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give a day get a disney day

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It was a huge day at EPCOT today. A world record setting canned-food sculpture, a new duet with Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato (more on that late tonight), and Chef Robert Irvine’s Dinner Impossible filming (again more on that later tonight). But the day was really about Disney’s amazing new promotion for its Give a Day, Get a Disney Day promotion for 2010.

Against the backdrop of a world-record sculpture of canned goods destined for food banks, Disney Parks officials on Thursday announced a major milestone with the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program, a first-of-its-kind effort to help inspire 1 million people to perform volunteer service.

Since the program’s launch only six weeks ago, more than 600,000 people in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada have volunteered or signed up for volunteer projects in their communities, announced Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

“With the launch of our ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ program, we hoped to spark something truly special,” Staggs said. “But even we have been overwhelmed with the response.”

Disney originally announced that they would try to give away around 1 million tickets to volunteers. I don’t know if that means you need to sign up for a shift soon, or if they’ll extend the promotion throughout the year.

Canned-Food Structure Unveiled, Verified Largest-Ever by Guinness World Records®

As part of the event celebrating family volunteers and to dramatize the spirit of giving, Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday unveiled a mammoth structure of canned goods – food that will be donated to food banks in Orlando, Miami and Atlanta.

The canned food sculpture – titled “Celebrate Volunteers” – was revealed for media and guests at Epcot. Disney VoluntEARS shaped the sculpture with a larger-than-life Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto – all sculpted out of cans. Goofy’s trademark hat consisted of cans of bread crumbs, for instance. Mickey’s famous head was shaped from cans of black olives, and cans of sliced pineapple made up Pluto’s eyes.

The cans represent approximately 70,000 meals, according to Dave Krepcho, president/CEO of Second Harvest of Central Florida. “Each can makes a difference in someone’s life who cannot afford this food,” he said. “Much of this food goes to children in need, working moms trying to provide, senior citizens coping on fixed incomes and people whose disabilities keep them from working.”

The spectacular, character-themed structure – consisting officially of 115,527 cans – was also a world record, according to Guinness World Records, the internationally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement. Guinness World Records Thursday authenticated the achievement as the Largest Canned Food Structure ever created, easily eclipsing the previous record of 54,527 cans set in June 2009 in New Zealand. More fun facts at the bottom of this post