Baltimore or Disney: Your Free Birthday Vacation?

While the New York Yankees have shown how to artificially prop up the value of their product, two famous franchises have shown how to turn their product into a party favor. For example, the Baltimore Orioles are giving away a free ticket to anyone that asks for their birthday month (as long as the Red Sox or Yankees aren’t in town).

Greetings from Baltimore

This may sound familiar to some, considering Disney Parks have been offering basically the same deal in an effort to boost sagging sales. So now you have to ask yourself, dear reader… which place would you rather go: Baltimore or Disney?

Disney's California Adventure

We offer a side-by-side comparison as you make the Sophie’s Choice of which entertainment option you’ll let economic forces take into the back room and which you’ll keep alive in America.

Actual cost of birthday “gift”

Orioles: $13-15. Only the upper deck reserve is available. On the other hand, the seat’s almost high enough so you don’t have to watch the O’s blow another 10-4 lead in the sixth.

Disney: $75-$125, depending on how many parks you think you can cram in one day. Of course, the price drops dramatically per day if you stay for a few days. Which leads us to…

Hidden costs of birthday “gift”

(Note: We’re not including the massive hidden costs of getting to a Disney park. After all, we’re not picking out a Baltimore hotel for you, either.)

Orioles: Throwing together a rough estimate from the traditional Fan Cost Index, $20.50 if you’re a damned cheapskate and have only one beer. Of course, if you have to purchase three other tickets for your family and buy them goodies, round off at $100 for a night at the ol’ ballpark wondering if one of those dots on the field might be the famous Gregg Zaun.

Disney: … we’re just giving this one to the O’s. If you have to ask how much a trip to a Disney park costs, you can’t afford it. Also, you’re definitely bringing the family. If you don’t, don’t bother going home.

Chances to buy actual birthday gift while there

Disney: There are more shops than rides at any Disney park. If you ride a water slide, there’s three kiosks on the way down.

Orioles: You don’t even have to spend a dime; everyone gets a failed Orioles starter to take home after each game. Daniel Cabrera may not be able to control his fastball, but he can control your kids while you take a night on the town with your wife. Best. Babysitter. Ever. (Note: Daniel Cabrera has already been given away.  The quality of your starter may vary.)

Benefits of birthday”gift”

Disney: Visit the Happiest Place(s) on Earth; Meet your most beloved childhood marketing tools; Enjoy the artistry of the artifice.

Orioles: Visit Baltimore (vacation destination of people flying to D.C. through BWI); Meet Brian Roberts before he’s finally traded to the Cubs, this time we mean it; Enjoy the artistry of the average.

As unlikely as it seems, the Baltimore offer seems awfully attractive in the end. After all, you can hug Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, but where else can you hug John Waters?

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