Southwest expansion in Orlando sent Delta to never never land. So yes, package deals were the name of the game.


Yeah. Delta pretty much ran the Disney Airline show into the mid 1990’s. It wasn’t as formal a relationship as it was with Eastern, but they owned that partnership and the relationship between passengers and using Delta remained for some time after because the Delta relationship was well known with travel agents.


In the late 80's Delta paid $30M over 10 years to be the official airline of Disney World. It was a pretty formal relationship: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os ... story.html

They also bought the rights to be the official airline of Disneyland: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm ... ent%20park.
 
NateGreat
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:53 pm

Eastern and Delta essentially had their own rides in Tomorrowland of the Magic Kingdom at one point. “If You Had Wings” was sponsored by Eastern, and operated from 1972 to 1989. “If You Had Wings” was replaced by “Delta Dreamflight” and was sponsored by, you guessed it, Delta. “Delta Dreamflight” operated from 1989 to 1998, and was replaced by the Buzz Lightyear ride, which is still in operation to this day.
 
flyfresno
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:28 pm

Former passholder and long-time WDW fan here...
Disney really doesn't have one major airline partner, but rather has a bunch of smaller marketing agreements. When you book a Disney vacation, the packages generally include the Magical Express (MCO to WDW bus), resort stay, tickets, and maybe a dining plan. Of course, you can do all that a la carte too. However, Disney doesn't filter you into one airline option nor have any preferred airline that they advertise. Yes, they offer airline check-in at resorts for quite a few airlines, but that's more about convenience for guests than about airline partnership(s), IMO. I would guess this has a lot to do with how each airline has city pair strengths and weaknesses for getting to and from MCO. Disney probably doesn't want their preferred airline to require a 12 hour, one stop itinerary (or even two stop) when a 5 hour non-stop (or much quicker one-stop) is available on a different airline, as that might adversely impact their guests' impressions (and dispite what many think, Disney is definitely a quality-driven company). In fact, separating the parts of the vacation they CAN control from the part they can't (the flight) is probably a big part of it too.
 
flyfresno
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:33 pm

HNLSLCPDX wrote:
Partnership wise thinking along the lines of how you can choose a rental car company when booking vacation packages.


If you are renting a car on a vacation that only includes WDW, you are doing it wrong. Between the high cost of parking, the extra time to get to the lots from the parks (it can take 30 minutes to get from the Magic Kingdom to the outer reaches of its lot), the long lines to get into lots, and parking fees at many resorts (not to mention gas and tolls getting to Disney from MCO), unless you are a passholder or are also including another part of Orlando or another city in your trip, the benefits of staying on-property and taking the Magical Express are just too great.
 
F9LASDEN
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:08 pm

flyfresno wrote:
Former passholder and long-time WDW fan here...
Disney really doesn't have one major airline partner, but rather has a bunch of smaller marketing agreements. When you book a Disney vacation, the packages generally include the Magical Express (MCO to WDW bus), resort stay, tickets, and maybe a dining plan. Of course, you can do all that a la carte too. However, Disney doesn't filter you into one airline option nor have any preferred airline that they advertise. Yes, they offer airline check-in at resorts for quite a few airlines, but that's more about convenience for guests than about airline partnership(s), IMO. I would guess this has a lot to do with how each airline has city pair strengths and weaknesses for getting to and from MCO. Disney probably doesn't want their preferred airline to require a 12 hour, one stop itinerary (or even two stop) when a 5 hour non-stop (or much quicker one-stop) is available on a different airline, as that might adversely impact their guests' impressions (and dispite what many think, Disney is definitely a quality-driven company). In fact, separating the parts of the vacation they CAN control from the part they can't (the flight) is probably a big part of it too.


Magical Express is complimentary with a resort room reservation, whether or not you’ve purchased a package with it or just the hotel room. I’m a WDW passholder, and due to that, I never book full packages since I don’t need park admission. I just book the hotel room (usually at the discounted passholder rate) and still utilize Magical Express to get back and forth between MCO and WDW.

On another note, Disney recently announced that they will stop including airline tickets as part of vacation packages beginning in 2021, so it seems like buddying up with an airline is the exact opposite of what Disney is seeking to do at the current moment.

https://wdwnt.com/2020/06/disney-to-end ... l-in-2021/
Spirit of the West...A Whole Different Animal...Low Fares Done Right
 
TYWoolman
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:44 pm

JeremyXWB wrote:
Wasn't Eastern considered the official airline of Walt Disney World when it was around?

https://www.laughingplace.com/w/article ... key-mouse/

Image

On a related note, also stumbled upon this interesting documentary that details the rise and downfall of EA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpg95rJWAIs


The power of brand association! First trip to Disney World was on an Eastern A300 in early 80's. Eastern will always have Disney-status with me, although Delta served it well, notably with their powerful branding of a logo of their widget in front of the magic kingdom. Good stuff!
 
