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Tune Tuesday: Is Disney Theatrical getting ready to mark down "Mary" ?

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Tune Tuesday: Is Disney Theatrical getting ready to mark down "Mary" ?

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If you're planning on watching this Thursday morning's broadcast of Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, be prepared to see an awful lot of Disney.

And -- no -- I'm not talking about that Buzz Lightyear balloon which will be making its debut in this year's parade. Or the fact that Miley Cyrus will be appearing on a float along with costumed versions of the characters from "Bolt." Or even that Kermit the Frog will be joining the kids from Camp Broadway to perform the parade's closing number, "I Believe in Santa Claus."

No, I'm talking about Disney on Broadway's heavy duty presence during the broadcast portion of this year's parade. The cast of "The Little Mermaid" will be performing "Under the Sea" as part of NBC's lead-up to the official start of Macy's parade. Meanwhile, over on CBS, the cast of Broadway's "Mary Poppins" will be performing a number as part of that network's Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast.

Why's Disney double-dipping this year? Well, maybe you've heard about the large number of Broadway shows that will be closing over the next few months. With "Hairspray," "Spring Awakening", "Monty Python's Spamalot", "Young Frankenstein" and "13" all shuttering before the end of January. And other long-running Broadway shows -- among them "Avenue Q" -- are rumored to be on their way out as well.

Well, the New York Times recently reported that tickets sales for Disney's ''Mary Poppins'' and ''The Little Mermaid'' were hovering " ... around 60 percent of ... capacity." So obviously something had to done in order to up the profile of these two Disney Theatrical productions. Which is where these live performances on CBS & NBC come in.

But will promotional efforts like this really be enough to keep "Mary" 's box office numbers flying high? Or keep "The Little Mermaid" from sinking in a sea of red ink? The folks at Disney Theatrical obviously don't think so. Which is why -- earlier this month -- they got in bed with Disney Rewards Visa from Chase to launch the "Buy One Ticket and Get One Free For New York City's Most Magical Musicals" campaign.

The gist of this offer is -- now through December 23rd -- if you use your Disney Rewards Visa to purchase a ticket to a select performances of "Mary Poppins," "The Lion King" and "The Little Mermaid" and then use the proper code, you'll get a second ticket to this Disney on Broadway show for free.

"Mary Poppins" is making this "Buy One Get One Free" offer available from January 7 - March 12th for a total of 46 performances (i.e. 34 evening shows & 12 matinees). The specific dates that this Disney Reward Visa deal is available on are:

  • Wed: (2 p.m.) 1/7, 1/14, 1/28, 2/4, 2/25
  • Wed: (8 p.m.) 1/7, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/4, 3/11
  • Thurs: (8 p.m.) 1/8, 1/15, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 3/5, 3/12
  • Fri: (8 p.m.) 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/20, 2/27
  • Sat: (8 p.m.) 1/10, 1/17, 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/21, 2/28, 3/7
  • Sun: (1 p.m.) 1/11, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/22, 3/1, 3/8

"The Lion King" is making this same offer available from January 6 - March 11th for a total of 38 performances (i.e. 32 evening shows and 6 matinees). The specific dates that this Disney Reward Visa deal is available on are:

  • Tues: (7 p.m.) 1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27, 2/10, 2/24, 3/3
  • Wed: (2 p.m.) 2/25, 3/3
  • Wed: (8 p.m.) 1/7, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/4, 3/11
  • Thurs: (8 p.m.) 1/8, 1/15, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/26, 3/5
  • Fri: (8 p.m.) 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/20, 2/27
  • Sun: (1 p.m.) 1/11, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8
  • Sun: (6:30 p.m.) 1/11, 1/25, 2/1

Meanwhile, over at "The Little Mermaid," this "Buy One Get One Free" offer runs from January 6 - March 12th for a total of 27 performances (i.e. 24 evening shows and 3 matinees). The specific dates that this Disney Reward Visa deal is available on are:

  • Tues: (7 p.m.) 1/6, 1/13, 1/20, 1/27, 2/10, 2/24, 3/3, 3/10
  • Wed: (2 p.m.) 1/28, 2/11, 2/25
  • Wed: (8 p.m.) 1/7, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/4, 3/11
  • Thurs: (8 p.m.) 1/8, 1/15, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, 2/26, 3/5, 3/12

Mind you, if you don't have a Disney Rewards Visa from Chase card and would still like to get in on this discounted Broadway ticket action ... Not to worry. In the not-so-distant future, you too will be able to get your hands on some specially priced seats to a Disney on Broadway show.

How can I be so sure? Because late last week, the Walt Disney Company registered the following domain names:

  • DISNEYONBROADWAYSALE.COM
  • MARYPOPPINSALE.COM
  • MARYPOPPINSSALE.COM

Which -- to my way of thinking, anyway -- suggests that Disney Theatrical has some very serious concerns about filling all 1745 of those seats at the New Amsterdam Theatre during the first part of 2009. Which is why they're already making plans to mark down "Mary" for members of the general public.

But what about you folks? Would a significantly lower ticket price really tempt you to go see one of Disney's Broadway musicals the next time you were in NYC? And -- if so -- how low would that price actually have to be? Keeping in mind that primo orchestra seats for these three shows typically go for $100 - $120 apiece when purchased at the box office.

Your thoughts?

And speaking of holiday shopping ... If you'd like to show your appreciation for all the great stories that you regularly read here on this website, then why not start out your next Amazon shopping spree by clicking on the banner above? That way, JHM gets a teeny tiny chunk of whatever you spend.

Happy Holidays!

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  • I would be all over this if I was in New York.  What a great deal!

  • Free broadway tickets, free hotels at the parks, free admission on your birthday.  the economy must be worse than anyone thinks for Disney to give this much away!

  • Mary Poppins sure ain't struggling on its upcoming UK tour.  It's a total sellout, I'd love to get my hands on a pair of tickets at full price!

  • It seems to me that the economy is thinning out crowds. Now, when you've got hotels and theme parks and Broadway theaters to fill to make money... Ideally, all these should be able to get through the holiday season at full price but it's better to take a cut than have to close the whole show. Phantom didn't become the longest running production on B'way without discount ticket sales and lower prices in the off season. But I think this coming year will probably see less performances of the shows that do stay open.

  • Free Disney tickets close to home? I'm there.

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