Thursday, February 16, 2012
What's a pin code?
A pin code is a discount offer from Disney that's exclusive to you. You are the only person who can book this code, although you're usually allowed to book up to three rooms. You'll be the lead guest.
Pin code discounts run the gamut from room discounts to free dining. They're usually, but not always, a hint of what general public discounts will look like for that time period later on. The exception is summer. We find that many guests get pin codes for summer, but that summer discounts don't usually match these codes. So if you're traveling during the summer and you get a code, you're in luck!
How do I get one?
There's no real answer to this, but the first thing you need to do is go to Disney.com and register. Conventional wisdom suggests that if you order the personalized maps and/or the planning DVD, you'll start getting pin codes. I'm actually living proof this doesn't happen to everyone, but I've heard of many people getting codes after ordering the maps in particular. Codes come via email or regular mail.
One thing about the emails you'll get from Disney. Not all of them are actual pin codes so you'll need to read through to see which one is an offer and which one is simply informing you of a current public discount or rack rate offer. When in doubt, just ask.
How do I use my pin code?
Once you get the elusive pin code, just contact Disney directly (this has to be done by phone) or send it to your travel agent to take care of for you. The pin code must match your actual address. It's very difficult to correct your address if the code has it wrong, so make sure when you sign up that all your information is correct.
There doesn't seem to be any truth to the theory that you won't get a code after you've booked. Most of my clients who've used pin codes got them after they booked their trip. Just like with any discount, there's no penalty to apply a code unless you're under 45-days prior to travel (and even then, it's just a $50 change fee).
Want to increase your chances?
Have every adult in your group register at Disney.com. As long as they're traveling with you, you can apply the code to up to three rooms.
Finally, don't hesitate to ask whether or not you have a code when you call Disney. It never hurts to ask.