32andBelow
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:57 pm

Why would Disney want to Partner with budget airlines. It’s not a budget vacation at all.
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:37 pm

32andBelow wrote:
Why would Disney want to Partner with budget airlines. It’s not a budget vacation at all.


Greater yield in a potential agreement, and in some cases - greater access to a local area that said budget airline has band recognition in.

Both AS and WS, demonstrate that well.
 
SANAV8R
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:59 pm

whywhycee wrote:
In the past, some airline and Disney partnerships went so deep that the airlines actually sponsored physical rides. Notably Pan American, Eastern Airlines, TWA and Delta.


Pan American never sponsored any attraction at a Disney park. At U.S. Disney parks, the following airlines have sponsored attractions at respective parks.

Disneyland
  • TWA - Rocket to the Moon/Flight to the Moon 1955-1961 (Douglas Aircraft picked up sponsorship in 1962)
  • United - Enchanted Tiki Room 1964-1973 (According to Disney lore, United made Disney retitle another attraction Astro-Jets to the generic 'Tomorrowland Jets' since they contended it was free promotion for American Airlines' coast-to-coast Astrojet service.)
  • PSA - World Premiere Circle-Vision 1984-1988* (D23 - an official Disney source says 1989, but this is contraindicated by a PSA fan site which states sponsorship ended in 1988 upon USAir's acquisition)
  • Delta - World Premiere Circle-Vision 1989-1996 (During the infamous proposed "Tomorrowland 2055" they were slated to sponsor a successor to Circle-Vision, The Timekeeper. The sponsorship was dropped according to Disney sources due to Delta's sponsorship of the '96 Olympics.)

Walt Disney World
  • Eastern - If You Had Wings 1971-1987 ("On the eve of bankruptcy and dissolution, Eastern opted not to renew its fifteen-year sponsorship of If You Had Wings and continue its status as the official airline of WDW. Disney was faced with the decision to either keep the attraction down for the busy summer season while developing a replacement or to come up with a temporary fix that would keep the ride running and buy time to court another sponsor." All Eastern references were dropped almost overnight and it became a generic travel-flight themed 'Omnimover' attraction entitled 'If You Could Fly' until Delta became a partner)
  • Delta - Delta Dreamflight 1989-1996 (like the previous, Delta references were removed and the attraction became 'Dreamflight' for a few months before being renamed 'Take Flight' with minimal changes. The sponsorship like Disneyland's being dropped according to Disney sources due to Delta's sponsorship of the '96 Olympics.)
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Metjetceo
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:56 pm

In the 80s Disney was almost bankrupt, including their parks, so they had to focus on partnerships and use every marketing trick they could to survive. It was not until Michael Eisner arrived did they start turning around. Now they are the primary reason people go to Orlando and Orlando's passenger counts are growing by leaps and bounds. Most of Disney's bookings are done by independent travel agents that are paid 10% commissions, and airlines dont pay relevant commissions these days. So I am not sure I see a way where a partnership would be formed that would force an agent making 10% from Disney to book any airline that is not offering a significant commission unless Disney forced them to do so, which would make them more expensive than just booking another carrier separately from the reservation. There is not justification for them to book a Disney related carrier, instead of going with the one that 1) is the lowest price 2) has the times/frequencies/service a family needs 3)makes it worth the Agents time. Disney has found that they do just fine with their sponsored liveries and staying out of the airline game....
 
flyfresno
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:59 pm

F9LASDEN wrote:
Magical Express is complimentary with a resort room reservation, whether or not you’ve purchased a package with it or just the hotel room.


Of course, I just didn't think I needed to add that level of complexity as it seemed insignificant to the conversation. Also, despite the complementary Magical Express, there are a not insignificant number of people who still rent a car for whatever reason (some of them for a good reason, some of them extremely misguided).

F9LASDEN wrote:
On another note, Disney recently announced that they will stop including airline tickets as part of vacation packages beginning in 2021, so it seems like buddying up with an airline is the exact opposite of what Disney is seeking to do at the current moment.


