Disney to offer free tickets to volunteers in 2010
Published: September 29, 2009 at 6:48 AM
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.
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.