Get Free Disney World or Disneyland Tickets for Volunteering

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland resorts in 2010? Disney wants you to give back to the community and they’ll give you a free ticket to celebrate your participation. The “Give A Day, Get A Disney Day” promotion celebrates the volunteer ethic by matching you with an approved nonprofit to make a difference. Hopefully this will light the volunteer spark under some who have yet to experience the joys of doing good for others.

GADGADD replaces the 2009 ‘Celebrate Today’ promotion where you could get free admission (or a replacement gift if you were an annual passholder) on your birthday. That promotion ends Deember 31, 2009.

The GADGADD promotion is fairly simple. Beginning January 1, 2010 you must sign up at Disney’s website and search for an available volunteer opportunity. Once you’ve completed your shift at the organization, Disney will verify your session and send you an email that will allow you to get one free ticket (allow at least two weeks for verification). You can only earn one ticket a year through this promotion and supplies are limited.

To get an idea of what shifts will be available search HandsOn Network‘s list of approved volunteer opportunities for a something near you. Feel free to volunteer today and help out a great organization, but it won’t count toward the promotion until after you sign up for Disney’s promotion. Even if you already regularly volunteer, you still have to sign up at Disney’s site for your shift to qualify.

There are many more details in Disney’s FAQ for the program. For instance, if you’re an annual passholder you can choose an alternate gift such as a special fastpass or a collectible set of mouse ears with a matching pin. The whole program wraps up on December 15th, 2010. You’ll have to use your ticket voucher by then. Plus there are a few blackout periods ( Walt Disney World® Resort: March 29 – April 8 and July 4, 2010 AND The Disneyland® Resort: February 13-14, March 21, June 21-22, July 4, November 21, December 11-12, 2010 ).

Disney plans to use the Muppets to promote the campaign. Check out the launch site. It’s actually pretty cute and full of downloads and even a contest to win a free trip.

What do you think? Is this a good follow up to 2009’s promotion? While I don’t have Disney’s numbers for the event, I have to wonder how successful the free birthday ticket was at driving new traffic to the parks. Probably more successful in Anaheim where more people live within driving distance.

I don’t see this promotion driving a lot of new traffic either. It certainly is a great idea though.

Disney has a long history of volunteering in the community. The cast member army of VoluntEars is always out and about in the community and Disney’s Conservation efforts makes an impact every day all around the globe. I hope that the GADGADD promotion will now create millions of new ripples in the pond and you never know if one of those will become a tidal wave of change.

18 thoughts on “Get Free Disney World or Disneyland Tickets for Volunteering”

  1. While I don’t have Disney’s numbers for the event, I have to wonder how successful the free birthday ticket was at driving new traffic to the parks. Probably more successful in Anaheim where more people live within driving distance.

    I don’t know what Disney’s numbers are either, but as a cast member in Orlando, I will say I have seen *many* more people wearing the birthday pins since the What Will You Celebrate? promotion began. :)

  2. I myself think that it is a great idea but if it works is another question,I have 2 little girls and i am trying to teach them that it is fun to help others we hav notdone anything major because they are so young ( they are 3 ) but we do go to nursing homes to visit and play with them and have snack it is a treat for the elderly as well as for my girls.we love it and look forward to our visits!But I really don’t know how well this will go over but i wish them luck thisrld could use alot more people who cared then we would be better off..

  3. Although i have no figures (apart from my own) to prove it i have a feeling that the free birthday tickets was a huge success.

    We visited the Magic Kingdom on my mother in laws birthday to find the park packed on a late february tuesday. There were huge numbers of families and groups with one person wearing am “it’s my birthday” badge.

    In our case, our 1 free ticket had led us to buy 3 full price admissions, two rooms at the all-stars resort, 4 lunches at Liberty tree tavern and dinners and ray’s starlight diner, 2 pineapple whirls, 4 churros, 2 cheese pretzels, 1 cookie ice cream sandwich, several drinks and a green mickey balloon in a balloon.

    My in-law’s hadn’t been to MK for atleast 11 years even though they live only 30mins away but the free ticket persuaded them to make a fun but expensive trip of it.

    If that was typical of most of the groups then disney made out like bandits.

  4. Rich,

    United Way is also plastered all over that website, an organization that I swore I’d never get my time or my money.

    I’ve still got a bad taste in my mouth from when a former employer forced me to attend a leadership training program and it turned out to be a “lend an executive” program for United Way where companies put members of their staff into forced servitude to United Way to try and drum up donations so that the lending company gets “points” toward some sort of status with United Way.

    As I said on Twitter, I was raised that my time is very valuable and therefore my family has always donated money, not time to charities.

    I really only seeing this resonating with members of the local WDW and DL communities where it is easy for someone to cash in their free day

    1. And Ray, there are a lot of other worthy organizations one can voluntEAR for under Disney’s program, but I think they needed to do a bit more homework on this idea because I doubt if they’d like to be tied to ACORN in any way right now.

  5. For those who were wondering how the Celebrate promotion did, “3.5 mill people registered for Disney’s birthday promotion this yr & about 30% of them have taken advantage of it so far.”

    So that means 1,050,000 people redeemed a free ticket.

  6. That’s what I heard too, but didn’t have confirmation. The question is what percentage of those visitors who redeemed the ticket created a new trip to do so. I suspect the majority were either locals or people already planning a trip who just moved the dates to around their birthday.

  7. I don’t trust Disney’s intentions with this promotion. Now, if they did this promotion during an economic boom, then I’d change my tune. However, this is simply a modified version of giving free tickets away to help fend off a recession. The volunteer gets in free, invites their friends at $91 a pop, eat and buy a bunch of merchandise.

    If you really want to get into the charitable spirit, go volunteer for a non-profit and *don’t* participate in Disney’s free recession ticket extension program.

  8. Sad to see such rampant cynicism.

    Let’s imagine for a moment, that you’re right. Disney’s motives are entirely to trick people into thinking their getting a good deal so they come to the parks and spend money on merchandise and food. Even if greed is Disney’s only motivation, this is still likely to result in charitable organizations getting more volunteer hours than they would otherwise. How can this be a bad thing?

    And while I’m sure profit really is part of the motivation behind this (so what? Disney is a profit driven corporation). If tricking people into getting a free single day ticket and coming to the park, there would probably be simpler ways to do it. I think some of the people behind this must have genuine benevolent intentions as well. I’d hate to be the kind of person who couldn’t believe that was a possibility.

    And I doubt I’d be a Disney fan if I was.

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  10. I think this is a great idea for many reasons we were already planning on going in July now my daughter can do a good deed and help out in the community. The only problem is I’ve been to sign up 3 times and get kicked out every time I’ve been doing this since noon today. If Disney is doing this for the money you work for money what’s the differnence when they do so many other activites for free.

  11. We visited WDW in December 2008, and we are planning a trip to Southern California in March to visit family. We looked into spending a day at Disney Land, but it was just too much money for a day considering that we were recently at WDW. When we heard about the GADGADD, we signed up. My husband, daughter, and myself completed our service today, and we will hopefully receive our vouchers in a few weeks. We were able to volunteer at a place where my husband already volunteers, so we were pleased to help out an organiztion that we already support. We will need to pay admission for our 4-year-old, but we still get a day at Disney Land for under $100. My experience with the GADGADD has been positive so far.

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