Yep, exactly.
 
flyfresno
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:15 am

32andBelow wrote:
Why would Disney want to Partner with budget airlines. It’s not a budget vacation at all.


100%

Some people are surprised at the number of Disney resorts where rooms start around $400 per night and many rooms top out well above $2000 per night (way more for luxury multi-room suites), as well as the number of restaurants on property where $100pp is the absolute minimum you can get out the door for (top-tier Victoria and Alberts will set you back well over $200pp). While you can definitely do Disney on a budget, the large number of luxury options would certainly point to a large number of visitors who, at the very least, travel premium economy. I would be interested to see how many people arrive at MCO in a first class seat bound for Disney, but it's probably at least 2-3 per aircraft on average (although some might be upgrades or award tickets).
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:55 am

TYWoolman wrote:
The power of brand association! First trip to Disney World was on an Eastern A300 in early 80's. Eastern will always have Disney-status with me, although Delta served it well, notably with their powerful branding of a logo of their widget in front of the magic kingdom. Good stuff!


People need to recognize that the Eastern/Disney partnership started long before the era of U.S. airline deregulation. Routes, carriers, and frequencies to Orlando were limited. More visitors to WDW very directly contributed to Eastern's fortunes. Today (pre-COVID, anyway) MCO is very well served by non-stops from many U.S. origins and carriers.

Then, there are the little matters of disintermediation (buying directly from a carrier or hotel chain) and price transparency (unbundling and broad-scope internet searches) that have become dominant in U.S. travel. Not all countries - and industries - have seen the impacts to the same degree.
 
F9LASDEN
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:10 am

flyfresno wrote:
F9LASDEN wrote:
Magical Express is complimentary with a resort room reservation, whether or not you’ve purchased a package with it or just the hotel room.


Of course, I just didn't think I needed to add that level of complexity as it seemed insignificant to the conversation. Also, despite the complementary Magical Express, there are a not insignificant number of people who still rent a car for whatever reason (some of them for a good reason, some of them extremely misguided).

F9LASDEN wrote:
On another note, Disney recently announced that they will stop including airline tickets as part of vacation packages beginning in 2021, so it seems like buddying up with an airline is the exact opposite of what Disney is seeking to do at the current moment.


Yep, exactly.


Ah, I see, sorry for the overexplanation. As far as renting cars go, I see a few primary reasons some people do it: visiting other area attractions (obviously), or going to grocery stores either before or during their stays (we do that quite a bit since we always stay in DVC rooms, and before my sister was injured in a way that left her wheelchair-bound, Ft. Wilderness cabins).

I’ll admit, however, that I do see the viewpoint of people who rent cars just to drive to the Disney parks from their on-site hotels, even though I don’t do it myself. I’ve definitely noticed a decline in both the reliability (buses not running often enough, leaving long waits either at the hotels or at the theme parks; we waited over an hour in the sun in July at Hollywood Studios for one to show up several years ago), as well as general comfort (buses especially have felt a lot more crowded in the last few years). When going to theme parks besides the Magic Kingdom, it realistically is faster to drive a lot of the time, and if you’ve got tired kids at the end of a long day, hopping in your private car and driving back to your hotel on your own time might sound more appealing to waiting for and then crowding onto a bus. I’d argue that the fact that on-site hotels charge for self-parking now is the biggest turnoff to doing that nowadays.
Spirit of the West...A Whole Different Animal...Low Fares Done Right
 
WN732
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:24 am

G4 would be out of the running due to the fact that they offer no connection opportunities, they don't serve MCO, and many city pairs are less than daily. The fact that they don't serve MCO would totally negate against Disney's ability to start your WDW experience right from baggage claim. I doubt Disney would go through the expense of setting up shop at SFB.

Spirit is not much better but they have a shot.
 
n6238p
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:59 am

Spirit flew a Dumbo Movie branded plane last year. They also partnered with Disney three years ago in a customer service improvement plan which included Disney led training initiatives.
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OB1504
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:42 pm

flyfresno wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Why would Disney want to Partner with budget airlines. It’s not a budget vacation at all.


100%

Some people are surprised at the number of Disney resorts where rooms start around $400 per night and many rooms top out well above $2000 per night (way more for luxury multi-room suites), as well as the number of restaurants on property where $100pp is the absolute minimum you can get out the door for (top-tier Victoria and Alberts will set you back well over $200pp). While you can definitely do Disney on a budget, the large number of luxury options would certainly point to a large number of visitors who, at the very least, travel premium economy. I would be interested to see how many people arrive at MCO in a first class seat bound for Disney, but it's probably at least 2-3 per aircraft on average (although some might be upgrades or award tickets).


