Disney's free gift card scam

UK peeps get free gift cards with certain reservations. I’m getting $100.

I’ve just looked at the voucher and it says I have to go to Disney Springs to collect it. This is, of course, massively inconvenient.

Is this really true? Is this the only way I can get my “free” gift card? By going massively out of my way to somewhere I’m not planning to go?

What a scam.

How else could they assure you spent the $100 on something you were not already planning on buying?


You could probably get it sent to your home, but I bet the shipping would be $90-$95.


Yes you have to pick it up there, unless you booked with Virgin Holidays.

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How is that a scam? There is no charge to go to Disney Springs. A scam would involve you having to spend money to get it - from what you have said you just have to go to Disney Springs.

There are amazing places to eat there, so it doesn’t have to be “out of the way”.

That would require him to change his plans, which as we all know, he never does :roll_eyes:



there’s no charge, but it will probably take 2 hours for him to go and get it and he doesn’t have 2 hours of free time in his schedule. :smiley:

Still not a scam as he does not have to spend money to get it.

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Webster’s dictionary — that’s right, I’m going there — defines a scam as a “deceptive act or operation”.

If you book an on-site stay with Disney from the UK, they ship your customised magic bands to your resort. If they can do that, they can ship the gift card there, too. Actually, gift cards are much easier. They could have a stock in store — since they are not personalised and are all for $100 or $200 dependent on hotel — and simply hand one over, after scanning it or whatever.

But they don’t.

They could have you collect them from guest services in any park.

But they don’t.

Instead they make you go, not just to Disney Springs, but into the bowels of the Disney Store in Disney Springs.

This is, in many cases — and certainly in mine — a massive inconvenience. There can be only one reason why Disney does this and it’s to force people to go to Disney Springs and to the Disney Store in particular.

The $100 gift card is a classic bait-and-switch scam and I’m genuinely angry about it. Either I give up $100, which I was going to use for tipping, or I go out of my way to go to Disney Springs to pick it up.

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the action (generally illegal) of advertising goods which are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods.

It’s more of a dangling of a carrot… To try to entice one with the promise of a reward

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Seems to me this is a good opportunity to visit The Daily Poutine… and get $100 for doing it. :smiley:

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Actually he does. The price of his package. Now he doesn’t have to spend additional money over the package price to get it. One could argue though that the time it takes to go over to DS is taking away from his trip, therefore costing him valuable time, which he already paid for. I get what you are saying though. It is not a scam in the literal sense. @mousematt has been enjoying clickbait titles as of late :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I was not a huge fan of DS and would personally not make a huge effort to go back. When we used get packages through Costco for DLR, we would often get directed to world of Disney for our lanyard, luggage tags, etc. We would pop in on our way to the park and it would “cost” us 10-15 to get it, I would have been wildly annoyed if it was going to take me 2 hours out of my vacation to get something promised to me as part of my package. Don’t get me wrong, I would do it, but I wouldn’t be very happy about it!

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The bait is “book this package now and we’ll give you a $100 gift card”, which I reasonably assumed I would get when I checked in to the hotel.

The switch is “the gift card is located in the middle of a retail store, in the middle of a retail park and this is the only way you can get it”. None of that was mentioned when the booking was made.

(I bet any money that someone’s going to look up the terms and conditions and will find — buried in the middle of them — reference to the scam.)


Let’s not over exaggerate here. This is definitely not that.

An ACTUAL bait and switch would be they offer the gift card, but are out when you get there and can only give you $100 store credit or something.

Your expectation on how you should receive the gift card is irrelevant.


I actually calculated — for a separate reason — that my trip is costing me $30 an hour, from leaving the front door of my house to returning to my house.

So a detour to Disney Springs to collect the gift card is costing me money in that sense.

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Whatever language you want to use, the fact is that this offer is deliberately calculated to force you to go to a retail park you may very well not otherwise have gone to. And that takes non-trivial time to do.

You are not told this at the time of booking — certainly not in any headline, clear sense.

The impression you get is that you are effectively getting a discount on your trip. Given that magic bands are sent to resorts, it is not unreasonable to assume that gift cards would be so also.

Right now I’m tempted to do two things:

  1. Go to guest services at MK. Ask them to exchange my voucher for a gift card there and then. If they decline, rip up the voucher and ask them to dispose of it.

  2. Since the gift card was going to be used to pay tips, I simply won’t pay the first $100 worth of tips. Or perhaps I’ll tell my server they can have a 20% tip. But they have to collect it from Disney Springs.

i’m glad to see you did this calculation and what your result was

it’s pretty much the same number we came up with when we did that analysis a few years back (DH is a bit of a nerd)

kowing this helped us to justify renting a car vs the amount of time we spent waiting for buses

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Again, how and when you FEEL you should receive your gift card has no bearing on this. Assumptions are just that.

If they didn’t disclose when/where you get the gift card when booking, the argument could be made that the onus was on you to ask before committing.

As it is, they said you get gift card and you will get gift card. It might not be convenient in your situation, but the agreement is still upheld. Lack of convenience doesn’t immediately mean scam.


I’ll use that argument with my servers when I’m explaining how they can get their tip. Thanks.