Year of a Million Dreams, rules violations?

I’ve spent a few days at the parks since October 1st and have read many accounts online of others winning prizes as part of the Year of a Million Dreams contest at Disney’s U.S. theme parks. Along the way I have noticed a major inconsistency with the way the rules say prizes will be awarded and how it is happening in practice. The rules state that in order to be eligible for an in-park prize you just have to be in park (or Downtown Disney) to have a chance to win. They also state that everyone is eligible, unless you’re excluded by a personal or business relationship to the Mouse.

What I’ve noticed is that many of the prizes are handed out in the entrance or exit queues for rides that have height or medical restrictions. It’s my feeling that practice violates the spirit of the rules and possibly the letter (however, Disney can change the rules whenever they want). It might also violate the ADA and other anti-discriminatory laws and regulations in Florida.

It also has the affect of awarding some ‘batch’ prizes (lanyards, fastpasses, etc) to some members of a party, but not to others who can’t go on that ride (which is something I thought Disney was trying to avoid). If I went to Disney expecting to have a fair chance to win but found out I was being excluded by belonging to a ‘protected class’, I’d be miffed to say the least. A litigious person might consider filing suit.

I hope Disney considers changing this practice of using attraction queues to restricted attractions soon. It’s not like there aren’t dozens of other attractions, restaurants, pathways, etc for them to select as distribution points. Why they chose to discriminate is beyond me. 

10 thoughts on “Year of a Million Dreams, rules violations?”

  1. “Why they chose to discriminate is beyond me”

    Boo. I’m sure you and your wheelchair will work for one of their marketing campaigns that drive this promotion. Just hang around a lil’ longer and let them get the usual suspects out of the way, you’ll get your turn.

  2. I was getting on the Land boat ride at Epcot on Friday and as the previous boat unloaded they were all congratulated and awarded the lanyard set. All 40 or so people on the boat including the person in the wheelchair that was on the boat. Sure I would have loved to have been there 10 minutes earlier so I could have ben on that boat, but who cares. It was still a lot of fun watching them win. Everyone in the load area (castmembers and people waiting in line) were applauding and cheering for them.

  3. We are very frequent visitors of WDW, but …….. we come from Europe (not the UK but Netherlands)and are not allowed to participate for the sweepstake according to the rules. The small prices are illegal but posible, but the big prices: forget it. I think that that is a great mistake of Disney.

  4. it is my understanding that the reasoning for that is to ensure discrimination and bias are not affecting the “dream squad’s” prize distribution.

    they’re give very strict instructions on which attraction, what time, and sometimes even what seat they’re supposed to award the prize to, so there can be no claims that they’re just handing them out indiscriminately.

  5. I won a Fastpass Dreampass today in Disneyland while walking back from gathering up Haunted Mansion Holiday fastpasses for my entire family. Since I was the only one present I was the only one awarded the prize. Cast members were confused what to do but all helped by giving letting us all on. I’ve been going to Disney parks for my entire life and know they will bend their rules and let the customer always be right but someone who is less forceful might have given up. In that case the award would have been useless and garbage.

  6. In answer to Ben from The Netherlands (beautiful country btw) I believe the rules are stating that you can’t enter online or by mail from outside the U.S., however, if you are in an actual park you have as good a chance as anyone.

  7. My question/comment is related to the mail in portion of this promotion. I have already (after much difficulty finding an address), emailed Disney to ask this question, but no response to date. The mail in rules request entries via 3 and a half by 5 inch postcards. I don’t know about everywhere else, but that is no longer (if ever) a standard smaller postcard size. I just want to know if Disney is going to be strict about the size and disqualify any cards that are a little larger. At 89c a stamp, plus the cost of the postcard, I would be really upset if I knew my entries were being thrown out!!!
    If anyone knows anything about this, please post. The contest ends soon!!!!

  8. Just received in the mail two Lanyards.
    I guess we didn’t have to visit after all
    a little postcard did the trick.

  9. in reponse to Rose:
    how many post cards did you end up sending? just wondering – I addressed 19 but have yet to mail them out. I’m hoping i wont have to resort to ebay to get those cool things.

  10. It makes sense for them to give out fastpasses for things in the lines that have height restrictions because the patrons on those rides are the ones that can actually use the fastpasses, as in, I have my two kids with me so I could not go on any of the height restricted rides, so I would not really be able to use a fast pass for the other height restricted rides. I hope they are not giving out other prizes just to those folks also because that would make me sad. We bought annual passes so I will watch more this next time we go . . .

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