But you don't have to stay or eat on property. It's quite possible to do the parks on a budget, especially for passholders.

n6238p wrote:
Spirit flew a Dumbo Movie branded plane last year. They also partnered with Disney three years ago in a customer service improvement plan which included Disney led training initiatives.


Spirit working with the Disney Institute wasn't so much Disney partnering with Spirit as much as Spirit paying Disney to teach them how to improve customer service. It wasn't Disney endorsing the airline.
 
SkyVoice
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:18 am

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that Disney World in Florida once had its own airport! Called the Disney World STOLport, it had a 2,000' (609.6 m.) runway, an IATA code of DWS & was served by two airlines with de Havilland Twin Otter flights to & from MCO & TPA. Here are a few links to check out . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_World_Airport
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0SXjzP2hFs
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/sin ... ld-airport

Just search "Disney World STOLport" & you will find many more links to this now-closed mini-aerodrome. Enjoy!
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flyfresno
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:18 pm

OB1504 wrote:
But you don't have to stay or eat on property. It's quite possible to do the parks on a budget, especially for passholders.


This is starting to get way off topic for an airline forum, but as a former passholder who has tried it both ways (we visited on 9 separate occasions one year and have been another half-dozen outside of that), "on property" is definitely the way to go, with the only possible exception of if you have a free place to stay. The combination of magic hours, airport transport, earlier booking of fast passes, and easy transportation hotel to parks is too great (yeah, the latter went downhill a bit starting in 2019, but it was improving again leading up to March). Yes, many non-Disney hotels offer transport to the parks, but it's usually just a few times per day and just to the transportation and ticketing center (and maybe one other place), which adds a TON of time to the journey and limits the amount of time you can spend at the parks (there are a few "off-property" hotels with additional "on property" benefits like booking fast passes early and magic hours, those can be an ok choice if the price is right). You can always take a lyft, but that can end up costing a lot of extra money over the course of 4+ days. (If you drove your own car, yes, parking is free for passholders, and that can be an ok option, except for magic hours and fast passes.)

Yes, even the budget Disney resorts can be pricy (I've seen the All Stars above $140 per night during peak), but with the passholder discount, you can also find rooms at those resorts off-peak for $80 or less per night, and prices below $100 usually makes staying on property worth it. The magic hours and fast passes don't necessarily have an exact monetary value, but I've seen every single fast pass for popular rides like Avatar, Slinky Dog, Peter Pan, and the Runaway Railway evaporate within mere hours of the early, "on property" reservation window opening, meaning staying on property can be the only way to avoid the dreaded 2-3 hour wait for those rides. AND, getting 2-3 extra "magic" hours per day in the parks every day (usually with shorter lines) makes your tickets much more valuable.

Eating is another matter entirely, and while there are some amazing food options in and around the parks, Disney is great about allowing people to bring their own food in. So, yes, if food isn't your thing (as in, you aren't a foodie), yes, you can surely save money there.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:33 pm

MU has a plane with the Disney livery.
 
USAirALB
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:13 pm

F9LASDEN wrote:
Ah, I see, sorry for the overexplanation. As far as renting cars go, I see a few primary reasons some people do it: visiting other area attractions (obviously), or going to grocery stores either before or during their stays (we do that quite a bit since we always stay in DVC rooms, and before my sister was injured in a way that left her wheelchair-bound, Ft. Wilderness cabins).

I hate WDW, as do my parents/siblings. But my grandparents are DVC members, and are obsessed with WDW (to each their own) and always insisted on taking the entire family once every couple of years when we were younger.

My parents always rented a car. It's nice to be able to be on your own schedule, go to grocery store, go to restaurants/other attractions in the Orlando area. Without a car we would easily feel stuck.
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F9LASDEN
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Re: Disney and airline partners

Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:16 pm

USAirALB wrote:
F9LASDEN wrote:
Ah, I see, sorry for the overexplanation. As far as renting cars go, I see a few primary reasons some people do it: visiting other area attractions (obviously), or going to grocery stores either before or during their stays (we do that quite a bit since we always stay in DVC rooms, and before my sister was injured in a way that left her wheelchair-bound, Ft. Wilderness cabins).

