Disney offers tickets for volunteer work

Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009 10:43 AM | Contributed by Chitown

After a year in which it let guests into its theme parks for free on their birthdays, the Walt Disney Co. will hand out more free tickets in 2010 — but only after making people earn them. Disney on Tuesday launched a new promotional campaign, "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day," through which it will distribute a million one-day, one-park tickets to people who volunteer at select charities.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 1:49 PM

One of the Disney boards I visit is lit up over this topic. Much of the feedback is critical (why should you get something for "volunteering"?). I'm interested to hear other feedback.

I think it is a pretty good idea, even if it is a little self-serving in the PR department.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Ultimately, folks would volunteer without getting anything in return. But that isn't reality in many instances. Effectively, what Disney is doing is donating money to the charities in the forms of tickets which the charities are using to entice volunteers. Disney gets the PR benefit that goes along with that. In addition, they know that folks who visit the parks are likely to spend money (on food/drinks, souvenirs, additional days' tickets, bringing friends, etc.) so it works for the park beyond the PR benefit.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 2:00 PM

wahoo skipper said:
...even if it is a little self-serving in the PR department.

Perhaps I'm too cynical, but...

1. All PR is self-serving by nature.

2. If Disney got nothing out of this (name in the press, revenue from those who use their free ticket - in other words the PR) they wouldn't be doing it.

I suppose, in the end, if it gets someone to do something for someone else that they might not have otherwise, how can you fault it? But don't be mistaken on the intentions.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 2:54 PM

I would be very reluctant to give away free single day tickets in 2010 if I were running Disney parks. This promotion provides an opportunity for those planning on visiting "The Wizarding World" next year to still visit one of the Disney parks as an inexpensive add on to a Universal Orlando based vacation. Families that can't envision visiting the Orlando area without seeing Mickey, but can't stomach the exhorbitant single day prices of Magic Your Way tickets, can put the majority of their vacation dollars into Universal's coffers yet still get a taste of the Disney "magic". I can see offering discounts on multi-day passes, but this offer might backfire.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 3:20 PM

I think it's a great idea, personally. We've been thinking about doing some volunteer work as a family, in part to expose my (over-privileged) kids to the idea of service, and this might just be the impetus we needed to actually do it.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 5:50 PM

In that circumstance, GP Avenger, it's still a win for Disney because they pulled someone into their park who wouldn't have gone otherwise (because they were planning on Universal instead.) They will still likely make some money from them when they are there even for just one day.

I think it's a great idea, too. I know some think volunteering should always be its own reward. But that's just not realistic. Like any enticement, this may get some folks making a positive difference who wouldn't have otherwise and then hopefully that behavior sticks for them. Cool.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 7:30 PM

Its interesting to see how many signed up vs actually took advantage of the birthday campaign. I would say 900K is certianly a successful program, especially when you consider these folks arent coming to the parks alone (ie. bringing paid people) and more than likely spending money inside the park.

I dont see this one as successful however. In these times of unemployment and such, I think some people are looking moreso for real paying jobs than volunteering jobs, and lets be honest.. Volunteering isnt really the American pasttime unfortunately.

But I agree with Carrie. Maybe this little incentive will encourage more people who wouldnt normally do it.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 8:43 PM

I agree that it is wonderful for Disney to reward volunteerism. I just question if the prize of free single day tickets, a much more valuable perk than last year's birthday giveaway, might encourage visitors to the Orlando area to explore outside of the WDW boundaries.

Appealing to single day visitors is in direct contrast to previous Disney efforts (Magical Express, Magic Your Way ticket pricing) to hoard every last vacation dollar. Could Disney be that concerned about next year's opening of "The Wizarding World"?

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 10:24 PM

GP Avenger said:
. This promotion provides an opportunity for those planning on visiting "The Wizarding World" next year to still visit one of the Disney parks as an inexpensive add on to a Universal Orlando based vacation.

That is exactly what I plan on doing this November with the free ticket on your birthday promotion. I'm going to Universal but will spend a day at one of the Disney parks for free.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009 12:05 AM

To add a paragraph 2a to Gonch's post--

How many people from out of state are going to travel to Orlando to spend one day in a Disney park then turn right around and head home the same night? Most are going to say, "You know, as long as we're already going to be there..." True, some might decide to visit other non-Disney attractions. But I'd be willing to say the majority would decide to visit at least one or two other Disney parks, and even stay on-site.

Disney gives away a one-day ticket, and they'll get back several times the cost of the ticket they're giving away.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009 8:14 AM

I'm curious to see what the charities are. If there is something I can do after work hours or on a weekend. I'll defiantly do this. I'm planning on going to Disneyland on a SoCal trip next year.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009 12:14 PM

Well I flew from Va to Cali this year for my Birthday at DisneyLand.. so the Birthday Give away Worked on me! I did hit up and Stay At Knotts when I was out there. Took my Mom to DisneyWorld on her Birthday and Hit Up Sea World while I was Down there.. so RatherGoodBear brings up a good point!!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009 12:48 PM

I wonder if the donation Disney makes (in form of tickets) is tax deductible.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009 12:59 PM

I don't see why not.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:10 PM

Now what would be great is to get Coasting for Kids 2010 to be an accredited charity volunteer event. Ride a coaster all day and score tickets to Disney.

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