I am a geek, with an inexplicable fondness for spreadsheets and a serious addiction to travel, especially Disney trips. I even have a list of online sweepstakes which I enter every ding-dong day, just on the off chance that I might might might be the one to win that Disney Vacation Club membership, or that boatload of Hilton Honors points!
So, when I recently logged into the Disney Movie Rewards web site (to enter my daily sweepstakes, natch) and saw that one of the currently-listed awards is a 4-night trip to Walt Disney World, I had to break out the Excel and run some rough numbers to try to find a clue.
The trip will cost you 22,000 Disney Movie Reward points. If the average DVD gets you 100 points, and you’re paying an average of $22 for your movies (think sales at Target, people), that’s about 220 movies you’re gonna have to buy, for a cost of $4,840. (You could get there a little faster with the Blu-Ray releases, since they generally carry more points, but they’re also more expensive and there aren’t as many titles to choose from.)
Is there a limit on how many copies of the same title you can redeem points on? I’m not sure there are 220 movies currently on the market which you can actually earn the points on…so I do believe you’re gonna need some duplicates to get there.
Now, you can also earn points by going to the movie theatre, but you can’t earn many points that way. For example, I earned 50 points each for WALL-E tickets, but I believe there was a limit of 4 tickets one could redeem for that feature, and that seems to be about the usual limit.
So, this probably makes sense if you just happened to need 220 Disney DVDs, both for your own collection and to share with friends, family, and random strangers on the bus who you decide to be kind to, as they look like they had a lousy day. But leaving aside the value of your newly-enhanced movie collection, would the $4,840 be a wise investment for your Disney travel needs?
Well y’know, the weird thing is it just might be, but I can’t tell for sure. Your party of four would be staying at a Deluxe Resort, enjoying a day with a VIP tour guide, with Magic Your Way Park Hoppers and various trinkets for everybody, plus a $250 dining allowance and all airfare fully paid. When I did a little search on the Disney World web site, I found that a party of 4 adults staying at the Grand Floridian for four nights in late December with those tickets would spend $4,104.68…and we all know that most parties of four are going to be spending more than $700 on their airfare to MCO these days, right? We don’t even have to calculate the cost of the VIP tour guide, or the other vaguely-described benefits (“Character Meet-and-Greet and Dining Experience, plus photos and more!”), or the ever-popular, ever-essential Mickey Ears and pin trading starter sets. (That $4,104.68 was for a garden-view room, by the way, so if the lucky recipient is staying at Concierge, that’s a whole different ballpark. On the other hand, it’s also at peak season, so if we’re talking Value season the cost would of course decline.)
But there’s no way to reliably do the math, even if my numbers were more heavily researched. Because you see, there are unspecified blackout dates and other “redemption restrictions” that will only be disclosed upon “reward redemption verification.” And how many people are racking up 22,000 Disney Movie Rewards points just in the course of their day-to-day Disney entertainment needs? I’m a pretty serious consumer here…and I still have only 1875 points (it’ll be 1925 after my recent WALL-E viewing is credited!).
So hey, is there anybody out there who’s actually redeemed for this award, or who even has 22,000 points in the first place? What’s the scoop, people? Or by any chance does anybody want to give me 20,275 points so I can test this thing out? I’d happily mail you the Mickey Ears and pin trading starter sets, I promise!