September 18, 2008 / 7:42 PM / 11 years ago

Disney's U.S. parks to offer free birthday tickets

This file photo shows the premiere of fireworks show, "Remember Dreams Come True", above the Sleeping Beauty Castle during Disneyland's 50th anniversary party at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California May 4, 2005. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co said on Thursday its U.S. parks will offer free tickets to parkgoers on their birthdays in 2009 to capitalize on a consumer trend for marking important life events with vacations.

The Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts also will offer new park experiences geared to the celebration theme, including street parties, video dance parties and barbecues, the company said.

Holders of annual passes can receive other incentives, such as FastPass tickets for rides, which cut down the time spent waiting in lines, or a “birthday fun card” of a value equivalent to a free admission ticket.

Reporting by Gina Keating, editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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