Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

Disney to offer free tickets to volunteers in 2010

Written by
Published: September 29, 2009 at 6:48 AM

Disney's confirmed the replacement for its popular "Get in free on your birthday promotion." For 2010, Disney will be giving free one-day tickets to U.S. and Canadian residents who volunteer in their communities.

Disney's volunteer program logo, with the Muppets.To get a free ticket in the Muppet-themed "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" promotion, you'll have to sign up for a designated volunteer activity through Disney's website. Once you complete the activity, you'll be given instructions on how to download the ticket voucher, which you will have to redeem at the park's ticket windows. (Just as most folks did for the birthday deal.) Here's the FAQ for the promotion.

Volunteer opportunities are being managed by the HandsOn Network, which runs the existing 1-800-Volunteer program and website. You can go there to get an idea of the sort of activities that might be available under the Disney program.

There are blockout days for these free tickets:

At Walt Disney World: March 29 - April 8 and July 4, 2010,
At Disneyland: February 13-14, March 21, June 21-22, July 4, November 21, and December 11-12, 2010.

Also, Disney is limiting the number of tickets awarded in the program, which will end on Dec. 15, 2010.

Thoughts?

Update: My first take? One has to be at least six years old to get a free ticket, but this program, unlike the birthday deal, does provide an entire family the chance to get a free day at Disney.

The birthday program was a simple loss leader, as it left the rest of the birthday celebrant's family and friends to buy their own way into the park. This program is a more generous offer for families that volunteer together.

The downside? The blockout days and the possibility that people who come in late in the promotion won't get a free ticket at all. That could lead to an early stampede of volunteers, who then disappear as the one million tickets are given away. That's not necessarily the best solution for some organizations, which could use help more evenly distributed through the year.

Finally, much depends on what organizations are designated as "ticket eligible." There is the potential for some controversy, if some of the causes have an ideological or religious bent. Also, rural Disney fans and others in certain parts of the country could be left out if there is not a ticket-eligible opportunity near them.

On the whole though, this could be fun. Heck, there was some talk earlier this year of getting TPI readers together for a volunteer day down in Orlando. Perhaps readers might get together to do something through this program next year.

Readers' Opinions

From Bob Miller on September 29, 2009 at 7:03 AM
Robert, don't know if you caught my other post on this subject? Posted it at 6:30AM.
From Anthony Murphy on September 29, 2009 at 8:27 AM
Sounds like a good idea.

I always thought the birthday one, however at WDW was to get FL residents to come.

From 68.103.4.130 on September 29, 2009 at 8:32 AM
Although I think volunteering is a very good thing for many reasons, I strongly dislike this promotion. Many of you will disagree, but it smells a little political to me.
From TH Creative on September 29, 2009 at 9:31 AM
Anthony, you ought to be all over this! You have promoted various worthy causes.

Mr. Niles, I think a TPI volunteer event would be a fantastic idea for 2010. And yes, I would lend a hand and help organize!

From Anthony Murphy on September 29, 2009 at 9:45 AM
Can't, I work for Disney ( ok, Disney Store, but it counts) so I am ineligable, but they treat me right with tickets to the parks. I am part of VoluntEARS so I am doing the service, but its already through Disney. Got a silver Mickey Hat, very cool.

Also, I do not know if they would appreciate me doing something for Six Flags and then trying to get a free ticket from them!


Still this deal, in my opinon, is excellent. Perhaps its because I am from a big city, but there are many opportunities out there. I also think this will draw more youth groups from the area to go.

I will totally come and help out with the TPI service event, but I will not get any credit (sorta!)

From 71.138.249.8 on September 29, 2009 at 10:48 AM
Why do people need something free in order to get something right done! Everyone is going to these places with just one goal GET MY FREE DISNEY TICKET, not I HOPE I MAKE A DIFFIRENCE IN SOMEONES LIFE TODAY! I feel like disney will give volunteer a bad rep, no?
From Anthony Murphy on September 29, 2009 at 12:10 PM
And if I read 600 minutes, I got a ticket to Great America.