I hate WDW, as do my parents/siblings. But my grandparents are DVC members, and are obsessed with WDW (to each their own) and always insisted on taking the entire family once every couple of years when we were younger.

My parents always rented a car. It's nice to be able to be on your own schedule, go to grocery store, go to restaurants/other attractions in the Orlando area. Without a car we would easily feel stuck.


Well I love WDW (and other Disney destinations around the world) so we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one ;) but I definitely agree with the point of car rentals. It really helps cut down on food costs to be able to go to a grocery store and buy stuff to eat at least one meal a day (probably breakfast) in your room, and more of you’re staying in a DVC room with a full kitchen.
Spirit of the West...A Whole Different Animal...Low Fares Done Right
 
flyfresno
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 6:18 am

Re: Disney and airline partners

Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:18 pm

F9LASDEN wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
F9LASDEN wrote:
Ah, I see, sorry for the overexplanation. As far as renting cars go, I see a few primary reasons some people do it: visiting other area attractions (obviously), or going to grocery stores either before or during their stays (we do that quite a bit since we always stay in DVC rooms, and before my sister was injured in a way that left her wheelchair-bound, Ft. Wilderness cabins).

I hate WDW, as do my parents/siblings. But my grandparents are DVC members, and are obsessed with WDW (to each their own) and always insisted on taking the entire family once every couple of years when we were younger.

My parents always rented a car. It's nice to be able to be on your own schedule, go to grocery store, go to restaurants/other attractions in the Orlando area. Without a car we would easily feel stuck.


Well I love WDW (and other Disney destinations around the world) so we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one ;) but I definitely agree with the point of car rentals. It really helps cut down on food costs to be able to go to a grocery store and buy stuff to eat at least one meal a day (probably breakfast) in your room, and more of you’re staying in a DVC room with a full kitchen.


Amazon Fresh or Uber Eats or similar!
 
WaywardMemphian
Posts: 1497
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:05 pm

Re: Disney and airline partners

Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:46 am

flyfresno wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Why would Disney want to Partner with budget airlines. It’s not a budget vacation at all.


100%

Some people are surprised at the number of Disney resorts where rooms start around $400 per night and many rooms top out well above $2000 per night (way more for luxury multi-room suites), as well as the number of restaurants on property where $100pp is the absolute minimum you can get out the door for (top-tier Victoria and Alberts will set you back well over $200pp). While you can definitely do Disney on a budget, the large number of luxury options would certainly point to a large number of visitors who, at the very least, travel premium economy. I would be interested to see how many people arrive at MCO in a first class seat bound for Disney, but it's probably at least 2-3 per aircraft on average (although some might be upgrades or award tickets).


Rent DVC points over ever booking with Disney
 
flyfresno
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 6:18 am

Re: Disney and airline partners

Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:23 am

WaywardMemphian wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Why would Disney want to Partner with budget airlines. It’s not a budget vacation at all.


100%

Some people are surprised at the number of Disney resorts where rooms start around $400 per night and many rooms top out well above $2000 per night (way more for luxury multi-room suites), as well as the number of restaurants on property where $100pp is the absolute minimum you can get out the door for (top-tier Victoria and Alberts will set you back well over $200pp). While you can definitely do Disney on a budget, the large number of luxury options would certainly point to a large number of visitors who, at the very least, travel premium economy. I would be interested to see how many people arrive at MCO in a first class seat bound for Disney, but it's probably at least 2-3 per aircraft on average (although some might be upgrades or award tickets).


Rent DVC points over ever booking with Disney


Definitely done it, thinking of going DVC ourselves...renting is a great deal, but you gotta book early, you are mega locked into your days once you do (usually), and we've stayed in a couple DVC rooms that did not impress us (both at Boardwalk).
 
User avatar
STT757
Posts: 14124
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

Re: Disney and airline partners

Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:47 pm

I remember staying at the Contemporary Resort in August 1992 and seeing Delta Airlines timetables displayed in certain locations. We coincidentally flew down to Orlando on Delta from EWR. Before Delta, Eastern was the official airline of Walt Disney World. Also in the early '90s US Air had a marketing agreement with Universal Studios Florida and California.

http://www.departedflights.com/US120292p30.html
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
flyfresno
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 6:18 am

Re: Disney and airline partners

Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:23 pm

STT757 wrote:
I remember staying at the Contemporary Resort in August 1992 and seeing Delta Airlines timetables displayed in certain locations. We coincidentally flew down to Orlando on Delta from EWR. Before Delta, Eastern was the official airline of Walt Disney World. Also in the early '90s US Air had a marketing agreement with Universal Studios Florida and California.

http://www.departedflights.com/US120292p30.html


I believe that ATL-MCO is Delta's busiest route by passengers. It's also usually in the top 5 overall of domestic routes.
 
OB1504
Posts: 3961
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

Re: Disney and airline partners

Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:10 pm

SkyVoice wrote:
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that Disney World in Florida once had its own airport! Called the Disney World STOLport, it had a 2,000' (609.6 m.) runway, an IATA code of DWS & was served by two airlines with de Havilland Twin Otter flights to & from MCO & TPA. Here are a few links to check out . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_World_Airport
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0SXjzP2hFs
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/sin ... ld-airport

Just search "Disney World STOLport" & you will find many more links to this now-closed mini-aerodrome. Enjoy!


Complete with musical runway!

The site is still recognizable and visible from the Epcot monorail if you know what to look for.

flyfresno wrote:
OB1504 wrote:
But you don't have to stay or eat on property. It's quite possible to do the parks on a budget, especially for passholders.


This is starting to get way off topic for an airline forum, but as a former passholder who has tried it both ways (we visited on 9 separate occasions one year and have been another half-dozen outside of that), "on property" is definitely the way to go, with the only possible exception of if you have a free place to stay. The combination of magic hours, airport transport, earlier booking of fast passes, and easy transportation hotel to parks is too great (yeah, the latter went downhill a bit starting in 2019, but it was improving again leading up to March). Yes, many non-Disney hotels offer transport to the parks, but it's usually just a few times per day and just to the transportation and ticketing center (and maybe one other place), which adds a TON of time to the journey and limits the amount of time you can spend at the parks (there are a few "off-property" hotels with additional "on property" benefits like booking fast passes early and magic hours, those can be an ok choice if the price is right). You can always take a lyft, but that can end up costing a lot of extra money over the course of 4+ days. (If you drove your own car, yes, parking is free for passholders, and that can be an ok option, except for magic hours and fast passes.)

Yes, even the budget Disney resorts can be pricy (I've seen the All Stars above $140 per night during peak), but with the passholder discount, you can also find rooms at those resorts off-peak for $80 or less per night, and prices below $100 usually makes staying on property worth it. The magic hours and fast passes don't necessarily have an exact monetary value, but I've seen every single fast pass for popular rides like Avatar, Slinky Dog, Peter Pan, and the Runaway Railway evaporate within mere hours of the early, "on property" reservation window opening, meaning staying on property can be the only way to avoid the dreaded 2-3 hour wait for those rides. AND, getting 2-3 extra "magic" hours per day in the parks every day (usually with shorter lines) makes your tickets much more valuable.

Eating is another matter entirely, and while there are some amazing food options in and around the parks, Disney is great about allowing people to bring their own food in. So, yes, if food isn't your thing (as in, you aren't a foodie), yes, you can surely save money there.


I suppose it's different for me since I live a 3 hour drive away. I don't feel any pressure to score FastPasses or extra hours anything because I can pretty much go any day I feel like.

As a passholder who drives, I'm now less likely to stay on property since I'd be paying for parking too. It's a minor increase if you're staying at one one of the more upscale resorts, but it can quickly eat up any remaining value at a "value" resort and the same amount of money gets you a much nicer room off property, with the best of both worlds if you stay at one of the hotels that still participates in some of the perks. Ironically, the Motel 6 on 192 has better and more frequent bus service (on Lynx) than some of the hotels with dedicated shuttles!

All the money I save gets turned into food at the parks, especially during the Epcot festivals.

Of course, if I was flying in then staying on property would definitely be a much better value. The airport transfer alone is easily worth the premium. Other than the nightmare that is security (if you don't have TSA Pre✓), MCO is a nice airport but it's so far away from the resort.

flyfresno wrote:
STT757 wrote:
I remember staying at the Contemporary Resort in August 1992 and seeing Delta Airlines timetables displayed in certain locations. We coincidentally flew down to Orlando on Delta from EWR. Before Delta, Eastern was the official airline of Walt Disney World. Also in the early '90s US Air had a marketing agreement with Universal Studios Florida and California.

http://www.departedflights.com/US120292p30.html


I believe that ATL-MCO is Delta's busiest route by passengers. It's also usually in the top 5 overall of domestic routes.


I doubt there will be many domestic widebodies left after the pandemic, but in the olden days it wasn't uncommon to see DL send 777s on the route.

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