Its just incentives for doing good things. I bet Disney has some pretty stringent rules for what is considered service.

From Gareth H on September 29, 2009 at 12:41 PM
Am still looking into getting some Florida based TPI readers to join me for a day of Habiltat for Humanity, but waiting for the coller weather come in.

So Send me a message, or post here if you are still interested, and Maybe a Certain Mr R Niles would be happy to send over some T-Shirts for us to wear while we do it (Ahen, photo ops, Promotions, local news, etc Mr Niles)

***AND IF I COULD FIND the original posting a I made I'd comment in it to bring it back to the front, but I can't find it. Any help would be apprechiated****

From TH Creative on September 29, 2009 at 5:45 PM
Anthony,

If we were to actually follow-through on an Orlando, TPI event where an event invloved volunteering -- and you showed up and pitched in ... I will gfet you into the park for free.

THC

P.S. Um ... can you climb a chain linked fence?

From Amy Tupper on September 29, 2009 at 8:22 PM
Well, about 18 years ago, I volunteered to join the USAF (the first time, and have re-enlisted a few times since then); and in January, I'll be going to serve in Afghanistan for 6 months. This could severely jeopardize any opportunity I have to participate in this program - but it won't stop me from volunteering when I can. Hope I can still participate somehow because believe me - even if I get in for free, they're gettin' some dough from me and my family!! (Happily and willingly, I might add!)

I just hate that there has to be a war going on (continually, for the last 8 years and counting) AND a bad economy for Disney to give servicemembers what they deserve. And PLEASE no one throw the 'discount' in our face - we have young troops on food stamps!! (Psst....Busch Parks have been continually recognizing our service with free park entry for MORE than 8 years, if my memory serves.)

Not complaining - just making an observation. :)

From Robert Niles on September 29, 2009 at 8:56 PM
Hi Amy.

First... thanks. (Even if you've heard that before, you can't hear it enough.) Second, we're hoping for you to stay safe and file many, many fun-filled trip reports from all your theme park travels when you get back.

Third, you do know that you and your family can get in free at any Busch/SeaWorld park, right? (That deal is available to all U.S. military.) If not, e-mail me using the link on my profile page. I'll hook you up with the info. Universal Orlando is also offering free tickets to military personnel, through Dec. 18. Maybe a trip before you leave?

From Amy Tupper on September 30, 2009 at 7:48 AM
Thanks, Robert! Yes, I'm well aware - and take full advantage! - of the free Busch parks admission each year. I'm waiting for my parents to come down next week to decide which park they want to go to. :) And I blew my Universal freebie on the Barenaked Ladies concert back in February. WELL worth it, to me! LOL

Next year, my husband has promised me my first-ever trip to Disneyland when I get back from Afghanistan, so I will definitely have the stories! I'm really hoping for another military deal next year, though, because I think that will help impact where we stay. (Free tickets = nicer room, perhaps on property?)

From Bob Miller on September 30, 2009 at 9:38 AM
Amy, Thanks for the service to our country. This comes from one of five brothers who served. My brother Harold was in the 2 World War, James and Eugene were in the Korean and Vietnam wars, John served during the Berlin Wall crisis and I was in during the Cubian missle crisis. We all came home safely. Please come home safely to all your TPI family.
From Jack Michael on October 1, 2009 at 7:02 AM
By volunteer, they are referring to individuals who do charity work for free, correct?

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Previous article: Keeping up with the Blog Flume



What's it like to work at Disney World?

Working at Disney World

Insider's Pick: Ever wondered what it would be like to work at the Walt Disney World Resort? Stories from a Theme Park Insider offers more than 100 pages of fun, insightful, and even sometimes touching stories from people who've worked at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. It's a great way to get in the mood for your next trip to Orlando, or just to keep the memories of a Disney World visit alive.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks